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 Cetewayo's Escape.

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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Cetewayo's Escape.   Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:54 pm

With reference to Cetewayo, was he actually at Ulundi during the Battle ( I don’t mean taking part ) but in the vicinity? Or had he made his escape before or during the Battle.
What I would like to know is where he went and how he eluded the British up until his capture. Did he have an elite royal guard unit that help him escape?

And my last question. Is there a possibility, Royal treasure is still buried somewhere in Zululand.

G.

Not to many questions I hope. Wink
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90th

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PostSubject: cetswayo"s escape.   Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:09 am

hi MR GREAVES,

Cetswayo was indeed at Ulundi , he gave the orders for the zulu regt"s distribution. But , he didnt stay
to watch the battle, he withdrew to a hill a few miles away with some faithful retainers . After hearing all
the guns and also recieving messages that things werent going well. According to I.KNIGHT in his book
" THE NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM BOOK OF THE ZULU WAR " .The king covered his face with a blanket
and wouldnt speak, he then rose up and walked away. Some of his warriors tried to rally him , but he sent them
away , afraid they would attract british attention. MR G I cant tell you how he avoided detection , I think I read
somewhere they travelled at night , he headed north and accepted sanctuary from chief Zibhebhu , his land
was beyond range of the british . according to I.Knight he stayed a week here , then left his family and proceeded
south to Mnyamana's homestead , north of the Black Mfolozi valley. he had tried to contact Wolseley to open
negotiations , but it was plain all the british wanted was his unconditional surrender , so he then took to the bush.
He was captured at a kraal next to the Ngome forest by MAJ MARTER of the 1st KDG"S with his patrol on 28th
August 1879. Hope this answers your questions.
cheers 90th :confused:

ps. Fogot to add , as for zulu hidden treasure I dont think it existed , a rumour most likely perpetuated by the humble
british soldier.
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Cetewayo's Escape.   Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:05 am

Cetshwayo had stayed close to Ulundi prior to the battle. Once he learnt of the defeat of his army he then moved north to the kraal of his Prime Minister, Mnyamana. From here he tried to gather support, but no one rallied to his call. He learnt that Wolseley would not negotiate with him – his life would be spared but he’d be imprisoned for failing to adhere to the terms of the Ultimatum. By the beginning of August he left Mnyamana’s kraal. He was on the run and moved from one small kraal to another.

Lieutenant Colonel Clarke, having set up camp at Ulundi, learnt that Cetshwayo was heading for the Ngome Forest, and despatched Major Marter with a troop of Dragoons to capture him. A few days out Marter received convincing information of Cetshwayo’s location when he learnt that Captain Lord Gifford VC was also pursuing the King and knew his whereabouts. A race began to develop. The hunt for Cetshwayo became an individual challenge for Marter and Gifford. Both wanted the kudos of capturing the King. Gifford had won his VC during the Ashanti War while acting as a scout. For ten days he’d covered a vast area of largely uninhabited ground north of the Black Mfolozi, searching for the King. Frenzied by lack of success he’d taken to manhandling and beating men and women, before finally receiving information he was convinced would provide him with the kudos he wanted.

For a few days Cetshwayo moved from kraal to kraal evading the net he knew was closing in around him. The combination of dissident Zulu spies and his physique were his downfall. He was a large man and grossly overweight and, being constantly on the run, he was exhausted.

On 28th July both Marter’s and Gifford’s patrols were heading for the same spot from different directions. Marter, led by some dissident Zulus, got there first. From the top of a cliff a small kraal, consisting of four or five huts could be seen a couple of thousand feet below. Marter was told that Cetshwayo was resting in the kraal. Realizing that an approach from the cliff would alert those in the kraal, he sent the dissident Zulus to clamber down the cliff as silently as possible and remain hidden close to the kraal in the bush, and he led his mounted men around the cliff into the valley below. As they approached the kraal they galloped forward surrounding the little kraal, surprising the inhabitants.

A missionary’s son, Martin Ofterbro had volunteered to accompany Marter as an interpreter. He had known Cetshwayo in childhood. Ofterbro dismounted his horse and silently walked to the door of the house in which Cetshwayo was resting, and called out to him, using the name Magwegwana (crocked legs) by which Cetshwayo had been known as a child. Cetshwayo recognized the voice and replied Was your father a friend of mine for so long that you should do this to me? He then asked Ofterbro the rank of the officer to whom he was to surrender. On being told that Marter was a Major, Cetshwayo, indignant at the thought of surrendering to anybody but a General, told them to enter and kill him. Hastily Ofterbro assured him that he would be well treated, whereupon the door opened and Cetshwayo stepped out. It was immediately obvious to all that he was not only exhausted but in some discomfort as the inside of his enormous thighs were chaffed raw from walking. Marter ordered a horse saddled and all the inhabitants of the kraal to prepare to travel. When Cetshwayo was told to mount, he shook his great head and said I would rather die here where I stand than ride that great horse. A quick search was made of the huts, then Marter and his patrol set forth to escort his prize to Ulundi.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Cetewayo's Escape.   Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:50 pm

On the 15th July 1879, Wolseley and Chelmsford met at St Paul's mission station. There Chelmsford submitted his resignation and began his return journey to Britain. Wolseley was now in command. He was worried that a fugitive Cetshwayo could be seen as a rallying point by inland and northern Zulus who had not submitted. Many of the coastal Zulus had surrendered. So with re-organised columns, Wolseley advanced on Ulundi but found no submissive Zulus as information had led him to believe. Two 7 pounder cannon lost at Isandlwana were found in a deserted kraal. Brought into Ulundi, they were placed at the base of a flagstaff outside Wolseley's tent.

Wolseley's main aim was to capture Cetshwayo. The countryside was scoured. On the 26th August information was received that Cetshwayo was believed to be heading for the Ngome Forest. He was eventually captured at a small kraal nestling near a rocky stream in a deep valley; a difficult area to reach, even the King was surprised the searching party had discovered him there. There was no resistance from the King's retainers who were few in number. Weapons, apparently spoils from Isandlwana, were found at the kraal. At 3.45 they struck out for Ulundi, but progress was slow and along the way three men and a woman of the King's party suddenly darted into the bush. One of the men got away and that night the escort was reinforced.

On the morning of Sunday, 31st August, King Cetshwayo re-entered his capital, Ulundi. He was noticed to have a depressed expression on his face as he surveyed the ruins, but quickly cast off the look and marched regally into the custody of Sir Garnet Wolseley. Some hours later he was despatched under escort to Cape Town - to imprisonment and exile.
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