Private George Edwards

Edwards changed his name when he joined the 24th in November 1876. He was born George Edward Orchard, on 5th Aug 1855 in Bristol. At Rorke's Drift he was part of B Company, 2nd Battalion. During the battle he claimed to have shot a Zulu commander who was mounted on a horse. This claim was also made by Lieutenant Chard on behalf of Private Dunbar. It is possible that they both aimed at the Zulu and fired at the same time. But it does indicate that the garrison was not under constant assault during the daylight hours. There was enough of a lull in the fighting for two soldiers to take aim at a mounted Zulu in the rear of the attackers, rather than concentrate on the nearest warriors attempting to storm the barricade.

Edwards was discharged in 1889, and went to live in Paulton, Somerset, working in a boot factory. He married Elizabeth Swift and had 11 children. He died on 14th Feb 1940, aged 84, and was buried with military honours at Paulton Parish Cemetery.

Regimental details | Soldiers at Rorke's Drift


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by Stephen Luscombe