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Death of Rob Gerrard
Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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It has been announced that Rob Gerrard died at 1a.m. this morning at
Ladysmith Hospital. Rob suffered a stroke a week ago in his room at the
Lodge. He never fully recovered.




This is a real blow to his family and his many friends in the AZW community.
He will be sadly missed.

Rob Gerrard, FRGS, author and ex-Gordon Highlander, was the resident
historian at Isandlwana Lodge. His tours and lectures recaptured all the rich
detail of the Zulu history of Isandlwana, the Battle of Rorke’s Drift and the
surrounding areas. He has done various lecture tours, especially in the UK.

Rob was educated in Britain, commissioned into the British army,
served with the Gordons in Kenya and on a secondment in Malaysia,
Borneo and Thailand. In 1969 he left the army and moved to South Africa
where he became a commodity trader. His passion for British military
history led him into lecturing on the battles of the Anglo-Zulu War of
1879, and Anglo-Boer Wars of 1881 and 1899-1902. He was made a
Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society in 1998.

Rob has written a compelling book on the Anglo-Zulu War entitled
“People of the Heavens”. The book is available at the Lodge curio shop.
http://www.Isandlwana.co.za/ [email protected]

R.I.P Rob.

All images in the forum have been deleted by Photobucket unless payment is made to them.


Last edited by Alan on Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:48 am; edited 2 times in total
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mike snook 2


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 920
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I am deeply saddened to learn of Rob's death. I must have dined with him a hundred times at Isandlwana. He was always a great friend. I send Rob's family and friends my profoundest condolences.

RIP old soldier sahib. I shall miss you. Parade, Present Arms.

As ever

Col Mike Snook MBE late RRW
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 780
Location: Brecon
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Rob's father was:

Brigadier Bernard Joseph Dudley Gerrard DSO (1901-1965)
Commissioned Gordons 23.12.1921
Awarded DSO in 1941 whilst commanding 1st Nigeria Regiment in East Africa.

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Martin Everett
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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 871
Location: Queensland, Australia
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A true gentleman and a fascinating guide.

RIP

AMB
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
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Location: Brecon
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Martin Everett
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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Thanks Martin, the Telegraph article adds a whole new aspect to this already sad event.
I will post any additional information if available.

Other reports:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/brit-ex-army-officer-aged-8884806

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rorke-s-drift-guide-dies-after-attack-jrnwxlsn9

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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
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Very sad news and my thoughts are with the family.

Peter
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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Some additional information.

Rob was beaten badly and tortured. It happened at the end of August and he lay unconscious
from Friday to when they found him in his room on Monday.
He was taken to Ladysmith Hospital where he suffered from acute infection and then a collapsed
lung and pneumonia. On entry his condition was described by a nurse as “seriously ill.”
His sister Sally and his sons went to see him, and he could hold a
limited conversation.

He unfortunately then died some days later in hospital at 0100 hrs on 15 September.

The shocking thing is that the police have apparently not opened a murder ‘docket’ and
there is no case number. There appears to be no police investigation or none that is apparent.

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mike snook 2


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
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Sickening.

M
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 780
Location: Brecon
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See comments from Andrew Rattray in other place.

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Martin Everett
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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Are you going to give us a clue Martin?

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Damian


Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 98
Location: Pietermaritzburg KZN
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Too terrible
This is awful
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 923
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Memorial Service in Remembrance of Mr. Robert Joseph Gerrard.

Tribute by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party and
Traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu Monarch and Nation.


St. Vincent’s Church, Isandlwana: 29th October 2016


I cannot think of a more fitting place to bid farewell to Mr. Rob Gerrard than here, in the shadow of Isandlwana. This is the place he loved, the place that spoke to him.

For more than a hundred years, the stained-glass windows of this church have told the story of British officers who laid down their lives on the battlefield. As we honour Mr. Gerrard’s memory this morning, we too tell of a British officer, a fine and respected gentleman, whose life was lost at Isandlwana.

I am here not only as a friend of Miss Mary Pat Stubbs and Mrs. Maggie Bryant, but as a descendant of King Cetshwayo and a descendant of Inkosi Mnyamana Buthelezi who commanded all of the King’s regiments in the Anglo-Zulu War. I am here as someone who deeply appreciates the valuable gift that Mr. Gerrard bestowed on the Zulu Nation, on our country, and on the record of history.

