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DateOriginal Topic
21st May 2004Last known survivor - Rorke's Drift
By W.R.Dowling
Does anyone know when the last surviving defender of Rorke's Drift died?
22nd May 2004Ian Essex
V.E Day, 8th May, 1945.
Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne.
22nd May 2004John Young

I thought he died on 9th May, 1945, at his home in Dorking in Surrey.

The much quoted V.E. Day remark having appeared as an error in Norman Holme's original work 'The Silver Wreath'.

John Y.
22nd May 2004Ian Essex
He may have done, I wouldn't know...but I was going on the information supplied by this website...
Peter, Alan...?
22nd May 2004Martin Everett
I think Alan has been listening to the KZN battlefield guides where VE Day is much better than 9th May 1945. Although I have say somebody did suggest to me that 25B/971 Pte T Driscoll did died in Bristol after Frank Bourne, but I have not been able to check this. There maybe some confusion there with 1525 Pte T Driscoll 2/24th who was not at RD on 22/23 January but was certainly there on 29 January. We do know a T Driscoll died at Ebbw Vale on or about 16 June 1931. It would be interesting if 971 died later.
23rd May 2004Ian Essex
Although I've not been there, doesn't Frank Bourne's tombstone say the 8th May?
23rd May 2004Ian Essex
I don't know whether you were refering to myself (Ian) or someone else not on this thread (Alan?) but no...I wouldn't have been listening to the Tour Guides...'crossing the river into Natal whilst a band played 'Men of Harlech' and all of that...
23rd May 2004Martin Everett
I was referring to Alan who is responsible for the content of the site (helped by many others). You are right the headstone does state 8th May 1945 - see:

But I am at home and do not have all the sources with me - but 9th May 1945 would seem correct.