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 Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site

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PostSubject: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:01 pm

Read an eye-witness account of one of the survivors of the Battle of Isandhlwana. Smith-Dorriens.

Memories of Forty-Eight Years Services... Click on link below....

http://www.richthofen.com/smith-dorrien/dorrien01d.htm
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PostSubject: smith-dorrien   Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:42 pm

hi all, in case anybody is interested a copy of MEMORIES OF 48 YEARS OF SERVICE by H. SMITH-DORRIEN is currently up for auction on ebay.uk. cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:37 pm

Some Photo's from Smith-Dorriens Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service.

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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:32 am

Hi Guys
Read the link and read strongly between the lines. I got the feeling that there was so much more he could have written but elected not to. He was of course rather bitter because he wasnt decorated after Isandlawana.
Brilliant read though.

Regards
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PostSubject: smith- dorrien   Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:17 am

hi springbok.
I think you are correct about him being bitter for not being decorated after Isandlwana , but he did say in later years
that , the actions he saw people go un - rewarded for in WW1 far outweighed anything he had done previously in his
military career , or words to that effect .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:19 pm

So SD Accounts in "Forty Years Services" should really be dismissed in its entirety. Those wishing to take bits of information from SD accounts, do so to make their research correct. Kind of confuses the issue. He either remembered or he didn’t.

I have seen loads of posts where SD accounts have been called upon, to argue a point. ????
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:48 pm

"So SD Accounts in "Forty Years Services" should really be dismissed in its entirety"
Why would you wish to do that Ray?

Just because his memory was a trifle hazy, or maybe it wasn't? No single person could see that entire battle field, how would he know that all 4 kilometres of the line was out of ammunition? You cant dump his testimony and I don't believe its a case of yes or no, theres a patch of gray area in there as well. So its a Yes a No and a Maybe.

Another example: My son a few years ago saw an armed robbery, described the men, the vehicle the guns, everything. But for some weird reason said the vehicle was blue when in actual fact it was green. So question, should his entire testimony be discarded?

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:16 pm

Hang on, hang on, HANG ON! first he was there! i will say that again..
he was there! dismiss it? if his memory was a bit shakey in later life!
so what..he was at Isandlhwana and lived to tell the tell! he went
through the carnage of the trenches and lived to tell his tale, what
a truly remarkable individual.

so a dry dusty fact may be dredged up one day, so what..who or what
would that serve! hands of these derring do'ers deeds please!
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:52 pm

Ray63
To move the goalposts from being careful with later primary sources to dismissing them entirely is unreasonable and foolish even to do so.  That's not the way historical research is conducted and you certainly don't take the bits you like to make research correct.  As I've written on another thread you look for corroborative evidence from other testimonies when uncertain.


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:25 pm

SD mention of the firing lines having run out of ammuntion, has been corroborated by quite a few others. Who were there?
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:13 am

ulundi
You are confusing two matters.
No-one denies that once surrounded, away from the ammo waggons, the surviving individual British coys MUST have run out of ammunition and fought with the bayonet. That was inevitable. There is no question that this occurred.
Some have contended that the supply of ammo to the firing lines dried up or became a trickle, WHILST the battle was still raging, causing the withdrawal. For that there is no definite evidence just a few contentious ambiguous statements which some contend lend weight to that argument.
Into which category do S-D's remarks fall (though they are conflicting)? I contend the former rather than the latter.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:05 pm

90th wrote:
I dont have Smith - Dorrien's Memoirs

Not sure it you are interested but here in the US a few years back his memoirs were reprinted in a trade paperback format so they are no longer difficult/expensive to come by. When I first became interested in this topic I had to track down an original edition in Australia just to read them. It was supposed to be my first truly "collectible" book but a short time later the rug was pulled out.


Also, the first few chapters (through the AZW) and the Le Cateau chapters are available in their entirety here: http://www.richthofen.com/smith-dorrien/
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:23 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
Hang on, hang on, HANG ON! first he was there! i will say that again..
he was there! dismiss it? if his memory was a bit shakey in later life!
so what..he was at Isandlhwana and lived to tell the tell! he went
through the carnage of the trenches and lived to tell his tale, what
a truly remarkable individual.

