Yogi the Great
On the afternoon of 22 January 1879, two survivors from Isandlwana – Lieutenant Adendorff of the 1st/3rd NNC along with a trooper from the Natal Carbineers – arrived at Rorke's Drift bearing news of the shocking defeat and destruction of the British Army at Isandlwana. They carried with them one other bit of information of importance to the garrison at Rorke's Drift. A part of the Zulu impi, some 3000 to 4000 strong, was now headed directly their way.
Upon hearing the news, Chard, Bromhead, and Acting Assistant Commissary James Dalton had to make a quick decision. Attempt a retreat to Helpmekaar or defend their tenuous position at the Drift. Dalton pointed out that a small column, traveling in open terrain, burdened with carts full of wounded and ailing, would be easily overtaken and defeated by the numerically superior Zulu force.
The only acceptable course was to stand their ground and fight. Under the command of Lieutenant John Chard of the Royal Engineers, the Battle of Rorke's Drift immediately followed the British Army's staggering defeat at the hands of the Zulu at Isandlwana earlier in the day. The defense of Rorke's Drift stands out as one of the most courageous actions in military history. With eleven Victoria Crosses awarded, its legend remains part of British military heritage to this day.