He was an outstanding historian. Through his telling, the very human experience of one of history’s greatest battles became accessible. He understood that, as in any war, there were acts of heroism on both sides and acts of cowardice. There was tragedy and victory on both sides. When he recounted the battle of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, we could hear the cries, feel the heat and smell the blood. The past came alive, and that really is the hallmark of genius.

Training under the late David Rattray, Mr. Rob Gerrard found his passion. He was not content to simply recount what he had read. Instead, he pursued new knowledge on the past, seeking out the descendants of Zulu warriors, listening to the oral history of our people, and working with other historians to uncover more. What he found is contained in his beautifully illustrated book, People of the Heavens. I am grateful that some of his lectures have been captured on audio discs, so that his voice and his stories will continue to inspire.

But for those who knew and loved him, hearing his voice is not enough. His physical presence will be deeply missed, both by his family and his extended family at Isandlwana Lodge.

It pains me to know that Mr. Gerrard was so brutally attacked in his home at Isandlwana earlier this year. Senselessly, intruders broke the body of one of our own sons. He could not survive that, despite his every effort over the past seven months.

I want to honour Mr. Rob Gerrard. I want to wipe away the pain of what was done to him, even knowing that I seek the impossible. I want to pour the love and gratitude of my nation onto his wounds, and onto the wounds that are carried by his sister, Mrs. Sally Gerrard Fox, and by his beloved sons, Joe and Jamie.

To me, it would have been eminently appropriate to scatter Mr. Gerrard’s ashes on this battlefield. It is difficult to understand the reasoning that prevented this, for the bones of thousands of people of all races lie scattered across Isandlwana. Moreover the battle took place over many kilometres and the battlefield is far larger than the proclaimed area. Indeed, the originally proclaimed area is quite minuscule. Under my leadership, it was expanded, but still it doesn’t encompass the story of the past.

I understand the need to protect the integrity of this place – and I know that Mr. Gerrard would agree – because every now and then we hear about graves being desecrated as thieves look for the medals of British soldiers. It is tragic that this kind of criminality has caused a clampdown that affects even those with the deepest respect for Isandlwana.

Thus, we will use this service at Saint Vincent’s to honour Mr. Gerrard’s life. But whenever we visit the battlefield we will remember him.

History relies on people who have empathy and understanding to keep it alive. Thus Mr. Gerrard was one of the custodians of our past. His work at Isandlwana Lodge did a great deal for tourism. I know that Miss Stubbs and Mrs. Bryant held him in the highest esteem.

These two ladies are remarkable in their own right. They made a substantial investment in rural KwaZulu at a time when no other investor would have considered it. And indeed Isandlwana Lodge ran at a loss for several years. But they had tremendous courage and foresight. I remain grateful for the confidence they showed in my leadership of the KwaZulu Government, and the Zulu people themselves.

Isandlwana Lodge is now an icon, and my friendship with its founders remains strong. I therefore feel their loss, and the loss of Mr. Gerrard’s family, quite acutely.

The Gerrard family has deep roots in South Africa. Mr. Rob Gerrard’s great-grandfather, Sir John Robinson, was the first prime minster of the British colony of Natal, and founded The Natal Mercury which was run by the family for four generations. When Mr. Gerrard chose to return to the land of his birth, he was continuing a legacy of service in South Africa. We were blessed to have a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society commit twenty years of his life to preserving our heritage.

As I stand here now, I remember the battle that he loved to talk about. On the Day of the Dead Moon, 22nd January 1879, my grandfather Mkhandumbe Buthelezi was wounded at the Battle of Isandlwana. His brother, Mtumengana, laid down his life, but my grandfather was among the warriors who finally shouted “Usuthu!” May that same cry of victory be the sound we hear when we remember Mr. Robert Joseph Gerrard.

On behalf of my ancestors and my nation, I salute a great son of Africa.


Last edited by John Young on Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
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Very passionate eulogy by the Prince - thanks John.
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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I didn't realise that part of Rob's history. It is very fitting but very sad.

John, do you know any more of the ashes story?

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Death of Rob Gerrard
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