Anglo-Zulu War & Bermuda Signed Letters by Private Frank Birch 99th Regiment Fort Pearson Tugela Cetshwayo 1879


Interesting series of four letters (two of which are accompanied by their original envelopes - stamps removed) from Private Frank A. Birch of the 99th Regiment to Private James Mottram of the 23rd Light Infantry in England. The first letter is written from Fort Pearson in South Africa, dated 14th March 1879, describing his arrival at Durban, the march to Stanger, and subsequent march to the Tugela River where they entrenched with five other companies. "We have heard of the terrible cutting up of the poor 24th...The column to whicj we belong is hemmed in by the Zulus about 35 miles from here...and there is about 1500 of the enemy...We shall soon muster in good strong force for Cetywayo who is quielty waiting between us and Colonel Pearson will doubtless hear one of these fine mornings of a great slaughter on one side or the other - I hope it won't end in a repetition of the Isandhlwana affair."

“My dear Birch,
I often wonder whether or not you received my letter dated Madeira somewhere about the 12th January and written in pencil as not having had any answer xxx same, I am very doubtful on the subject, more so on account of not seeing them posted properly – I and Clipper left over two letters and the money to pay the postage to the tender mercy of a missionary who came aboard at that Island, but of course I would for a moment think that he would appropriate the few coppers to his own use, in fact I don’t think he could procure a pot of xxx for them, but perhaps he might be a wine xxx.

Anyhow if you did not receive the letter, I’ll abuse the face of him the next time I pass Madeira. Clipper’s letter was to Dick Threlfall, so you will know whether he received it or not – Well we arrived at Natal all right after this usual routine on board ship and landed at Durban on the 10th January, encamped for the night, and started the next morning for a place called Stanger about 60 miles up the country, we made 4 days march of it, and fearful hard marching it was too. We had 100 rounds of ammunition to carry and the first day we carried our valises, but they soon found out that we could not manage that as the roads were in a fearful state and we had drifts to cross nearly up to our necks – add to this a burning hot sun that would nearly melt the spike out of our helmet and you can guess what the marching was like.
We were stationed at Stanger for about a month employed in defense of the Commissariat and in throwing up earthworks, loading wagons xxx for the front, which was pretty hard work, varied occasionally by an alarm that the Zulus had crossed the river and were coming down on us in force, when we had to strike our xxx and get into the trenches – All the alarms however proved false as there was too good a look out kept on the river for the Kaffirs to cross – One night in particular a sentry of ours thought he saw a Zulu, so he challenged and fired, before many minutes there was a regular fusillade, volleys going off in all directions and a smart fire kept up for about 2 hours, but when we went to look in the morning how many of the enemy were killed all we could find was an old horse, that was a charity to kill to save it the trouble of dying. From Stanger, we marched to this place 20 miles nearer the enemy, and we entrenched on the banks of the River Tugela which divided Zululand from Natal, 5 Companies of ours and a few of the 88th and mounted infantry on the one side and 3 Companies of the xxx and a naval brigade on the other in a fort built by the 99th called Tinedos.

We have 8 hours xxx every day building Forts and outlying xxx and Guards leave us but few nights in Bed – We sleep at night belted with our Rifles by our side and do not move anywhere without them – we are getting quite used to the weight of the ammunition but at first it was anything but pleasant.

Of course, you heard before this of the terrible cutting up of the poor 24th. It was a sad case and there must be some blame attached to some person but no doubt you will know more about this even than we do for we are quite isolated here as regards news of any description only an occasional scrap xxx to our share now and again. I did get a look at a paper after the massacre of the 24th. Nearly all the Officers and all the headquarters staff were killed and nearly 200 of the 1/24th and about 200 of the 2/24th – Amongst the killed I saw the names of several who used to belong to the 32nd xxx Nobby Clarke, Jack Lawrence, and a chap named Beresford that xxx from D Company, Neddy Quin, who took his discharge with 10 years and who belonged to some Colonial Corps, also Sam Overy, that used to keep Gilhame’s Canteen, he was an officer in some corps. Mr Cochrane’s name also figured as taking part in the affair but he managed to make his escape – I saw Major Mahoney at Durban but only at a distance – Old xxx Parr was in Hospital at Durban and Charly xxx was on his way there as an Invalid. I also drifted across old Tom Downey, David Jemmings, Tush Parker and Russell amongst the xxx, the remainder are up at the front. Old Billy Spears that claimed his discharge in King James Town died here a few days since. He belonged to the Natal Contingent. An old soldier of ours named Kent was Serjeant in the same Corps. I think this comprises the whole lot seen by us of whom we had any previous knowledge, with the exception of an artillery man who was in Mauritius with us – Jesse Pear – of course you knew him.

Well I’ve no doubt before you receive this we shall have had a brush with the Kaffirs. We are only waiting here for reinforcements which are expected before long. The column to which we belong is hemmed in by the Zulus about 35 miles from here and between us and them there is about 15000 of the enemy. Col Pearson has only provisions enough to last him this month so something will have to be done very shortly or they will be starved out. They have been on short rations now for some time. It is expected that we shall go up as a flying column sometime next week to try and clear the way for a convoy. The Shah answered the other day at Durban with about 500 xxx xxx men Marines & Blue Jackets. They are coming up to join our column – I see by the paper of yesterday or rather heard the rumour that there about 5 Infantry and 2 Cavalry Regiments coming out here and I think we shall require them for the Zulus are devils to fight, they’ll come right up to the point of the bayonet. The authorities will not find the task of subduing the Zulus such an easy one as they at first imagined – Well dear Jim I think you’ve got all the tips that I can give you this time - All the old 32nd Chaps are going on all night – Clipper, Lee Corp send wishes to be remembered to all. I hear you are gone to relieve the 36th at Pembroke Rock. Is it a fact? You will not care about that if it is true – I’m writing this by snatches since writing the foregoing have received a letter from Allen (my nephew on the Royal Adelaide). He tells me you received my letter so I am satisfied on that front. I shall now be looking out every mail for a letter from you. Clipper received a letter by the same mail from Pioneer Serjt Phillips you can let him know – Russell of the Buffs desires me to ask you to see xxx and tell him he is anxiously waiting for an answer from him to his letter – and Tush Parker wishes you to remember him to Ben Cook and to tell him that Double Belly has been confined. According to Clippers letter you will be now stationed at Portland and not at Pembroke. Either place is not so good a station and I don’t suppose you will relish the change from Devonport – How did you leave them all at the Barley Sheaf? I hope well. It’s no use my asking for any news in that quarter but Tom Hayes considers the £1 he gave old Fiddits as thrown away.

I suppose it has run innumerable “Whiskey’s Hot” this winter at the Barley Sheaf and elsewhere – probably a few on Mr Brown’s account, at the “Exeter” but that individual’s account has been outstanding so long that I’m afraid his credit has run down – How does Whit get on down Pembroke St? I suppose it has been the same xxx xxx ever since I left. Heard about Conway getting married again – Consider this one should suffice – I hope she will see it out anyhow – she must be endowed with good strong nerves to tackle such a celebrity – Naval Brigade just marched in and crossed the Tugela into Zululand to encamp 57th Regt said to be in Port at xxx on route  from Ceylon – We shall soon muster a good strong force for Cetywayo who is quietly waiting for us to make a move on the board – there is great preparations being made here every day – Getting over transport to Zulu side of the River loading up the ammunition for the front and getting everything in xxx.

You will doubtless hear one of these fine morning of a great slaughter on one side or the other – I hope it won’t end in a repetition of the Iswandhlwana affair – By the bye I forgot to mention that I am employed in the Transport Office Comt Dept xxx not so dusty eh! Besides the Regt make it another 31/ a day and Field Pay at 7/6. Saying nothing of Prize money. Don’t you wish you were in it? I’ll give you a look up when I come home rich.

Please remember me to all old friends i.e. Serjt Turnbull O.R. Staff, Whitworth, Capt xxx xxx Eccles and in fact everyone.

Will drop you a few more lines more when we xxx xxx Cetawayo.

With kindest regards
Frank Birch
P.S I forgot to tell you that Beer is 1/6 a pot – We have xxx giving 2/ reasonable eh!-“

The second letter dated 16th September 1879 written from Natal discusses his time in Durban and again the Zulu king, "the War is virtually at an end as far as Zululand is concerned – Cetywayo is captured and is now in durance vile at either Cape Town or Robins Island where I hope he may rest in peace – We are never likely to be troubled with him again." He describes meeting former soldiers including "Larry Hogan - his services in the war have been very good, was present at the affair on the Zloblane Mountains, Battle of Kambula and siege and capture of Ulundi, medal with 2 clasps and could have had the VC but prefers a pension of 2/ per diem." It comes with a handwritten copy of Order No 40:

“Durban, Natal S.A.
16th September 1879

My dear Jim

I am afraid you will think me very dilatory in answering your last which I received when at Fort Chelmsford, but at that time I was not altogether square suffering from an attack of Coast Fever, and had not the heart to do anything, in fact I thought I was going to break down altogether just at the wind up of affairs but however managed to pull through it – somehow and am now, thank God! Quite up to the mark again, and feel as well as ever I did in my life – Just as I had made up my mind to write to you we got a sudden route down country, so that I had to defer doing so until we arrived at Durban where my Company now is on Detachment – On arrival here however fresh obstacles, were placed in my way in the shape of old chums, whom we dropped across at every step, and with whom it was “hail fellow well met” and was kept up for a month at least.

But however, this could not last for ever as I found out, for I was beginning to feel the effects of imbibing with Bill, Jack & Tom every five minutes so I threw up the sponges and put a stopper on it altogether and am now on the strict xxx I haven’t 3 years to stop now so I think its time I began to look out for the future – Our station is definitely fixed for Natal according to an official document which I saw last night signed by Major Gen Clifford.

Of course, as you are aware by this, the War is virtually at an end as far as Zululand is concerned – Cetywayo is captured and is now in durance vile at either Cape Town or Robins Island where I hope he may rest in peace – We are never likely to be troubled with him again – Our eyes however were not blessed with a sight of him which I consider a shame after all the trouble we had on his account. He was shipped at Port Durnford and proceeded straight to Cape Town from here – We fully expected he would be brought down to Durban via P.M. Burg when we should have had a view of him, but however such was not the case – There is some small affairs to settle in the direction of the Transvaal & Pondoland and then I think we shall be again on a straight footing. Of course, we are still under canvas as the Barracks in Durban are used as an Hospital and we likely to be so used for some time to come – I hope however that they will be vacated before the rainy season comes on or it will be miserable indeed – It is bad enough now for Durban is a fearful place too. There is so much sand and in the sand flys fleas, mosquitoes, and other small insects which I need not mention would try the patience of Eb. But of course, Job never was in a campaign of this description – The xxx 24th f13th L. have embarked for England and will I’ve no doubt have arrived home before you receive this.

The 88th have also left here for Cape Town for refit for India – the following is the destination of the various Regiments at present in this country for England – (probably) 1/4th v 60th Rifles
- India 17th Lancers, 88th V 90th L.T
- -Singapore 3rd Buffs
- -Cape Town, Mauritius, V. St Helena, 91st Highlanders
- Mediterranean, 2/24th, 57th V 80th Regt
- Transvaal, 21st Fus, 94th V 1st K. D Gds
The 99th Garrison Natal finding the following detachments which we now occupy, 3 Cos FHD 2 P.M. Burg 1 Co Durban, 1Co St John’s River, 1 Co Fort Pearson 1 Co Rourke’s Drift V I Co Greytown – So you see we are settled down for this Colony probably for the next 2 years – There is great disappointment as, failing going to England, we did expect to take our turn of Indian Station – However, here we are and here we are likely to stop – Well! God’s will be done let the devil say what he will – Well I hope things are going on all right with you. Was glad to hear that you were all well – I’ve seen several old 32nd men in Durban Jack Mitchell & Joe Baks are both on the Police, Broughton (late full Corporal) is doing something on the Railway and getting 314 a month – Joe Chapman who used to be in the Regt Printing Office in King is on the Staff of the Natal Colonist ans is doing first class – He has a fine little place of his own well furnished and stocked with a plentiful supply of Books of the first water – I go down to his place to spend my Evenings and I can assure you it is a first rate thing for me, as it keeps one out of further mischief – Who should you think I met the other day? None other than my bold Larry Hogan – He had come down from the front and was looking younger and smarter than ever – His services in the xxx have been very good – was present at the affair on the Zloblane Mountain Battle of Kamibulu and Siege and Capture of Ulundi.

