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 Coghill and Melvill issue

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DrummerBoy 16



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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:47 pm

LH

Wassle was a Private and he went back for someoen underfire and got a VC at Isandlwana.

No matter how far Coghil had to go, he still went back under heavy fire to help someone.


Cheers
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:35 pm

DrummerBoy 16 wrote:
LH

Wassle was a Private and he went back for someoen underfire and got a VC at Isandlwana.

No matter how far Coghil had to go, he still went back under heavy fire to help someone.


Cheers
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:05 pm

MOD Today.

Officer training
Officer training develops your leadership and management skills and shows you how to adapt them to the special demands of Army life. You learn to make difficult decisions under pressure. You also work on your fitness and learn the same military skills as the soldiers you will be leading. The course takes place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and lasts 44 weeks for Regular officers, or three weeks for Territorials.


Applying your skills
After you’ve completed your initial officer training at Sandhurst, you will go on a course to provide you with the specific skills you’ll need in your first appointment. How long this course lasts will depend on the type of role you'll be doing. Training is delivered by experienced officers and generally involves realistic exercises based on the kind of situations you can expect to face as a junior officer on operations.


Early tests of leadership
Most officers start life at their chosen unit as a Second Lieutenant before being promoted to Lieutenant after 12-24 months. For the first couple of years as a junior officer you will be in charge of around 30 soldiers. You will be responsible for their effectiveness as well as their training and welfare, to ensure that you get the very best out of them when it matters most.

Does anyone have a copy of an Officers Roll & Responsibilities from 1879?
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:32 am

In 1879 I would imagine the principles were the same. 

Just one thought that crossed my mind.

Would the Zulu's have understood the sufficients of the colours. In a European war both side would have understood the sufficients of capturing the regimental colours.
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90th

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PostSubject: Coghill & Melvill issue    Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:22 pm

Hi 24th .
I doubt very much the zulu had any idea of the significance of the British Colours / Flags .
90th.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:38 pm

I'm sure most if not all of the officers knew, they would of no value to the Zulu's in any terms. They didn't exactly have a Zulu flag to raise to show they had taken the camp.

However they did understand the significance of a white flag.
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90th

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PostSubject: Coghill and Melvill issue    Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:45 pm

Chard scratch  scratch  I'm not sure what you are trying to say ? . How would the zulu's have known what significance
the Colours were to the British army , they could hardly google them ! .
90th .
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:31 pm

90th wrote:
Chard scratch  scratch  I'm not sure what you are trying to say ? . How would the zulu's have known what significance
the Colours were to the British army , they could hardly google them ! .
90th .

 The point I was trying to make, was what was the point of ordering someone to save the colours if they had no meaning to the enermy! Melville would have been more usefull on the Battlefield.
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DrummerBoy 16



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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:24 am

The Zulus would have just taken or burned them if they were left, the colours of the 2nd/24th were found in peices across Zululand so the Zulus clearly took those one's.


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90th

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PostSubject: Coghill and Melvill Issue    Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:28 am

Chard .
It wasnt a case of the flags meaning nothing or anything to the zulus , it was the case of the british themselves, had placed over the years, a very high importance on saving the colours from falling into any enemies hands . It was seen as a disgrace to lose them on the field , that was the reason they were taken from the camp , nothing at all to do with what the zulus would think of the colours , it was the British themselves who didnt want to lose the colours and be seen to have disgraced their regiment , It's like losing the guns , it was also well and truly frowned upon , doesnt matter who you are fighting , Eurpoean or Native foe's you must and were expected to save the Colours .
90th.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:37 pm

Auckland Star, Volume X, Issue 2751, 15 February 1879, Page 2
"One remarkable feature about the disaster in the Zulu war is the loss of their colours by the 24th regiment. It is very unusual for regular troops of the British army to carry their colours in a war against savages.

Throughout the war in New Zealand none of the regiments carried their colours in the field, but left them in store until the returned to quarters. It was deemed unwise to risk the regimental colours in a guerillo warfare where ambushes were frequent, and the colours might at any moment be snatched away by a surprise."
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:03 pm

Why would they have taken their colours?
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DrummerBoy 16



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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:31 pm

To loose the Colours is the ultimate disgrace to the regiment.



Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:45 pm

DrummerBoy 16 wrote:
To loose the Colours is the ultimate disgrace to the regiment.



Cheers

 See my last post?
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:44 pm

littlehand wrote:
So a lot of in-put from friends and familey, before it was agreed. Wonder what Horace Smith-Dorrien thought about it ?????


The bodies of Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill were found together with the Colour, although they were so far apart in the retreat, and the explanation I would offer is as follows.

"Below Fugitives' Drift the river flows into a deep gorge and the right bank is inaccessible. The river was in flood, and a lot of fugitives, men and horses, must have been swept away through this gorge, or only have succeeded in effecting a landing well below the path leading from Fugitives' Drift up the right bank. I surmise that Melvill and Coghill may both have been swept down-stream towards X (see sketch, p. 12), and there have met, and in endeavouring to get back together to the path of the fugitives were killed by Zulus who had crossed higher up. As far as I can make out, their bodies were found near Z. The official account, published in 1881, is quite incorrect as to the movements of these two officers. I may say that I was never consulted."
Extract 48 year service

It's taken a while, but managed to find the Map from Smiths book, 48 years service!


