David Niven – WW2 Military Service (& his link to the Zulu War)

David Niven

This is the story of debonair, quintessentially British film star, David Niven and his military service in World War 2.

A link to my video about the Battle of Isandlwana (where David Niven’s grandfather was killed):

I thoroughly recommend “The Moon’s A Balloon”, David Niven’s autobiography

Or if you’d like to know more about the Zulu War then why not read Ian Knight’s “Zulu Rising”

I’m an Amazon Affiliate and will earn commission if you purchase a book using the link above.

David Niven began his film career during Hollywood’s “golden age”, under producer Samuel Goldwyn and starring alongside some of the greats like Errol Flynn and Ginger Rogers.
He was also an Academy Award and Golden Globe recipient,
But, did you know that he was also the recipient of the US Legion of Honour?
Or that he served in the British commandos during the Second World War?
Or that he came under fire in Normandy, was caught up in the Battle of the Bulge, and narrowly missed capture in Belgium?

But what even fewer people know is that David Niven has a link to the Zulu War.
And not just the war, but the British defeat at the battler of Isandlwana.

His wartime service and that little-known link to the Zulu War is the subject of this episode.

0:00 Intro
0:51 Early Life
1:47 Highland Light Infantry
3:36 Hollywood
5:18 WW2
6:50 Meets Churchill
7:44 Joins Commandos
8:59 Phantom
11:23 Battle of the Bulge
12:11 After the war
13:01 Niven’s Link to Zulu War


Sources used in the production of this video include:
“The Moon’s A Balloon” – David Niven
“Washing of the Spears” Donald Morris
“Zulu Rising” – Ian Knight
Googel Translate

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My name is Chris Green and I love to share stories from British history. Not just because they are interesting but because, good or bad, they have shaped the world we live in today.

History should not be stuffy or a long list of dates or kings & queens.
So rather than lectures or Youtube animations, I tell stories that bring the past to life.

My aim is to be chat as if I were having a coffee or meal with you. Jean in Maryland, USA recently wrote: “Chris, is the history teacher I wish I had at school!”

Just for the record, I do have a history degree in Medieval & Modern history from the University of Birmingham.

Disclaimer: All opinions and comments expressed in the ‘Comments’ section do not reflect the opinions of Chris Green Communication Ltd t/a The History Chap. All opinions and comments should contribute to the dialogue. Chris Green Communication Ltd does not condone written attacks, insults, racism, sexism, extremism, violence or otherwise questionable comments or material in the ‘Comments’ section, and reserves the right to delete any comment violating this rule or to block any poster from the channel.
Credit to : The History Chap

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