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  54mm Handpainted "Rose Miniatures" Alloy Model-soldiers


 Colonial Wars and Punitive Expeditons 

Britain's Colonial wars were of three broad , though not always distinct , types :

campaigns of conquest or annexation,

campaigns for the suppression of insurrectio and lawlessness and 

punitive exeditions designed to avenge a wrong or wipe out an insult.

The Zulu Wars can be considered a campaignof conquest or annexation for this reason :

( News from History of the British Army- Edited byP.Young and J.P.Lawford -1970)

Zulu War, 1879


After the Conservative victory in the 1874 British General Election, Lord Carnarvon was appointed 

Secretary of State for the Colonies. In 1877 Carnarvon sent Sir Bartle Frere to southern Africa as 

British High Commissioner with the intention of creating a federal dominion of the British colonies and 

Boer Republics. To implement Carnarvon's policy, Frere had to gain control over Zululand, a kingdom 

bordering Natal and the Transvaal. After Cetshwayo, the Zulu king, had refused to disband his army and 

surrender land to the Transvaal, a British force commanded by Lieutenant-General Lord Chelmsford invaded 

Zululand in January 1879. The Zulus proved to be formidable opponents, fast moving, courageous under fire

 and adept in hand-to-hand combat. Most of the actions fought during the war hinged on whether British 

firepower could keep the Zulus at bay. Cetshwayo's Zulu army was finally destroyed at Ulundi on 4 July 

1879 but not before it had inflicted a devastating defeat on the British at Isandlwana on 22 January.

The Battle of Isandlwana, 1879

Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift

Chelmsford's invasion force was split into three columns. The right column, under Colonel Charles Pearson.

 crossed into Zululand near themouth of the Tugela River with the aim of securing the abandoned mission at 

Eshowe as a base for further operations. The left column, under Colonel Evelyn Wood, entered Zululand 

from the Transvaal while the centre column, which Chelmsford himself accompanied, crossed the Buffalo River 

at Rorke's Drift to seek out Cetshwayo's army. Underestimating the Zulus' speed of movement and fighting 

ability, Chelmsford split his column. On 22 January 1879 his camp. under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel 

Henry Pulleine, was surprised by the main Zulu army. The camp had not been adequately prepared to resist 

an attack and Pulleine's troops were dangerously strung out. Eventually Pulleine's over-extended line was 

swamped by sheer weight of numbers and the majority of his 1,700 troops were massacred. Some 4,000 Zulus

 pressed on to the Mission of Rorke's Drift where one Company of the 2nd Battalion 24th (The 2nd Warwickshire) 

Regiment of Foot , members of the Royal Engineer , Native Natal Contingent , Royal Army Medical Deparment

and Commisariat and Transport Deparment held them off for twelve hours. This was a welcome boost to British 

morale after the disaster of Isandlwana, but it had little effect on the campaign as a whole.


Meanwhile, Pear-son's column had defeated 6,000 Zulus at Nyezane and occupied Eshowe. Hearing of the 

defeat at Isandlwana, Pearson fortified the post and remained there, blockaded by the Zulus. 

In the north Wood's column had withdrawn to a camp at Khambula where, on 29 March, they defeated a 

major Zulu attack, inflicting at least 3.000 casualties. Wood knew that the Zulus were going to attack 

for part of his force had run into them at Hlobane the previous day. and so he had prepared accordingly.

 His men were well dug in and were able to concentrate their fire to devastating effect. As the Zulus 

began to fall back, their retreat was turned into a rout by Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers Buller's irregular 

cavalry who pursued them mercilessly. Khambula proved a crushing blow to Zulu morale. On 2 April Chelmsford 

defeated a Zulu force at Gigindhlovu and evacuated the Eshowe garrison. By the end of April most of 

Chelmsford's men were back in Ulundi, Natal. At the end of May, Chelmsford invaded Zululand again, 

this time with a reinforced army. Despite problems of supply, constant skirmishing and the embarrassing 

death of the French Prince Imperial while on a patrol, Chelmsford's force made steady progress. 

On 4 July 1879 he drew up his army in a large square opposite to Cetshwayo's capital at Ulundi. 

The Zulus attacked in their usual fashion but after less than an hour their charges petered out and the 17th 

(The Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers drove them from the field.

Cetshwayo was later hunted down and captured, the Zulu monarchy suppressed, and Zululand was divided 

into autonomous areas. Civil war followed and in 1883. in an unsuccessful attempt to restore order, 

the British restored Cetshwayo to his throne, though with greatly reduced powers. He died the following year. 

In 1887 Zululand was declared British territory and annexed to Natal ten years later.

( News from the relevant Home page of National Army Museum)

( Other details from the popular film " Zulu " directed by Cy Endfield -1960)



22BAW3b.gif (70470 byte)          Ro.022)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead 

                               2nd Bn. 24th Foot ( 2nd Warwickshire )         




23BAW3a.gif (69705 byte)          Ro.023)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Lieutenant John Rouse Merriott Chard

                               Royal Engineers       




24BAW2.gif (70107 byte)           Ro.024)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Colour Sergeant  with cane

                               2nd Bn. 24th Foot ( 2nd Warwickshire )         





25BAW1y.gif (68707 byte)          Ro.025)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Private Frederick Hitch standing , firing

                               2nd Bn. 24th Foot ( 2nd Warwickshire )         




26BAW1c.gif (63106 byte)          Ro.026)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Private Henry Hook running from hospital

                               2nd Bn. 24th Foot ( 2nd Warwickshire )         




27BAW1e.gif (66627 byte)           Ro.027)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Private Robert Jones kneeling defensive 

                               2nd Bn. 24th Foot ( 2nd Warwickshire )         



28BAW1b.gif (61314 byte)          Ro.028)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Private William Jones on guard

                               2nd Bn. 24th Foot ( 2nd Warwickshire )         




29ZAW1.gif (74750 byte)          Ro.029)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Batchelor warrior with large shield and Knobkerry





30ZAW2.gif (80645 byte)          Ro.030)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Batchelor warrior throwing assegai



31ZAW3.gif (62083 byte)          Ro.031)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Married warrior loading Martini Henry rifle




32ZAW4.gif (85799 byte)          Ro.032)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Married warrior with stabbing assegai




33ZAW5.gif (76457 byte)           Ro.033)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Married warrior wawing Martini Henry rifle





34ZAW6.gif (64561 byte)          Ro.034)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                               Induna drumming assegai on shield 





35RorDri.gif (142834 byte)         Ro.035)         Rorke's Drift battle 2223 January 1879

                             The 2nd Bn. 24th Foot ( 2nd Warwickshire ) and the zulu warriors



(Miniatures from Rose Catalogue -Spring Supplement  1977)

(Details from " Infantry Uniforms" Blandford Press 1970)

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