Victoria Crosses of the Zulu and Boer War. Kevin Brazier.

ARRSE Rating
4.00 star(s)
As a reviewer for ARRSE I’d be very surprised indeed if anyone reading this has not seen the film Zulu. If you have not then get out…….! As a small boy this created for me an intense interest in the Anglo Zulu war. The names are almost household names Hook, Hitch, Chard, Bromhead….

However speaking for myself the Boer War is perhaps a bit more of a closed book. Beyond a vague knowledge of the advances in tactics forced on the British Army by the wily Boer and a short account of Spion Kop and the relief of Ladysmith I’m done.

The closing narrative of Zulu lists the awards made to those who fought at Rorke's Drift no fewer than eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded for the heroic twelve hour defence of the hastily fortified mission station. A remarkable action viewed in isolation, but perhaps viewed against the disaster at iSandlwana it is not hard to see why it was seized upon by the nation at the time. The three VCs awarded at the earlier action have perhaps passed into obscurity.

Kevin Brazier is an author with a deep and extensive interests of medals and decorations particularly those of the British forces. His previous works obviously reflect that, with his latest work he has produced a companion to his volume The Complete Victoria Cross. The book lists in chronological order the VCs awarded to British servicemen in their service in Southern Africa.

I very much appreciated the thought and attention to detail that has gone into the work. Yes, it is in essence a list of awards, but in doing so Brazier has done so in a way that leads you through the campaigns and battles that gives you a far more complete view that isolated acts of gallantry. An excellent read.
 

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