A Blue Plaque for James Egan

Written by on 2nd February 2024

A Blue Plaque has been dedicated to James Egan, one of the survivors of the famous Battle of Rorke’s Drift.

The Battle of Rorke’s Drift was a pivotal moment in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 and has become a legendary tale.  Just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the station of Rorke’s Drift against attacks by 4,000 Zulu warriors.  The battle was of course memorialised forever in the 1964 film Zulu starring Welsh actor Sir Stanley Baker.

17 British soldiers were killed during the battle but Private James Egan survived and returned to Wales where he lived until 1916.  He was buried in Glyntaff Cemetery and is survived by his great-granddaughter Maria Kerr who was instrumental in discovering her great grandfather’s heroics and proudly unveiled the Blue Plaque at the family home in Meadow Street, Treforest.

Also in attendance were Sir Stanley Baker’s son, Glyn, members of the Zulu Society and Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Deputy Mayor Councillor Dan Owen-Jones who said:

It was a true to honour to be present at the unveiling of James Egan’s Blue Plaque.  He was a true Welsh hero and lived an extra-ordinary life.  His endeavours at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift are indeed what legends are made of – a truly worthy recipient of a blue plaque.

If you would like to find out more about the Blue Plaque scheme and how to nominate a potential recipient, please contact heritageservice@rctcbc.gov.uk

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