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Old 17-05-2014, 01:57 AM   #145
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The Battle of Rorke's Drift, also known as the Defence of Rorke's Drift, was a battle in the Anglo-Zulu War. The defence of the mission station of Rorke's Drift, under the command of Lieutenant John Chard of the Royal Engineers, immediately followed the British Army's defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879, and continued into the following day, 23 January..Just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the garrison against an intense assault by 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors. The massive, but piecemeal, Zulu attacks on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the tiny garrison but were ultimately repelled. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders, along with a number of other decorations and honours...
Sometime around noon on the 22nd, Major Spalding left the station for Helpmekaar to ascertain the whereabouts of Rainforth's G Company, which was now overdue. He left Chard in temporary command. Chard rode down to the drift itself where the engineer's camp was located. Soon thereafter, two survivors from Isandlwana – Lieutenant Gert Adendorff of the 1st/3rd NNC and a trooper from the Natal Carbineers – arrived bearing the news of the defeat and that a part of the Zulu impi was approaching the station.At about 3.30 pm, a mixed troop of about 100 Natal Native Horse (NNH) under Lieutenant Alfred Henderson arrived at the station after having retreated in good order from Isandlwana. They volunteered to picket the far side of the Oscarberg (Shiyane), the large hill that overlooked the station and from behind which the Zulus were expected to approach..The Zulu attitude towards firearms was that: "The generality of Zulu warriors, however, would not have firearms – the arms of a coward, as they said, for they enable the poltroon to kill the brave without awaiting his attack." Even though their fire was not accurate, it was responsible for 5 of the 17 British deaths at Rorke's Drift..At about 4:00 pm, Surgeon James Reynolds, Otto Witt – the Swedish missionary who ran the mission at Rorke's Drift – and army chaplain Reverend George Smith came down from the Oscarberg hillside with the news that a body of Zulus were fording the river to the southeast and were "no more than 5 minutes away"..

At this point, Witt decided to depart the station as his family lived in an isolated farmhouse about 30 km away and he wanted to be with them. Witt's native servant, Umkwelnantaba, left with him; so too did one of the hospital patients, Lieutenant Thomas Purvis of the 1st/3rd NNC..Chard realised that the north wall, under almost constant Zulu attack, could not be held, and at 6:00 pm he pulled his men back into the yard, abandoning the front two rooms of the hospital in the process. The hospital was becoming untenable; the loopholes had become a liability, as rifles poking out were grabbed at by the Zulus – but if the holes were left empty the Zulu warriors stuck their own weapons through to fire into the rooms. Among the soldiers assigned to the Hospital were Corporal William Wilson Allen and Privates Cole, Dunbar, Hitch, Horrigan, John Williams, Joseph Williams, Alfred Henry Hook, Robert Jones, and William Jones..By that time Chard's force had lost 14 dead..2 others were mortally wounded and 8 more – including Dalton – were seriously wounded. Virtually every man had some kind of wound. They were all exhausted, having fought for the better part of 10 hours, and were running low on ammunition.. Of 20,000 rounds in reserve at the mission, only 900 remained..11 Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders of Rorke's Drift, 7 of them to soldiers of the 2nd/24th Foot – the most ever received in a single action by one regiment (although not, as commonly thought, the most awarded in a single action or the most in a day: 16 were awarded at the Battle of Inkerman, on 5 November 1854; 28 were awarded during the Second Relief of Lucknow, 14–22 November 1857)..The Victoria Cross (VC) was awarded to 23 members of the British Armed Forces and colonial forces for actions performed during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879..Dalton was approximately 46 years old, and an acting assistant commissary in the Commissariat and Transport Department (later Royal Army Service Corps), British Army during the Anglo-Zulu War when he was awarded the VC for action on 22 January 1879, at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, he saved the life of a man of the Army Hospital Corps, by shooting the Zulu who having seized the muzzle of the man's rifle, was in the act of assegaing him. This officer, to whose energy much of the defence of the place was due, was severely wounded during the contest, but still continued to give the same example of cool courage..Plot E. The precise location of his grave is 33° 57' 37" S 25° 36' 53" E...

Born in Churcham (6 August 1850 Churcham, Gloucestershire) Hook originally served in the Monmouth Militia for 5 years before enlisting in the regular army in March 1877, aged 26.. Previously serving in the 9th Xhosa War in 1877, he received a scalp injury during the battle of Rorke's Drift, and retired from the regular army 17 months later in June 1880, but later served 20 years in 1st Volunteer Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, reaching the rank of Sergeant-Instructor.. After his 1880 discharge he was found the position of Inside Duster at the British Museum thanks to the intervention of Gonville Bromhead, Lord Chelmsford and the Prince of Wales. He was subsequently promoted to take charge of readers umbrellas, before resigning due to ill health in 1904..On 22/23 January 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, a distant room of the hospital had been held for more than an hour by three privates, and when finally they had no ammunition left the Zulus burst in, and killed 1 of the men and 2 patients. One of the privates (John Williams) however, succeeded in knocking a hole in the partition and taking the last 2 patients through into the next ward, where he found Private Hook. "These 2 men then worked together - 1 holding the enemy at bayonet point while the other broke through 3 more partitions - and they were then able to bring 8 patients into the inner line of defence"..12 March 1905 (aged 54)..In his autobiography,singer Mark E. Smith claimed that Hook was an ancestor of his father, which led to the Smith family being invited as guests of honour to the Whitefield showing of Zulu..Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Se7ern, and the entire Forest of Dean..The Gloucestershire Old Spots (also "Gloucester, Gloucester Old Spot, Gloucestershire Old Spot" or simply "Old Spots") is an English breed of pig which is predominantly white with black spots.. Boars reach a mature weight of 600 lbs (272 kg) and sows 500 lbs (227 kg)..The Gloucestershire Old Spots (GOS) Breed Society was formed in 1913. The originators of that society called the breed 'Old' Spots because the pig had been known for as long as anyone could remember. The first pedigree records of pigs began in 1885..An 1834 painting of a Gloucestershire Old Spot in the Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery collection.. Said to be the largest pig ever bred in Britain, both The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal keep GOS pigs on their respective Gloucestershire Estates..On 23 July 1829, after a brief period in Lancashire preparing for their 3rd trip to North America, the 1st Battalion departed Manchester by canal boat arriving at Paddington 4 days later. During the tedious 9 weeks crossing the Atlantic, the Regiment's Colonel died..After the Cardwell-Childers Reforms of the British Armed Forces, the 24th Foot became the South Wales Borderers on 1 July 1881.. The regiment's regimental depot had been moved to the Barracks, Brecon in Wales in 1873 and this, understandably, led to the regiment having close links with South Wales..The 1881 census shows Henry Hook V.C. as a servant in the household of George Owen Willis, a doctor in Monmouth, Monmouthshire... Ladies and Gentlemen this is your Captain speaking..I'm just a simple chap, sir.. I'm not a great Man like you.. I just don't know where I am anymore..Maybe one of these Red Indians wandered into Whitechapel and indulged his natural inclinations.. Dear night-lights, protect my sleeping babes..Burn clear and steadfast tonight...

Last edited by lightgiver; 17-05-2014 at 02:55 AM.
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