Sergeant Frederick Milne (Rorkes Drift)

Sergeant Milne was the only man of the Buffs at Rorke's Drift during its famous defence against the Zulu horde. It is not known why he was posted there when the 2nd Battalion was part of the Colonel Pearson's no.1 Column at Lower Drift near the coast. He had been detailed to assist in the repair of the ponts on the river. Lieut Chard RA along with a civilian by the name of Daniells and a sapper were also working there while B Company of 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment were stationed in the stores and hospital buildings. When, on 22nd Jan 1879, news of the approach of the Zulus reached them they all joined B Company and took part in the defence of the buildings. Perhaps Milne had been chosen because he had experience of ferry work. The photo was taken on his wedding day in the 1880s.

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by Stephen Luscombe