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Maj Gonville Bromhead

Maj Gonville Bromhead

Birth
Versailles, Departement des Yvelines, Île-de-France, France
Death 9 Feb 1891 (aged 45)
Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Burial Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Memorial ID 11679 · View Source
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Anglo-Zulu War Victoria Cross Recipient. He was gazetted for the award on May 2, 1879 for his actions as a lieutenant in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot (2nd Warwickshire Regiment, South Wales Borderers), British Army, on 22/23 January 1879 at the Battle of Rorke's Drift in Natal Province, South Africa, during the Anglo-Zulu War. Born into a notable military family, he was the youngest child Major Sir Edmund de Gonville Bromhead, 3rd Baronet. Following his education at Magnus Grammar School in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England, he obtained an ensign's commission and in April 1867, he joined the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in October 1871. In February 1878 he was sent with his unit to the British Cape Colony (now South Africa) and participated in the Ninth Cape Frontier War against the native Xhosa tribes and be became the battalion commander. At the outbreak of the Anglo-Zulu War, his unit was attached to British General Lord Chelmsford's main column that invaded Zulu territory and he was placed in charge of guarding the mission station at Rorke's Drift, that was being used as a staging post. On 22 January, 1879 his position was attacked by around 4,000 Zulu warriors and after numerous attempts to overrun the post, they retreated. In 1880 he served in Gibraltar and in August of that year he was sent to British India, In March 1881 he returned to England and attended the School of Musketry in Hythe, Kent and returned the India in early 1883 and served at Secunderabad, where he was promoted to the rank of major in April. In October 1886 he was assigned to Burma and saw action in the Third Anglo-Burmese War. In May 1888 he returned to Allahbad, India where he died of enteric (typhoid) fever at the age of 45. In addition to the Victoria Cross, he also received the South African Medal (1880) and the India General Service Medal (with Burma 1887-89 clasp). His Victoria Cross citation reads: "THE Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Officers and Soldiers of Her Majesty's Army, whose claims have been submitted for Her Majesty's approval, for their gallant conduct in the defence of Rorke's Drift, on the occasion of the attack by the Zulus, as recorded against their names, viz.: For their gallant conduct at the defence of Rorke's Drift, on the occasion of the attack by the Zulus on the 22nd and 23rd January, 1879. Royal Engineers Lieutenant (now Captain and Brevet Major) J. R. M. Chard and 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment Lieutenant (now Captain and Brevet Major) G. Bromhead. The Lieutenant-General commanding the troops reports that, had it not been for the fine example and excellent behaviour of these two Officers under the most trying circumstances, the defence of Rorke's Drift post would not have been conducted with that intelligence and tenacity which so essentially characterised it. The Lieutenant-General adds, that its success must, in a great degree, be attributable to the two young Officers who exercised the Chief Command on the occasion in question." His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh in Brecon, Wales, England. He was portrayed by actor Michael Caine in the 1964 film "Zulu."

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 12 Aug 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11679
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Maj Gonville Bromhead (29 Aug 1845–9 Feb 1891), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11679, citing Cantonment Cemetery, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India ; Maintained by Find A Grave .