Rorke's Drift 1879 Battle Story by Edmund Yorke
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Rorke's Drift 1879 Battle Story
by Edmund Yorke
The small garrison based at Rorke s Drift in South Africa is forever immortalised in British history, as one of the Army s most glorious moments. The garrison was defended by 139 British soldiers with c.300 African colonial troops under their command when, on 22nd January 1879, they were attacked by a Zulu force of nearly 4,000 warriors.
Out numbered by nearly twenty to one, the British soldiers constructed a makeshift defence and fought throughout the night. Their tenacity and bravery ensured that the British retained the garrison and won the battle. Their acts in the face of this overwhelming onslaught saw 11 Victoria Crosses being awarded to the British garrison the highest number ever awarded for a single engagement.
Rorke s Drift restored the British public s faith in the Army after the disaster of Isandlwana and the battle was famously portrayed in the film Zulu. Battle Story: Rorke s Drift explores the men and action at this most legendary of battles.