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22nd January, 1879. An army of 5,000 Zulu warriors surrounds a remote mission post and prepares to attack. Inside are just 150 British soldiers, many sick or wounded.
This is Rorke’s Drift. These are men of the 24th Regiment of Foot, or the South Wales Borderers. And they’re about to earn more Victoria Crosses for one night of blood and fire than ever before or since.
By dawn, after hours of bitter hand-to-hand fighting, the Zulu army had withdrawn. Rorke’s Drift became immortalised in the mythology of the British Empire. And 85 years later, they even made a film about it.
We all remember Michael Caine with his red tunic and stiff upper lip in “Zulu”. It was stirring stuff. But it wasn’t entirely accurate.
Discover the full story in the Zulu War Room at the Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh in Brecon. See the actual flag that flew over Rorke’s Drift and a host of other artefacts that vividly convey the human cost of war.
But you won’t find any medals in there. They have a room of their own. It contains a staggering 3,000 medals including nine of the 10 Victoria Crosses awarded to the regiment during the Anglo-Zulu War.