Rorke's Drift with Isandlwana in the distance, 1879 (c)
Photograph, Zulu War, 1879 (c).
After their victory at Isandlwana on 22 January 1879 around 4,000 Zulus pressed on to Rorke's Drift, a mission station on the Buffalo River. One Company of the 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment of Foot held them off for 12 hours. This was a welcome boost to British morale after the disaster of Isandlwana, but it had little effect on the campaign as a whole. Unsurprisingly, it was the defence of Rorke's Drift and the subsequent award of 11 Victoria Crosses, rather than the defeat at Isandlwana, that passed into British folklore.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, London
National Army Museum, Study collection