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'Isandhlwana Mountains after the battle, looking across the Neck', 1879

Photograph, Zulu War, 1879.

In a coercive move to 'persuade' the Zulus to co-operate in a federation of British colonies and Boer republics in South Africa, a field force under Lieutenant-General Lord Chelmsford entered Zululand in 1879. On 20 January a temporary base camp was established under the distinctive hill of Isandlwana.

Two days later, Chelmsford marched out part of his column to find a reported concentration of Zulu forces. Just after midday, the remaining garrison, mainly six companies of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot (later the South Wales Borderers), was attacked by about 25,000 Zulus. The garrison attempted to form an extended firing line some distance forward and at right angles to the camp, but this was soon outflanked. Attempting to fall back, the troops were forced to form several small squares, and fought to the death. The official casualty return listed 858 Europeans and 471 Africans killed.

From a collection compiled by George Froom, 94th Regiment of Foot.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1951-04-22-12


National Army Museum, Out of Copyright


National Army Museum, Study collection

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