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 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:14 pm

Here’s another one I came across from the pages of GENUKI. This one is very interesting as he states that the colonel in command shot himself. The Colonel in command was Pulliene. We know there was not enought ammunition getting to the firing line. Maybe Pulliene knew that he had made a mistake. And could not face the fact that he had been the cause of the daister. Or was it Durnford.

1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.

I am very sorry to tell you that we see very hard times of it out here now. We are on the march all the time and we have not seen a bit of bread this last two months, only biscuits all the time and we are often on the road for two or three days at a stretch, that we don't get coffee or tea, only dry biscuit; it is an awful place for water. Another thing, we have to write with powder and water and I had to pay fourpence for this sheet of paper and envelope...
We had a very hard fight for about three hours at a place called Isandhlwana. The Zulus attacked our camp and as soon as we saw them coming, we struck the tents and formed square around the ammunition, and we kept them back for three hours. The General was not with us at the time; he was out somewhere and the colonel that was in command of us (as soon as he saw the Zulus retiring) ordered us to advance after them. We went about 300 yards and they were so many that they came in our rear and took the camp and everything that belonged to us; they came about us so thick that we could not handle our guns and then we knocked them down with the butt of the gun; the Zulus killed about 1841 of our fellows altogether but we ourselves killed some of the volunteers because they were running away and the colonel in command shot himself because he knew he had done wrong. He should not have put us to advance after them and leave the ammunition. However, we killed about 6000 that day. David Davies has been killed....
Thomas' statement that 'the colonel in command shot himself ' (referring probably to Durnford but possibly to Pulleine) is hard to credit; at the same time it is difficult to understand why he should have made such a statement had he not believed that such was the case.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:46 am

I might have missed it . But I can’t find this Chap. Was he at Isandlwana. I can't find him among those that escape.

Dave.
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:58 am

Hi Dave

This article appeared in the North Wales Express, 18 April 1879.

1415 Thomas Thomas is listed on the Medal Roll for the 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:25 pm

This from Mr Julian Whybra.Posted on the RDVC. Author of “ England's Sons”

Quote :
"Thomas was not at Isandhlwana and his letter cannot be relied upon in any of its comments. To quote from my England's Sons:
2-24/1415 Pte. Thomas Thomas
This 2/24th soldier came from Ystalyfera in Wales. A letter home to his uncle and aunt from Rorke’s Drift, dated 19th February 1879, is extant in both Welsh and English versions. They were published in Y Gwladgarwr, 18th March 1879; Y Genedl Gymreig, 24th April 1879; and in the North Wales Express, 18th April 1879. From the ambiguity of the content it could be interpreted that the writer participated in the battle of Isandhlwana and it has appeared in print as a letter from a bona fide survivor. In reality, Thomas was out with his battalion as a member of Chelmsford’s reconnaissance on the 22nd January. Thomas is either deliberately not telling the truth or, to be generous, his writing in the first person plural has been taken literally when what he actually intended to convey was the third person plural."
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Saul David 1879



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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:26 pm

This is J. Whybra's opinion,taken from his own book.
There is nothing to say that Thomas was told that the commarder shot himself by someone who was there, or even over heard it. But like it says he would not make a statement like that if he did not think it was true. There are eyewitness accounts relating to Durnfords death by none to Pulliene's. Infact his body was never found. Could it be possible that his body was found, with a single shot to the head.
That would not have look good for Chelmsford. The officer he leaves in commard shoots himself.
But we will never know as his body was never found.
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dog2ed



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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:35 am

David Davies as mentioned at the end of the extract was almost certainly Private David Davis 2/24 1414 who was also from Ystalyfera. the sequential numbers probably indicate they attested at Brecon the same day. Davis/davies are frequently misquoted!

David Davis was my great Uncle and I possess his medal.
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Ken Gillings



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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:37 pm

According to Zulu reports, Lt Col Pulleine was shot by a warrior named Maquedindaba. The Rev Lee (who was the Anglican priest stationed at Isandlwana shortly after the Anglo-Zulu War) interviewed the man who claimed to have killed him. He told him that he found Pulleine seated at a table in his tent and Pulleine drew a revolver and shot him in the cheek. He recovered momentarily and lunged at him with his iklwa, killing him. That is why he was given the name Maquedindaba – he who finishes the matter – and he showed the Rev Lee the scar on his cheek.
Regards, Ken
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:21 am

Hi Ken
I seem to recall that Maquedindaba said that he "killed the man in charge", or words to that effect. What isnt said is how he knew that.

Regards
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Ken Gillings



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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:05 am

'Morning. He described how he went into a 'little white house' where a white man was seated behind a table. No doubt some of the commanders would have investigated the aftermath, seen the Colonel's pips and concluded that he was (as was described) 'the induna of the army'. As you correctly point out, there is no written confirmation, but personal accounts by or interviews of kehlas have helped to reconstruct some of the events and fit a few more missing pieces into the jigsaw puzzle. Regards, Ken
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:34 am

Hi Ken
Its a pity that Hamilton Brown didnt position Pulleins body when he saw it, that would have helped. In the tent area would tend to help the story, on the field in front of the tent would dispute it. The same of course for Coghill, repuatably he must have seen the bodie to have told all and sundry that he was dead. Its the Coghill part that doesnt fit.

regards
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:36 am

Hi again Ken
I dont know if you have noticed but a relative of Thomas Thomas has become a member of the forum. Under a seperate thread there has been a discusion.

Regards
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dog2ed



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PostSubject: Re: 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt.   Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:40 am

Really? If Thomas Thomas' relative is a member of this board I need to PM him/her urgently!
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