Ummm, except for RAY63, who seems to live in an absolutist universe where one throws out the baby with the bathwater, nobody was suggesting that. OTOH, as J. Whymbra and Springbok were saying, one can trust but also VERIFY through independent corroboration. The problem becomes with off the cuff linear assessments like -- "they ran out of ammunition or they didn't." We are all prone to doing that occasionally. I will give you a minor example in what you just wrote here Xhosa. SD didn't really spend any time in trenches. He was packed off for home due to the machinations of his old antagonist John French before the fixed trench lines were dug on the Western Front. And when he was brought back to service for a brief period near the end of the war...it was in Africa.

Quote :
so a dry dusty fact may be dredged up one day, so what..who or what
would that serve! hands of these derring do'ers deeds please!

Problem being that some of those dusty facts inspired potential flights of fancy in the most widely circulated written history of the battle by a latter historian...which was then made into a classic movie etc... The result is that is quite possible we will never get past certain preconceptions that under different circumstances would be nearly inconsequential.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:51 pm

6pd
Your quite right. Next week I hope to post evidence that will correct one particular issue, small but leads to a bigger point.

Cheers
PS Smith Dorrien may be an old duffer but hell he was a mans man for sure, a personal hero.

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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:39 pm

springbok9 wrote:
PS Smith Dorrien may be an old duffer but hell he was a mans man for sure, a personal hero.

I agree wholeheartedly. I wasn't pointing out his inconsistencies to slur him, just to set the record straight. BUT, old duffer? He was nineteen or twenty I think during Isandlwana!
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:14 pm

6pdr and springbok
Absolutely! On the nail.
I like S-d too and personally I think he was hard done by in the First World War - though I'd best say nothing about that - that's for another thread on another website at another time...lest we digress.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:50 pm


I've been checking you out 6pdr, boy do you blow with the
wind, depending who you are responding too!

The problem becomes with off the cuff linear assessments like -- "they ran out of ammunition or they didn't." We are all prone to doing that occasionally. I will give you a minor example in what you just wrote here Xhosa. SD didn't really spend any time in trenches. He was packed off for home due to the machinations of his old antagonist John French

You blithely type the above and attribute it all to me! its not, so stick to the things i did say,
or punctuate accurately, " carnage of the trenches" was a catch all to summarise the war
experience of many serving in a war of absolute Attrition! i don't need or require a history lesson
from you thank you, you split hairs and seek to post with an air of authority, which i have yet
to discover derives from where? if you feel that you have to ' oppose everything i say ' that is of
course fine. please don't presume to lecture me on any aspect of Smith-Dorrien. finally, if you
recall, we were invited to dismiss S-D's recollections..my garbled piece was my own clumsy
plea for people to let our hero's live on, i think SD more than did his bit!. enjoy the rest of your
day, its a beautiful one here in the UK.  Very Happy 



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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:27 pm

6pdr.,

6pdr wrote:
He was packed off for home due to the machinations of his old antagonist John French before the fixed trench lines were dug on the Western Front. And when he was brought back to service for a brief period near the end of the war...it was in Africa.

I'm going to have to contradict you on the above statement I'm afraid.

By October 1914 the trench systems were in place, what was Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien doing in October 1914 - he was fighting the 1st Battle of Ypres. The defensive line at Neuve Chapelle was called - wait for it - THE SMITH-DORRIEN TRENCH!

If he wasn't involved in trench-warfare, why was he involved in disciplining those who he considered had fraternized with the enemy during the Christmas truce of 1914.

During the 2nd Battle of Ypres, the British, including Smith-Dorrien's 2nd Corps, were defending an almost untenable entrenched salient, which they had held at great cost since the 1st Battle of Ypres five months earlier. On 22nd April 1915, the Germans used poison gas on the Western Front for the first time and heavy casualties were sustained. Smith-Dorrien suggested withdrawing from the salient due to the mounting casualties, this brought him into conflict with Sir John French, who decided to bring up Smith-Dorrien's refusal of an order during the Retreat from Mons. French then depleted his command and turned the defence of salient over to Herbert Plumer.

Smith-Dorrien remained on the Western Front until May 1915, when he was summoned to return to Britain by Kitchener. He was informed of this by General “Wully” Robertson, an ex-ranker with the words “’Orace, you’re for ’ome.”

He held various commands in England until November of 1915, when he was ordered to take over the operations in German East Africa. On his voyage out he was taken seriously ill with pneumonia, as a consequence of which the South African General Jan Smuts was appointed in his stead. His illness rendered him unfit for military operations, but by September 1918 he was considered fit enough to be appointed as Governor of Gibraltar, a position which he held for five years.

