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Tuesday, 7 December, 1999, 17:08 GMT
Rorke's Drift medals on show
South Wales Borderers Two VCs won at Rorke's Drift are to be shown in book launch


Two Victoria Cross medals awarded to Welsh soldiers in the battle with the Zulus at Rorke's Drift will be brought together, possibly for the first time.

The battle was depicted in the film Zulu starring Michael Caine and Stanley Baker.

The medals have been loaned to the South Wales Borderers Museum at Brecon for a book launch.

They were awarded to John Chard, the officer commanding the mission station at Rorke's Drift in 1879, and Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead of the 24th Foot.

The book being launched is The Noble 24th by Norman Holme, which contains biographical notes on all the 24th Regiment, which later became the South Wales Borderers.
Battle of Rorke's Drift Eleven VCs were won at the battle of Rorke's Drift
The Regiment came to the fore in the battle of Rorke's Drift.

Despite odds of about 40 to 1, the British contingent of about 140, including 36 hospital patients, fought hand to hand for hours with rifles and bayonets.

The losses of the British garrison were reported as 17 dead and 10 wounded, with the Zulus - using mainly spears against rifles - losing 450 men.

Eleven soldiers, mainly from the 24th Regiment, were awarded the Victoria Cross.

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See also:
22 Jan 99 |  Africa
British army revisits Zulu dawn
22 Jan 99 |  Africa
Zulu War dead remembered

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