Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded for this famous conflict but, like many of the ranks, 295 David Jenkins, 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment. received only a standard Zulu Wars medal. His name was omitted from the official roll of honour and he remained unrecognized even by his own regimental museum as a defender of Rorke's Drift possibly because he had been a member of a different division of the Regiment to the other soldiers at the mission.
Although he was introduced to King Edward VII on his royal visit to Swansea in 1904 and despite overwhelming evidence of his presence at Rorke's Drift , he became the forgotten man, forgotten by history and historians.
It was only when one of David Jenkin's descendants discovered a Bible which had been awarded only to those who had survived that bloody day that conclusive proof of his claim to be a Rorke's Drift Hero was accepted. David Jenkins died in 1912 and is buried in Cwmgelli Cemetery, Treboeth.
It was reported that Sergt. Wilson, Ptes. Payton, Desmond, 295 Jenkins and Roy, had been sent to the rear with prisoners, according to the letter written by Col. Sergt. Wm. Edwards (kia Isandhlwana).
It was most likely David Jenkins, was the soldier who was reported to have saved Chard, by shouting for him to duck his head down, at a key moment in the battle, when the person behind Chard was hit by a sniper bullet.
He was later to be one of a handful of soldiers in 1879 to be asked to act as models for Lady Butler's famous painting "The Defence of Rorke's Drift." Her depiction of the battle, a favorite of Queen Victoria's, now hangs in St. James' Palace in London.
Acting Commissariat James Dalton came up with a brilliant plan to form a defensive arrangement. He intended to connect the hospital, store room and the cattle kraal with stacks of mealie bags and wagons. The injured men in the hospital could not be moved so volunteers were needed to protect them. The men who were to go down in history were Corporal William Allen, Privates Thomas Cole, John Dunbar, Fredrick Hitch, William Horrigan, John Williams, Joseph Williams, Henry Hook, Robert Jones and William Jones. These men were each given a sack of ammunition and barricaded into the cubby holes in the hospital. They were, as Henry Hook famously said, 'pinned there like rats in a hole'.
At the time of the battle, there were a total of 139 men although 35 were officially sick and a couple of others were non-fighting men.
841 Private James Jenkins was one of the men officially reported sick, and during the evacuation of the hospital was killed.
Contemporary accounts by Gunner Evans, Surgeon Reynolds and the Rev. Smith - offer evidence that 841 Jenkins was killed in, or possibly in the immediate vicinity of the hospital. Gunner Evans implies that he had been in the same room as Pte Adams and Jenkins - and it could be read that he left them there when he escaped - this would tie in with Reynolds' comments that several men refused to leave and only three, Jenkins included, were actually killed in the hospital.
Rev. Smith's accounts goes into further detail and states that Jenkins was dragged away whilst venturing through one of the holes cut in the internal walls.
These two figures are designed to supplement existing collections, and will not be part of a new series.
The Membership also includes the following;
- THE 2011 COLLECTORS CLUB ANNUAL.
- THE 2012 CALENDAR