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Zulu Monument at the Rorke's Drift battle site
A pile of 50 bronze shields guarded by a life-sized leopard representing the Zulu King commemorates the Zulus who fell at the battle of Rorke’s Drift on January 23, 1879.
The Battle of Rorke’s Drift was fought on the same day as the nearby Battle of Isandlwana where the British army suffered one of the most humiliating defeats against a native military force. Just as it was incomprehensible to the public in Britain that British troops armed with modern breach loading rifles could be overwhelmed by native troops armed mainly with stabbing spears, it was astounding that a handful of the same troops could withstand the overwhelming attack delivered against the mission station later the same day. The iconic defence of the mission station saw a record award of 11 Victoria Crosses and restored the faith of Victorian Britain in the Army.