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 Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:21 pm

Congratulations to Fred and Julian for the comprehensive and exhaustive evaluation of Trooper Granger's account in SZW V. There is a great deal to absorb and I am sure the extended essay will attract all sorts of comment - it needs reading a few times.

Straight away though I want to throw in an intriguing fact to the examination of the "Drummer Boys" controversy. In particular Symons original account, which is quoted in the essay, compared to how it appeared in the VC Trust bound copy. Fred and Julian set out how, over time, Symons changed his position on what happened to the Drummer Boys and why that might have been. But in the VC Trust version he says.

"Most of the bodies were more or less stripped, one little band boy of the 2/24th Regt., a negro child, was hung by the heels to the tail of an ox wagon and his throat cut. Even the dogs and goats about the camp and the horses and mules tied to the piquet rope were butchered. Further details would be too sickening".

The identification as "a negro child" raises a number of questions. It is certainly not what he originally said. It is not at all impossible that the 2/24th had a negro bandsman or was it just a particularly insensitive way of Symons later avoiding saying young white boys were treated in that way? What do the 3 other identified later versions of Symons say?

Steve Reinstadtler
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:41 pm

In the handwritten version ( probably the second version ) it reads 'a mere child'. No mention of Negro.

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PostSubject: Band bys mutilated   Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:41 pm

Hi All,

I comment as follows;

1) members of the  NC   seeing the dead mutilated body of a negro child  ( umfaan) is feasible as this could have been the that of the little fellow guarding the 1/24th's ammunition. He would certainly have been in the right place and at the right time.
2) every contractors ox drawn wagon crew, and there were many of these, had  black boys (umfaans) as voorloopers, yet not much is recorded about them and their fate, although I would speculate that being very bush savvy and  well connected to "bush telegraph",  they would have all gapped it timeously.
3) other reports on this subject are specific about band boy(s) ie plural , being tied with riems, spreadeagled, to wagon wheels and there mutilated and butchered, quote "like gutted sheep" unquote.
4) so, if these are separate incidents it would appear that a number of boys died in this way on the Isandlwana battlefield. 
5) post this Isandlwana fiasco the WO , for good reason, immediately raised the age of "boys" being allowed into battle. 

Food for thought.


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barry

PS: Umfaan ,is a Zulu name for a pre adolescent male child
      Riem,  Dutch for a raw hide thong.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:42 pm

Barry,
Please, take a look at the following testimony:
“I was with a fellow named Whitelaw, and the two of us had become isolated. Back to back, we fought like furies with our short rifles small dagger-like bayonets in a great effort to get back to our companions. We were cut off entirely from the ammunition tent, although we could still hear the little piccanin shouting ‘M’nition baas! M’nition baas!’ in a high pitched voice. As brave alittle fellow as one could hope to find. And all the time he handed out cartridges to those who could get near the tent. He must have gone on doing so until he was killed with the others". Edwards,Natal Carbineers, Natal Advertiser, 22nd January 1929
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:01 pm

Steve,
Granger's essay is the result for Julian and me of a prolonged and hard work. Happy if you enjoy it.

In this part of the article Julian and me tried to answer to the question : Did the Zulus practise torture at Isandhlwana?
In this perspective, whether the "child" described by WP Symons was white or black is interesting but not a capital point (it seems to me).

The other point is whether the scene described by WP Symons can be described as torture (I.E: Given the whole commentary written by WP Symons on the subject)?. Ditto, we tried to answer to this question.

Amitié
Fred
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:54 pm

To go back to the source rusteze quoted. This is a typed edited shortened version. Who did the editing and what other changes s/he made may not be down to Symons. Did he even have any hand in it?
The Brecon MS. on the other hand are in Symons's own handwriting.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:14 pm

Hi Fred/Julian

Yes, I understand. So far as I can tell, the VC trust copy is not recent (it says it was typed up from manuscript soon after the events). It is a bit of an enigma, who and what was it for?. I agree the changes may not be by Symons but the introduction of "a negro child" seems odd whoever did it.The sanitisation of Symons later copies interests me. We know that he had been asked not to publish by QV and the excising/softening of his original remarks about Chelmsford and his staff probably reflect that request. But his change of view about the torture of the "boys" (negro or not) cannot be for the same reasons (in my view). We will not know what further anomalies there might be until Julian can publish the rest of his account in Volume VI (frustration, but inevitable!).

