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DateOriginal Topic
15th March 2004Stevenson
By Tom Aitken
I have always wondered about the scene in "Zulu" in which the cavalry basically rides by. Does anybody know if their is a historical basis for this and the subsequent exchange between Chard and Stevenson? If not, it certainly works well as a plot device.
15th March 2004Julian whybra
The film I'm afraid does not reflect historical accuracy. Henderson's Natal Native Horse troop from Isandhlwana (plus a few) retired to Rorke's Drift. Chard asked them to fan out and hold the Zulu impi up as it crossed the river. As the Zulus advanced and the NNH retreated toward the mission station, Henderson could not hold them in check and they fled. At the sight of this, Stevenson's NNC company stationed at the Drift also fled (including that officer himself). Henderson and another man, Hall, remained at RD (outside the defence perimeter) to fire a few shots at the advancing Zulus before retreating themselves.
15th March 2004Tom Aitken
Thanks Julian. That is a fascinating bit of information. I suppose in defense of Baker, et al that would have been difficult to write into the movie. In historical reality, the truth makes those who remained seem even braver! RD is a very compelling event, and there is still much to learn.
16th March 2004Julian whybra
It doesn't help that DR Morris in The Washing of the spears confused the situation still further by turning Henderson into Vause.
16th March 2004John Young

If you think Donald Morris confuses things Dr. Greaves doesn't help matters along either. He loses the plot somewhat and we have at various times the Henderson & Vause commanding the horsemen.

John Y.
16th March 2004Marc Jung
Tom, I only read the account (Somewhere - and it could of been on here!) That Stevenson went off and a shot rang out, at he/his men, presumably fired by one of the Rorke's Drift garrison. Don't know if yourself or anyone else can enlighten me on that score anyway! Ta, Marc.
17th March 2004Julian whybra
One or two of the defenders report the incident as you state it ' a shot rang out' and Anderson fell. The Rev. Smith states that as they ran from RD the first volley of shots was fired from the garden by the Zulus concealed there and anderson fell, shot through the head.