Pembrokeshire's only soldier at the famous battle against Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift, and probably the youngest at 17, now has a proper memorial for the first time since he died 99 years ago.

The battle of Rorke's Drift took place on January 22nd and 23rd 1879 when 11 Victoria Crosses were won in the victory over 4,000 Zulus by the men of the 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment of Foot.

The battle, in which the British troops were outnumbered by twenty-to-one, followed immediately after the Zulu's massacre of 1,000 British soldiers at Isandhlwana on January 22nd.

The poignant truth about Private Thomas Collins, teenage hero of that savage victory, is that he was buried in an unmarked grave in the grounds of the asylum in which he died at Newport, Gwent, in April 1908.

"What a disgraceful thing for a hero of such a famous battle to be buried in an unmarked grave," said ex-soldier George Harris, who spearheaded last summer's placing of a memorial stone to Private Collins at Camrose Community Centre in the Pelcomb parish where he was born in 1861.

He was speaking at a Remembrance Service on Tuesday marking the 128th anniversary of Rorke's Drift when wreaths were laid at the memorial by Camrose Community Council chairman Simon Huntley, County Councillor Clive Collins and County Councillor Peter Stock. A wreath was also laid on behalf of Private Collins' only proven relative, Andrew Thomas, by Parade Marshall David Boswell.

In his address, Mr Harris said on behalf of the Recognition Committee that the stone would now assume greater importance as Private Collins' only memorial.

It is hoped that a service to honour his memory will be held there annually on January 23rd.

o RIGHT: Flowers lie on Private Thomas Collins' memorial stone at Camrose Community Centre, as Parade Marshall David Boswell stands to attention.