Recently I've been re-watching the film Zulu Dawn, the film is about the apparently total annihilation of the British Army at Isandlwana in the early part of the Zulu War, 1879.
Anyway, the film appears to make it seem as if almost no British soldiers survived the battle. From what I know I think that about 5 British officers survived, I'm not sure if these were Infantry/Cavalry/Artillery. I was wondering if anyone knew as to whether many more survivors got away.
I know that a few fled to Fugitives Drift, about 1/2 a mile down river from the battle, but I'm not sure how many survived.
Here's some further infomation I found on a Pvt of the 24th foot.
Four horsemen were known to have ridden to Rorke's Drift, these being Lt VANE, Lt ADENDORFF (Natal Native Horse), Pte Frederick EVANS attached to the Mounted Infantry and one other and it is he I believe was the EVANS we are looking for, more about him later. As stated, Frederick EVANS was in "H" Coy 2 /24th. Before I reveal the identity of the fourth horseman, a little background on the Mounted Infantry. Due to a shortage of cavalry, mounted infantry were recruited on loan from regular battalions. The 24th were the first such unit raised alongside with elements from the 88th. It was the 1st/24th that supplied nearly 100% of the men from the 24th; both regiments served in the 9th Frontier War. In 1878 1st and 2nd Squadrons were formed with 150 men in each divided into two troops and drawn from the 2/3rd, 1/24th, 1/13th and 80th regiments. 20 Mounted Infantry were in action at Isandlwana with a loss of 13 of their number. As Frederick EVANS 953 is shown on the Chard roll (no number mentioned) and the Bourne roll (amended) and the Maj Dunbar roll, it is quite clear that this man must be severely in doubt as to his participation in the defence on Jan 22nd 1879.
It appears that these above were the riders that warned Rorkes Drift of the Zulu advance.
The vast majority of 1/24th men as Mounted Infantry are listed in No 1 Squadron and Frederick EVANS was in the 2/24th. Very few were listed in the 2nd Squadron if at all. In his book "Rorke's Drift", Dr Adrian Greaves on page 106 states: "the dreadful news from Isandlwana had been re-confirmed by three more breathless horsemen, all survivors from the battle including Pte Frederick EVANS 2/24TH on loan to the Mounted Infantry (he may have been in the 2nd Squadron). Having made their report they then rode off to Helpmekaar". Now if Frederick EVANS rode off as stated he could not have been at the defence as seems to be the case due to the confused recording of the facts. Remember Chard did not know any of these men except the sappers under his command and of these four had been killed at Isandlwana early on the 22nd Jan, Bourne included EVANS on his amended roll and Maj Dunbar who compiled the fourth known list was not even at the battle!