Lieutenant John Chard:What's our strength? Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead Seven officers including surgeon commissaries and so on Adendorff now I suppose wounded and sick 36 fit for duty 97 and about 40 native levies Not much of an army for you.
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Captain David Moriarity, 80th, KIA Ntombe
This photograph taken when he was in the 7th Regiment prior to his transfer to the 80th. [Mac & Shad] (Isandula Collection)
The Battle of Isandlwana: One of The Worst Defeats of The British Empire - Military History

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Join date : 2009-03-25

PostSubject: JAMES PHILIP ARCHBELL   Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:07 pm

Was born on the 13th October, 1853, at Pietermaritzburg. He studied at the High School during the years 1863 and 1864, and twice obtained the Good-Fellowship Prize by the
vote of his school-fellows. After leaving school, he first became a clerk in Pietermaritzburg, and subsequently engaged in agricultural pursuits. He volunteered as a non- commissioned officer in the Natal Native Contingent, raised for the defence of the Colony during the Zulu war. As Colour-Sergeant of the 1st Native Contingent, he fell at
Isandhlwana, 22nd January, 1879.
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PostSubject: james phillip archbell   Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:51 am

hi 24th .
I think he may be one of the few colonials that has a marker that bears his name where he fell , I may be wrong .
I"m sure someone will clarify for us.
cheers 90th.
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Join date : 2010-07-25

PostSubject: Re: JAMES PHILIP ARCHBELL   Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:17 am

Hi: Just found this forum - James Philip Archbell is actually John Philip Archbell, son of James Wiliam Archbell and Catherine Holgate, and the grandson of James Archbell (Wesleyan Missionary) and Elizabeth Haigh, and I believe that he was named after his uncle, who died on 22 November 1853, just a month after young John Philip was born. The anomaly of his name appears to stem from "The Story of an African City" . His headstone at Isandlwana was erected as a result of his brother's request - laid down in his will. The headstone has his correct name inscribed on it.

The Archbell family is part of my family tree.

Sue King
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Location : Devon

PostSubject: Re: JAMES PHILIP ARCHBELL   Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:48 pm

Hi Sue and all

Firstly, welcome to the forum.

Many thanks for the information update. It is great too hear that the Archbell family is part of your family tree.

For others who may be interested, a close up of his grave.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Last edited by 1879graves on Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: JAMES PHILIP ARCHBELL   Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:46 pm

Thank you for your welcome! I have to say that my visit to Isandlwana in February 2010 was a unique experience. Spion Kop did not evoke anything like the emotions, and I would be hard-pressed to find an equal in the WWI sites of Thiepval (where my grandfather is commemorated), the Menin Gate, Tyne Cot or any of the other sites. There is something strangely different about Isandlwana, but I am so glad that I came from England to visit this place.

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old historian2


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PostSubject: Re: JAMES PHILIP ARCHBELL   Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:34 pm

Quote :
There is something strangely different about Isandlwana

I would be greatly interested if you could tell me in more detail what you mean “strangely different” Was it a calming feeling. Sad, Depression, Scary. Sorrow, Other.
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PostSubject: Re: JAMES PHILIP ARCHBELL   Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:11 am

Sorry for the delay in responding. I don't really know how to describe the feeling. I think "moving" is one way of putting it. The number of small white cairns was evocative, more so than the large mass graves at Spion Kop, or even the large WW1 cemeteries of Tyne Cot etc. I suppose it was the small white cairns that made it different, no regimented burials and headstones, just the many stones to mark where they found the bodies some months later, and then of course there is the backdrop of the mountain. It was a unique sight, and one which I will remember for a long time.

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Richard Archbell

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PostSubject: Re: JAMES PHILIP ARCHBELL   Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:40 pm

Hi Everyone,
Very pleased to join this forum. My cousin Sue King has devoted much time and energy researching this chapter in the Archbell family history. Just a further quirk of coincidence. Whilst Sue was visiting descendants of missionary James Archbell on a trip to RSA in 2010, Rob Caskie was delivering his Isandlwana lecture at Fettes College, Edinburgh commemorating James Blaikie, the first O.F to fall in battle. When Sue returned from her trip and showed me the photos of the grave of our relative John Archbell at the battle site I couldn’t believe the tie-up.
As can be seen elsewhere on this forum, Blaikie, born in Aberdeen, went to Pietermaritzburg High School before being sent to Fettes (1873-75), then returned to Natal before enlisting with fellow PMB Old Collegian John Archbell in the NNC. Their names share the list of seven former pupils on the memorial stone erected by their college mates. Another is Capt. George Shepstone whose exploits on the day I followed in Saul David's excellent book. Shepstone's body was found with thirty of his men around him. Perhaps Colour Sgt John and 19 yr old James Blaikie were with him at the end, who knows?
Ninety years after Blaikie was at Fettes and totally by chance, I found myself at the same school and, amazingly, in the same house (Moredun). We shared the same place of learning and he went on to die next to my ancestor on that fateful, tragic mission. Small World.
I'm finding this forum fascinating. Thank you.

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24th foot


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PostSubject: Re: JAMES PHILIP ARCHBELL   Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:17 pm

Pure gold.
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Age : 62
Location : Melbourne, Australia

PostSubject: James Philip Archbell   Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:36 am

Hi Richard .
Excellent story and glad you are enjoying the forum , I can tell you that George Shepstone was KIA with his men on the Western Slope of Isandlwana , which is the opposite side of the mountain to where James Philip Archbell and Trooper Blaikie were buried , they were buried in what is the Colonial Cemetery , where the Colonials fought , and where overwhelmed , Archbell and Blaikie were identified and have markers as such in this Cemetery . I've been there many times, I always find it quite emotive when sitting there , thinking of what took place on that ground around me on that fateful day .
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