Memorial To Captain Alan Gardner, Survivor of the Anglo-Zulu War 1879

Battle at Rorke' DriftMany of you will, I am sure have seen the film “Zulu”, starring Michael Caine and Stanley Baker. On the 22nd January 2017, the anniversary date of the Battle of Islandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, St Mary’s Church hosted a memorial service and presentation for Captain Alan Gardner.

Captain Gardner was one of only 5 out of 67 officers to survive the 1879 Anglo-Zulu war in South Africa. He served with the 14th Hussars. The memorial service followed the original funeral for Captain Gardner, who went on to become a member of Parliament and died in 1907, with the same hymns and readings.

We are grateful to Kate, a local historian, who found Captain Gardner’s grave in our churchyard as part of her research, and has paid for the restoration of the gravestone at her own expense!

Kate is very knowledgeable on the period of history and her passion for the topic was clear. She gave an excellent slideshow presentation, telling the story of Captain Gardner’s early life and the part he played in the Anglo-Zulu war. She used original historical artefacts, which included a Zulu shield, an ‘ikwala’ (stabbing spear) and a ‘iwisa’, (a cudgel fashioned from dense hardwood). British Army weapons included a Martini-Henry rifle, bayonet, spent bullets and even a used rocket casing! The red British Army tunic and uniform was also on display. Keith Ayres provided a sound track of Zulu chanting, which added to the atmosphere.

It was a very moving, informative and interesting afternoon. Special thanks to Kate for donating all the takings on the day to the church. Thanks to all for helping make this a successful event.

Lynda Dale
Vice Chair, Friends of St Mary’s Church.

Captain Alan Gardner

Captain Alan Gardner

Original headstone

Original headstone

Restored headstone

Restored headstone

Some of the weapons

Some of the weapons

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Memorial Service for Captain Alan Gardner, 22nd January 2017

Battle at Rorke' DriftCaptain Alan Gardner of the 14th Hussars was one of only 5 officers to survive the battle of Isanlwana, South Africa, 1879 and fought at Rourke’ Drift, made famous in the film Zulu. He is buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Stansted.

There will be a remembrance service for Alan and a presentation about the Anglo-Zulu war, using historical artefacts at St Mary’s Church on Sunday 22nd January 2017 at 3.30pm. Ticket prices (available at the door) of £4, with all proceeds going towards the upkeep of St Mary’s Church. Refreshments are available. All are welcome.

 

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What’s On October – December 2016

10th/11th December 2016: Festival of Angels and Christmas Trees

Our Angels and Christmas Tree Festival will take place this year on the 10th and 11th December 2016. Open from 10.00 till 5.00 each day. Carols for all at 3.30 on Saturday 10th. Mulled wine,mince pies, tea and coffee too. Please do come along to see our beautiful church all decorated and twinkling……you will all be very welcome.

Some photo’s from previous years:

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