Remembrance day reunion for family of Rorke’s Drift soldier

MemorialThe unmarked grave of a Nottinghamshire war hero who died 90 years ago has finally been honoured in Carlton Cemetery.

Private John Manley fought against the Zulu warriors at the battle of Rorke’s Drift but for 90 years since his death his bravery has not been honoured with a memorial.

That is until now as Jan Jarvis flew over from Ireland to get together with relatives for an emotional reunion at the site of his memorial.

And Jan’s story is even more remarkable as she had never heard of John until a trip to the cinema with her mother added to the family tree.

“I didn’t know he existed until my mum told me when we had gone to see a film about soldiers fighting Zulu warriors,” she said.

“Right at the end of the film my mum said that my great-granddad was on of the survivors from that conflict.”

The family all reunited at the site that was made possible by historian Tony Higton who led the campaign for John to be recognised.

“There was nothing here to start with, just grass which you could have walked over and not realised the plot was here,” he said.

“We went through a lot of work with the council making sure we had the right spot for the memorial to be placed in.

“John and his other soldiers were extremely brave facing off against 400 Zulu warriors and they deserve a memorial to honour their lives.”

And Jan believes the memorial will bring her and relatives back to her old home more often.

“I am sure now that we will come visit John Manley and enjoy the fact that his efforts have been recognised,” she said.

“His memory will always be preserved.”

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