Discovering the Battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War

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ISBN9781920143909 Barcode9781920143909
Overview

Interest in KwaZulu-Natal’s battlefields – especially those of the Anglo-Zulu War – has soared since the film Zulu first screened in 1964, followed by Zulu Dawn in 1979 (the centenary of the Anglo-Zulu War). During the centenary, the famous battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift were made ‘tourist-friendly’ by the then Natal Provincial Administration and controls were put in place by the heritage authorities to prevent relics from being plundered. Supported by effective marketing from the Battlefield Route Association and the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Tourism Authority, the battlefields have become a must-see.

Indeed, Rorke’s Drift has become a tourist icon. Specialist battlefield guides have been trained and are considered to be among the best in the world. New hotels and lodges have been built with battlefield tourism resulting in the creation of an estimated 7,500 permanent jobs in what is termed the Battlefield Region. There are, of course, many more Anglo-Zulu War sites to be seen: Discovering the Battlefields will enable visitors to find them and to read an account that is not too lengthy yet has sufficient content to bring it to life. GPS co-ordinates will enable those wishing to undertake a journey of exploration. The book is also a useful training manual for prospective battlefield guides.

Above all, however, the author shares his knowledge gleaned from over 50 years of researching the Anglo-Zulu War. He has blended first-hand accounts passed on from participants on both sides to subsequent generations with official or newly-researched information that has become available in recent years. It is written in a style that is neither technical nor dramatic, is extensively illustrated with photographs of personalities and places and includes comprehensive maps of all the battle sites.

Ken Gillings

Ken Gillings began taking an interest in South African military history as a schoolboy and since then has undertaken extensive research into South African battlefields, especially those in KwaZulu-Natal. He has written numerous articles on the subject, many of which have appeared in the South African Military History Journal. He co-edited The War Memoirs of Commandant Ludwig Krause (van Riebeeck Society) and is author of Battles of KwaZulu-Natal, which is in its fifth edition, and The Battle of the Thukela Heights (Ravan Press), now revised as While they Kept the Flag Flying: The Relief of Ladysmith.

Ken is an acclaimed South African battlefield guide and has been affiliated with the following organisations: the South African Military History Society, the South African National Society, the Ladysmith Historical Society (of which he is a founder life member), the KwaZulu-Natal Heritage Foundation and the National Monuments Commission’s War Graves & Graves of Conflict Committee. He chaired the KwaZulu-Natal Regional Committee for the Commemoration of the Centenary of the Anglo-Boer War. His interests include camping, bird-watching and wildlife and he is a member of the Rotary Club of Westville, Durban.

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Weight 0.800 kg
Dimensions 23.4 x 1.56 x 1.3 cm
Format

Pages

Size

Publisher30 Degrees South Publishers Publication Date02/09/2013

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Discovering the Battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War.
MARK FROM WI | 2ND MARCH 2015
Review by John Stallard

There are many publications available today that cover the short but bloody Anglo – Zulu War and certainly many existing books that are rather good cover the battlefields as this new book is set to do. They are larger books, cover the battles in extreme detail and are often lavishly illustrated with excellent shots of today’s battlefield. Why then would you buy this book if it’s all been done before? Well, of course, it hasn’t all been done before. Each writer brings a fresh perspective to the events of 1879, a political view, a cultural view, etc. They may have either more recent access to facts or interpret them differently, and Ken Gillings, being a South African writer, and an accomplished one at that, has provided us with a terrific slim volume, just over 200 pages, that any budding battlefield explorer should slip into their bush jacket when battlefield walking. Walking old battlefields is beneficial in so many ways. From helping local economies economically, sharing fact and counter fact with fellow travellers ad nauseum, but mainly the fact that it’s so difficult to appreciate a battle, of any size or complexity, excluding you are perhaps a soldier well versed in reading maps, unless you walk them yourself and see what the generals could see and what the other ranks could see (generally not a lot). Ken certainly has done a lot of walking in his time and also provides tours of the battles, both the obvious Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana, to the far more obscure fields of conflict that are well off the beaten track. The South African government, tourist board and local historians have tried hard over the years to maintain signage tracks and roads to dozens of battlefields/skirmishes and graves, and, in general, using a cheap and cheerful hire car you can get to visit most of the places of interest. What works against this is time, extremes of climate, cattle, termites and grave robbers, to mention just a few.meaning that sometimes you will have no idea where to look as there will no longer be markings or signage. With the wonders of modern technology however, GPS is your friend. This book has all the interesting co-ordinates for you to load in and my understanding is that these things are accurate to a metre or two, enabling you for instance, should you wish, stand exactly by Jim Rorke’s grave-S28 21.409′ E30 32.298′, and why wouldn’t you! The book is carefully split to cover both campaigns and to cover all the columns, so you can follow their progress in a coherent manner. The military history is good and the assessment of the British and Zulu armies most useful to any war gamer who struggles with what appears at first to be a mass of amorphous Zulus and exotic Natal volunteer units. Encouragingly, Mr Gillings has an excellent endorsement to his research in the shape of a foreword written, with care, by no other than Prince Buthelezi, Zulu Prime Minister and who had the Zulu King Cetshwayo as his maternal great grandfather. The Prince writes of his enjoyment in reading the book and praises its fairness to all, a theme I certainly warmed to when reading it. It is well illustrated in black and white, with just some spots of colour to make the excellent maps really stand out. Finally, like all good writers, he acknowledges handsomely the other people upon whom he has based so much of his research in a good bibliography and a page of thanks to all who helped compile this most useful book, which will certainly accompany me on my next trip to Natal. A good read.

