Friday, 30 November 2012

Rorke's Drift part 4 THE FIGHT FOR THE HOSPITAL


Before I start part 4 of The Battle of Rorke's Drift, I would like to make an announcement and give anyone who may be interested the heads-up, that I am going to put my Zulu War collection up FOR SALE.
This will include all the figures, wagons, buildings, pieces of terrain, back-drops and anything else that has been shown on this blog over the past 12 months concerning the Zulu War. I want to sell it, if possible as a complete collection rather than in lots of small parts. So next week I will list a complete breakdown of what there is and the price, along with a sneak peek of the Zulu War British Lancers that I will put on in a future post. Part 5 of Rorke's Drift will have to miss a week and follow on the week after.

                                           THE FIGHT FOR THE HOSPITAL.

As it grew dark, the defenders - six able-bodied men and perhaps 20 armed patients - had a good field of fire from behind windows and loop-holes, but the Zulus came on in such numbers that they were at last able to get close enough to run right up to the outside walls. They broke in first through a door in the wall on the Western end of the building, where Private Joseph Williams, succeeded in shooting 14 of them before he was overcome.





At the front too, once the dog-leg barricade had been abandoned, there was nothing stopping the Zulus rushing the veranda, and forcing their way in through the doors at the front.



Such were the conditions, however, that most of the defenders were unaware of what was happening outside their own rooms. No sooner had the Zulus reached the building than they set the roof on fire.
"Come back Mr Bromhead, Sir"



  

When Private Hook's room became too full of smoke for him to bear, he rushed through into the next room containing several patients. The Zulus were trying to break through the door he had shut behind him. The interior walls were just made of sun dried mud-brick, and the defenders were able to hack a big hole through the wall and the patients were pushed and pulled through one by one, until at last the man defending the room sprinted after them. Then the whole process began anew in the next room.



They worked their way through to the rooms at the Eastern end of the building. The only way out of the building was now through a small window which opened into the centre of the yard. But the yard had been abandoned, and was effectively no-man's land.
 The defenders had to pass the patients out into the darkness, where they dropped to the ground and had to scramble the best they could across the yard towards the sanctuary of the biscuit-box wall opposite.






Private Hook has a last sip of medicine before leaving the building.


THE FIGHTING AROUND THE STOREHOUSE.

Evan as the desperate struggle in the hospital was underway, the Zulus kept up their pressure on the storehouse. Although a number of attacks had been repulsed, it soon became clear that the angle between the front wall and the line of biscuit-boxes was now the most vulnerable sector of the perimeter. This area was the least sheltered from the fire directed on the post from all directions. Furthermore, the Zulus could creep up under cover of the rocky ledge and crouch below it with impunity. Bromhead himself took command of this sector, but the fire was so dangerous that of six men with him only he and one other escaped injury.



Corporal Schiess, an NCO of the NNC who had been wounded in the foot was determined to clear the Zulus away from the ledge, and leaving the shelter of the biscuit-box wall, he crept out a few yards along the abandoned front barricade, suddenly stood up, and leaned across to fire down on the Zulus crouching on the other side. Apart from having his hat shot off, he killed three Zulus before returning to his place.



Pressure on the wall remained intense. Private Hitch wounded in the shoulder and being treated by Surgeon Reynolds, whilst Bromhead defends the wall.





Next week............Zulu War collection FOR SALE.

Week after............The Redoubt and Darkness, the final part of the defence of Rorke's Drift.



  

 

34 comments:

  1. stunning. This is kind of stuff for a museum.

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  2. Pat another brilliant post, your Zulu War collection is stunning, I'm sure there will be a lot of interest!

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  3. Stunning is a good way to describe this. The last couple of shots are unbelievable. And did you say Zulu War collection For Sale?!?! You can't mean this lot surely?

    Frank
    http://adventuresinlead.blogspot.com.au/

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  4. Very well presented, lovely pictures of lovely painted minis and terrain !

    Suppouse you have you reasons to sell, but it must feel har then you put so much work and love in the project, I realy hope you will get a god amount for them.

    You might already hav a tutorial on the blog about your smok/fire markers if not I would be glad for some ideeas of how to manke me some:)

    Best regards Michael

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  5. Totally awesome Pat. Wonderful photos again. Are you selling to fund another project?

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  6. Morning Chaps and thanks.
    This project was started November 2011, so it has been a years work of hobby time to complete. Most of my collections I end up selling sooner or later and it does pay for future projects along with putting away a little for my pension pot.
    Michael, I will do a tutorial at some point in the future on making smoke and flames but if you scan the blogs you will find the information already out there. I think I got the info from an old Wargames Illustrated magazine. Basically I use a metal scourer(what you use to clean saucepans with)glued to a base. You then use some of that packing that you used to get in the Perry Miniatures black boxes and mix it into the end of the scourer (it clings to each other) Pull it into the desired shape and then spray lightly with black paint. When dry paint red then orange and finally yellow around the base. As I said though, I will do a tutorial in a future post.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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    1. Great tips... damn i have thrown no end of that stuff out..

