Rare 1879 war photos in album for auction in UK

2008-11-17 00:00

AN album containing historic photographs, some from the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, is to be auctioned in Britain on Thursday.

While most of the photographs are familiar to students of the war, there are some images that have not previously been seen, including that of a naval Gatling gun and its crew. This weapon, the world’s first machine-gun, was used in action for the first time by the British during the Anglo-Zulu War.

The album belonged to Sir Henry Frederick Norbury (1839-1925), a prominent naval surgeon, who served in the Anglo-Zulu War and later became honorary surgeon to Edward VII and George V.

Norbury sailed on HMS Active to southern Africa and was mentioned in dispatches after the battle of Nyezane on January 22, 1879. It was during this battle that the Gatling gun was first used.

The album also includes photographs of King Cetshwayo KaMpande and his brother, Dabulamanzi, who led the attack on Rorke’s Drift.

The album is being sold by George Kidner Auctions in Lymington, Hampshire, on November 20. To view the photographs check the website www.georgekidner.co.uk.

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