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Commander Crawford Caffin, R.N
H.M.S. Natal, aboard which the prisoner Cetshwayo was transported from Port Natal to Capetown. Caffin had joint charge of the King with Captain Ruscombe Poole, R.A. (Isandula Collection)
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 Beetle Collector

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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Beetle Collector   Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:00 pm

What was the name of the beetle collector was is Hartford. Anyway we know he collected Beetles and other insect type creatures. Is his collection on display anywhere? The reason I ask, I attended a meeting at the Woolwich Arsenal a few years ago in connection with the DLR City airport & Woolwich Extension, and anyway in this meeting room there was an old writing desk, which were full of Butterflies and Beetles all pinned out on display. But there was no information anywhere as to whom it belonged and how old it was. Just wondering if Hartford’s collection could have possibly ended up in the Woolwich Arsenal.

G.
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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:14 pm

Hi G. His name was Henry Charles Harford.

He retained his interest in collecting rare specimens and he meticulously recorded these and sent the best exhibits to the Museum of Natural History in Durban. A number of rare items were also presented to the British Museum in London (then latterly to the Natural History Museum).
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:37 pm

Just out of interest:

At Fugitives Drift you will find a library,named after Harford.

"Charlie Harford was David Rattray's favourite personality in his tales of the Anglo-Zulu War. He referred to him as "our beloved beetle-collector". Harford, born in 1852, emigrated to Pinetown, Natal, with his father in 1864. He went back to England in 1870 to join the 99th Regiment of Foot then returned to Natal in 1878, becoming, thanks to his fluency in Zulu, Staff Officer to Commandant Lonsdale of the Natal Native Contingent. Harford's particular appeal to David was his keen interest in entomology - the subject of David's degree - and he is probably best remembered for stopping the skirmish at Sihayo's Stronghold in order to retrieve a rare beetle and pickle it in gin."

sas1
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garywilson1

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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:05 am

Pickled in gin - what a way to go :lol!:
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90th

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PostSubject: beetle collector   Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:36 am

hi gary .
Weather wise where you are , I think that would be a reasonable idea :lol!: 😕 .
cheers 90th.
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:23 pm

Please See: Pictorial catalogue of AZW graves for info and grave details on the Beetle Collector
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garywilson1

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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:06 am

90th , you should try our local plum brandy - would pickle anything :)
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:26 pm

Nice one 1879Graves. Just a pity about the condition of the Grave. Keep up the good work.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:45 pm

Agree with 24th. Well done 1879Graves. I'm only half way through the Grave section. But thank god for re-dedications.

G.
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90th

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PostSubject: beetle collector   Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:38 am

hi gary .
Eagerly awaiting my delivery of plumb brandy :lol!: 😕
cheers 90th.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:48 pm

Plumb brandy Suspect
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90th

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PostSubject: beetle collector   Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:18 pm

hi littlehand.
As garywilson reliably informs me , Plumb Brandy is like home brew in Romania , laced with
anti freeze ? and very strong . The conditions he is encounting in Romania may lead to an
increase in sales on the black market or should I say , frozen market. :lol!:
cheers 90th.
sorry gary , couldnt resist. :lol!:
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:30 pm

But is it environmentally friendly. Idea
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90th

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PostSubject: beetle collector   Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:44 pm

hi sas1.
As long as you dont spill it :lol!: .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:02 am

I do use it in the washer bottle of the car when the windscreen is frozen !

It is not advisable to mix it with anti freeze but unfortunately some people do , sometimes with fatal results . Only the same as the unfortunates who drink meths in the UK.

