Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Battle of Rorke's Drift|
|Date||January 22 - January 23, 1879|
|Place||Rorke's Drift, South Africa|
|Result||Decisive British victory|
Rorke's Drift was a mission station in Natal, South Africa. The defense of Rorke's Drift (January 22 – January 23, 1879) during the Anglo-Zulu War immediately followed the British Army's humiliating defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana earlier in the day. At Rorke's Drift 139 British soldiers successfully defended their garrison against an intense assault by roughly 5000 Zulu warriors.
The events surrounding the assault on Rorke's Drift were dramatised in the film Zulu in 1964. In 1979 the battle at Isandhlwana was dramatised in the film Zulu Dawn. The battle was given a chapter in military historian Victor Davis Hanson's book "Carnage and Culture" as one of several landmark battles demonstrating the superior effectiveness of western military practices.
The Victoria Crosses
Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded, the most ever received in a single action - although this can be read as a reaction to the defeat at Isandlwana, rather than a superabundance of extraordinary heroism at the battle.
- Corporal William Wilson Allen
- Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead
- Lieutenant John Rouse Merriott Chard
- Acting Assistant Commissary James Langley Dalton
- Private Frederick Hitch
- Private Alfred Henry Hook
- Private Robert Jones
- Private William Jones
- Surgeon Major James Henry Reynolds
- Corporal Ferdnand Christian Schiess
- Private John Williams
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