A mounted Woodburrytype photograph taken from the Men of Mark series of John Rouse Merriott Chard V.C. of the Royal Engineers. During the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, Chard found himself in command of the small British garrison at the mission station of Rorke's Drift, Natal Colony. Chard, ably assisted by Lt, Gonville Bromhead of the 24th Foot and Commissary James Langley Dalton, led its defense from 22 to 23 January 1879 in the aftermath of the British disaster at Isandlwana. The garrison of about 140 men - primarily of the 24th Foot - withstood repeated and determined assaults by some 4000 Zulu warriors. He is pictured wearing his Victoria Cross but when this photograph was taken he had yet to receive his 1877-79 South Africa Medal.
The autograph was cut from a letter by Chard sometime in the late 19th Century. While the practice of removing a signature from the context of the original letter would be considered unacceptable by modern collecting standards it was common practice in the past. Chard signed "John R. M. Chard Capt & Bt Major R.E.". This places the date of the signature sometime between 23rd January 1879 when he was promoted Captain & Brvt. Major and 17 July 1886 when he was promoted to full Major.
8 inches by 10 1/2 Inches (20 cm x 27 cm)
From The Men of Mark Series
Lock & Whitfield - Photographer
Crown Buildings 188 Fleet Street, London, England
Signature cut from a letter
3 1/2 Inches by 3/4 Inches (9 cm x 2 cm)
c. 1879 - 1886