Monday, September 10, 2007

Final Muster

If you've seen the movie Zulu you'll understand how amazing this document is.This is Lt. John Rouse Merriott Chard's muster roll of the defenders of Rorke's Drift.
For those unfamiliar, Rorke's Drift was a mission station in Natal, South Africa, situated near a natural ford (drift) on the Buffalo River. During the Anglo-Zulu War, the defence of Rorke's Drift (22-23 January 1879) immediately followed the British Army's humiliating defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana earlier in the day. One hundred and thirty-nine British soldiers successfully defended their garrison against an intense assault by four to five thousand Zulu warriors. The overwhelming Zulu attack on Rorke's Drift came a hairs breadth away of overwhelming the tiny British garrison. The successful defense of the outpost is held as one of history's finest defenses.

Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the British defenders, the most ever received in a single action by one regiment, seven to soldiers of the 24th.

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