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 A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift

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1879graves

1879graves

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PostSubject: A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift   A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift EmptyWed Mar 27, 2019 7:04 pm

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Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter 29 March 1879
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Herbie



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Age : 54
Location : Epsom, Surrey

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PostSubject: Re: A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift   A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift EmptyWed Mar 27, 2019 8:30 pm

Hi graves. This is an interesting account which I assume from the context is written by 1005 Pte John Smith of B Coy 2/24th although according to Greaves he was from Wigan, Lancashire and not a Croydon man at all. Maybe his father moved there after he was born?

The other thing I am interested in is that this is the second reference in the last few days I’ve read to men of B Coy 2/24th being killed at Isandlwana. The “Rare publication” post with an extract from the Historical Records of the 2/24th lists 3 men of B Coy as killed - Pte’s Bryant, Pritchard and Smith 1495. This letter mentions 4 killed and refers to the men volunteering for the front and riding up country which could have implied Mounted Infantry except there were no one of these names in the MI from either Bn of the 24th as far as I am aware.

Any ideas what these 3 or 4 blokes were doing at Isandlwana?

Regards Phil
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1879graves

1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift   A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift EmptyWed Mar 27, 2019 9:16 pm

Hi Phil

I only came across this account this evening and posted on the forum. I have not had time to look into the details of yet.

You have highlighted some very good points that need further research. Now back to the books for the answers.

Regards
Andy
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift   A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift EmptyThu Mar 28, 2019 9:30 am

Phil,

Just a point on the Mounted Infantry as you mentioned it.

2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment supplied men for the 2nd Squadron, Mounted Infantry, which were assigned to Pearson’s No. 1 Column, rather than Glyn’s No. 3 Column.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that they rode to iSandlwana upon wagons, rather than horses, just a thought.

Everything regarding Private 25th Brigade/1005 John Smith indicates a Lancashire connection. There are a number of inconsistencies in the report when you examine his service record.

JY
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Herbie



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PostSubject: Re: A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift   A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift EmptySat Mar 30, 2019 4:03 pm

IF (big if) the account is correct and there were 4 men of B Coy killed at Isandlwana I wonder if the 4th was an NCO as these are not listed by Coy. Given B Coy had a full compliment of Sgt’s and Cpls at RD this possibly suggests 929 L/Cpl John Elvey (being the only L/Cpl from 2/24th killed) although I’ve got no other no other evidence to support that theory.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift   A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift EmptyMon Apr 01, 2019 11:58 am

Herbie
A few things to correct here.
The four B coy 2/24th personnel kia at Isandhlwana were:
Ptes. (B coy) 25B/1177 Wm. Bryant, 25B/1491 Boy Daniel Gordon, 2-24/1576 David Pritchard, and 25B/1495 Robt. Smith.
They were not in the IMI. The men of odd coys left behind by the 2nd bn were there for a variety of reasons. Gordon of course was in 2/24th Band and was left behind with Bandmaster Bullard. Possibly the three adult soldiers were (like the 94th men) detached (volunteered) to assist the A.S.C. or were simply in camp for battalion duties.
Elvey was in G coy 2/24th. (All this you'll find in England's Sons).
The Greaves research you referred to is actually Norman Holme's Noble 24th which should give you more clarity.
As for 1005 Smith's origins I can find no connexion to Croydon, Surrey before Feb 1879. All the connexions are with Lancashire:

(Born All Saints Parish, Wigan, Lancashire, England c.1851. Baptised 5/5/1851 Wigan.
Parents Sarah Smith, father not listed.
Trade General Day Labourer before his enlistment. After leaving the army he was employed as an Iron Foundry Labourer in the Bury area of Lancashire.
Enrolled into the 7th Royal Lancashire Militia, released to enlist at Aston-under-Lyne, Lancashire 23/12/1876. Attested Aston-under-Lyne 26/12/1876 for the 25th Brigade.)

One possibility, since his father was not listed, is that the father had abandoned his wife and family and was living in Croydon. Another is that the letter-writer, John Smith, is the real name of a B coy soldier serving under an alias.

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Herbie



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PostSubject: Re: A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift   A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift EmptyMon Apr 01, 2019 10:57 pm

Thanks for the clarification Julian. I knew the MI wasn’t an option but I don’t have England’s Sons or Noble 24th (yet) though so the extra info is very helpful thanks.

I wonder whether the men volunteered willingly or were nominated by C/Sgt Bourne..... must have played on his mind if the latter.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift   A Croydon Man's Narrative of Isandula & Rorke's Drift EmptyTue Apr 02, 2019 4:21 pm

Well, Smith said they volunteered so maybe Bourne's conscience was clear.
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