Newsletter – September 2012

September 4th, 2012 by JCope

After the summer break, Max Keen got the autumn season off to a flying start with his presentation on the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.  It was obvious we were in for something special from the start when, to the sound of Zulu warriors, Max appeared in pith helmet and British Army red jacket.  This set the scene as we heard about the background to the war and the numbers involved.  In the nineteenth century scramble for Africa, the British were looking for an excuse to wage war and this was declared in January 1879.  Max showed us the uniforms and weaponry of the protagonists before telling the story of the British defeat at Isandlwana, where many soldiers from Birmingham, Warwick and Gloucester lost their lives (and one from Kingswinford survived).  We moved on to the battle at nearby Rorke’s Drift, famous from the 1964 film, ‘Zulu’ and heard a very different story of a British victory against overwhelming odds.  All this was made real by views of the actual locations visited by our speaker, interspersed by stills from the film and pictures from the film setting.  Max’s infectious enthusiasm made for an absolutely fascinating evening.

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