Review by Paul Jackson

Another publication from the excellent 30° South Publishers who produce a lot of very valuable books for anyone interested in African military history, this book is really a battlefield guide for the visitor and has a good maps section. The author, Ken Gillings is a well-known writer and researcher on the Anglo-Zulu war and is also a battlefield guide himself. And you can tell. The format of this book is an introductory chapter on the background to the war followed by two chapters on the Zulu and British forces. There are then five chapters on different aspects of the war – the five British columns 1-5 and then the Relief of Eshowe – a chapter on the second invasion and then some information on the aftermath. There is also a useful bibliography and also an interesting looking section on little known sites of interest and memorials. Each of the chapters on the fighting, contains orders of battle, photographs of the sites, records of where they are, how to get there and what to look for. This is a practical guide written by someone who knows these sites very well and has been there. As such, it is an invaluable resource for anyone thinking of visiting these popular sites. So far, so good, but in my opinion where this book comes in to its own is in its documenting of the Zulu sites and lesser known areas that might be missed by the casual tourist. This is much more than a book with lots of directions in it, however (although it does have that), it reads as if you are listening to the guide himself taking you to the site and adding in lots of detail about why the site is important, the difficulties of finding the site itself, etc. I really, really enjoyed reading this book and next time I go to South Africa (in a month or so) I will take it with me and I will try to look up Port Durnford. The book says of this site: “such a journey should not be attempted in a conventional vehicle or without a guide”. Sounds like my sort of place.

Review by: H R Paterson MA (Natal) Curator of Ordnance
Ditsong National Museum of Military History – June 2014

Ken Gillings is one of the most knowledgeable men alive when it comes to the Anglo-Zulu War. His knowledge is not simply scholarly but comes from an intimate knowledge of terrain. To this is added a fund of knowledge gained from many hours of talking to people. It noteworthy that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP, Nkosi of Buthelezi Clan and Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, has written the foreword to this book. The first chapter is a good account of the outbreak of the war and the chapter on the Zulu Army is also particularly commendable. The chapter on the British Army is worthy except for a tangle with Pattern 1871 Valise Equipment. It is noteworthy the Donald Morris, Washing of the Spears, also provided a misleading description. Mike Chappell’s British Infantry Equipments, 1808-1908 (Osprey, London, 1980, revised edition Oxford, 1999) provides an accurate description of the ammunition carries by a British infantryman in 1879. The ammunition was carried in two pouches with twenty rounds in two packets to a pouch and further thirty rounds were carried in an ammunition bag. Mike Chappell’s book should have made the selected biography, The description of the ammunition boxes is basic and Ken Gillings skates over what is a complex and controversial issue. The chapters on the war itself, which usefully come with GPS references to the sites, will enable the battlefield explorer to find and understand them. Many, although unfortunately not all, of the photographs will aid this. However, one failing of the publication is the small size and contrast of the photographs. This is partly due to the paper on which they are printed. The reproduction of the pictures of the Royal Artillery guns is also disappointing. The same weapons, properly restored, are on display at Ditsong National Museum of Military History. They have been used to illustrate Anglo-Zulu War publications. The choice of illustrations is excellent but, as indicated above, their presentation is spotty. Where the publishers have let their author down particularly badly is with the quality of the maps. Firstly, the page location of the maps is not indicated, which is a serious omission in the guide book. Secondly, the scale is out and what is described in metres is more possibly hectometres or even kilometres. Some of the scales are blurred. The bibliography is a select one with two curios omissions. These are The James Stuart Archive, Volume 5, and Donal Featherstone’s Weapons & Equipment of Victorian Soldier. The omission of the James Stuart Archive is notable because on page 176 is a description of kinds of assegais. While this guide can be recommended to someone wishing to explore the Anglo-Zulu War battlefields, the purchaser should be aware of the flaws in presentation.

Discovering the Battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War.
Author: Ken Gillings
Review: Mark Levin

The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 has been tackled by many military historians of repute. Joining them is Ken Gillings, whose knowledge of Natal colonial warfare has made him a much respected and sought-after battlefields guide. His new book reflects both his intimate knowledge of the period and of the actual battlefields sites. He provides a short synopsis of each battle, but with sufficient detail to convey the cut and thrust of each engagement. Both Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift have been widely researched. However, Gillings reminds us that many pieces of information are missing because after the Battle of Isandlwana (January 22, 1879) there were so few survivors providing accounts in English. Those who do exist are often contradictory. Few attempts were made to record Zulu or Natal Native eye-witness recollections and those that were recorded were not usually reliably translated. At best, we know only what probably happened. While historians may have divergent views, enthusiasm for the Anglo Zulu War (periodic re-enactments) remains undiminished. The tourism industry has benefited and toward that end, this practical book should have a ready market. In keeping with a growing trend, GPS coordinates are provided for the sites, graves, memorials and forts. The descriptions of the sites today are most invaluable. Not all are easily accessible, some roads are badly potholed, thorn scrub is prevalent in certain areas and in the case of the site where the Prince Imperial died, and there is a frustrating lack of signage, exacerbated by constant theft. Indeed, visitors should not purchase relics that are sold by the local people. Not only are battlefields being ruined by unauthorised excavation, but it is also illegal. The book has many period and recent photographs. While the latter would have benefited from colour reproduction, this book will provide a handy guide to both the casual visitor and intrepid explorer.

An A to Zed of conflict: The Anglo-Zulu War battlefields guide brims with history and practical tips–  Review by Paul Ash Sunday Times, May 25 2014.

There is a relentless and apparently unquenchable fascination with the wars fought on South African soil. Ken Gillings’s guide to the battlefields of the brief but bloody clash between the British Empire and the Zulu nation taps into that interest but takes it a step further with a detailed guide on how to visit the key sites. Battlefields tourism supports some 1500 permanent jobs in the region, so maybe some good did come out of the bitter and unnecessary fighting. A battlefields guide himself, Gillings knows his stuff and the book shines with the sort of details that only someone who has spent a long time in research -50 years in the authors case- would have uncovered. He is also sensitive to what the war did to the Zulu people “Alas, a spear has been thrust into the belly of the nation.” King Cetshwayo lamented on hearing about the Zulu death toll at Isandlwana. Gillings mourns the dead amabutho left to rot on the battlefields and reminds us that the war did not end for the Zulus with their defeat at Ulundi ? following Sir Garnet Wolseley’s partitioning of Zululand, a civil war began, which continued to tear the nation apart for nearly another decade. The book is both a route guide to the sites, the military cemeteries and the lonely monuments, remainders of young men dying far from home. There is much useful advice, such as that, when visiting the grave of King Cetshwayo kaMpande: “Utmost respect should be practised upon entering the sacred grove: speak in a low tone and do not turn your back on the grave when leaving the fenced-off enclosure.” What really makes this guide come alive are the small details, the little stories that remind us of human frailty and fear and courage. Spare a thought, perhaps, for Major Robert Henry Hackett, shot through the temple at the Battle of Khambula and blinded for life, to return home a hero but living out his life in darkness. There is the story of trooper “Chops” Massop of the Frontier Light Horse and his loyal horse Warrior, who carried him to safety at the Battle of Hlobane and died the next day with his head in the trooper’s lap. And what of Private Waters, who was in the hospital at Rorke’s Drift when the uDloko, iNdlondlo and uTulwana regiments fell upon the missions station? Waters first hid in a cupboard. Then, finding a black coat in the cupboard, he camouflaged himself to escape into the darkness before, finally, hiding in the cookhouse chimney, “emerging rather sooty on the morning of 23 January”. There is the lonely last stand of Private John Morris at Isandlwana, who made his way into a recess on the top of the mountain and shot and bayonetted any warriors who came close, “until the shadows were long on the hills”. There is a strangeness too, such as the story of a cavalryman’s sword, which lieutenant James Henry Scott Douglas of the 17th Lancers had on him when he and another trooper ran into a Zulu party near present-day Melmoth on June 30 1879. It somehow ended up being advertised for sale in a Texas newspaper in 1972. The events leading to the death of the Prince Imperial, Napoléon Eugene Louis Jean Joseph, son of Napoleon III, have been well researched. The Prince Imperial, serving with the British as a volunteer, was ambushed while on an ill-advised patrol and killed along with two of the troopers assigned to protect him. A year later, his grief stricken mother, Empress Eugénie, journeyed to Zululand to erect a stone cross at the site where her son fell. She spent the last night kneeling by the cross in prayer. Just before dawn, the candle flickered. “C’est toi? Veux-tu que je parte maintenant?” (Is it you? Do you wish me to go now?) And with that, she left Zululand. Gillings’s book is a solid addition to the historiography of the war. But its practical information gives us all an opportunity to visit those killing fields and give us an insight into one of the most decisive episodes in our country’s history.

Discovering the battlefields of the Anglo Zulu War by Ken Gillings Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:46 pm
This new work from Ken is a must have addition to the library. It is in essence a tourist guide to the battlefields plus a lot more. Maps, Photos, where they are, what happened, how they look now: superbly presented and not just confined to the major areas. The smaller incidents are equally well covered with GPS references to aid in their location. Having spent a hell of a lot of time cruising around trying to find some of these sites my only criticism of Ken is why the hell didn’t you do this earlier. Having just bought a similar publication from Nicki Von Der Heyde I can but compare. Nicki’s book is broader in its scope taking in the Anglo Boer war and a bigger Geographical area but lacks the coverage of the AZ as a result. I’ve bought both but the first one I will reach for will be Ken Gillings.Price R299.00 From Fogarty’s Bookshop: fogartys@global.co.za ISBN 978-1-920143-90-9
Ndlaka: The true hero of isandlwana.

Nice one Ken
New battlefields book is helping South Africans discover their own history

January 24, 2014
THE WITNESSSTEPHEN COAN

THE odds are that if you don’t find Ken Gillings at his home in Pinetown, he’s wandering around a battlefield somewhere, guiding a tour. Currently chairperson of the KZN Tourist Guides Association and programme organiser of the Durban branch of the South African Military History Society, Gillings’s name has long been synonymous with all things military and historical in KwaZulu-Natal. Gillings’s interests combine in his latest book Discovering the Battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War, which reflects an enthusiasm that began in childhood. “When I was a kid we used to go up to Dannhauser in northern Natal to family gatherings,” Gillings says. “We used to take the back roads and whenever we passed a sign indicating a battlefield or a military cemetery, I would plead with my dad to take us there.” Gillings senior would respond: “Look to the future, forget about the past,” recalls Gillings junior, “but he would always take me there. And that whet my appetite.” Back home in Durban, the young Gillings would rush to the local library and research what he had seen. This was in the late fifties and early sixties, when information on the Anglo-Zulu War was in short supply. “I would get old books out of the library and family and friends would find things and give them to me.” Gillings recalls C.T. Binn’s book The Last Zulu King, published in 1963, as the first substantial contemporary work dealing with the Anglo-Zulu War that he encountered. The king in question being Cetshwayo ka Mpande, who was defeated and deposed by the British in the war of 1879. In 1966, came The Washing of the Spears by Donald R. Morris – “It took an American to teach us our history,” notes Gillings, an ironic allusion to Morris’s nationality. The same year saw Gillings join the Durban Ramblers Club. “That’s when I started leading battlefield tours.” Gillings had matriculated from Westville Boys’ High School in 1964 and, following his national service (then obligatory), passed up the chance to go to university. “I was too busy exploring battlefields”. But he finally found time to join H.L. Hall, the well-known fruit processing company, graduating from sales representative to national sales manager by the time of his retirement. “The Halls were very conscious of history and encouraged my interest,” he says. Perhaps not surprising, as the man who started the company’s Natal operation, and later became company managing director, was the respected military historian Darrell Hall. Fulltime paid employment saw Gillings buy his first car, a 1958 DKW. “My parents despaired,” says Gillings. “Every Friday after work, I would head up to the farm in Dannhauser or stay with friends in the area and explore.” What is the vital ingredient that fuels the continuing interest and fascination for this 19thcentury campaign? “The fact that an indigenous army could defeat highly trained British soldiers at the battle of Isandlwana – that attracts a lot of people – plus on the same day you have a handful of men doing the exact opposite at the battle of Rorke’s Drift.” You can also add the compactness of the campaign – just over six months – which makes it manageable for writers and readers. A timeframe that includes the major defeat at Isandlwana, the heroic defence of Rorke’s Drift -“and not only those two battles; there is the drama of all the others” – as well as poignant vignettes, including the death of Louis Napoleon, the Prince Imperial. Gillings is no stranger to print; his articles have appeared on a regular basis in the South African Military History Journal and he was co-editor of The War Memoirs of Commandant Ludwig Krause for the Van Riebeeck Society. His Battles of KwaZulu Natal is now in its fifth edition. This book was done in collaboration with photographer John Hone, who died in 2012. “We would go to the battlefield and I would sit and read the text aloud while he looked around. Then John would say ‘I know what I am going to do’, and he would capture the spirit of that particular battlefield with his camera.” Gillings’s last book was The Battle of Thukela Heights, now revised as While they Kept the Flag Flying: The Relief of Ladysmith. Discovering the Battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War came about after Martin Everitt, former curator of the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh, “told me to get off my backside and write it”, says Gillings. “He suggested people who might want to do their own thing on the battlefields would find a guidebook useful.” The result is both a guidebook and a history, copiously illustrated with maps and photographs; together with directions and coordinates (and the occasional warning about snakes) to orientate other would be explorers of the province’s battlefields. The book looks set to catch a new wave of interest in the Anglo-Zulu War battlefields, a local one. “Ten years ago, 95%of participants on my tours were British. Now, 78% are South African. We have finally discovered our own history.”
Discovering the Battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War by Ken Gillings is published by 30 Degrees South. Stephen.Coan@witness.co.za

