Zulu Dawn

Factual error: Throughout the film the British infantry are armed with carbines. These were intended for issue to cavalry and are much shorter than the infantry issue Martini-Henry rifle.

Factual error: Simon Ward's character, William Vereker dies after crossing the Buffalo river back into Natal. The real William Vereker died in the camp at Isandlwana: unable to find his own horse, he grabbed a stray to make his escape, but when a native told Vereker the horse was his, Vereker gave the man the horse and was killed by the Zulus moments later.

Factual error: Quartermaster Bloomfield was actually a commissioned officer, not a Sergeant-Major, which is a non-commissioned rank.

Factual error: The commanding officer of the Sikhali Horse was Lt. Charles Raw, not Lt. William Vereker. In the film, while Lt. Raw is featured, he's wearing an incorrect Natal Carbineers uniform.

Factual error: In the credits, it lists Hamilton-Browne of the Natal Native Contingent as a Colonel. He was, in reality, a Lieutenant and a battalion commander. His name is also misspelled as "Hamilton-Brown", as opposed to the proper "Hamilton-Browne".

Factual error: Although the film Zulu Dawn had numerous problems with character age, rank, and affiliation, it is my opinion that the worst of these was the character of "Boy" Pullen. In the film, he's portrayed as a young bugle boy who is apprenticed to Quartermaster Bloomfield (in reality, the attached QM of the 2nd/24th). However, in reality, Pullen was the commissioned Quartermaster of the 1st/24th, and he was very close in age to Bloomfield (whose age is correctly portrayed in the film).

Factual error: Of the four significant Irish characters at this battle Coghill who dies defending the flag. Other characters have reference to their Irishness or their accent, but Coghill is played as if he was English by Christopher Cazenove.


Factual error: Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony William Durnford is played by Burt Lancaster with a thick Irish brogue. In fact, it is unlikely that Durnford spoke this way as he was educated in England, lived part of his life in Germany, and served as Royal Engineer in several British colonies.


Other mistake: The scene where the British army is crossing the Buffalo River is in the historic place but they are crossing in the wrong direction.

More mistakes in Zulu Dawn

General Lord Chelmsford: For a savage, as for a child, chastisement is sometimes a kindness.
Sir Henry Bartle Frere: Let us hope, General, that this will be the final solution to the Zulu problem.

More quotes from Zulu Dawn

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