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Isandhlwana (from Fugitives Path), 1879-05-21

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3058A/42

Scope and Contents

208 x 142 mm. A view looking across the battlefield at Isandhlwana towards the rock itself. In the foreground is the south eastern section of the battlefield, littered with the skeletons of men and open and abandoned wagons on the site of Brevet Colonel Anthony William Durnford's last stand. The road leading across the picture leads off to the right towards Ulundi and to the left towards Rorke's Drift. Known as Fugitives Path, it was the route taken by the few NCO's and men of the Natal Native Contingent who managed to escape the slaughter. On the slopes of Isandhlwana itself, men under Colonel Drury-Lowe are searching the battlefield in order to bury the English dead. This took place on 21 May 1879.

Colonel Richard Glyn's column had arrived at Isandhlwana on January 20 and while camp was set up, scouts and patrols were sent out to locate the main Zulu force. This was eventually spotted to the north east on January 22, a force consisting of a dozen regiments or about 20,000 men, and having been seen were committed to an immediate attack. Swarming down from the Nqutha Plateau in the traditional Zulu formation of a main body flanked by encircling 'horns', the impi pinned the British force against the slopes of Isandhlwana. The British defence was initially successful in holding the advance but its lines were spread too thinly and ammunition supplies began to fail. From this point the battle became a slaughter, with Zulus pouring into the broken lines of the British and Dabulamanzi's Undi Corps sweeping round to the south-west to harry any fugitives. By evening all the defenders in the camp were dead. 600 men and officers of the 24th Regiment had died and the final toll of British and Zulu losses was well over 3000. The print is signed 'Lloyd Photo' and stamped 'Lloyd Artist Natal.' [James Lloyd]


  • Creation: 1879-05-21


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From the Fonds:

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Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition, apart from slight yellowing.

Related Materials

For another view looking across the battlefield at Isandhlwana, see Y3058A/43.




Lloyd, James, fl 1879, photographer

Finding aid date

2004-10-06 12:06:27+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom