The Battle of Rorke’s Drift is one of the most famous engagements in British military history. I’ve made a number of films about the battle over the years which you can find on this website and on my YouTube channel, but for this film I wanted to do something different - Drone shots of the site and also a chronology of the battle.
Did racism stop Job Maseko MM from winning the Victoria Cross? That was the claim made in a recent, highly publicised, campaign. But could that be true and what is the full story of this South African hero? I set out to find out. . .
This morning (April 25th, 2021) I was lucky enough to attend an intimate Anzac Day gathering. It was cold and dark as we gathered on the battlefield of Diamond Hill - fought on the 11th and 12th of June 1900.
Deep in the rural areas of KwaZulu-natal, about 20km from Dundee is the impressive, but almost unknown Anglo-Zulu War fortification known as Fort Pine. Its dry-stone walls are still impressive, at least 14 feet high they tower over the gentle farmland of the Biggarsberg ridge. https://youtu.be/0FpLS6CYmag Work began on the fort by the Royal Engineers … Continue reading Fort Pine – A hidden gem of the Anglo-Zulu War
Transcript of the video that is embedded below: Today I’m talking about Frank Edward Bourne OBE DCM - or Colour Sergeant Bourne as he was during the battle of Rorke’s Drift. He was the senior British NCO present at the battle, but unlike many of his colleagues he was never awarded the Victoria Cross. You probably remember him from … Continue reading The Heroes of Rorke’s Drift: Frank Bourne OBE, DCM
This is the third part of my “Heroes of Rorke’s Drift” series…and today we are learning all about the man who many consider to have been the unsung hero and the brains behind the successful British defence of Rorke’s Drift.
Rorke’s Drift – one of the most famous battles ever fought by the British army. Today we meet Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead (pronounced Brumhead) – The man played by Michael Cain in the film Zulu. But who was Bromhead? What had he done in his career before the battle and what happened to him afterwards?
Who were the 11 men who won the Victoria Cross during the epic battle for Rorke's Drift? What was their background and what happened to them after the battle? This is the first in a series of films where I will be answering those questions. Today we talk about the man who commanded the defence … Continue reading The VC Heroes of Rorke’s Drift, Part 1: John Chard
In the latest Five-minute Friday video (OK OK I know it's not five minutes!) I examine the Basotho Gun War of 1880-1881. It is a conflict almost forgotten by history but it is an incredibly important war as it is the reason that the small Kingdom of Lesotho is not part of South Africa. Watch … Continue reading The Basotho Gun War – video
Welcome to the first of my new "5 minute Friday" strand. In this first episode I am talking about the remarkable John Shipp...His story is absolutely amazing. During the Napoleonic era being promoted from the ranks was more common than most people think. . .But Shipp was still an exceptional man and managed it twice. … Continue reading John Shipp: A real-life Richard Sharpe (video)