A South Africa Medal awarded to Charles Robson, one of the main figures in the British defence of Rorke’s Drift during the Zulu War (1879), is to sell at Dix Noonan Webb.
The battle, dramatised in the classic movie Zulu (1964) starring Michael Caine, pitted around 150 British soldiers against 4,000 Zulu warriors armed with spears and shields.
The South Africa medal was awarded to soldiers who served in a series of pitched battles against the Zulu tribes people in South Africa
The British managed to successfully defend their garrison, repelling a ferocious and highly organised assault.
It shows the disparity in technology between colonial powers and local tribespeople, demonstrating how Europeans were able to seize control of vast continents despite often being heavily outnumbered.
The British only lost 17 men during the action, compared with 351 Zulus.
It was celebrated as a shining example of British grit and heroism.
Robson served as a driver in the Royal Engineers and later as assistant to the commanding officer at Rorke’s Drift, Lieutenant John Chard.
He accompanied Chard on a triumphant tour of the UK in 1879, which included an audience with Queen Victoria.
It will cross the block in London on March 2, where it’s estimated to make £30,000-40,000 ($37,308-49,744).
Nimrod Dix, co-director of Dix Noonan Webb, told the Daily Express newspaper: “This is an historic campaign medal commemorating an epic defence which is still a byword for courage almost a century and a half later.
“Chard and Robson were hailed as heroes when they returned to Britain and were greeted by huge crowds when they went on an unofficial tour of the country.”
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