Just for your information.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:17 pm

Oops. Mea culpa. See how memory plays tricks!  Shocked 

I knew that French held his grudge from Smith-Dorrien making his stand against orders at Le Cateau. I figured he was told "you're for 'ome" much earlier by Robertson...but now that you mention it I do remember (vaguely) reading about the perfectly reasonable request they rationalize the line. Maybe that's why he chose to make an issue of SD showing him up earlier.  Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:21 pm

p.s. I have a question for all of you Horace fans. He married rather late in life. Have any of you ever seen a photo of her?
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:31 pm

Hmm, i dont think so! surely there's something
you would like to say to me! ( he asked,
fluttering his eyelashes coyly in anticipation! )  Very Happy 
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:40 pm

p.s. I have a question for all of you Horace fans. He married rather late in life. Have any of you ever seen a photo of her?


Err, i have! opposite page 348 in his memoirs..
you know, the one you have had for years..
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:48 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
p.s. I have a question for all of you Horace fans. He married rather late in life. Have any of you ever seen a photo of her?


Err, i have! opposite page 348 in his memoirs..
you know, the one you have had for years..

Maybe it's just me, but I think given his advanced age, he landed quite a stunner.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:55 pm

Ha Ha, right, i have you exact! the scales have fallen from my eyes!
for a while i thought something else, sorry for your trouble! you will
get no more grief from me it just would not be fair!
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PostSubject: The Ammunition Question   Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:15 am

Hi 6pdr
Thanks for the info on S-D's memoirs , I havent grabbed it over the years as I'm aware it varies to what he first stated
back in 1879 , to what is contained in the actual book . I've seen quotes by others over the years which verify this .
Cheers 90th  You need to study mo 
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:57 am

xhosa2000 wrote:
Ha Ha, right, i have you exact! the scales have fallen from my eyes!
for a while i thought something else, sorry for your trouble! you will
get no more grief from me it just would not be fair!

I have no idea what you are on about Xhosa but the picture I was referring to is actually in his biography, THE MAN WHO DISOBEYED. It is impossible to make out how she looked from the photo you pointed out in his autobiography.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:33 am

An interesting snippet on Mrs Smith Dorrien is that she was from Barrow in Furness, lived near Furness Abbey, and just around the corner lived Samuel Wassal.

Not a lot of people know that !
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:39 am

Pax 6pdr...again!!! You will always
get a response from me, know that.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:44 pm

springbok9 wrote:
An interesting snippet on Mrs Smith Dorrien is that she was from Barrow in Furness, lived near Furness Abbey, and just around the corner lived Samuel Wassal.

Not a lot of people know that !

What's a Furness? Who is Samuel Wassal?
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PostSubject: SD Forty Years Services   Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:59 pm

6pdr
Are you having a senior moment!!??!!  Furness - the peninsula that was in Lancashire; Samuel Wassall - the only contemporary Isandhlwana VC...
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:01 pm

"
Obituary
General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien
A GREAT SOLDIER  
 
