Skip to content

On the afternoon of January 22, 1879, 140 men, mostly of the 24th Foot, prepared to meet the impending attack of 4000 Zulu warriors, at the Rorke’s Drift mission station.

The mission had been originally established in 1850 by a trader named Jim Rorke. This had been taken over in the 1870’s by a Swedish missionary named Witt. The home and storehouse Rorke had constructed of stone and mud brick walls which reflected the red of the local materials. The missionaries turned the storehouse into a church, the troops back to a storehouse, and in Witt’s house the troops established a field hospital.

As the hospital contained about 35 patients, it required protection. Employing an ample supply of mealie bags, a defensive barricade was assembled around the front of the hospital to across the front of the hospital to across the front of the storehouse, and another built connecting the back wall of the hospital to the front of the western wall of the storehouse.

At 4.30 p.m. with attack imminent it was realised that the perimeter may be difficult to hold, and a hasty barricade of large army biscuit boxes was constructed out from the storehouse west wall to the frontal defense of mealie bags.

The attack came, and repeated thrusts against the hospital were repulsed, but with the thatch roof ablaze a withdrawal to the storehouse was ordered, and from there a hectic defence was maintained throughout the night until 4 a.m., when all went quiet. The Zulu horde had been defeated.

In the preparation of this replica building, correct research was of prime importance, though for ease of display in collections it was necessary to greatly reduce the overall scale. We do trust this building combined with our ‘Brave Defenders of Rorke’s Drift’ collector’s figures will provide endless pleasure.

42 The Storehouse of Rorke's Drift
42 The Storehouse of Rorke's Drift Sale price$0.00 NZD