Looking for something to do near Brecon? Come and find out about the Battle of Rorke’s Drift at The Regimental Museum of Wales.
Brecon celebrates the famous Battle of Rorke’s Drift at this time of the year. On the 17th February you can enjoy the 21st Annual Rorke’s Drift concert at Theatr Brycheiniog. The town holds this historical connection with great pride as the place where the whole story began. This month we also celebrate the 54th anniversary of the iconic film Zulu which premiered on the 22nd January 1964 and remains a timeless classic to this day. The masterpiece is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest British films of all time and has a huge connection with Wales and with Brecon in particular. The plot follows the experiences of the 24th Regiment, who were in fact originally from Brecon, and their involvement in Rorke's Drift in the 1879 Zulu war.
The town's Regimental War Museum is the best place to start for those interested in the history with several priceless artefacts, unique military pieces and even the original flag from the battle itself. The focal point of the museum is the Zulu War Room. The exploits of the 24th Regiment during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War are legendary. Queen Victoria referred to her regiment as “The Noble 24 th”.
The defence of the mission station of Rorke's Drift started on 22 January 1879, and continued into the following day. Just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the garrison against an intense assault by 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors . The massive but scattered Zulu attacks on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the much smaller garrison, but were ultimately repelled.
Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders,seven of them to soldiers of the 2 nd/24th Foot – the most ever received for a single action by one regiment. There were also a number of other decorations and honours awarded.