12 February 2014 –  PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP PRESIDENT: INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY

I was delighted to receive a copy of your book “Discovering the Battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War” which you so kindly delivered to our Durban offices.Thank you for this thoughtful gesture. I must again express my appreciation for the meticulous research and attention to detail that went into the writing of this book. You have given a great gift to historians and laymen alike; I also appreciate your willingness to -engage my advice and amend the chapter dealing with King Cetshwayo’s night and surrender. lt was a small amendment, but significant for the record of history. My office has approached the Library of Parliament to ensure that they stock a copy of this important book. They will, no doubt, be in touch with you to arrange that. I understand from my Private Secretary that the Castle of Good Hope opened a permanent exhibition of the Anglo-Zulu War this week. I am sorry that I was not aware of this, as I would have been honoured to attend the opening. Nevertheless, I will be sure to visit the exhibition when my Cape Town diary allows. Once again, I wish you everything of the best for the success of your book. Thank you for bringing me a copy.

Hugh Bland
Hi Ken, Thanks for the invite to the book launch. Congratulations on your new book which I have already acquired as soon as it hit the shelves. I am intending to visit a number of the sites, like eNtombe and some of the more obscure forts that I was unable to locate e.g. Crealock or have yet to visit, and your book will be most useful. The publication of the co-ords is the biggest plus for those interested, and for future generations, as are the clear charts, which are so often very confusing. Good luck with the launch, Regards – Hugh

