Day Tour to Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift

A few days ago I was booked for a day tour to Isandwlana and Rorkes Drift. Lately we’ve had some extraordinarily warn weather, the temperature at Isandlwana reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 F). And although this is hotter than usual, the British would have had a similar heat during the Anglo Zulu war campaign!

The site of Durnford's Last Stand with Isandlwana in the background

The site of Durnford’s Last Stand with Isandlwana in the background

(more…)

Captain Allen Francis Gardiner… pt4

Capt. Allen Francis Gardiner

Capt. Allen Francis Gardiner

Not much more is heard from Gardiner during the rest of his stay in Port Natal. Not long after his self-imposed exile into the bush, Dingane attacked a Boer deportation causing an uproar in Durban which in turn lead to a panicked evacuation onto a coasting vessel (the Comet) in the bay, which included Gardiner. Gardiner was never to return to Durban after the vessel sailed away on 11th May 1838, most hands were against him and the Zulu’s had destroyed his mission stations in Berea and Tongaat.

(more…)

Captain Allen Francis Gardiner… pt3

Gardiner who originally arrived in South Africa and Durban specifically to spread the word of God, was not quite finished with his stint with the politics of the time. He promptly left the township of Durban for the Cape in order to ask Sir Benjamin D’Urban to take the area over as a colony and to appoint proper officials. After a false start which saw Gardiner having to return to Durban in order to avoid a native war, he was able to meet up with the Cape Colony Governor in Port Elizabeth on the 3rd December 1835.

(more…)

Captain Allen Francis Gardiner… pt2

Durban from the Berea

View of Durban from the Berea.

 

Gardiner’s life at this point seemed to be progressing along at a pace he could only be satisfied with. He had a mission that was going strong, and had made numerous inroads with the local natives and Europeans at the settlement. There was one aspect though, that still needed to be tackled, and that was the safety of the settlement.

(more…)

Captain Allen Francis Gardiner… pt1

Gardiner Church Collage

Gardiner Church Collage

At the top of Berea Road on the corner of Julia Road, not far from McCords Hospital, is a little cemetery and church that if you were to blink whilst driving past, you’d miss it entirely! Within the graveyard lies the remains of Julia, the 12 year child of Captain Gardiner. It’s here that the first mission in Durban was established, and here where the name “Berea” originated. Capt. Gardiner was a fascinating man, a man of contradictions who’s death was not only immensely sad but equally bizarre, and who’s time in Natal seems to have been conveniently forgotten in historical accounts of him. (more…)