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    Rorke’s Drift

About Rorke’s Drift

46 kilometres southeast of Dundee lies the town of Rorke’s Drift, originally a trading post and mission station on the Buffalo River between Natal and Zululand. The Battle of Rorke’s Drift is said to have been one of the fiercest battles between the Zulus and the English forces at the time and culminated in four Victoria Crosses being awarded for valour - more than on any other day of battle. It was named after James Rorke who farmed near the crossing which gives the town its name. Set in beautiful surroundings, it is hard to believe that such a peaceful setting could have been the scene of such violence.

Quick Facts

Province: KwaZulu-Natal
Country: South Africa
Address: Rorke’s Drift, Kwazulu-Natal

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History icon


The Battle of Rorke's Drift, also known as the Defence of Rorke's Drift, was a battle in the Anglo-Zulu War. The defence of the mission station of Rorke's Drift, under the command of Lieutenant John Chard of the Royal Engineers and Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, immediately followed the British Army's defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879, and continued into the following day, 23 January.

Just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the garrison against an intense assault by 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors. The massive but piecemeal[9] Zulu attacks on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the tiny garrison but were ultimately repelled. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders, along with a number of other decorations and honours.

Places Nearby

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Rorkesdrift museum geibmb
Rorke’s Drift
Rorkesdrift house awh1s3
Rorke’s Drift Orientation Centre

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