Col Alan Gardner (General)

by Gardner1879, Saturday, November 21, 2020, 13:55 (1242 days ago)

Hello all

I am a historian of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, and have a deep seated interest in a Forest of Dean resident of Clearwell castle, a Col. Alan Gardner. He was also the MP for Ross in South Herefordshire from 1906-1907.

His claim to fame and the reason he interets me so much is that as only one of 5 Imperial officers to survive the disasterous battle of Isandlwana on the morning of the 22nd January 1879, he was the officer responsible for sending the message to Rorke's Drift warning them of the impending attack.
His message would give the the small garrison time to prepare their defences and lead to one of the most famous engagements in Britsh military history.
There is an interesting Zulu war link with Clearwell in that after Alan died the Vereker family bought it. There was a member of the Vereker family killed at Isandlwana, the same battle Alan escaped from.

Alan is buried near my home address and I had his headstone restored in 2017.

I have recently written his biography entitled "Rifle and Spear with the Zulu. The life of Lt.Col Alan Colstoun Gardner. Soldier, Hunter and Politician" and although the book is finished I am still fascinated by Alan and his family and continue to collect information about them.
His wife was an amazing woman in her own right and was a famous Victorian big game hunter.
During his political campaigning he became heavily ingrained in the local community and supported many of the different societies as well as the Coleford Volunteers.
Hopefully I can help those on this forum with any information about him and I would be grateful of any local information that members of this forum have may have.
He was a very shy individual and photographs of him are a rarity so I would love to see any that are out there.
Thank you
Kate

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