  General Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien, whose death is announced on another page, was a soldier whose true greatness was only revealed as the documentary evidence of the Great War gradually became available.   He was called upon to take crucial decisions, and he had the courage to take them.
  His name will always be associated with the Battle of Le Cateau on August 26, 1914, which he fought with the express though reluctant consent of Sir John French.   The II Army Corps, which Sir Horace commanded, administered such a check to the oncoming Germans that it was enabled to withdraw from the field unpursued and to continue it's retreat for ten days without serious molestation.   It suffered heavy casualties but far less than it inflicted, and it earned this tribute from Von Kluck: -
  The way the retreat was carried out was remarkable.   I tried very hard to outflank them, but I could not do so.   If I had succeeded, the war would have been won.
  It is probably not too much to say that Smith-Dorrien's decision to stand and fight at Le Cateau saved the British Expeditionary Forces from annihilation.
  The son of R. A. Smith-Dorrien, of Haresfoot, Herts, and brother to the late Mr. Smith-Dorrien-Smith, of Tresco Abbey, Scilly Isles, he was born on May 26, 1858.   From Harrow, he joined the 95th Foot, The Sherwood Foresters, in February, 1876.   In 1878 he went out to Zululand on special services with the new creation of the day, mounted infantry.   At Isandhlwana in January, 1879, a small column consisting chiefly of the 24th Foot was surprised in camp by a Zulu impi, and only three or four of the British troops escaped the ensuing massacre, Smith-Dorrien, who had been a fine long-distance runner at school, succeeded in evading on foot the savages in pursuit of him.   On the evidence of witnesses he was recommended for the V.C. for two separate acts on that day.   These recommendations drew laudatory letters from the War Office, with a regret that, as the proper channels for correspondence had not been observed, the statutes did not admit of his receiving the distinction.   Next July he saw his comrades avenged at Uhundi; he himself charged the fleeing Zulus with his mounted men.
Egypt and South Africa
  Then came the Egyptian campaign of 1882.   Once more employed with mounted infantry, Smith-Dorrien was at Tel-el-Kebir, and in the following year he took service with the Egyptian Army, being then just promoted captain.   For the next five years he served in that country.   First engaged in 1864 with the Egyptian troops in the Valley of the Nile, he went through the continuous fighting of that season.   Then in the next year he was at Suakin, once more in command of mounted infantry.   Later in the season, after joining the Sudan Frontier Force, he took part in Sir F. Stephenson's defeat of the Dervishes at Giniss, where he led the pursuit of the Dervishes with Egyptian mounted troops.   He left Egypt in January, 1887, with a D.S.O. and the Orders of the Osmanieh and Medjidieh.
  Returning to England he spent 1889 and 1890 at the Staff College, and less than 18 months elapsed before he was promoted major and embarked to join his regiment in India.   First he was a station staff officer, but was soon appointed D.A.A.G. in Bengal, and later A.A.G. in the Punjab.   This move resulted in his accompanying the Chitral Relief Force of 1893.
  He then reverted to his regiment, and went through the frontier campaign of 1897-8 in Tirah.   After that he was called to the Sudan, where he had left many friends.   He arrived in the summer of 1898, just in time to take part in the battle of Omdurman and in the subsequent operations in the Nile Valley.   A brevet-colonelcy was his reward, and in January, 1899, he was promoted regimentally to the command of his battalion.   With 23 years service he had now amassed a remarkable experience of "small" warfare; he had passed through the Staff College and was a brevet-colonel.   Nor was the record lightly won, for Smith-Dorrien from the day of Isandhlwana onwards had served mainly with troops; he had led them in every rank through which he passed; his success was the result of honest service and an unquestioned gift of leadership of men.
  On the outbreak of the South African War, in 1899, the Sherwood Foresters went to the Cape and, on Lord Robert's reorganization of his forces, Smith-Dorrien received the command of the 19th Brigade, 9th Division, being promoted major-general.   He contributed much to the success of Paardeberg; he distinguished himself at Popular Grove.
  The capture of Thaba Nehu was largely his, while it is believed that the adoption of his plan would have averted the failure at Sannah's Post, in the Eastern Transvaal.   Later on in the year the success of the operations round Belfast was the outcome of his handiwork.   It is true that he was near disaster during a night attack made upon his column by the enemy at Bothwell, but the steadiness of his troops and his own example saved them from destruction and himself from capture.   If Smith-Dorrien's whole activities in this war were noteworthy, equally so was the fighting spirit he infused into his troops.   His reputation for tenacity, combined with the intelligent handling of men, led the official historian to compare him to that great figure in war, Ulysses Grant.
  Returning home in the summer of 1901, he soon went out again to India, this time as Adjutant-General.   In July, 1903, he was transferred to the command of a 1st Class District, and shortly afterwards to that of the 4th (Quetta) Division of the Western Army Corps.   He was created a K.C.B. for his services in 1904, and was promoted lieutenant-general in 1906.
  After an absence of six years he returned to England to assume the chief command at Aldershot in December 1907.   In this important post, which he held for just over four years, he initiated a reform of much significance.   Hence forth the soldier was to be regarded as an individual capable of being treated in a liberal way; he was to be placed upon his honour with regard to the observance of military discipline; older methods of restrictions and of punishment were largely relaxed or abolished..   Unqualified success followed the innovation, and Smith-Dorrien's reputation as a sympathetic leader of men was assured.
  In February 1912, he handed over the Aldershot Command to Sir Douglas Haig, who had just returned from India, and took up the Southern Command at Salisbury.   His work continued on the same lines as at Aldershot, and with equally happy results.   He was promoted to General in 1912, and to G.C.B. in 1913.
Le Cateau
  The outbreak of the Great War found Sir Horace outside the pale of the Expeditionary Force.   But the sudden death of Sir James Grierson, who had been appointed to command the II Corps on Mobilization, left a vacancy which he alone could be called upon to fill.   So he took the field and commanded that Corps at Mons in August, 1914.   On this occasion, the second position prepared at his instance behind the canal was to be the main line of resistance, but owing to the stubborn fighting of the 3rd and 5th Divisions against six German divisions, it was not until evening that a retirement was ordered.   Then began the retreat.
  Two days later came the battle on which mainly hangs Smith-Dorrien's reputation as a soldier.   In the early morning of August 26 - the anniversary of the battle of Crecy - Smith-Dorrien, after conferring with General Allenby, commanding the Cavalry Division, and the late Sir Hubert Hamilton, commanding the 3rd Division, decided that he could not carry out the retreat