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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:35 pm

Xhosa, you last map, is that indicating that Melvill and Coghill crossed at different locations. It would make sense in that it shows Coghill riding near to the location when Melvill and Higginson were struggling in the water, and where he no doubt when in after Melvill. But it would also suggest that they wasn't together up until then!
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:09 pm

LH
They were seen on the Zulu Bank together and overheard pledging to stay together. Brickhill records seeing Melvill just leaving the water. Considering the boulders at the waters edge its very likely that Melvill was unseated on leaving the water and washed downstream, therefore eminently probable that he entered the water at the same sandy bank that Coghill did. The maps were prepared by George Chadwick I believe and shouldn't be taken as gospel. For instance there is no proof that any of the Zulus crossed the river at that point. Local tradition is that the Zulus on the Natal side were locals.

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:31 pm

This may help.

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Cheers


Last edited by springbok9 on Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:39 pm

So am I right in saying that Smith crossed where Coghill crossed. Causing him to say in his book, the two officers didn't leave together, although he was never consulted.
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:46 pm

Hi LH.
Two part question, first SD crossed a bit lower down, he says he jumped of cliff face to escape the Zulu. And I think what caused him to say they didn't leave together was his sighting of them a mile apart on the run up to mpethe hill.

Cheers
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:54 pm

Springbok. How accurate is Smiths Map?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:05 pm

LH probably as close as anyones, by the way thanks for publishing it. Ive also searched for it for a long time.
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:45 pm

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:44 am

Thanks Les.
On close inspection its actually quite amazing the detail at the camp site itself. Presumably because he spent time there, on the other hand the mad flight area is lacking any detail at all and that is only to be expected. The interesting aspect is the dotted line showing the troop formation.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:14 am

Hiya Frank, yeah the infamous inverted dogleg.
but surly you with an hour to spare could just
continue the sketch down the trail a bit, spect
you know that terrain better than most, making
allowances for the years that have past.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:41 am

Hopefully will be walking it next week Les.
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90th

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PostSubject: Coghill and Melvill    Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:14 pm

Envious to say the least , I wont do it again till next March !! agree agree Salute Salute
90th
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PostSubject: Coghill and Melvill   Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:46 pm

Thanks Les your comments they are very much appreciated Very Happy Very Happy
Cheers 90th Salute Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:12 pm

Wink   Salute
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:05 pm

Was Cavaye's company posted in the position shown on Smiths map, prior to the Zulus skirting around the back of Isandlwana, or did they perish trying to prevent them.
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:57 pm

Hiya 24th, Smith sketch actually shows the ' end game '
the horns of the Buffalo in complete encirclement, when
Cavaye initially engaged the right horn they took not a
blind bit of notice, although Cavaye and his company were
' laying it on thick ' the Zulu were doing what they were
instructed to, getting  around the back to complete the 
encirclement.
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:01 pm

Actually looking again, the trap is not quite yet sprung, but i 
believe SD was showing the end game...
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:37 am

littlehand wrote:
littlehand wrote:
So a lot of in-put from friends and familey, before it was agreed. Wonder what Horace Smith-Dorrien thought about it ?????


The bodies of Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill were found together with the Colour, although they were so far apart in the retreat, and the explanation I would offer is as follows.

"Below Fugitives' Drift the river flows into a deep gorge and the right bank is inaccessible. The river was in flood, and a lot of fugitives, men and horses, must have been swept away through this gorge, or only have succeeded in effecting a landing well below the path leading from Fugitives' Drift up the right bank. I surmise that Melvill and Coghill may both have been swept down-stream towards X (see sketch, p. 12), and there have met, and in endeavouring to get back together to the path of the fugitives were killed by Zulus who had crossed higher up. As far as I can make out, their bodies were found near Z. The official account, published in 1881, is quite incorrect as to the movements of these two officers. I may say that I was never consulted."
Extract 48 year service

It's taken a while, but managed to find the Map from Smiths book, 48 years service!


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Wonder why he didn't show any of the other 24th companies and colonial regiments. ?
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue May 23, 2017 8:30 am

Bonjour,
About the alleged missing cylinder of Melvill's revolver (Fynn's narrative), there is an interesting hypothesis in "Victoria's Harvest" (p.110) by John Young.

Cheers.

Frédéric
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue May 23, 2017 8:59 am

Frederic,

Just a gentle reminder that Victoria's Harvest was not a solo effort, it is co-authored with David Truesdale. It is the first in a series of five planned books on the Irishmen who served in the campaigns of the Victorian era.

As to our theory, this is based on the pair of us having used speed loaders operationally. The theory relates to use of pre-loaded cylinders of weapons such as the Colt Navy and Army patterns during campaigns prior to 1879.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Tue May 23, 2017 9:59 am

Mr Young,
I was indelicate with your co-author, so I apologize.
This theory has the merit of explaining both the testimony of Henry Fynn and that of Walter Higginson.

Regards

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Coghill and Melvill issue   Fri May 26, 2017 5:47 am

Hi,

I once read (I can't remember in which book) that the bodies of M&C where found close to the bodies of two Mounted Infantrymen, I have always been fascinated by this and if they died around the same time.

Also never having been there, how far away was 'safety' for M&C, if they had made it up the hill, would they had more chance of surviving, was the Edendale NNMC in their vicinity?

Thanks
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