A Tale of Two Battles – Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift
This year marks the 100th anniversary of two of the most famous, (or infamous), battles of the colonial era; the Battle of Isandlwana in which the British suffered the worst defeat ever inflicted on a European army by a native force, and the Battle of Rorke’s drift, fought the same day and between the same protagonists, in which a small group of barely 120 men overcame seeming impossible odds to successfully hold a defensive position a mere 40 miles away.
The talk will go beyond the Boys Own stories of heroism and defeat and attempt to examine the wider events that shaped them, and in particular will examine the motivations, actions and personalities of the group that is usually overlooked in conventional narratives; the Zulus themselves.
So often portrayed as faceless extras to the drama of British defeat and victory, this talk will look at Zulu society and culture, at their incredible military organisation and skills, their attempts to avoid conflict with their neighbours, and their resolute tactics in responding to an unjustified invasion of their homeland.
This talk will look at the background to these two battles, and the wider Zulu War of which they formed a part, a war that, to quote one historian, had no conceivable justification, even by the colonial standards of the day.
The speaker will be Brian MacGabhann of the Renmore History Society.
Connacht Hotel, Galway, Thursday 21 March at 8pm.
€5 entrance – free to members
Booking is essential – book on Eventbrite Here