Lieutenant John Rouse Merriot Chard,V.C. Royal Engineers

Zulu is of course on the TV this Christmas, its on right now in fact, Channel 4.

Rorkes Drift is an amazing subject to read about, much more than even the film, which, lets face it, is one of the best films ever made.

John Rouse Merriot Chard VC RE was in command.

The Mission Station at Rorke's Drift - Then & Now - 1879 & 2009
The Mission Station at Rorke’s Drift – Then & Now – 1879 & 2009

From his London Gazette entry

For gallant conduct at the Defence of Rorke’s Drift, 22nd and 23rd January 1879. The Lieutenant-General reports that had it not been for the example and excellent behaviour of Lieutenants Chard, Royal Engineers, and Bromhead, 24th Regiment, the defence of Rorke’s Drift would not have been conducted with the intelligence and tenacity which so eminently characterised it. The Lieutenant-General adds, that the success must in a great measure be attributable to the two young officers who exercised the chief command on the occasion in question.

Read more at the links

This last link has lots of detailed information


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John Hartley
John Hartley
December 28, 2012 7:33 pm

The Silk Cut spoof Zulu advert can be found on youtube. “and now for those stubborn stains”.

Aussie Johnno
Aussie Johnno
January 1, 2013 5:23 am

If anyone is interested I would recommend ‘Zulu’ a Penguin publication by Saul David. It covers the Zulu war from Isandlwana, through Rourkes Drift to the final battles at Ulunda.

The film is a great spectacle but a terrible slander on both Otto Witte and James Langley Dalton.

Deja Vu
Deja Vu
May 7, 2013 7:02 pm

Thanks John H for the link to the Silk Cut Add

Phil H
Phil H
May 7, 2013 9:00 pm

Can I recommend “Day of the Dead Moon” by the late David Rattray, this is surely the best history of the Zulu war accessible by the non-specialist academic ever put together. Rattray, lived most of his life on the ground, knew the story from both sides (including, as a boy, hearing the Zulu side from couple of, by then, very old men who had actually been there).

Rattray was a brilliant story teller and his London lectures were always sell outs. A great guy and a great shame that he was murdered on his farm not far away from Rorks Drift.