History talk will recount tales of bravery by Black Country VC winners

History talk will recount tales of bravery by Black Country VC winners

Colour Sgt Anthony Booth VC

Private Samuel Wassell VC

First published in News

THE heroic tales of two Victoria Cross winners from the Black Country who fought in the Zulu War will be told at the next meeting of a Worcestershire based history group.

Stourbridge-born historian Max Keen will present the talk to Chaddesely Corbett Local History Society at Chaddesley Corbett Village Hall next month.

It will focus on the brave soldiers of the 24th Regiment - Colour Sgt Anthony Booth and Private Samuel Wassell who both were awarded the Victoria Cross, the UK’s highest honour for gallantry, for their courage in the 1879 Zulu War.

Colour Sgt Booth VC from Brierley Hill, who is buried in the churchyard of the town's St Michael's Church, won his at the battle of Intombi River in North Zululand, where he held off 400 Zulu with a handful of men as they retreated for five miles to safety.

Private Wassell, who was born in Kingswinford and signed up with the British Army in Dudley, won his at the battle of Isandhlwana - the infamous massacre of more than 1,200 men on the slopes of the mountain at Isandhlwana.

Although a member of the South Staffordshire Regiment, he was attached to the mounted infantry – and escaped the slaughter as he was on horseback, only to struggle across the swollen Buffalo River a few miles away still hotly pursued by Zulu.

He made his way to the other side with his horse then noticed a colleague struggling in the river - so without a thought for himself he plunged back into the river, rescued him and made his way to safety.

History fans can hear the full story at the meeting which will take place on Wednesday February 19, starting at 7.30pm.

Admission is £2.50 for members and £3.50 for non-members.

To find out more call Rob Blakeway on 01562 777679 or visit website www.chaddesley-corbett.co.uk/history.htm

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