Mark your diaries for 12-15 July 2023

Tickets Now Available – Click Here For More Details!

The symposium will host several new book launches and (at present) over 30 speakers from four different continents!

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Symposium Schedule –

At the heart of the upcoming Clash of Empires: The 1879 Anglo-Zulu War museum exhibition ( is a four-day symposium focusing on a wide range of topics related to the Anglo-Zulu War, Context Philately, Victorian military history, Zulu history and more. Over 30 speakers are coming from across the world to present and engage with symposium attendees. If you are interested in history, culture, and learning – this symposium is for you. Truly a once-in-a-generation event focused on Anglo-Zulu history!

Venue: The Royal Philatelic Society London – 15 Abchurch Lane London EC4N 7BW, UK

Located near the BANK TUBE STATION in the heart of the City of London!

IMPORTANT NOTES: Speaker scheduling can change including the addition of new presenters to a given day’s line-up. Any Symposium ticket includes entry to the Clash of Empires Exhibition.

Day 1 – Wednesday 12 July – Context Philately – this first day will explore the multi-faceted connections between postal history/philately and other areas of study and collecting.

9:30-10:00am: Coffee on Ground Floor/The American Tea Room

10:10-10:20am: Welcome & Introduction to all days of the Clash of Empires Symposium, Alex Haimann FRPSL.

10:20-10:30am: Welcome to Context Philately Symposium Day, Bill Hedley FRPSL, Chair (UK).

10:30-11:00am: Context Philately: An Introduction, presented by David Beech MBE FRPSL (UK).

11:00-11:30am: The History in Postal History: An 1841 Danube Steam Navigation Company Cover from Beirut, presented by Christopher Smith (USA).

11:30-12:00pm: A Philatelic Future: Contextualising Stamp Design, Enhancing Cultural Heritage, presented by Richard Morel FRPSL (UK).

12:00-12:30pm: British Expedition to Abyssinia, presented by Ian Shapiro FRPSL (UK).

12:30-1:30pm: Lunch & Exploration of Clash of Empires Exhibition

1:30-2:00pm: An Introduction to the Clash of Empires Exhibition in the gallery itself, presented by Alex Haimann FRPSL).

2:00-2:30pm: An Example of Context Philately, presented by Jay Bigalke FRPSL (USA).

2:30-3:00pm: Collecting the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, presented by Mick Zais FRPSL (USA).

3:00-3:15pm: Break

3:15-4:30pm: General discussion about Context Philately, any of the presentations and associated issues. Chairman’s closing remarks and roundup of the day’s Symposium.

All Context Philately Symposium attendees are invited to a reception from 5:30-7:00pm.

Day 2 – Thursday 13 July – General Session – this day will feature a range of different topics from the Martini-Henry rifle to the Battle of iSandlwana to modern impressions of the Anglo-Zulu War’s legacy and more.

9:30-10:00am: Coffee on Ground Floor/The American Tea Room

10:00-10:10: Welcome & Introduction to Clash of Empires Symposium Day 2

10:10-10:45am: Book Talk: Alan Gardner – Rifle and Spear with the Zulu, presented by Kate Birbeck (UK).

10:45-11:20am: The Unknown Soldier, presented by Paul Basso (USA).

11:20-11:55am: Framing the Anglo-Zulu War through Material Culture, presented by Lucia Scigliano (UK).

11:55-12:30pm: Book Talk: The Frontier Light Horse in the AZW, presented by Cam Simpson (AUS).

12:30-1:15pm: Lunch

1:15-1:50pm: The Martini-Henry Rifle & the Anglo-Zulu War, presented by Neil Aspinshaw (UK).

1:50-2:25pm: From Warlord to Figurehead: The Nine Zulu Kings from Shaka to Misuzulu, c. 1816-2023, presented by John Laband (SA).

2:25-2:40pm: Break

2:40-3:15pm: Modern Day Zulu Impressions of the AZW’s legacy, interview of Lindizwe Ngobese (SA) by Ian Knight (UK).

3:15-3:50pm: The British Officer During The Anglo-Zulu War, presented by Richard Hooker (USA).

4:00-4:45pm: The Clash of Empires Exhibition, A Behind The Scenes Look, presented by Alex Haimann (UK) & Ian Knight (UK).

Day 3 – Friday 14 July – Book Launch Day – In addition to several more General Session topics, we have six different books celebrating their official publication launch at the Symposium on this day. Each book is focused on a different aspect of the Anglo-Zulu War and/or Victorian military history. Each of the authors will give a talk about an aspect of their book and we’ll have a major evening event to celebrate.

9:30-10:00am: Coffee on Ground Floor/The American Tea Room

10:00-10:10am: Welcome & Introduction to Clash of Empires Symposium Day 3

10:10-10:45am: Alphonse de Neuville’s painting: The Defence of Rorke’s Drift, presented by Brad Manera (AUS).

10:45-11:20am: Writing Anglo-Zulu War Historical Fiction, presented by James Mace (USA).

11:20-11:55am: Poetry of the Anglo-Zulu War Period, presented by Aalia Ahmed (UK).

11:55-12:30am: Book Talk: Eyes in the Night: An Untold Zulu Story, presented by NomaVenda Mathiane (SA).

12:30-1:30pm: Lunch

1:30-2:05pm: The Prince Imperial and His Supporters – Bonapartism After Napoleon III, presented by Ian Sygrave (UK).

2:05-2:40pm: Book Talk: Lord Chelmsford and his struggle to retain his command and reputation after Isandlwana, presented by John Laband (SA).

2:40-3:15pm: Book Talk: Witnesses at Isandlwana: 22 January 1879, presented by Neil Thornton (UK).

3:15-3:50pm: Book Talk: Rorke’s Drift by Those Who Were There, presented by Lee Stevenson (UK) & Ian Knight (UK).

4:00-4:35pm: Book Talk: ZULU: Water Cart Rescue, a graphic novel, presented by Colin Matheson (UK).

4:35-5:10pm: Book Talk: Blue-Blood Troopers in Zululand. A Biographical Record of the Natal Mounted Police in the Anglo-Zulu War 1879, presented by Cam Simpson (AUS).

5:10-5:45pm: Book Talk: Addiscombe Military College and the Cadets who Forged an Empire, presented by Kate Birbeck (UK).

6:00-8:30pm: Symposium Dinner & Drinks Reception (separate ticket required – email: for details).

Day 4 – Saturday 15 July – The Anglo-Zulu War & the film Zulu – 2023 marks 60-years since the filming of ZULU in the Royal Natal National Park in South Africa. This day will explore topics related to the AZW, the making of ZULU and its continued influence on popular culture today. We will be screening the film in the afternoon.

10:00-10:10am: Welcome & Introduction to Clash of Empires Symposium Day 4

10:10-10:45am: The British Soldier’s Kit of the Anglo-Zulu War, presented by Tim Rose (UK) & James Dix (UK).

10:45-11:00am: Zulu & The Zulus Documentary Film, presented by Henry Coleman (UK).

11:00-11:35am: Exploring Present Day KwaZulu Natal, interview of NomaVenda Mathiane (SA) by Ian Knight (UK)

11:35-12:30pm: Exploring Graves of the Anglo-Zulu War, presented by Lindsay Walters (UK).

12:30-1:15pm: Lunch

13:15-17:00: Screening of the film ZULU with pre/post panel discussion featuring –

Henry Coleman (UK)

Sheldon Hall (UK)

Ian Knight (UK)

Lindizwe Ngobese (SA)