Medal with 2 clasps and would have had the VC but prefers a pension of 2/ per xxx which according to Larry’s account, he is getting – It would do you good to hear Larry tell his adventures during the War, his meeting with Major Stabb, Capt Cochranes etc etc By the bye, I have not seen either of these individuals but shall most likely do so before leaving here – Was greatly disappointed too at not being able to see any of the boys of the 24th – Richardson of the 94th have gone home invaldided, so too has young Tomlin of the 91st, Paddy Kearns is in Hospital here and will I suppose follow in their wake – Have not yet seen Sab. Davis but will keep  my eye open for him – Savin and all the reminder of the 91st are up the country but are expected down in a day or twp. Clipper and all the remainder of the old 32nd boys are going on as per usual – All desire to be remembered to all – Do you ever hear anything of Doherty? I received a Devonport paper which I suppose came from Miss T. in which was inserted an extract of my last letter to you and a summary in the leading article – What made me think it came from Miss T. was a slip of paper with “Miss S. Tuner” written on it is your hand writing evidently cut out of an envelope addressed to her by you – Please remember me kindly when you write – I also received a very nice letter from Burke which I have not answered, but which I must do by this mail. Remember me to Cpt Sgt Turnbulls, Drury, Eccles, pears, Tandy, Whit, Gilman, Burke and in fact all old friends and acquaintances.
With best wishes
Believe me ever thine
Frank Birch

P.S. Hank is Capt the first step
I forgot to mention that Jim Gilman is also in Durban”

“Copy of General Order No 40

The Leiut General Commanding has the highest satisfaction in publishing for the information of those under his command the following gracious messages received from Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Field Marshall the Duke of Cambridge.
From Sec of State to Lord Chelmsford
The Queen has graciously desired me to say she sympathises most sincerely with you in the dreadful loss which has deprived her of so many gallant Officers and Men, and that Her Majesty places entire confidence in you and in troops to maintain our honour and our good name.
Duke of Cambridge to Lord Chelmsford
Have heard by telegraph of events occurred. Grieved for 24th and others who have fallen victims. Fullest confidence in Regiment and am satisfied that you have done and will continue to do everything that is right.
Strong reinforcements of all arms ordered to embark at once.

The third letter dated 30th November 1879 is written from Pins Town in Natal and discusses the departure of the regiment to Bermuda:

“Pins Town, Natal
South Africa
30th November 1879

My dear Jim,

Just a line to acquaint you that we are destined for Bermuda, for which station we embark next Friday the 5th December, on HMS Himalaya, just 12 months since our Embarkation for the Zulu campaign. We were quite surprised at the receipt of the route as we quite expected to stay in Natal for 12 months at least. I’m very glad of the change, as I’m quite “fed up” with this country. The 68th Rifles relieved us who were also sucked in (like Jonas when he swallowed the whale) their expectation being a speedy return to England. They were anything but satisfied with the arrangement as they fancied we had “dons them a winger” – I shall probably see some of the boys in the 46th whom I believe we relieve – I have not yet received an answer to my last nor from Burke.

Please remember me to Serjt Furnell, Drewy, Sandy, Bowmsor, Eccles, Whitworth, Burke, Gilwan and all old friends, also to all Devonport friends when you write.

Excusing hast with the promise of more lengthy Epistles next time.

Believe me to remain
Ever thine
Frank Birch

P.S. Have never seen Cochrane, nor Major Stubb or Henry but often see Major Mahony 2/24th, the Regiment lying next us under canvas – Clipper, Hanks, Bazzer & Foster are all right and desire to be remembered –

I see by the Broad Arrow that you are going to Jersey – A fine station I believe – Let me know how you like it. And all news – Have you heard from Miss T lately? Or is she married?”

The fourth letter dated 24th March 1880 is written from Bermuda and is an interesting letter written from Prospectdescribing the voyage from Natal on the "Himalaya", via St. Helena and Ascension. He also discusses daily life and friends, the costs of food and alcohol, especially rum which is cheap. Prospect Camp, also referred to as Prospect Garrison, was the main infantry camp of the Bermuda Garrison. It also contained Prospect Fort, manned by the Royal Garrison Artillery. It passed to the local government when the garrison was withdrawn in 1957.

(And not a bad one either)
24th March 1880

My dear Jim,

Your last epistle was awaiting my arrival here, which event occurred on the 3rd Feb. Well! I suppose I’d better let you have all the particulars of our route from the time we left Natal. If I remember right my last was despatched from Pine Town at which place our Regiment concentrated about 3 months preserves to leaving the Colony and as the place was anything but lively we were none of us sorry to leave it. I think it was about the dreariest 3 months I’ve spent since coming on Station. However, we left there on the 29th of December last and proceeded by special train to the point, Durban, and embarked the same day on HMS “Himalaya” sailing the next day (30th), reached Simons Bay on the 3rd day where we stayed 2 days to Coal Ship called at Cape Town to take on a Company of the 91st Highlanders for St Helena which only occupied a few hours, after which we proceeded on our way to St Helena where we disembarked the 91st and took on a draft of our Regiment that had for some time been doing duty there.