I still don't know what to conclude about all the evidence of "torture" - I need to read it again and I hope others will chip in once they have had a chance to read it. My inclination, at the moment, is to view most of the reports as heresay and embellishment - which I think you both agree. However, as you say, Granger is credible and his account is corroborated by Evans 2/3rd Regt. Both seem to have seen something similar with their own eyes. Although hurling people in the air and catching them on their assegais must be a really difficult thing to do (think about it), it at least seems pretty spontaneous and probably not torture. Whereas binding, hanging up and mutilating certainly is.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:38 am

Steve,

About your comment ("although hurling people....to do"), personnally, I keep in mind the origin social of most of the recruits in the Army which had consequence on their weight and on their seize.
Generally, the Officers were physically higher and stronger than the Privates.
Through a well-know photograph of Boys belonged to the 24th (C. 1877 or 1878), I am always surprised -by comparaison with current standards- of their apparent youth.
Fred
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:42 am

rusteze
You are right that the VC Trust says that 'it was typed up from the MS. soon after the events'.
However, what evidence is there that this is true - what's the provenance? The V.C. Trust should have stated the typed version's history if known.
After all, the typewriter only first began to be affordable and introduced to the business world after the mid-1880s, first in the U.S. then in the U.K.  So how soon is 'soon'?  7 years?  8 years? 10 years?  20 years?  And how does the VC Trust know that?
Secondly, it is patently obvious that it was NOT typed up word for word from the MS., given the deletions and additions.
The provenance of the Brecon MS. can be traced all the way from Symons's own hand up to where it is housed now.  Not so with the VC Trust copy.

Re your other point.  Throwing boys in the air is possible certainly.  Poking at them with assegais whilst doing so is also possible.  Not catching them on their points though.  That's silly.  And may well be down to gilding the lily and what it appeared might be happening in the glimpse of an eye in the excitement of the moment.  I can't say for certain.  No-one can.  What I can say is that SOMETHING happened at the moment Granger and Evans passed separately to give them the impression that that was what was happening.

The evidence for the subsequent hanging and mutilations speaks for itself.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:53 am

Julian possibly David Jackson holds the key? He comments: 'The manuscript and a typescript prepared for Queen Victoria are in the regimental museum at Brecon.' (page 83 Hill of the Sphinx )

So, potentially the 'manuscript' could have been toned down for presentation to HRH and then typed. I do know that a typed version is held 'incommunicado' in Natal that was suposedly prepared for Simons family/mother
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:53 am

Frank
I can ask him on my next visit (he is now too hard of hearing to speak to on the phone). As far as I'm aware QV saw only the MS. - a typescript is not really feasible for 1879. I do know that his access to the Symons MS. was limited.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:18 am

Hi Julian, I remember your mentioning that so was a tad surprised when I saw his foot note.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:20 am

Steve
When you were grovelling around in the dusty shelves looking for the Chard accounts wasn't there some form of typeset document attached? Possibly another situation, I do know Ive seen one.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:37 pm

No typescript with Chard's papers. What might be of interest though is that the other item sold with the VC Trust copy of Symons account was an OS map of the "Ground near Petersfield for the Autumn Manoeuvres 1891". General superintendence and direction of the manoeuvres by Lt Gen Sir Evelyn Wood. Probably two and two making five but may Wood have been the owner of the typed copy?

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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:20 pm

Its a ropey old copy Steve, lots of differences even on the front page:
Wrong date
Different Title
Part of a sentence missed out
No staff list.
Curious
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:31 pm

I think it's what they called an onion skin, done with carbon paper under a typed sheet to give you one copy - that's why it looks rough. Still no explanation as to why the originals and the Natal copy (ies?) remain under wraps for so long.

