Lieutenant John Alexander of Milford Co Carlow, Ireland was an officer in the 1st Dragoon Guards during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. The Anglo-Zulu War between Britain and the Zulu Kingdom of South Africa took place between January and June of 1879. The Zulu King Cetshwayo, initially led his army to several successes and repulsed the invading British. However on July 4th 1879 Cetshwayo’s forces were decisively defeated at the Battle of Ulundi and the King became a fugitive. The war brought an end to the independence of the Zulu nation.
John Alexander was a member of the Alexander family which established Milford Mills in 1790. The mills are located at Ballygowan on the banks of the River Barrow about 8km south of Carlow town. In 1840 the mills were described as ‘one of the most extensive and celebrated in Ireland’. The mills were used to supply electricity to Carlow town in 1891. Today Milford Mills continues to supply electricity to the national grid.
Following the defeat of the Zulus Lieutenant John Alexander led the search for King Cetshwayo. The King was captured in august 1879 and sent to Capetown. In 1882 he travelled to London where he successfully negotiated the restoration of the Zulu monarchy. However a civil war followed in which the supporters of King Cetshwayo were defeated at what became known as the second Battle of Ulundi on July 21st 1883. King Cetshwayo died in February 1884.
Lieutenant John Alexander of Milford Co Carlow captured King Cetshwayo of the Zulus in the year 1879 On This Day.
CETSHWAYO c1832-1884 King of the Zulus stayed here in 1882 by Spudgun67 on 2015-05-02 14:48:15.
Plaque on house at 18 Melbury Road Holland Park London W14 8LT by Spudgun67
Plaque on Milford Mills, erected by The Old Carlow Society