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On 22nd January 1879, eleven days after the British invasion of  KwaZulu in southern Africa,  a Zulu force of some 20,000 warriors attacked a portion of the British main column consisting of about 1,800 British, colonial and native troops with approximately 350 civilians. 


The Zulus were equipped mainly with the traditional assegai iron spears and cow-hide shields, but also had a number of muskets and antiquated rifles. The British and colonial troops were armed with the modern Martini–Henry breechloading rifle and two 7-pounder mountain guns deployed as field guns, as well as a Hale rocket battery.


The Zulus had a vast disadvantage in weapons technology, but they greatly outnumbered the British and ultimately overwhelmed them, killing over 1,300 troops, including all those out on the forward firing line. The Zulu army suffered anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 killed.


The battle was a decisive victory for the Zulus and caused the defeat of the first British invasion of Zululand. The British Army had suffered its worst defeat against an indigenous foe equipped with vastly inferior military technology. 


The Zulu reserve of some 4,000 warriors which had played little part in the battle, decided to seek their share of glory and advanced on the requisitioned mission station at Rorke’s Drift across the Mzinyathi River in Natal. In doing so they were acting in direct contravention of the orders of the Zulu ruler, King Cetshwayo kaMpande.


Rorke’s Drift was an advanced store depot and field hospital. It was garrisoned by some one hundred and fifty troops, including a number of hospital patients. It had been hastily fortified after the news of iSandlwana had been received.


The Zulu first attacked the southern defensive wall at approximately 4:30 pm including the hospital and storehouse. Soon after, the main body of the Zulu forces attacked the northern wall, whilst others provided harassing fire from the rocky terraces of the Shiyane hill which dominated the mission station.


The men on the barricades were engaged in fierce hand-to-hand fighting the Zulu warriors who were slashing at the British soldiers with their spears and firing their rifles at near point-blank range


At one point the Zulus entered the hospital, which was stoutly defended by a small hospital guard and the walking wounded until it was set alight and eventually burnt down.

The battle raged on into the early hours of 23rd January 1879, but by dawn the Zulu impi had withdrawn.


The garrison had suffered fifteen killed during the battle and a further two would died from their wounds. A contemporary report states that in excess of three hundred and fifty Zulu dead ringed the post, yet subsequent evidence puts the Zulu casualty figure to have been over five hundred warriors killed or mortally wounded.


Eleven defenders were awarded the Victoria Cross for their distinguished defence of the post, seven going to soldiers of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment.

The Zulu War Gift Set


    This Full set includes the Battle of Isandlwana and The Battle of Rorkes Drift, displayed side by side in an elegant, double display box, as well as two mugs each depicting one of the battles.

    It also includes a free Lapel pin, (worth £7.99) and FREE postage and packing. 

    • Expertly designed and sculpted
    • Exquisitely detailed
    • Carefully layered in beautiful, 24-Carat Gold


    At 38.6mm diameter and weighing in at an impressive 25g, these beautiful historical tributes have all been produced to the highest possible standard and can be purchased individually or as part of a set.

    The detail is superb, and the whole collection provides a unique window into the past. A true celebration of British History.


    By purchasing one or more of these stunning products, you are fully covered by our 14 days unconditional guarantee. However, whatever you decide, we promise NEVER to send any coin, medal or set you haven’t already ordered or requested. 


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