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Zulu.Lieutenant John Chard: What's our strength? Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: Seven officers including surgeon, commissaries and so on; Adendorff now I suppose; wounded and sick 36, fit for duty 97 and about 40 native levies. Not much of an army for you.
 
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 7:37 am

Where Durnford died

On the battlefield of iSandlwana there are a number of monuments dedicated to both individuals and groups. A noticeable omission is any mention or market of Col Anthony Durnford RE.
There are monuments to the regiments, Colonial and Imperial, that died on that field and in particular a number dedicated to the individual members of the colonial forces.
Considering the efforts made by his brother and the Colenso family and the resultant publicity and comment generated both in South Africa and the United Kingdom its strange no sponsor has stepped forward to remedy that issue.
Or has there?
In 1887 and 1888 John Edward Courtenay Bodley, an English civil servant, traveled through Natal and Zululand recording his journey in his diary. Part of that journey encompassed the battlefields of iSandlwana and Rorkes Drift.
On February11th 1888 he left the tented camp at Fort Northampton on the banks of the uMzinyathi river and in company with Major McKean of the Inniskillings rode the 12 miles to iSandlwana.
After a visit to the memorial church they rode over the battlefield.
He comments: “There is a monument to Hitchcock and one to another Natal Soldier, a cross without inscription where Durnford was found and a memorial on the hillside to Sir T Shepstone’s son, but no column or anything else in general memory of the 700 who fell.”
In old photos taken of the area two crosses are evident, one a steel cross with a square plaque attached that was normally used with the inscription ‘HERE RESTS A BRAVE BRITISH SOLDIER.’ That cross is no longer there and has been replaced with an Iron cross of more conventional design. There is also a simple small unmarked stone cross at the head of one of the smaller cairns.
The steel cross is referred to by Rev George Smith as being placed by the Ven. Archdeacon Usherwood as a marker to the position of an intended Memorial Church. It was later pointed out that the area in question was a grave site and not really the best place for mass excavation of Colonial bodies.
The Church, St Vincent’s ,was eventually built more to the North away from the battle site.
This then was the church referred to by Bodley.

It seems unlikely that the steel cross shown in the early photos would have been ‘planted’ by the church and would more likely have been used, as throughout Zululand, as a marker for an imperial soldier.
All the monuments on the battlefield are annotated in some form, except for the one small cross. This cross has been damaged and the cross section detached from the base.

We do know from testimony that Durnford’s body was found surrounded by Colonials and 24th Regiment men.

Is it therefore feasible that the two markers in close proximity are in fact the place of Dunford’s last stand, the steel marker showing the imperial soldiers graves and the small white unmarked stone cross the only marker to respect Anthony Durnford’s death site?
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 9:37 am

Bonjour Frank,
Bodley wrote: “There is a monument to Hitchcock and one to another Natal Soldier, a cross without inscription where Durnford was found and a memorial on the hillside to Sir T Shepstone’s son, but no column or anything else in general memory of the 700 who fell.”
From memory, Pope's grave was marked by an Iron cross?
It also seems to me that Blaikie's grave (Natal Carbineers) was also marked...
Amitié
Fred
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 9:58 am

Morning Fred
There are now a few individual graves marked, but in 87/88 there werent. Ive asked Steve to post a photo of the area from that era.
Popes grave was I believe marked with a kitchen implement, an iron.
I 'think', cant at this stage be 100% sure that the other grave was Blaikie, but it could have been Archbell.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 10:04 am

Frank,
About Blaikie:
"Kenneth Hathorn [ brother-in-law of Blaikie] went twice to the battle field and I surmise that he went the second time to place the stone on Jim's grave. It had been imported from Aberdeen and is granite of a red brown colour and it lies flat on the ground the length of the grave".
Fred
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 10:38 am

Its also very near the small stone cross.In the photo Ive sent to Steve its very clear that its Blaikie and Hitchcock. Archbell and the regimentals came later.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 10:44 am

From memory, Hitchcock's grave is indicated on Mainwaring's map, but not Pope's grave...somewhere strange.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 10:57 am

He is listed alongside Durnford and Scott etc
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 11:07 am

...But Pope is not listed.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 11:16 am

From memory (sorry I am not at home), Pope and Hitchkock's graves are described by Tulloch.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 11:25 am

Taken from my notes:
Tulloch visited the battlefield in April 1885.
He wrote "in the grass enclosure are crosses to Capt. [sic] Hitchcock and Lieutenant Pope,24th Regiment and a flat slab monument with Trooper Balikie's name on it".
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 11:26 am

Photo from Frank courtesy of John Young.
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Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 11:41 am

Said to be Pope's Grave. Taken 1880 courtesy of RE.

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Steve
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 11:44 am

Frank,
Bodley mentions only 2 crosses, as Tulloch.
So I wonder if the cross without inscription mentioned by Bodley  was Pope's cross.
Fred

I.E: Sorry, Actually, I can't see the photographs posted by Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 12:46 pm

Im hoping that JY can date the Butterfly Collectors photo.
Fred anything is possible though that would ignore Bodley, Durnford did have local 'connections'.

