Henry Germain Mainwaring was a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot. He sailed for South Africa on 2 February 1878 and was there until 20 December 1879.
|H. G. Mainwaring of the 2/24 Regiment. Photograph from the "Ron Sheeley Collection"|
On 22 January, Lord Chelmsford, British Commander-in-Chief, took the second battalion of the 24th, with the artillery and some of the Natal Native Contingent away from the camp to seek battle with the Zulus, who had been reported to be south-east of the camp. 1,800 British and Colonial troops were left in the camp including 585 men of the 24th Regiment, the only British regular infantry regiment among them. While Chelmsford was absent, the camp was attacked from the north-east by a force of Zulu warriors, said to number 20,000. Of the 1,800 British forces, about 300 survived. These had fled south-west across the Buffalo River; of the 585 men of the 24th only ten survived.
We arrived in camp about nine o’clock at night, and all the tents were burned to the ground, and where we had to sleep was a very uncomfortable place among the dead bodies all night… from http://www.1879zuluwar.com/t2449-various-eye-witness-accountsHenry Germain Mainwaring was among those with Chelmsford. He was a Lieutenant in F company of the 2nd Battalion of the 24th Regiment.
The mission station at Rorke's Drift was attacked by several thousand Zulu warriors on the afternoon of 22 January and the battle continued overnight. 140 British and colonial troops, including 36 men in the hospital, defended the garrison. Chelmsford's troops arrived at 8am on the morning of the 23rd. Seventeen British soldiers had been killed, ten wounded, and 450 Zulus had been killed.
|The defence of Rorke's Drift 1879 Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville via Wikimedia Commons|
The remainder of the 24th cleaned up after the battle and buried the dead. Mainwaring made a map of the battlefield showing the graves of those who were killed and were buried.
Mainwaring received a medal and clasp for the South African Campaign of 1877, 1878, and 1879. He was promoted to Captain in 1880. In the First World War he served as a Brigadier General.
|Location of the Zulu Kingdom, Southern Africa, ca. 1890 by Seb az86556 [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
|1879 map of Zululand with Rorke's Drift and Isandhlwana highlighted by red arrows|
- UK National Archives WO76/233 South Wales Borderers (2nd Batn). Descriptions relating to individuals have been created using information from a nominal card index relating to Army Officers' service compiled in the 1980s.
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