April 30 2014 at 01:15pm By BARBARA COLE

Acclaimed battlefields tour guide, Ken Gillings, who has spent more than 50 years researching the Anglo-Zulu War, has released his third book about his favourite subject. He says that his Discovering the Battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War (30 Degrees South, R250) is not intended to replace other historical guides but rather that it could be a useful training manual for potential battlefield tour guides. And that was because “some of us are getting older”, the military historian grinned at the launch of his latest book at Adams Bookshop, Musgrave Centre. “You won’t make a lot of money, but if you have a passion, this book will help you,” he said. Internationally respected Gillings has blended first-hand accounts of the battles passed on from both warring sides, with official or newly researched information that has become available in recent years. He also takes the reader to some of the more remote rural areas. Gillings told guests at the launch that one of the most difficult hikes he ever made was to where King Cetshwayo was captured at kwaDwaza in the Ngome Forest. Detailed directions as well as GPS co-ordinates are provided to help travellers who want to take their own journeys of exploration to the various battle sites. There is also useful information for people planning their journeys. At Colonel Anthony Durnford’s grave at the Fort Napier cemetery, Pietermaritzburg, for instance, visitors will find that the gate has multiple padlocks. However, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has put up a sign providing two cellphone numbers where tourists can get one of the combinations. Another site is situated on the opposite bank of a river, but Gillings warns that it is too deep to wade across safely. And at King Cetshwayo’s grave, visitors should wait for the custodian to arrive before entering the precinct. and “utmost respect should be practised when entering the sacred grave: speak in a low tone and do not turn your back on the grave when leaving the fenced-off enclosure”, Gillings advises. iNkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who wrote the foreword and whose paternal grandfather, Mkhandumbe Buthelezi, was wounded at the Battle of Isandlwana, says that the book is a valuable addition to the treasury of historical accounts of the war. He admired how Gillings had captured the pathos of the battlefield without emotively favouring either side. Gillings, who has two other books in the pipeline, reminded guests of the famous saying: “Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.” Gillings senior would respond: “Look to the future, forget about the past,” recalls Gillings junior, “but he would always take me there. And that whet my appetite.” Back home in Durban, the young Gillings would rush to the local library and research what he had seen. This was in the late fifties and early sixties, when information on the Anglo-Zulu War was in short supply. “I would get old books out of the library and family and friends would find things and give them to me.”Gillings recalls C.T. Binn’s book The Last Zulu King, published in 1963, as the first substantial contemporary work dealing with the Anglo-Zulu War that he encountered. The king in question being Cetshwayo ka Mpande, who was defeated and deposed by the British in the war of 1879. In 1966, came The Washing of the Spears by Donald R. Morris – “It took an American to teach us our history,” notes Gillings, an ironic allusion to Morris’s nationality. The same year saw Gillings join the Durban Ramblers Club. “That’s when I started leading battlefield tours.” Gillings had matriculated from Westville Boys’ High School in 1964 and, following his national service (then obligatory), passed up the chance to go to university. “I was too busy exploring battlefields”. But he finally found time to join H.L. Hall, the well-known fruit processing company, graduating from sales representative to national sales manager by the time of his retirement. “The Halls were very conscious of history and encouraged my interest,” he says. Perhaps not surprising, as the man who started the company’s Natal operation, and later became company managing director, was the respected military historian Darrell Hall. Fulltime paid employment saw Gillings buy his first car, a 1958 DKW. “My parents despaired,” says Gillings. “Every Friday after work, I would head up to the farm in Dannhauser or stay with friends in the area and explore.” What is the vital ingredient that fuels the continuing interest and fascination for this 19thcentury campaign? “The fact that an indigenous army could defeat highly trained British soldiers at the battle of Isandlwana – that attracts a lot of people – plus on the same day you have a handful of men doing the exact opposite at the battle of Rorke’s Drift.” You can also add the compactness of the campaign – just over six months – which makes it manageable for writers and readers. A timeframe that includes the major defeat at Isandlwana, the heroic defence of Rorke’s Drift -“and not only those two battles; there is the drama of all the others” – as well as poignant vignettes, including the death of Louis Napoleon, the Prince Imperial. Gillings is no stranger to print; his articles have appeared on a regular basis in the South African Military History Journal and he was co-editor of The War Memoirs of Commandant Ludwig Krause for the Van Riebeeck Society. His Battles of KwaZulu Natal is now in its fifth edition. This book was done in collaboration with photographer John Hone, who died in 2012. “We would go to the battlefield and I would sit and read the text aloud while he looked around. Then John would say ‘I know what I am going to do’, and he would capture the spirit of that particular battlefield with his camera.” Gillings’s last book was The Battle of Thukela Heights, now revised as While they Kept the Flag Flying: The Relief of Ladysmith. Discovering the Battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War came about after Martin Everitt, former curator of the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh, “told me to get off my backside and write it”, says Gillings. “He suggested people who might want to do their own thing on the battlefields would find a guidebook useful.” The result is both a guidebook and a history, copiously illustrated with maps and photographs; together with directions and coordinates (and the occasional warning about snakes) to orientate other would be explorers of the province’s battlefields. The book looks set to catch a new wave of interest in the Anglo-Zulu War battlefields, a local one. “Ten years ago, 95%of participants on my tours were British. Now, 78% are South African. We have finally discovered our own history.” Discovering the Battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War by Ken Gillings is published by 30 Degrees South. Stephen.Coan@witness.co.za

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