Thursday, 26 July 2018

Graves of the Defenders of Rorkes Drift-John Manley

Private John Manley was originally buried in an unmarked grave in Nottingham but a campaign by his great grand daughter suported by the Die Hards re enactment group eventually got a memeorial marker on the  spot in the communal plot where he was buried .
Irish born Manley became a painter and decorator after the war

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Lancashire Infantry Museum -Fulwood Barracks

With the connection to George Smith thought we would visit the barracks where he spent his final army days ,it is inside aworking barracks so you have to take I.D and check in at the gate house but well worth it a fascinating place full of all types of items fro Napoleonic Eagles to silcerware and weapons ,whilst we were there there was chat by Eric Morcombes driver and handyman ?. A must visit place .

Graves of the Rorkes Drift Defenders -George Ammunition Smith

Reverend George Smith the Padre at Rorkes Drift was praised for his part in the defence ,helping with the building and design of the defences and during the battle handing out inspiration and ammo earning him the nickname ammunition smith .He Served in many wars afterwards  but his final posting was to Fulwood Barracks in Preston ( our next stop),after retirement he stayed close to the barrack and is buried in Preston New Hall  Lane cemetery , a easy to find grave which is a light red in colour .

Graves of the Rorkes Drift defenders -Sergeant Frederick Milne

Visted another couple of Graves this weekend ,Frederick Augustus Milne's in Sourthern Cemetary Manchester ,fairly easy to find once we realised there were 2 H plots at different sides of the cemetery .Sadly when we found his grave the cross was broken down but we found it and put it back in place it not the greatest job but its there for now.Milne ( or Millne) was with the Royal East Kents ( Buffs ) when assigned to help chard build the crossing at Rorkes Drift and volunteered to be a forlorn hope at the crossing and was mentioned in despatches by Chard.

Southern also has a few commonwelth wargraves with a lovely area for rrememberence

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

What a Tanker 2nd game

Played our second game of Too Fat Lardies ,tank combat game
Looking a bit hard 

looking a bit scared

Oddball goes into action
tonight at Sheffield wargames society again Germans v Brits this time a Tiger and a Panzer 4 against 2 shermans and a firefly ,the germans scraped anarrow victory .We used chits instead of dice to determine initiative with wild dice being used to force the opposition to return a chit to the bag and draw again ,seemed to work and was alot quicker than dice rolling .

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Graves of the Rorkes Drift Defenders -Alfred Henry Hook VC

Probably the best known defender due to the superb but totally incorrect portrayal in the film Zulu by James Booth ,in real life Hook was the perfect soldier and a god fearing tea totallar but still performed heroically during the hospital siege , he appeared to have been admired and loved by all even his monument was paid for by admirers both civilian and military  . Hooks grave is in the beautiful churchyard at St Andrews near churcham ,although it was the subject of a recent mystery when the monument disappeared only to be returned later with a claim it had been restored which I dont think happened ?.

Defenders of Rorkes Drift Graves-Coporal J.J.Lyons

A rather confusing hunt for this hero , he is buried in St Woolas Cemetary along with 2 other defenders , privates Murhy and Saxty .The grave yard is huge and none of the staff could help us with our quest after almost 5 hours hunting we only managed to find John Lyons Grave , adding to the confusion was one of the first defenders graves we visited was in Manchester belonged to John  Lyons of A company .

Defenders of Rorkes Drifts Graves -Corporal William Allan VC

Coporal William Wilson Allan was awarded his VC after being wounded and then for the rest of the fight he passed amongst the troops handing out ammo and encouragement . His grave is faily well looked after and there is small piece about hm in the old building at the entrance to Monmouth Cemetary .

Brecon Cathedral & the 24ths colours

We made a quick visit to Brecon Cathedral which contains a lot of plaques commerating the 24ths activites during the Zulu war and also have the colours of the 24th and the wreath of immortals presented after the war by Queen victoria in 1880.

Rorkes Drifts Defenders Graves -Private John Jobbins .

One of the lesser known defenders aand until recently his grave lay over grown and forgotton , group of locaal veterans discovered and cleaned up his grave and added a new stone .Its still hard to find as a large part of St Cadocs Grave yard in Travethin is very overgrown and neglected ,when we asked at the church they had no idea of who John was or were his grave lay .

Rorkes Drift Defenders Graves= Private John Williams (Fielding) VC

One of the defenders of the hospital and only 21 at the time ,he was born Fielding but enlisted under the name Williams .After holding out for an hour Williams and his co defenders ran out of ammo as the zulus burst in he managed to burst through the wall  into the next room where he found Henry Hook ,together they dug through the walls whilst taking it in turns to fight the zulu with bayonets  helping the wounded to escape . Johns Grave is very easy to find  In St Michaels church in Llantarnum , just go through the gate and its on the right and is well looked after .