Frank Bourne was a native of Sussex and joined the army in December 1872. Just four years later he became the youngest Colour Sergeant in the British Army aged 22.
On 22 January 1879 he was with B Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment at the Defence of Rourke's Drift in the Zulu War. For his actions in organising and leading the defence that day he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Eleven Victoria Crosses were earned during that action. Bourne retired from the army as a Lieutenant-Colonel in 1918 and was made an O.B.E. He was believed to be the last survivor of Rourke's Drift when he died on V.E Day in May 1945 aged 90.