Samuel Wassall

80th Regiment

22nd January 1879
Samuel Wassall VC

Private Samuel Wassell 80th Regiment

(Zulu War 1879)

WITH the exception of Lieutenants Melvin and Coghill and Private Griffiths (who was killed), this is the only man on the Victoria Cross list who was present at the terrible disaster of Isandlwana, January 22, 1879. When the camp was sacked and nearly every man massacred, there were a few fugitives who succeeded in reaching the Buffalo River, six miles away. Wassall had just commenced to ford the river when he saw one of his comrades, Private Westwood, being carried down the stream, almost certain to be drowned. Though the Zulus were close behind him, without hesitation he sprang from his horse, which he tied up to the Zulu bank of the river, swam out to the man's assistance and brought him back to the shore. Then, again mounting his horse, he urged the animal across the river, dragging the exhausted man by the hand, and succeeded in getting him safely to the opposite side, in spite of a brisk fire kept up on him by the enemy, who had by then arrived at the river.



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