ZULU WAR VCs: VICTORIA CROSSES OF THE ANGLO- ZULU WAR 1879, by James W. Bancroft. Published by Pen and Sword Books (www.pen-and-sword.co.uk). £25. Hardback.

IN a war only six months long 23 men were awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry under most trying and dangerous circumstances, including 11 gained in the famous defence of Rorke’s Drift. The book contains detailed biographies of every one of the 23 VC winners including Northumbrian corporal William Wilson Allan, who was born at Kyloe and received his medal from Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle.