Dr W Birkbeck Nevins to Henry J Wilson

Scope and Content

Written from 3 Abercromby Square, Liverpool

If possible he will examine the Indian Army Reports the next day. No definite report on the fluctuations between different stations and regiments, but he remembers being questioned about them by Sir Harcourt Johnstone before the Select Committee.

[Writing of the 24th regiment as being] 'so bad that wherever they went disease rose ... at any rate it was the one that suffered so shamefully at Rorke's Drift'. Refering to the Zulu war which started on 12 Jan 1879. 'At Rorke's Drift a force of only 103 men ... held a laager successfully against a great force of Zulus'

Administrative / Biographical History

Zulu war

The disaster occurred at Isandhlwana when the British General lured by a Zulu feint led most of his force some way from the camp and on his return found the camp pillaged and almost every living soul in it slaughtered. The 24th Regiment mentioned in the letter were the chief sufferers in the camp. Rorke's Drift was also garrisoned by them.

(Taken from Ensor - England 1870-1914 p 60)

Biog: Dr Burkbeck Nevins, Sir Harcourt Johnstone