Here also we stayed only a few hours and made for the State of Ascension at which place we made our longest stay, viz:4 days. The cause of our delay was on account of the Captain of the “Himalaya” being President of a Crt Martial on an Engineer Officer belonging to the Boadicea whose vessel together with the “Forrester” V “Spitffire” were lying at Ascension.

After leaving that Island we came straight on here (15 days) the longest spell we had without seeing land. Taking things altogether we had a very good passage, 35 days in all, but we were terribly overcrowded on board, in fact we were literally on the top of each other. The only casualty we had was 1 child died. Old Croakem (Dr Lollhouse) was in medical charge of the troops on board. When I saw him moving about deck I could almost fancy it was the old 3 on board, but a turn to the right about soon dissipated the idea. I don’t know how it is, but I can’t get accustomed to the faces in the 99th the same as I could in the old corps, the fact of a Recruit in which, even, soon became familiar. Amongst the 91st on board was Moran, Jim Baker (Butler) and Northcote, Moran and I often had a good talk over old times. He is Batman to the Color Sergt od the Company who is a younger soldier than himself. He desires to be particularly remembered to you and all old friends in Dr Company.

On our arrival here we expected to relieve the 46th Regt at St George’s but instead of that we came on to Prospect to relieve the 1/19th who received us very kindly and had the table spread with a plentiful supply of Bread, Cheese, Beer etc. and in fact until they went away from here which did not happen until nearly a fortnight after we landed, during which time we were under canvas) the men of the 2 Reg were inseparable. We were quite the Lions of the hour on account of our participation in the Zulu Campaign. However, I was not altogether disappointed, as I feared I should be, in seeing some of the “boys” of the 46th. I had a day with Garrett, Tommy Williams, Gregson, and a few more of the “Finishers” –

I also saw Serjt Ride (Bodger’s brother) Pearce V Corpl Green –  I did not see much of Pearce who was up on Ct Martial Duty, but I spent the evening with Green, and a jolly one too. He read your last letter, and also desires to be remembered to all, as do Garrett and the remainder. I don’t see much difference in any of them, the finishers especially keeping up old appearances. I did not know much of Bodger Preds brother but spent a very pleasant afternoon in his company I saw “daft” Jennings but only at a distance in company with his wife, some piece  he has married  here. I also saw a young fellow named Bennett who used to belong to “C “ Company, but don’t know whether you knew him or not. I did not see Abbott but may do so yet as they are left behind at St George’s for passage home in the “Tamar” expected here daily. The 46th left here on the 17th  of last month but returned again on the 19th to make good some defects and sailed again on the 21st and are by  this time I suppose settled n Gibraltar and the “Himalaya” at home as we have heard nothing to the contrary. Well dear Jim! I think I shall be able to put in my next 2 years xxx comfortably here. I like the Island very well so far – things certainly are very quiet here, but I don’t think it is very more so than Mxxbourg, Curepipe, King Williamstown or any of those paces that we had as long a spell of. In fact it appears to be very healthy and things in general are cheap such is 11/2 an ounce, the next 7dper quart and the other – well on an average about 3 the foot. Such things as Bacon, Cheese, Butter and such like things are also tolerably cheap – Something or other is always procurable for breakfast – At this season of the year we have to pay 31/2 per diem for our messing and ½ washing which of course leaves a private soldier without a xxx to clear 8d per diem the same as in England, but the best thing here is that every man gets extra pay – Every available man in employed in Engineers Works, and such men as Clerks, Orderlies, and every other man in Reg Employ who does not take his turn of the Works gets extra duty pay from the Canteen – For instance I myself am employed in the old billet i.e. Orderly Room, getting 8d per diem – 4d for the Shop and 4d for teaching at School 2 hours in the evening.

