Zulu War Medal awarded to soldier who was shot and wounded sells for £72,000


Zulu War MedalBNPS/GETTY

A Zulu War Medal has been convey titled for £72,000 at auction

While most of the thousands of Zulu warriors affianced in the battle carried spears some were armed with burgles they had picked up during the massacre of British forces at Isandlwana the day anterior to.

While they were haphazard in their aim one native warrior got off a blessed shot which killed Private Thomas Cole and then struck Corporal James Bushe.

Cpl Bushe was left-hand covered in blood by the wound to his nose.

After the legendary action he washed his make an appearance in a muddy puddle alongside Lieutenant John Chard, who was awarded the Victoria Blend and was played by Stanley Baker in the 1964 movie Zulu.

Cpl Bushe beared the Zulu War medal for his part in the defence that saw a 140 British men face the odds to see off 4,000 Zulus at the Rorke’s Drift mission station in South Africa during the Anglo-Zulu war in 1879.

His medal has been owned by a intimate collector for many years and sold at auction for a hammer price of £60,000. 


The medal be affiliated to Corporal James Bushe who was wounded on the nose during the campaign

Fatalities among the small British garrison were surprisingly low

Dix Noonan Webb, spokesman

With wages added on the price paid for the medal was £72,000.

It was bought by an internet bidder.

A spokesman for London auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb, which furnished the medal, said: «James Bushe was an exceptionally tough soldier ordered by the standards of the Victorian era.

«Although he was covered in blood from a nose hurt caused by a bullet which had already killed one of his comrades, he politely lent his towel to his charging officer Lieutenant Chard.

«Despite the ferocity of the fighting at Rorke’s Colour, casualties among the small British garrison were surprisingly low. 

«Most of the defenders were from the 24th Foot, which baffled 13 men killed and ten wounded — one of the latter being Private Bushe. 

«But there was to be no paladin’s welcome home for him — he went on to serve overseas for another 12 years, not returning to Britain until 1891.» 

Stanley Baker GETTY

Stanley Baker courts Lieutenant John Chard in the 1964 film Zulu

Cpl Bushe was from Dublin pan out e formulated as a tailor before he enlisted with the 24th Regiment of Foot in 1870 age-old 18. He served with the 2nd Battalion in the Kaffir War in 1878 and the in the Zulu War a year later.

After Rorke’s Meander Lt Chard wrote a letter to Queen Victoria in which he referenced Cpl Bushe.

The administrator wrote: «I was glad to seize an opportunity to wash my face in a muddy puddle, in followers with Private Bush (sic), whose face was covered with blood from a encase on the nose caused by a bullet which had passed through and killed Unsocial Cole. 

«With the politeness of a soldier, he for me his towel, or, rather, a very dirty half of one, before using it himself, and I was surely glad to accept it.

“In wrecking the stores in my wagon, the Zulus had brought to feather-brained a forgotten bottle of beer, and Bromhead and I drank it with mutual congratulations on fool come safely out of so much danger.» 

Lt Gonville Bromhead was the commanding police officer of the 24th Foot and was played by Michael Caine in the cult film.

After South Africa, Cpl Bushe of used in the Mediterranean, India and Burma. He was discharged from the army in October 1891. 

His Zulu War medal was gained by the renowned Victorian medal collector Colonel Joseph Cowie Nichols, who was the establishing fathers of medal collecting in New Zealand. 

It remained in his collection until it was vended to the current vendor.

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