The Rorke's Drift Commanders

Gonville Bromhead and John Chard

James W Bancroft

Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead and Lieutenant John Chard had fame thrust upon them, as did the place known as Rorke's Drift, which before 1879 was an unknown homestead situated in the middle of the South African veld.
Date Published :
October 2022
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Language:
English
Illustration :
70 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781399009966
Pages : 248
Dimensions : 9.1 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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$49.95

Overview
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Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead and Lieutenant John Chard had fame thrust upon them, as did the place known as Rorke’s Drift, which before 1879 was an unknown homestead situated in the middle of the South African veld.

Although both men came from families whose various members were highly distinguished for their military service and for their service to the church, they became reluctant heroes after being awarded Britain’s highest decoration for valor, the Victoria Cross.

During the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879, a British invasion force was massacred at iSandlwana, after which a wing of the Zulu army about 3,000 strong attacked the outpost at Rorke’s Drift. Lieutenants Bromhead and Chard commanded the post, and after supervising the construction of barricades they led their men in defensive actions throughout the night until the Zulus lost heart and returned to their kraals. For their gallantry ‘under most trying circumstances’, both Bromhead and Chard, along with nine of their comrades, were subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross.

In 1964 the defense of Rorke’s Drift was brought back to public attention with the producing of the epic motion picture Zulu! In this film, Chard was portrayed by Sir Stanley Baker, while Bromhead provided Sir Michael Caine with his first starring role.

Bromhead and Chard epitomized the way of life of Victorian officers, with the exception that fate put them at Rorke’s Drift. They became major players in a battle which continues to excite interest and cause debate, and is unlikely ever to be forgotten.

About The Author
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In the four decades JAMES W. BANCROFT has been writing he has produced more than 100 books and articles, the subjects of which reflect his varied interests. He contributed a number of articles for The New Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and his book Rorke's Drift: The Zulu War, 1879 has been re-printed seven times. When he is not writing, James enjoys singing and playing and listening to music.

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