Friday, September 11, 2015

The Defence of Rorke's Drift - Surgeon James Henry Reynolds

Every day on the dusty plains of Zululand the story of the Defence of Rorke's Drift and the Battle of Isandlwana are retold by inspired storytellers. Grown men are known to shed a tear or two at the retelling of this emotive tale. The shadows of the men who died on that fateful day in 1879 still linger in the air, they embrace all who come to hear and each person leaving these desolate African spaces feel their presence.

It is then, only fair, that before discussing any aspects of this day of victory, defeat, tragedy and triumph that one gets to know a little about those who made the ultimate sacrifice and those who remained to account for the day's events.

It is fitting that one should start with the men who were singled out for their bravery although in reflection of the battle perhaps each and every participant should have received an award and not just the select few.

Today I introduce SURGEON JAMES HENRY REYNOLDS as per his citation for his Victoria Cross Award.

"During the battle Surgeon Reynolds treated the wounded in a makeshift redoubt in front of the storehouse. When he was not tending the wounded he delivered ammunition through the window of the hospital. He received the Victoria Cross for his conspicuous gallantry. After the battle he remained at Rorke's Drift and took part in the second invasion of Zululand."

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