which Sir John French had ordered without fighting first.   It was a choice between standing to fight and being attacked on the move in broad daylight.   He therefore reported fully to the Commander-in-Chief the reasons for his decision, and he received a written reply the substance of which was: You are the man on the spot; if you really consider it necessary to fight you must do so; but break off the engagement as soon as you can and continue the retreat.   This document is quoted in General Edmonds's "Official History."   It is difficult to understand, therefore, why the Field-Marshal should have written in his book "1914" that there was "not a semblance of truth" in the statement that "some tacit consent" was given by him to Smith-Dorrien's decision.   Smith-Dorrien himself remained silent till 1925, when in his " Memoirs of 48 Years" Service he gave a dispassionate account of the reasons for his decision.
  The correctness of that decision is now acknowledged, and is confirmed from German sources.   On the eve of Le Cateau Von Kluck's army and Von Richthofen's cavalry corps were already in places in actual contact with the British troops.   Sir Douglas Haig's corps had the Sambre between it and the enemy, but the II Corps on the right had no such protection.   The position of its 3rd and 5th Divisions was perilous enough; that of the 4th Division, under General Snow, which though it did not form part of his corps, Smith-Dorrien could not leave in the lurch, was more perilous still.   It's units were still moving across the enemy's front in the early hours of August 26; they were not in line with the remainder of the II Corps. and could not possibly be ready to resume the retreat with them at the hour originally fixed.
  At 5 a.m. Von der Marwitz's three cavalry divisions opened fire on General Snow's men, and the artillery and infantry of Von Kluck's leading corps came into action soon afterwards.   Sordot's French cavalry on the west had by this time moved off, and had the British 3rd and 5th Divisions been caught streaming away in columns on the road, and been headed off by the German cavalry, with German infantry closing in on them there well have been another Sedan.
  As it was, Smith-Dorrien was able to withdraw his troops in the middle of the summer afternoon, and so effective had been their resistance that it was not till 6 a.m. on the following day that Von Kluck issued his order, "The in-retreat-supposed-enemy to be attacked wherever found."   Indeed, Von Kluck and his chief staff officer, Von Kuhl, were under the impression that at Le Cateau, they had fought the whole of the British Expeditionary Force, and when the later learned the truth, he wrote: - "One corps stands to fight, the other marches away.   Where was G.H.Q. that day ?"   The fog of war was certainly very dense in those critical days of August, 1914, but the summary of what was done at Le Cateau given in the Official History will surely be the final judgment of history: --
Smith-Dorrien's troops had done what was thought to be impossible.   With both flanks more or less in the air they had turned on an enemy of at least twice their strength; had struck him hard and had withdrawn, except on the right flank of the 5th Division, practically without interference, with neither flank enveloped, having suffered losses certainly severe, but, considering the circumstances, by no means extravagant.   The men looked upon themselves as victors . . . . they had inflicted on the enemy casualties which are believed to have been out of all proportion to their own, and they had completely foiled the plan of the German commander.
THE MARNE AND AFTER
  The retreat came to an end.   Smith-Dorrien's Corps turned and fought on the Marne, and again at the Aisne, but his two Divisions, the 3rd and 5th, had incurred such heavy losses at Mons and Le Cateau that they could do little more than gain a bare footing on the northern bank.   There followed the early fighting in Flanders, where after a successful advance reaching nearly to La Bassée, heavy German reinforcements appeared, and Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien wisely fell back a short distance to a line which he had selected from Givenchy past Neuve Chapelle and in front of Laventie.   This line, except that Neuve Chapelle changed hands twice, was maintained until 1918.   On December 26, on the re-formation of armies, Sir Horace was given command of the Second Army and of the left of the British line.
  During the second battle of Ypres Smith-Dorrien, seeing that the French north of him had retired and were obviously not going to counter-attack, expressed himself as being in favour of a retirement from the part of the salient still in British hands back to a line along the north-eastern ramparts of the town of Ypres.   Sir John French dissented; he urged the blow to prestige that such a move entailed.   On meeting with final refusal, and finding that he was slowly being deprived of control of the battle, Smith-Dorrien wrote to the Field-Marshall a letter in which he said that it had been obvious to him for a long time past that they could not see eye to eye, and that it was consequently, better for the cause that he (Smith-Dorrien) should retire.   As things turned out, this proved the end to a true soldier's career; a loss to the Army upon which it is now idle to speculate.
  On returning home, Sir Horace was created G.C.M.G., and was given command of the First Army of the Central Force maintained for Home Defence.   This was but a poor employment for a soldier of his calibre.   In November, 1915, he went out to East Africa to direct the conduct of the operations against the German forces surviving in that theatre of war.   But in the following February he fell seriously ill on the voyage out, so that he asked to be relieved of his command and returned home.   He was not again employed on active service, but bore the trial in dignified silence.   In January, 1917, he received the appointment of Lieutenant of the Tower of London, and held that sinecure until September, 1918, when he was nominated Governor of Gibraltar.   He filled that post with dignity and efficiency for five years.
  Among the many officers who established a great name in the period of small warfare before 1899, few had survived to participate in the Great War.   Some were well stricken in years; others had grown too senior in rank; several dropped out of the circle which was to staff the Army of 1914.   Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien was an exception.   With his still youthful physique, his personal qualities, technical knowledge, and experience, all claimed recognition.   He was a man of the Army who had lived with it and for it; he always knew the temper of his men in a manner that was given to few.   Moreover, he was not of those who had sat in Whitehall; apart from the short time he spent in India as Adjutant-General he had never been an "office soldier."   It is true that he had his weaknesses; his direct manner may have lacked grace; he may have been hot tempered; he could think of nothing but his troops except perhaps, of his racing ponies; he was no courtier; he did not aspire to figure as a heaven-sent soldier or administrator.   But his soldierly merits were such that his name will surely live in the history of the British Army.
  Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien was Colonel of the Sherwood Foresters from 1905, and was appointed A.D.C. General to the King in 1910.   He married, in 1902, Olive, daughter of Colonel Schneider, of Furness Abbey.   She was created D.B.E. in 1919.   He leaves three sons, of whom the eldest is a lieutenant in the King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Source:
THE TIMES
Wednesday, 13 August 1930
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90th