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  7. As always, Pat, these photos are stunning. It's hard to believe that you'd be prepared to part with such an outstanding collection. An article for one of the mags on how you went about the project over the past 12 months would be very interesting, if you have the time?

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    1. Thanks Giles, Trouble is, there is not enough hours in the day lately to find that time.

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  8. Pat
    Fantastic stuff as usual, interesting to know if you make a profit from the sale, when you compare metal and time to the sale price.
    But a collection on this scale and skill level should easily find a home.
    Good luck.
    Stu

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    1. Thanks Stu, I will only be selling if I get the price I am looking for.

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  9. Whatever happens please don´t break it up...it´s a wonderfull collection and deserves to stay complete. As always..a brilliant set of photos!!!
    I don´t know a lot about the real battle, but in the film (which I love) I can never understand why they didn´t just surround the hospital building with mealie bags and turn it into a fort..would concentrate their fire and manpower...Discuss :-D
    Cheers
    paul

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    1. Thanks Paul. Initially they had planned the defence for a garrison of about 400 men but when the NNC deserted them they were a bit stretched. Also they had ran out of time and the barricade was incomplete when the Zulus arrived.

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  10. Excellent stuff once more. Sure you will have plenty of interest in the sale - I sold some of my Zulu collection of Prints to Peter Jackson -yes the film director - he collects zulu stuff. Happy to ask my intermediary contact to let him know abou the sale you wish..

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    1. Thanks Dave and yes that would be great.

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    2. ok Pat , will do - do me favour and drop me your e-mail address via the contact me link on my blog.

      cheers
      Dave

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  11. I can't applaud this project enough. Great stuff.

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  12. Yes, a stunning collection, and fabulous series of posts.

    Perhaps it could be sold to a museum? This is way to could to be broken up and/or kept as a private collection.

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  13. Excellent work again Pat! Doesn't it hurt to sell the collection? It would hurt me when it was mine! And do you have another project in mind?

    Greetings
    Peter
    http://peterscave.blogspot.be/

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  14. Fantastic post yet again! To sell that wonderful collection would be painful!

    Cheers
    Christopher

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  15. Congratulations on a fantastic collection Pat, the whole spectacle is great!
    It's a shame that you are having to sell it on, I guess if you have the talent then this is the buzz you get and once finished it's time to move on to another satisfying project

    Once again, thanks for all the time and effort in posting this, I appreciate how much time and effort goes into just this and all on top of the creative work.
    Thank you.

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  16. It is with great pleasure that I discovered this blog, the pictures are really stunning! Congratulations!
    Phil.

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  17. Thanks very much Chaps, your comments are very rewarding.
    Peter, there are several projects/battles I have in mind that I plan on doing on the same lines as Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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    1. Looking forward to that Pat!

      Greetings
      Peter
      http://www.peterscave.blogspot.be/

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  18. Pat, what a post! Such inspirational shots, I can't believe it is up for sale, but I am very curious to know what you have in mind for the next project.

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    1. Thanks Michael. My next project will probably be either Guilford Courthouse or Trenton from the AWI. This will be a lot slower progress than the Zulu War though, because I will be flitting back and forth working on a lot of different periods.

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  19. Congrats on yet another amazing chapter of a terrific visual history, Pat. Must say this particular chapter is one of, if not my absolute, favorite, with tons of drama crammed into each and every pic, both inside and outside the hospital building. A bit bummed to hear you'll be selling the collection, but I wish you the very best of luck and great success with the sale, which should be very successful. Any chance one of those possible future projects is the Third Afghan War, complete with c.1919 British armored cars and aircraft...?

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    1. Thanks MG. The Third Afghan War wont be my big project but I will be putting plenty of posts on my blog covering both Colonial and modern war in Afghanistan. Having recently purchased some of the modern range from Empress and Eureaka Miniatures, vehicles and helicopters from the net, and at the moment working on a lot of terrain covering the period. Watch this space.

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    2. "...a lot of terrain covering the period"?!?!?! HOLY-MOLY, Pat -- you're making Afghan terrain??? That's something for me to really, REALLY look forward to seeing!

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  20. Pat I've nominated your blog for the Liebster Award, hope you don't mind!

    http://satrapminiatures.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/liebster-blog-award.html

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    1. Cyrus, that is really kind of you, thanks very much.
      Pat.

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  21. Very creative bunch of shots Pat...totally excellent layouts and figs....very nice work

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