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Drift (Var. Rourke's)

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42717.  Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:49 pm Reply with quote

Maybe this should be in the Z series thread but I'll not wait for that to masterialise.

Contrary to the otherwise excellent film Zulu at the time of Rourke's Drift (22nd-23rd Jan 1879) the 24th Regiment of Foot were the 2nd Warwickshire Regiment and did not become the South Wales Borderers until the 1881 re-organisation. Regimental headquarters was in Brecon however and a large proportion of the men were Welsh.

1689.03.08 Sir Edward Dering's Regiment of Foot
also known until 1751 by the names of other colonels
1747 ranked as 24th Foot
1751.07.01 24th Regiment of Foot
1782.08.31 24th (the 2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot
1881.07.01 The South Wales Borderers
reorganised as the county regiment of Brecknockshire, Cardiganshire, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire and Radnor, encompassing also its Militia and Volunteer infantry [see below]
1969.06.11 amalgamated with The Welch Regiment, to form The Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot)

At Rorke's Drift, eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded. Seven to the 2nd Battalion, 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot, one to the Army Medical Department, one to the Royal Engineers, one to the Commissariat and Transport Department and one to the Natal Native Contingent.

The Michael Caine character Gonville Bromhead (Bromhead family of Thurlby Hall, Lincs) says in the film that his family has a long military tradition including one of his anticedants being in attendance over the dying Wolfe at Quebec. This is not true, the death of Wolfe occured in 1759, only one year after the youngest military Bromhead was born! The Bromhead family have subsequently had an association with the 24th Foot however

1994.10.01 Brig. David de Gonville Bromhead, CBE, LVO

In truth I have inferred that this most recent Bromhead is related to the others but think it likely bearing in mind the Gonville portion and the fact that they are a military family.

I'm unsure as to how I would go about confirming this other than by contacting the Regiment...maybe when I next go to Wales.

42825.  Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:29 am Reply with quote

The Royal Regiment of Wales site has quite a few links including the museum in Brecon.

I think that Gonville was his christian name wikki his older brother was Charles James Bromhead here

42863.  Tue Jan 03, 2006 12:17 pm Reply with quote

The Special Edition DVD of 'Zulu' has a really good extras part with more information on what really happened, and the characters involved.

Private 'Hookie' Hook is portrayed, for instance, as a notorious scrimshanker and ne'er-do-well, which absolutely infuriated his family. In actual fact, he was an excellent soldier, at least according to the programmes and DVD extras I have seen.

Just goes to show what Hollywood will do to an already remarkable story for arts sake.




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