Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1891, Major Gonville Bromhead, 24th Regiment of Foot, died while in service at Camp Dabhaura, Allahabad, India.
Major Bromhead is well-known to many people for being portrayed by Michael Caine in the 1964 film “Zulu”. Born in Versailles, France, he came from a distinguished military family: his great-grandfather fought under Major General James Wolfe at Quebec; his grandfather fought in the American Revolutionary War, and his father Major Sir Edmund de Gonville Bromhead, fought at Waterloo. In April of 1867 Major Bromhead was commissioned as an ensign in the 24th Regiment of Foot, which would later be known as the South Wales Borderers. At Rorke’s Drift Mission, in January of 1879 word arrived that there had been a Zulu victory at the Battle of Isandhlwana and that they were heading for the station. His was one of eleven Victoria Crosses awarded for the action which took place at Rorke’s Drift - and Major Bromhead and Lieutenant John Rouse Marriott Chard were recognized for their intelligence and tenacity in the defence of the station.
Major Bromhead was also presented with a Sword of Honour from the city of Lincoln. He went on to serve in India and the Burma campaigns. He died of typhoid fever while in service at Camp Dabhaura, in Allahabad, India, and lies buried in the New Cantonment Cemetery in Allahabad. He is honoured with a plaque and his name on the colour pole of the 24th Regiment of Foot in Brecon Cathedral.
Gonville, from Thurlby in Lincolnshire, was 45 years old.