“THE Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Officers and Soldiers of Her Majesty’s Army, whose claims have been submitted for Her Majesty’s approval, for their gallant conduct in the defence of Rorke’s Drift, on the occasion of the attack by the Zulus, as recorded against their names, viz.:—
It was chiefly due to the courageous conduct of these men that communication with the hospital was kept up at all. Holding together at all costs a most dangerous post, raked in reverse by the enemy’s fire from the hill, they were both severely wounded, but their determined conduct enabled the patients to be withdrawn from the hospital, and when incapacitated by their wounds from fighting, they continued, as soon as their wounds had been dressed, to serve out ammunition to their comrades during the night.”
Frederick Hitch VC collapsed and died at his home whilst talking to a neighbour on the 6th of January 1913 and he was buried in St Nicholas Churchyard, Chiswick.
Robert Jones (19/08/1857 – 06/09/1898) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo Zulu War in January 1897.
The Citation reads:
“Privates Robert and William Jones were posted in a room of the hospital facing the hill. They kept up a steady fire against enormous odds. While one worked to cut a hole through the partition into the next room, the other shot Zulu after Zulu through the loophooled walls, using his own and his comrade’s rifle alternately as the barrels became too hot to hold from the incessant firing. By their united efforts six out of the seven patients were saved by being carried through the broken partition. The seventh, Sgt. Maxfield, was delirious and refused to be helped. When Robert Jones returned to take the Sergeant to safety by force he found him in his bed being stabbed by the Zulus.”
He is buried in Peterchurch Churchyard, Herefordshire.
“On 22 and 23 January 1879 at Rorke’s Drift, Natal, South Africa, Corporal Allan and another man (Frederick Hitch) kept communication with the hospital open, despite being severely wounded. Their determined conduct enabled the patients to be withdrawn from the hospital, and when incapacitated by their wounds from fighting, they continued, as soon as their wounds were dressed, to serve out ammunition to their comrades during the night.”
He is buried in Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, Wales. The surname on the grave is given as Allan as opposed to Allen.
John Rouse Merriott Chard (21/12/1847 – 01/11/1897) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Anglo Zulu war at Rorke’s Drift in 1879.
The Citation reads:
“For gallant conduct at the Defence of Rorke’s Drift, 22nd and 23rd January 1879. The Lieutenant-General reports that had it not been for the example and excellent behaviour of Lieutenants Chard, Royal Engineers, and Bromhead, 24th Regiment, the defence of Rorke’s Drift would not have been conducted with the intelligence and tenacity which so eminently characterised it. The Lieutenant-General adds, that the success must in a great measure be attributable to the two young officers who exercised the chief command on the occasion in question.”
He is buried in St John the Baptist Churchyard, Hatch Beauchamp.
“Army Medical Department, Surgeon – Major James Henry Reynolds.
For the conspicuous bravery, during the attack at Rorke’s Drift on the 22nd and 23rd January, 1879, which he exhibited in his constant attention to the wounded under fire, and in his voluntarily conveying ammunition from the store to the defenders of the Hospital, whereby he exposed himself to a cross-fire from the enemy both in going and returning.”
Alfred Henry Hook(06/08/1850 – 12/03/1905)was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the battle of Rorke’s Drift.
The Citation reads:
“On 22/23 January 1879 at Rorke’s Drift, Natal, South Africa, a distant room of the hospital had been held for more than an hour by three privates, and when finally they had no ammunition left the Zulus burst in, and killed one of the men and two patients. One of the privates (John Williams) however, succeeded in knocking a hole in the partition and taking the last two patients through into the next ward, where he found Private Hook. “These two men then worked together – one holding the enemy at bayonet point while the other broke through three more partitions – and they were then able to bring eight patients into the inner line of defence”
He is buried in St Andrew’s Churchyard, Churcham, Gloucestershire.
“Commissariat and Transport Department, Acting Assistant (now SubAssistant) Commissary James Langley Dalton.
For his conspicuous gallantry during the attack on Rorke’s Drift post by the Zulus on the night of the 22nd January 1879, when he actively superintended the work of the defence, and was amongst the foremost of those who received the first attack at the corner of the hospital, where the deadliness of his fire did great execution, and the mad rush of the Zulus met with its first check, and where, by his cool courage, he saved the life of a man of the Army Hospital Corps, by shooting the Zulu who having seized the muzzle of the man’s rifle, was in the act of assegaing (thrusting an assegai into) him. This officer, to whose energy much of the defence of the place was due, was severely wounded during the contest, but still continued to give the same example of cool courage.”
He is buried in Russel Road Cemetery, Port Elizabeth. Google Earth co-ordinates for the cemetery are: 33° 57.615’S , 25° 36.901’E.