Thanks Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 1:06 pm

Sorry Steve didnt see the date info on top.
George Smith left Zululand for his new posting at Aldershot early January 1880. The trip with Canon Johnson, Arch Underwood, Fynn and Wheelright took place late 1879.
The cross in the second picture would therefore have been placed over that period. In the seven year interval it would seem to have been removed, or replaced by the iron cross in the first pic. There is today a cairn with and Iron cross similar to that in that area.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 1:07 pm

Right (local connections).
But as you know Durnford's corpse was not buried "once and for all" at Isandhlwana.

From Alfred Boast:
-”I commenced operations on the 12th of February on the battlefield and carefully interred the bodies of the volunteers and mounted police, at a spot marked by a monument marked in memory of Mr Hitchcock and in the immediate neighbourhood of Mr Blaikie's tombstone at this spot there were about 30 graves ...”. Alfred Boast Report regarding graves on battlefield 1883.
Fred
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 1:13 pm

Frank,

The photograph with Stabb, Bowker & Jabez Mofile was taken circa May 1880, prior to Queen’s Cross being erected at the Prince Imperial death site.

In haste as the WiFi isn’t too clever here on the India-Pakistan Pakistan border, I can’t think why.

JY
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 1:26 pm

Might have known you would be up there with a bloody big wooden spoon, buying a Cashmere sweater by any chance?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 1:27 pm

Hi Fred Boden does say, the cross marks the spot that Durnford was found, not buried.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 1:42 pm

Given that Durnford was arguably of greater prominence in the Isandhlwana story than any of the other individuals mentioned, I find it surprising that no one recorded the significance of the cross in the first place if that marked his last battle. I can quite see that once his remains had been removed the site might be forgotten - but prior to that surely not?
Keep your head down JY!

Steve
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 2:05 pm

Frank,
Right - and I don't say he is wrong.
I am just suspicioux because nonobody (including Bishop Colenso) mentioned -to my knowledge- a cross built in honor of Durnford.
Fred
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 2:07 pm

Yes Steve, it it hadnt been for the Boden diary I would have gone on in blissful ignorance. The question would arise, how did he know? When he got to iSandlwana the two Bishops were absent so I wonder if that information didnt stem from his guide from the Inniskillins Major McKean.
Interestingly Boden was of the opinion that the Zulus didnt want to fight but were goaded by Durnford firing rockets at them. Bit of a conflated account.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 2:17 pm

In the two books in defense of Durnford written by E. Durnford-F. Colenso, I suppose the two authors would be happy to mention the erection of this cross, in particular if this cross had been built by "colonials" (to signal the Colonial's change of mind towards Durnford after the "incident of 1873").
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 3:10 pm

Possibly done without a fuss to avoid creating problems? It has always been a puzzle to me that nowhere is he mentioned on the battlefield, considering the impact he had.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 3:23 pm

If the cross has effectively existed, it is probably at the initiative of a handful of people, perhaps even only one person. Discretion seems to have been sought (no name was written on the cross and no one seems to know this cross).
A dicreet tribute by close friends? family?
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krish



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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 9:51 pm

His brother Arthur was there in I think 1881/2.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyThu Feb 28, 2019 10:41 pm

There is always the same problem: Where is the testomony which describes a third cross?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyFri Mar 01, 2019 5:44 am

Congrats on the book Krish, looking forward to a good read.
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krish



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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyFri Mar 01, 2019 9:54 am

Thanks Frank and for your prior help, you are observant!
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyFri Mar 01, 2019 10:05 am

Would love to claim credit but I have a french buddy whos a lot more observant than I. Still looking forward to a cracking good read though.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyTue Mar 12, 2019 9:59 am

Bonjour Frank,
Apparently Durnford's body was buried in May 1879 in a donga near the spot where he was killed .
Bodley mentioned "a cross without inscription where Durnford was found".
Do you know if the cross evoked by Bodley was near a donga?
Amitié
Fred
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyTue Mar 12, 2019 11:11 am

Difficult today looking at the battlefield Fred, so much work has been done around the cairns and grave areas. Looking at old photos of that area, as those posted above the ground is a lot more seamed and uneven so yes its highly possible.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyTue Mar 12, 2019 12:01 pm

OK.
Amitié
Fred
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyTue Mar 12, 2019 3:18 pm

Pope's location was marked by an iron meat scales.
And yes, I have a source which says that Durnford was most respectfully interred in a donga near where his body was found - realistically can that donga only be the one at the rear of Stony Koppie?? There's no other one anywhere near is there?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyTue Mar 12, 2019 4:27 pm

Hi Julian
If you look at the photo above with Stabb you will see that the cairn and cross seems to be at a lower level so possibly in a dip/donga. a couple of the older photos do show fairly rough terrain. As I said to Fred the ground has changed drastically over the years so quite possibly there were seams along the front of the mountain.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnfords final fight.   Durnfords final fight. EmptyTue Mar 12, 2019 4:34 pm

Frank
I see what you mean. It might well be a shallow depression or 'afterthought' of a donga.
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