Monday, 25 April 2011
I'm depressed dispirited and disappointed, my fave welsh film of all time has been disputed as inaccurate. Bit Freudian there with so many small d's but...in mitigation one fact may interest us.
Gonville Bromhead (Played by Michael Caine in the Film), was partially deaf, a disability not mentioned in the film. All the characters in the film pronounce Bromhead's name as it is spelt. In reality it was pronounced 'Brumhead'. He was also significantly older than portrayed and like many Victorian gentlemen of the period sported substantial facial hair.
A typical Welsh iconic historical moment ? erm... maybe, like the Welsh flag at the Alamo I suppose.... but hey we signed their Independence Declaration.
The 24th Regiment of Foot is described as a Welsh regiment: in fact, although based in Brecon in south Wales, its designation was the 24th (The 2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot. It did not become the South Wales Borderers until 1881.
Of the soldiers present, 49 were English, 32 Welsh, 16 Irish and 22 others of indeterminate nationality.
The song "Men of Harlech" features prominently as the regimental song; it did not become so until later. At the time of the battle, the regimental song was "The Warwickshire Lad".
There was no "battlefield singing contest" between the British and the Zulus. (Albeit it gave Ifor Emmanuel a spot).
The British infantrymen of the Anglo-Zulu War did not wear sparkling white pith helmets. They were stained a tan colour (with tea or coffee) without helmet plates.
Let us hope the English got the words right at least.... I'm still wondering if a friend I had in Merthyr Tydfil was right, in that he insisted a long lost ancestor was Davy Crocket... Even How Green was my Valley was made in the USA...