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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:42 pm

Steve
When I said ropey I meant in terms of the content not the appearance. Even on the basis of just the front page the errors are huge, so if this is an 'onion skin' there is an original around some where equally as error strewn.
I have tried to get access to the 'Natal' copy but the custodian is honour bond not to release. He wont explain why or how, just that he is.
This copy from the VC trust is a forth or fifth generation,
1. would be the extremly annotated and corrected version at Brecon, to which Julians essays refer.
2. I would say the hand written summary from that original. that is at Brecon
3. Would be the 'typeset' copy manufactured for the Queen, or if not typeset then potentially a draughted version of number 2.
4. Then there is I believe the 'Natal' version
5. The VC trust, which Im of the opinion is not the only one of that ilk.

So somewhere is the top page copy of item 5. That could very well be either number 4 or 5. Not item 3, I don't believe a document so error strewn and inacurate would be put before HRH.

Just a few thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:55 pm

Frank. I agree if it is an onion skin then there was a top copy. I don't think it all that rough, yes there are some typos and the staff officers are left out (may that be because he was asked not to publish in certain peoples lifetimes and he was critical of the staff in particular?), otherwise it is very close to the original.
Noteworthy that "Private" has been added next to his name.

I find the supposed typed copy for QV, as mentioned by Jackson, very odd. If that is what she saw it is surprising the message about not publishing was not placed on it. If there was such a version I am much more inclined to think the VC Trust copy is an onion of that.

Symons pre-deceased Chelmsford, so for him the QV embargo was never revoked. But that surely is not what prevented the museum and the holder in Natal from disclosing the contents for a further 100 years. Perhaps it has much more to do with Symons later change of mind re the torture question and the reluctance of the regiment to confirm what he actually said.

I think something is missing.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:38 pm

Some things (deliberate plural) are definitely missing
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:34 pm

Frank
Whoa! My essay refers primarily to no. 2 (the finished version) and on occasion to no. 1 (the heavily-annotated version) in your list. No. 2 is a good clean copy (though it was subsequently annotated by Symons). I believe it WAS No. 2 that QV saw in January 1880 for a fortnight before it was returned. Symons wrote subsequently in it that "she kept THIS..." (my emphasis).

In positing that QV saw No. 3 in your list, a type-set copy I believe you are mistaken. 1880 is just too early for a typewriter to exist (it was only invented in 1878 in the U.S. and didn't take off commercially until after the mid-80s).

It was the very fact of the unedited no. 2's being so controversial that caused QV so many problems and her insistence on its suppression.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:40 am

Number 2 was without doubt an ongoing process as evinced by the additional notations, I have no doubt that your next essay will take those into the discussion.
I would point out that there were printed documents, either type written or type set, in circulation connected to the war as early as February 1879. I do have minutes of meetings and reports hand dated as being received 1st February marked for the attention of Bulwer
Again we agree that version 2 is the document witnessed by QV, the question is was that the basis for a more formal copy, typed/typeset/printed.
The 'Onion skin' in the possession of the QV trust is an extremely inaccurate copy, possibly inaccurate due to censorship, I would agree with Steve in that regards.
The fact that DJ has seen a more formal copy at Brecon itself speaks volumes. As you have so often pointed out he was an extremely fastidious man, not I would suggest given to flights of fancy. You have good relationships with the museum, why not contact and ask them if there is a forth copy ( the original scribbled on, the cleaned up copy, Martins version, possibly another)

Just a thought
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:25 am

Frank
I'll send an e-mail today to the Museum to find out. As you say FWDJ is a v. careful historian.  It may be that he was 'told' there was a typewritten copy but wasn't allowed to see it (unlikely) or that it existed and was a recent precursor to the present sanitized typed copy, and DJ dismissed it, preferring to use the hand-written original.
If there was an early version of a typewriter at the War Office, the question arises would Symons have had access to one at Brecon?  Would he have been dextrous enough to use it?? I have to say, I doubt it.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:37 am

Another thought, Symons handwriting is not an easy read - it's possible someone other than Symons did a typed version for QV. And just another tiny clue, the VC Trust onion skins were held together with a paper clip prior to being bound - you can see its impression on the first page. That says to me it was a one-off copy.

