Event Detail


The Anglo Zulu Wars

David Rattray
Wednesday, 17 Apr 2002
Sports House

The Battle of Isandlwana British defeat or Zulu victory?
by David Rattray
Wednesday, 17 April 2002
2/F Sports House, So Kon Po, Causeway Bay
Cash Bar 6.30pm, 7.30pm Lecture The Battle of Isandlwana, the legendary battle of the AngloZulu War, was one of the biggest secks suffered by Britain in her colonial history, and also one of the great enigmas. Here, in the dramatic scenery of Fugitives' Drift, Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill lost their lives in 1879 trying to save the Queen's Colour of their regiment, winning the first two posthumous Victoria Crosses in history. Just days later, in one of the greatest British triumphs, at the epic Battle of Rourke's Drift, 100 British soldiers defeated an attack by 4,000 Zulu warriors winning more Victoria Crosses than any other battle in history. Isandlwana is one of the most evocative places on earth, providing a backdrop of dramatic topography for the clash between two great empires. David Rattray's thesis is that Isandlwana was more of a Zulu victory than a British defeat. He also argues that, in this epic fight between brave men on both sides, lies the origin of the affection and respect that has developed between the two nations which lasts to this day. In the final analysis, this may not be a story about war, but about reconciliation, and not about conflict, but about compassion. Mr. Rattray illustrates his lecture by drawing on huge resources of Zulu oral tradition, an immense library and a lifetime of wandering around this battlefield, part of which he owns. David Rattray is acknowledged as a world expert on South African history and the Anglo Zulu War. Mr. Rattray holds the Ness Award of the Royal Geographical Society. He lives on his familyowned farm at Rourke's Drift and has studied the history of the area for more than three decades. In 1989, he built the Fugitive's Drift Lodge and ever since has hosted a distinguished stream of visitors around the battlefields of Rourke's Drift and Isandlwana. Mr. Rattray is known for his unique ability to transport audiences to the times and the battlefields themselves, and has lectured no fewer than 17 times at the Royal Geographical Society in London, to capacity audiences. In 2001, he was honoured with giving the inaugural Van Der Post Memorial Lecture at St. James's Palace in London, hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales. Each Member may bring 2 guests. Tickets for this lecture may be prebooked by completing and returning the attached form. Otherwise, members and their guests are welcome to attend on a firstcome firstserved basis. The cost of this lecture is HK$50 for Members, HK$100 for Member's guests and HK$150 for others. Members are reminded to renew their memberships to take advantage of Members' rates.

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