Military art prints and
Original Zulu war pencil Drawings by Chris Collingwood Military art prints of Rorkes Drift during
the Zulu Wars. Defence of Rorke's Drift historical prints published by Cranston
By about 6pm the Zulu attacks had extended all around the front
of the post, and fighting raged at hand-to-hand along the mealie-bag wall.
Lieutenant Chard himself took up a position on the barricade, firing over the
mealie-bags with a Martini-Henry, whilst Lieutenant Bromhead directed any spare
men to plug the gaps in the line. The men in the yard and on the front wall were
dangerously exposed to the fire of Zulu marksmen posted in the rocky terraces on
Shiyane (Oskarsberg) hill behind the post. Several men were hit, including
Acting Assistant Commissary Dalton, and Corporal Allen of the 14th. Surgeon
Reynolds treated the wounded as best he could despite the fire. Once the veranda
at the front of the hospital had been abandoned, the Zulus had mounted a
determined attack on the building itself, setting fire to the thatched roof with
spears tied with burning grass. The defenders were forced to evacuate the
patients room by room, eventually passing them out through a small window into
the open yard. Shortly after 6pm Chard decided that the Zulu pressure was too
great, and ordered a withdrawal to a barricade of biscuit boxes which had been
hastily erected across the yard, from the corner of the store-house to the front
mealie-bag wall. In this small compound the garrison would fight for their lives
throughout most of the coming night. Text supplied by Zulu War Author Ian Knight.
The VC Winners: Lieutenant J.R.M. Chard, R.E.; Lieutenant G. Bromhead, 2/24th;
Surgeon J.H. Reynolds, A.M.D.; Acting Assistant Commissary J.L. Dalton, C. &
T.D.; Corporal Allen, 2/24th; Corporal C.F. Schiess, N.N.C.; Privates F. Hitch,
A.H. Hook, R. Jones, W. Jones, J. Williams, 2/24th.
- Frederick Hitch
- Hitch was associated with William Allen VC in a most
courageous defence of a dangerous and important position. By
their steady fire the two men held open the communication
between the hospital and the Inner Defence, enabling the wounded
to be carried across, when the Zulus had set light to the
thatched building. He was very badly hit by a roughly made Zulu
bullet, which inflicted a fearful gash on his shoulder, no less
than thirty-six pieces of bone being taken away afterwards from
the wound. He was presented with the Cross by Queen Victoria at
Netley Hospital on his return in the summer of 1879.
- Born at Southgate in Middlesex on 28th November 1856. Previous
to the Zulu War, he had served through the Kaffir War of 1877-8.
After leaving the Army held held the position of one of the
Right of the Line Corps of Commissionaires at the Imperial
Institute. He later drove a cab in London, owning two horses for
The DCM Winners: Col. Sgt. F.E. Bourne2/24th; 2nd Corp. F.
Attwood, A.S.C.; 2nd
Corp. M. McMahon, A.H.C.;Wheeler J. Cantwell, R.A.; Pte W. Roy, 1/24th.