This had the consequence of slowing the British advance to a crawl. Melville and Coghill probably died at around 3.
Nor was there any count by the Zulu. Both were posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for their actions and their heroic tale reached mythic proportions back home, resulting in it being relayed in various paintings and artwork.
Cetshwayo himself was captured in Augustand the Zulu nation was at the mercy of the British government, which had not yet considered how to incorporate Zululand into its Southern Africa holdings.
The presence of large numbers of bodies grouped together suggests the resistance was more protracted than originally thought, and a number of desperate last stands were made. The inDuna Dabulamanzi kaMpandehalf brother of Cetshwayo, would command the Undi Corps after kaMapitha, the regular inkhosi, or commander, was wounded.
The Zulus were forced to act by the sudden appearance of the mounted volunteers and advanced in some confusion, shaking out as best they could into the traditional form of assault: the left horn, the central chest of the attack and the right horn.
On 22 January a British force stationed next to a hill called Isandlwana found themselves opposed by some 20, Zulu warriors, well-versed in the art of war and under orders to show no mercy.
The country was hilly scrubland, without roads and progress was painfully slow. The captured Natal Native Contingent soldiers were regarded as traitors by the Zulu and executed.
They were preceded by a screening force of mounted scouts supported by parties of warriors strong tasked with preventing the main columns from being sighted. The first indication in the British camp that there was likely to be a Zulu threat, came when parties of Zulus were seen on the hills to the north-east and then to the east.