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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:39 am

Hi Julian
I wouldn't say that it would have to be Symonds that did the typing, we do know there is a typed version, CV trust, but don't know who typed that one.
There is of course always the possibility that it was printed rather than typed !
Don't forget that the copy prepared for his mother is a typed/printed version. I wonder if its possible that they were all produced while he was still in Natal?
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:44 am

A possibility for you Steve ( hundreds of possibilities I know) what if the CV version was a preliminary effort? Deciphering the notes ready for production? Ive just been comparing the pages that I have with a transcribed copy of Smith Dorriens notes, very similar in color and style. I will send you a page, possibly you could post it.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:57 am

Frank's example of Smith Dorrien's note.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:00 am

I agree it is another onion skin.The blue typeface is indicative of a carbon copy, if printed it would invariably be black and sharper.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:44 am

Just checked QV's Journals for Jan-Feb 1880 to see if she mentioned Symons. Not a sausage.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:44 pm

Frank and Steve

The Museum has replied as follows:
"...We have three copies of the account, and if the version I have in mind is what I think it is, then there is a typescript. I think it must have been prepared as a Photostat, but it has been annotated in a different hand. The annotations are original, contemporary with the account and are written over the Photostat text..."

And I have replied:
"...Photostats weren’t invented till 1906 but mimeographs (involving messy blue ink) were invented in 1874. I suppose there must have been an original from which the mimeograph was made.  I am considering whether, given Q Victoria’s eyesight, a typed transcript of Symons’s account was sent to her rather than the hand-written original.  And this typescript is a mimeograph of it.  
Would it be possible to scan and send me a copy of a page (with annotations on it such that I can compare it with the relevant page in Symons’s finished version).
When you say annotations are in a different hand, ‘different’ from what?  Symons’s handwriting?
And how do you know the annotations are contemporary?..."

How I wish I'd known about the third typescript account when I visited - its existence wasn't even mentioned. I wonder if the museum even knew about it.

The museum is actually being incredibly kind here as they are really working under great pressure so I am very much relying on the good will I've engendered.  We'll see what unravels.

I also contacted FWDJ and he is simply unable to recall exactly what he saw at Brecon in the 50s and 60s.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:32 pm

Well done Julian.

I think the truth is emerging around the mimeograph idea. Many many years ago when I started working for the government we had such an antiquated system for producing limited numbers of copies of documents. A typewriter is used with the ink ribbon removed so that the keys strike through the paper making a stencil. That was placed in a sandwich under a flat silkscreen bed and ink rollered all over it by hand (oh how your wrists ached!). It was all contained in a beautiful mahogany case which could easily have been Victorian. But there would not be an original traditionally typed copy under this system - just the stencil.

Awaiting the further responses from Brecon with baited breath. But if QV only saw the VC Trust version, and put an embargo on it, what might she have done with the unexpurgated version!

It does indeed seem that Brecon does not know what they have got.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:00 pm

I can hardly wait as well.
The museum staff are very professional. It may be that they didn't realize the importance of the mimeographed copy.
They have been at all times very helpful to me. I'm sure they will oblige.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:32 pm

Just out of interest on the subject of mimeographs, I can recall seeing some antique devices during a visit to the Gestetner Company offices back in 1970’s. Back in the pre-photocopying days we had to rely heavily on the Gestetner for mass producing orders and information.

Coincidentally Gestetner established their original London office in 1879.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:14 pm

I have just heard from the museum that it was mistaken. It holds just TWO copies of the Symons Account, the two I saw and have written about. It has NO typescript or mimeograph.
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:02 pm

Goodness me what a surprise ! Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:54 pm

A genuine mistake it seems.
Julian
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PostSubject: Re: Trooper Walter Granger's account of Isandhlwana.   Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:11 am

At least it rules out one avenue.
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