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PostSubject: Memories of 48 years service , source in link to site    Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:50 am

Well , from what I read from ' The Times ' post by littlehand , there are several errors ! . They mention only 3 or 4 British Soldiers escaped , well , we know there were 5 officers and a total of 55 men at least , which doesnt I think take into account any of the NNC or other Native units , as for evading the zulu army on foot  No  , he was mounted till he got to the river ! .
Two acts for the VC ? , I know of one , where he was on the riverbank and bandaged the Mtd Infantryman's arm ? , and Major Smith RA was there as well , and he ( Smith ) and the mtd Infantryman were killed while standing with S-D . The other act escapes me , was there another ? . I know after WW1 S-D didnt think what he did on 22nd Jan warranted him being bestowed a VC , he said he saw 100's of more heroic actions in WW1 , that better deserved the VC than what he had done on the 22nd Jan 79 , they , also not being seen as worthy of a VC. As for charging out of the square at Ulundi with his mounted men ! , I dont remember ever reading that ! , but I'm always happy to be corrected  agree .
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PostSubject: Memories of 48 years service    Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:09 pm

Great photo xHosa  Very Happy 
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:36 pm

Notice whom the King decided to sit beside! But there is a full photo of her in his biography done in high Victorian gloss which is more indicative of why she was the belle of the ball.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:42 pm

90th wrote:
Well , from what I read from  ' The Times ' post by littlehand , there are several errors !

You mean that an obituary of a leading establishment figure may not be utterly reliable? Next thing somebody will say is that officially sanctioned biographies are fallible!
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:40 pm

He did not decide! S-D was the o-c at Aldershot.. so
it was protocol..if someone else had been in charge
the seating arrangements would have reflected that,
and we would be looking at some other.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:45 pm

General “Wully” Robertson, an ex-ranker with the words “’Orace, you’re for ’ome.”