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off to have a glass ! cheers !
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:39 pm

Found this little note about poor Wilsone Black & Hamilton-Browne

'Officers drank the little liquor they had left in the privacy of their tents (a few senior officer did have tents), being to rationing a few bottles of bad gin. On one memorable occasion, Charlie Harford (a teetotaler) used Wilsone Black’s and Hamilton-Browne’s last bottle of gin to preserve some beetles. When the swearing - in English and Gaelic - finally ended, Harford, who was very popular, was forgiven. But, as Hamilton-Browne wrote, ‘I do not think the dear fellow ever quite understand what an awful sin he had committed or realised what a wicked waste of liquor he had perpetrated.’
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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:54 am

My messmate Harford got into disgrace. He was a gallant officer, a splendid companion, but, and the but is a very big one, he was a mad naturalist. He caught bugs and beetles both in season and out of season. I told a tale about him before in this yarn, but the awful tale I am going to relate now is one that even after a
period of thirty years makes my blood run cold. For he committed a sin that in comparison made the seven deadly sins look trivial beside it. The crime was this, but I must give a short prelude so that it may be understood in all its hideousness.

The 24th had a small amount of reserve mess stores at Rourke's Drift, we had nothing, and although there was plenty of Natal rum I could not face the filth; vile stuff it was and hot enough to burn the inside out of a graven image. This being so the 24th, like the rattling good fellows they were, always asked me over to their corner whenever they opened a bottle and I had my tot.

Well just about this time a Natal man rushed through a wagon load of stores and asked leave to sell them. I happened to have about 2 in my pocket at the time of the disaster and after buying two night-caps and some spoons and forks for Harford and myself,

I asked the man if he had any liquor. He said he had a big square-rigger of gin for his own use but not for trade. I offered all the money I had left and an equal-sized bottle of Natal rum for it and we traded. Well now there was corn in Egypt and I could, in a small way, return the hospitality of the 24th so I at once sent round to my friends to come to my corner, that evening after inspection, and partake of the plunder. They had run out of spirits and the news was joyful.

I handed the bottle over to my servant Quinn and told him to guard it with his life, and he swore he would do so. I was called away and I left Quinn on sentry go over that precious bottle; he placed it carefully between two sacks and sat down on it so I thought it safe and attended to my duty. That afternoon we had our usual rainstorm and when it was over Hartford came to me and asked me if he could have some gin. I was very busy at the time and said " Certainly, ask Quinn for some." Now it struck me it was strange that Hartford should ask for it as he never touched spirits, but I thought he might feel chill after the rain and want a tot to warm himself.

Well the retreat was blown, the men manned the parapet, the O.C. inspected, and the men fell away. In a few minutes round came my friends, anxious for the tot they fondly expected to be in store for them.

“Hoots, Maori, where's the drappie?" said Black. I turned to Quinn, who was standing stiffly at attention, and at once saw the worthy man was disgusted, sulky, and almost mutinous. " Give me the bottle, Quinn/' I said. " Better ask Mr Hartford for it, sir/' he answered, with a grin on his expressive mug like an over- tortured fiend. " Hartford/' said I, " where is the gin? " and at once my heart darkened with apprehensions. " Oh, Commandant/* quote he, " I have caught such a lot of beauties," and he produced two large pickle bottles filled with scorpions, snakes and other foul creeping beasts and reptiles. " Do look at them." " But the gin, Hartford? " I murmured, so full of consternation that I could hardly articulate. "I've preserved these with it/' said he, utterly oblivious to his horrid crime. " What! " Yelled I. " Oh yes/' said he, " this is a very rare and poisonous reptile indeed " pointing to a loathsome beast and beginning to expatiate on its hideousness and reel off long Latin names. " I don't care if it is a sucking devil," groaned I, " but where is the gin? "In these bottles," said he, and so it was, every drop of it. Ye Gods! The only bottle of gin or any other drop of decent drink within 100 miles of us had gone to preserve his infernal microbes, and a dozen disgusted officers, who were just be- ginning to grasp the awful situation, were cursing him and lamenting
Sadly, oh, so sadly, his pursuit of Natural History, while dear old Black had to be supported back to his angle making remarks in Gaelic.

He was such a good fellow he was soon forgiven, but I do not think the dear fellow ever quite understood what an awful sin he had committed or realized what a wicked waste of liquor he had perpetrated.


From: A LOST LEGIONARY IN SOUTH AFRICA
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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:06 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Beetle Collector   Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:18 pm

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