Lieutenant Charles Pope

Lieutenant Charles d'Aguilar Pope was the most senior officer of the 2nd Battalion 24th present at Isandhlwana on 22nd Jan 1879. He had joined the 24th as an ensign on 8th Jan 1868, and held the rank of lieutenant from 4th Feb 1871. He had served in the 9th Cape Frontier War of 1878. He commanded G Company which was the only company of the 2nd Battalion at the battle and was placed by Pulleine a mile west of the camp near the Big Donga. They had to pull back to the right of the line but at a critical stage in the battle he switched his company to a new position when he saw that Durnford's Native Cavalry was in trouble. G Coy was now well south of their position leaving a gap and exposing the right flank to the encircling horn of the Zulu impi. Pulleine had to order his men to retire which encouraged the Zulus to rush forward. It would be easy to blame Pope for the error but equally the finger could be pointed at the quartermaster who refused to hand over ammunition to Durnford's men, thus causing them to vacate their important position on the Big Donga.

Regimental details | Soldiers at Isandhlwana


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by Stephen Luscombe