So you see it is not such a bad station after all – the weather here has been clear and cold since we arrived, but next month warm weather sets in and rumour says that it is excessively hot in summer – I forgot to say that Rum is the chief drink here and very cheap – (of course this is known to you) only 1/6 a bottle. Other spirits are also cheap in proportion. You can get your two penny’s worth of Whiskey in the Canteen and sometime I indulge in a glass on a cold evening – and fancy to myself it has a dash of hot water in it and a bit of sugar – just to revive old memories, but this occurs but seldom as of late I am very abstemious, having had occasion to see my medical advisor since being here, who says that I must neither drink nor smoke or my life would be a short one. At any rate I’ve been a long time and think I shall be longer in having to succumb to either, but as I do not intend to re-engage and 2 years will soon slip away I intend (D.M.) to put a pound or two away for a rainy day – it would come in very handy along with the deferred pay.

We have only 1 day in the week for parades - Saturday’s – General Inspection came off last Saturday week and we got great praise from the old chap.

You told me in your last that you are now employed in the Pay Office but did not say how you came to be transferred from the Dr Masters to that Department – I suppose you had been playing yourself – From your description of Jersey I should imagine it to be quite a Soldier’s paradise – How I should delight to drop down on you some evening on the quiet – I guess it would run whisky hot if only at Mr Brown’s expense

I’m glad to see that you were going to Liverpool and would have a chance of slipping down home. I reckon you would be quite an xxx Let me know on your next how you go ton –

I was sorry to hear that xxx Palmer has had a smash – and Purly Brooks, how did he get on? Am glad to see that Jack Whitworth is making such good progress – I hope he will manage to carry off his stripes and badges and not make a slip, but I think Jack is too old in the horn for that. Remember me kindly to him with good wishes.

Old Futter Hayes is the same old thing and desires to be remembered.

Likewise Hank who is Servant to an Engineer Officer, and is still a very steady young fellow – Before leaving Pinetown we left there a draft for the 62nd Reg (linked to 99th) in India amongst whom were Buzzer Embly S.G.B. Davis and Clipper Clarke but at the time we left, Clipper had been 6 days absent so I suspect that he deserted – at any rate I never heard whether or not he ever turned up. I tried to go with the draft myself but was not able to manage it – Perhaps better as it is. Well dear Jim! I think my budget of news (or nonsense) is exhausted – As you say you have not likely written to Miss T. I suppose your knowledge of things in that quarter is limited – but from what I can gather from your letter in reference to coolness that was manifested between Mr V Mrs V matrimony does not appear to have produced that felicity that it is supposed to do – in that quarter at all events. I think however that Mr V has got his match. If you do happen to write, kindly remember – Please remember me to Sejt Turnbull, Drury, Eccles, Fry, Chatwin, Pearce, Sandy, Laugher, Burke, Hills, and in fact all the other old friends.

With best wishes
Believe me ever thine
Frank Birch

P.S. Say to Mick Burke that I thank him very much for his last letter very nice letter which I will most certainly answer either by this mail or next – Excuse the very long time I have been in writing.”

The 99th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1824 and part in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879. Assigned to Lord Chelmsford's column, they marched to the relief of British forces under Colonel Charles Pearson besieged by the Zulu impis. At the Battle of Gingindlovu, the 99th helped defeat a Zulu impis which tried to overrun the British while laagered.  Although it would not participate in the final battle at Ulundi, the 99th was honoured for its service in Anglo-Zulu War, being awarded the battle honour South Africa 1879.

The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom. Following Lord Carnarvon's successful introduction of federation in Canada, it was thought that similar political effort, coupled with military campaigns, might succeed with the African kingdoms, tribal areas and Boer republics in South Africa. In 1874, Sir Henry Bartle Frere was sent to South Africa as High Commissioner for the British Empire to bring such plans into being. Among the obstacles were the presence of the independent states of the South African Republic and the Kingdom of Zululand and its army.

On the 11 December 1878 the British Government in South Africa presented an ultimatum to King Cetshwayo’s izinduna (senior representatives). The conditions of the Ultimatum included inter alia the disbandment of the Zulu Army and Cetshwayo having to swear allegiance to Queen Victoria – conditions were unacceptable to the Zulus – and war broke out one month later. Fort Pearson is situated above where the British No 1 Column crossed the Tugela River to invade Zululand on the 11th January 1879.

Cetshwayo kaMpande (1826- 1884) was the king of the Zulu Kingdom from 1873 to 1879 and its leader during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. He famously led the Zulu nation to victory against the British in the Battle of Isandlwana.

Size: 19.5 x 10.5 cm approx

Shop  Free shipping on all items