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13th March 2002Zulu [email protected]
By Bill Power
British losses in this engagement are well documented! The burial of 391Zulus in the immediate vicinity of RD after the battke is,also,noted.with others,in the caves of the Oscarberg and others further afield! Given the number of rounds fired.estimated @ 200 per rifle,plus the Brumagum[Bayonet]work,the result must have been horrific!! Usually,8 or10 wounds to 1 KIA occurs in a Drama! Given the effect of stopping a Boxer-Henry round[95% soft lead]th emortality rate amongst the wounded would be horrendous[Seesurgeon Dunlapp's sketches after Lundys Lane in1812-nauseating] or the effect of Minie balls in the US Civil War!
13th March 2002John Young

I am pretty certain the 'official' line on the number of Zulu dead buried at Rorke's Drift was 351, whether this number included the two executed Zulu, I cannot say.

'The Historical Records of the 24th Regiment' page 255 gives the figure 'four hundred'.

John Laband & Paul Thompson in their 'The Illustrated Guide to the Anglo-Zulu War', estimate a minimum of 600 killed.

Ian Knight concurs with this number in his work, 'Nothing Remains But To Fight', and gives his opinion of a wounded in action percentage of about a quarter of the attacking force.

However, the truth is we do not know the true extent of the Zulu casualties sustained at Rorke's Drift. The Zulu army was a citizen army, with no muster rolls or other documentation.

On the question of rounds fired, it is more than feasible that some of defenders may have fired up to and over two hundred rounds. However, I believe the more likely average should be around the 150 mark.

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society.