Front page slideshow

'CELEBRATED ALL OVER AFRICA FOR HIS YARNS - The Tall Tales And Fast Times of 'Maori' Browne

     On the evening of 9 December 1896, at the end of the operations to quell the recent revolt of the amaNdebele and Shona peoples in the British South Africa Company colony of ‘Rhodesia’, General Sir Fred Carrington and his staff entertained a guest to dinner in their improvised mess outside the settler village of Umtali.

GUTTED LIKE SHEEP - The Questionable Fate of the 24th's Drummer Boys at iSandlwana

     It is probably one of the most enduring horror stories to emerge from the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 - a single incident of macabre brutality which stands out even among the carnage and horror of the bloodiest British defeat of the Victorian era, and one which still has the power to induce a frisson of horror over 130 years on.


       It’s that time of year again when my thoughts stray away from my cosy study here in the south of England to a remote muddy gully in South Africa where – 136 years ago this week, as it happens – one of those small human tragedies which constitute the true nature of all warfare took place - but which, in this case, had rather far-reaching consequences and is therefore better-remembered than it might otherwise have been.


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