Cork eye-witness at ‘Zulu’ battle of Rorke’s Drift

Zulu, starring Micheal Caine, released 50 years ago this month, depicts the 1879 Battle of Rorke’s Drift – an eye-witness account by Irishman Walter Adolphus Dunne is  to be auctioned at Bonhams

Zulu, starring Micheal Caine, released 50 years ago this month, depicts the 1879 Battle of Rorke’s Drift – an eye-witness account by Irishman Walter Adolphus Dunne is to be auctioned at Bonhams

Sat, Jun 7, 2014, 02:00

The enduringly-popular film Zulu, released 50 years ago this month, depicts the 1879 Battle of Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu war in what is now South Africa. It was one of the most famous battles in the history of the British Empire. Bonhams in London has announced the sale of a letter, by an Irish eye-witness participant in the battle, at auction in London on June 18th , with an estimate of €25,000- €37,000. The writer was Walter Adolphus Dunne, born February 10th, 1853 in Cork, who was an assistant commissary officer in the British Army. Dunne’s letter provides a detailed description of the event and recalled: “They drove our fellows out of the Hospital, killed the patients and burned the place. They made several attempts to storm us” but they “were driven back each time” and “in the morning they retreated leaving 351 dead bodies”. Dunne later became a colonel and died in 1903. Bonhams auction of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs, New Bond Street, London, 1pm, Wednesday, June 18th.

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