As JY said above, i make him the seventh one in from the left.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:47 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
He did not decide! S-D was the o-c at Aldershot.. so
it was protocol..if someone else had been in charge
the seating arrangements would have reflected that,
and we would be looking at some other.

Ummm...where I'm from we call that "joking." I will try in future to include a  Joker to alert you. Like this, "From the look on Sir John French's face, he was jealous too!"  Joker 
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:08 pm

He did not decide!...your words alone, stop slippin & slidin..



Ummm...where I'm from we call that "joking." I will try in future to include a Joker to alert you. Like this, "From the look on Sir John French's face, he was jealous too!" Joker ....

Whatever.. where i'm from you would get a dry slap! you still manage to
sound patronizing and smug at the same time..so like i asked..step off me
till you can post sensibly regarding me!
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:45 pm

Does anyone have this book. Xohsa I guessing you have.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:48 pm

I do. And a softcover reprint is available too.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:00 pm

6pdr. I brought the e-book copy, as I wanted to know his take on Melvill and Coghill. I was under the allusion he knew what happen to them, but the copy I have tell's me no more that what I already know and is written in the artical already on the forum. Does he elaborate in the hard copy.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:55 pm

Hiya LH, his take on the Zulu War is the first chapter, 
and its not long..cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:58 pm

littlehand wrote:
6pdr. I brought the e-book copy, as I wanted to know his take on Melvill and Coghill. I was under the allusion he knew what happen to them, but the copy I have tell's me no more that what I already know and is written in the artical already on the forum. Does he elaborate in the hard copy.

No, Admin put the link to the full content of the brief chapter(s) on Isandlwana in the first posting of this thread. This is all there is:

"Again I rode through unheeded, and shortly after was passed by Lieutenant Coghill (24th), wearing a blue patrol and cord breeches and riding a red roan horse. We had just exchanged remarks about the terrible disaster, and he passed on towards Fugitives' Drift. A little farther on I caught up Lieutenant Curling, R.A., and spoke to him, pointing out to him that the Zulus were all round and urging him to push on, which he did. My own broken-kneed transport pony was done to a turn and incapable of rapid progress.

The ground was terribly bad going, all rocks and boulders, and it was about three or four miles from camp to Fugitives' Drift. When approaching this Drift, and at least half a mile behind Coghill, Lieutenant Melvill (24th), in a red coat and with a cased Colour across the front of his saddle, passed me going to the Drift. I reported afterwards that the Colour was broken; but as the pole was found eventually whole, I think the casing must have been half off and hanging down. It will thus be seen that Coghill (who was Orderly Officer to Colonel Glynn) and Melvill (who was Adjutant) did not escape together with the Colour. How Coghill came to be in the camp I do not know, as Colonel Glynn, whose orderly officer he was, was out with Lord Chelmsford's column."

He doesn't mention Coghill or Melvill at all in the letter he wrote home the next day either. I'll check to see if his biographer sheds any more light on the topic but don't hold your breath.
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PostSubject: memories of 48 yrs service    Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:22 am

Just a quick note for those who arent aware , and may ask the question regarding Coghill , as to why he wasnt out with Glyn and LC , he had damaged his knee the night before , when apparently chasing a or some fowls in a kraal . He stayed in Camp to rest his damaged knee .
90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:55 am

Doe's anyone have the official account of Melvill and Coghill posted in 1881
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PostSubject: memories of 48 yrs service    Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:15 am

Littlehand what do you mean by the '' Official '' Melvill & Coghill account of 1881 ??
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:11 am

In Smith's book he says the movements of these officers was quite in-correct and that he had never been consulted. So wondered if anyone had the official account Smith mentions published in 1881. Just to seen what others were saying compared to what Smith witnessed.

Alphonse de Neuville's famous painting "Last Sleep of the Brave Isandlwana" was displayed in 1881. We know this to be Victorian melodrama but did the official account published in the same year, give Neuville the idea for his painting.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:33 am

LH
Richard Glyn produced a report based largely on Higginsons account. I don't recall anything more official.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service; Source in Link to site   Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:50 pm

Littlehand,

The 'official' account published in 1881 which Horace Smith-Dorrien is referring to in his autobiography was the Narrative of the Field Operations connected with the Zulu War of 1879.

Page 48 recounts the loss of the Queen's Colour & Page 60 its recovery.

John Y.
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