“It must have been about 2:40 PM when a carbineer rode into the little yard. All we could glean from his terrified remarks was, ‘Everyone killed in camp, and 4,000 Zulu’s on their way to take the mission station’ – not pleasant words for a hundred men, you may be sure. When he came to himself a bit he said, ‘You will all be murdered and cut to pieces,’ and the only answer he received was, ‘We will fight, and if we have to die we will die like Britishers.’

A man named Hall, of Natal Mounted Police, rode out to see if he could see anything of them, and going about 1,000 yards out he could see them just a mile off, he described it, ‘thick as grass.’

About 3:30 they came on, first in sections of fours, then opened out in skirmishing order. Up came their reserve, and then they were on us. The place seemed alive with them. No orders were given, every man to act as he thought proper. I had the satisfaction of seeing the first Zulu I fired at roll over at 350 yards, then my nerves were as steady as rock. I made sure almost before I pulled the trigger. There was some of the best shooting at 450 yards that I have ever seen.

Just before dark we had beaten them off with great losses, and only a few casualties on our side, two killed and one wounded. One of our fellows named Hunter, also ill with rheumatism, was assegaied in the kidney and five wounds in the chest.

At about 10:00 they came on in tremendous force, sweeping the fellows before them and causing them to retreat to the store. But providence favored us. We were pouring bullets into them like hail. We could see them falling in scores. Then you could hear the British cheers. They kept up the attack all night with no better luck. We knocked them down as fast as they came. At 5 AM, 23 January, the last shot was fired, and the last Zulu killed.

The bravery displayed on both sides is something worth remembering.”
– Harry Lugg, Natal Mounted Police, The Battle of Rorke’s Drift, South Africa. 1879
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