Thought some of you might be interested to see these - pix from my visit to the Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift battle sites late last month.
Been to both sites a number of times over the years, and they just dont lose any impact...
Everywhere you look, across the eastern front of Isandlwana field, the cairns mark the course of the battle - and plot the course the fleeing invaders took down to the Mzinyathi river.
For those who dont know, the white cairns mark where the remains of British men and their local allies were buried. The British only managed to return to bury their dead in June/July of 1879, six months after the battle, and the remains were collected together and marked with stones. Most were never identified.
Many of the Zulu dead were also left where they fell, simply covered with their shields, or were buried together in shallow graves north of the battlefield on the Nyoni heights.
As a result, very few of the dead at Isandlwana were afforded formal graves.
I figure that hill can stand as their collective headstone.
The Rorkes Drift site is striking for a different reason - how small and compact an area over which the battle was fought.
The current buildings on the site were built by the Reverend Witt over the foundations of those famous in the battle, and the position of the barricades and outbuildings have been marked with lines of stones set into the ground.
Last edited by Sirius on Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.” - Kenyatta