Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Peterchurch

When Pete first told me about the village Peterchurch, I thought he'd looked at it wrong on a map and was really looking at a church, but I was wrong to doubt him, it turns out there really is a place called Peterchurch.  Obviously we had to go there and see the village that Pete says is actually named after him due to some heroic act (Pete is a great storyteller as all the kids will tell you).  So........


To be honest I think the sign should actually read 64 3/4! 

Peter has always been fascinated by the Battle of Rorkes Drift, he has read so many books about it and I don't know how many times he has watched the film (albeit a very romanticised version of a very bloody battle which ignores the massacre that followed it).  Anyway Private Robert Jones (aged 21) who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroism at Rorkes Drift is buried in the local churchyard.  Robert Jones along with William Jones fought the Zulus off through the windows of the hospital.  They moved six of the seven patients to safety and all survived the battle.  The seventh patient refused to go and when Robert went back for him, he was being stabbed by a Zulu.  150 soldiers fought 3000 to 4000 Zulus that day.  Robert  returned to Peterchurch, married and had 5 children.  Unfortunately nightmares about Rorkes Drift plagued him (today it would be known as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) and he committed suicide aged just 41.  Due to his suicide, his headstone faces the other way to all the other headstones around him, such a shame.


We walked the entire length of the village and were quite surprised at how 'new' most of the houses were.  We chatted to a lady who had lived there all her life and she said that most of the older houses were in the surrounding hills and that the village, as it is now, had grown in more recent years.  Unfortunately we were far too early in the day for Pete to walk into the local pub and announce 'I'M BACK......'!!


6 comments:

A Heron's View said...

Hence the expression then 'For Pete's sake ! ' He is a famous man your partner known worldwide.
By the way what are the two bottles doing on the gravestone, did you leave them there ?

Wendy said...

I am enjoying reading about your travels, Fran. It doesn't look like we'll be having a holiday this year so I shall enjoy following other people's! I'm glad Alfie's having a good time too.

Vallypee said...

What a sad story, Fran. Having lived in the area of Rorkes Drift in South Africa and having visited the site where it was fought, it's a piece of history that resonates strongly with me. The bravery of those soldiers in the face of the Zulus (who were also brave warriors, but of course there were far more of them) makes it the legendary battle that it was. How heartbreaking that Robert's suicide followed. That aside, I love that Pete has his own village.... :)

Fran said...

Mel - I like your explanation of 'for Pete's sake' will use that soon! The bottles were some Welsh ale probably left by some admirers xxx

Wendy - I am glad you are enjoying it, I like reading about other people's travels too xxx

Val - I didn't realise how close you lived to Rorcke's Drift until I looked it up just now. Pete would love to go there, but for now he has to make do with Peterchurch xxx

thrift deluxe said...

What a sad story, I didn't know any of that, thank you.

Fran said...

Thrift deluxe - very sad and even today there are too many suicides among soldiers xxx