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 Was Chard capable?

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 19:54

Some officers seemed to have had a low opinion of Chard. Lazy. Good at everything apart from soldiering. So did he ride on the back of the other’s like Dalton? Did he make the decisions or was he just claiming the fame.
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Saul David 1879



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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 20:02

CTSG. Let me guess. You don't think he was capable ?

S.D
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 20:17

hi
Chard is not the only one who should be targeted out as not being capable.
Bromhead was a popular fellow, but was also described as lavy and useless.
Chard and Bromhead wanted to abandon the drift and had actually loaded up two wagons ready to leave. It was Dalton who persuaded them to stay and make a stand rather than being slaughtered trying to defend two slwo moving ox wagons out in the open. Dalton persuaded them to stay and construct the barricades, and not to leave and end up dead.

thanks joe
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 20:18

CTSG. Says
Quote :
" Good at everything apart from soldiering"


This was said of Bromhead, not Chard. Idea
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Saul David 1879



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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 20:21

Joe. You are absolute correct. And so are you Admin.

S.D
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 20:24

Quote :
CTSG. Let me guess. You don't think he was capable ?
I think he was more that Capable. He was an officer of Engineers.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 20:32

"Many of their fellow officers were amazed that they were recommended for VCs."

"One senior officer wrote: 'Bromhead is a great favourite in his regiment and a capital fellow at everything except soldiering . . . He had to be reported confidentially as hopeless.' Another described Lt Chard as 'a most useless officer fit for nothing'."

Mr G.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 20:35

Both Hero's. Why do you think they were awarded the VC.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 20:58

Maybe to take the attention off the diaster at Isandlwana.

Mr G.
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 21:03

hi,
I agree with Mr G
The attention given to the defense of Rorkes Drift may just have been to keep people away from focusing on the 'humiliating' defeat at Isandlwana. The amount of awards given out was sure to get people thinking away from Isandlwana.

thanks joe
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 21:04

Do you not think that Rorkes Drift deserved more recognition that Isandlwana. That small band of brothers fought for 15 hours and survived. Isandlwana was a Zulu Victory. Rorkes Drift was a British victory. Nothing to do with anyone's reputation. No one used Rorkes Drift to cover-up Isandlwana. The Battle of Rorkes Drift done that all on its own.
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 21:10

hi
It certainley is a much more amazing and unbelivable story, and I agree it does deserve recongnition with odds of over 40-1.
But even with that I still think the commanders in the British Army still tried to use the heroic defense of Rorkes Drift to keep attention away from Isandlwana.

thanks joe
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 21:12

I don't normally get into these discussions. I’m more of a Refrence person. But you have to admit. 24th does have a point.

"The Battle of Rorkes Drift done that all on its own"
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 21:40

As I have already said “The dead cannot defend themselves against the scurrilous and malicious remarks”

Regardless of what took place before the actual Battle of Rorkes Drift, the fact remains that Chard and Bromhead stayed. Chard was sent there to repair a bridge, as CTSG so rightly pointed out Chard was an officer of engineers.

Rorkes Drift was a supply depot and hospital under the command of Brevet Major Henry Spalding, 104th Foot, a member of Chelmsford's staff. Who has we know left to chase up reinforcenments, leaving Chard in commard due to his seniority.

It’s worth pointing out that the foundation of the decision to stay and fight is unknown. But it is known that Lieutenants Chard and Bromhead and Assistant Commissary Dalton discussed the matter and decided that their forces would remain in place and defend the mission station.

I will have to leave it there. But will continue when I have time.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 21:45

Well this could be an interesting topic. : Maybe he gone to chase up reinforcements.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Tue 13 Apr 2010 - 21:50

"It’s worth pointing out that the foundation of the decision to stay and fight is unknown"

Can anyone say different? Because if they can’t it certainly knocks the Dalton theory on the head.
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rai



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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 14 Apr 2010 - 7:55

Hi All
Whether Dalton, persuaded Chard and Bromhead to stay or not, the decision was made, and as Chard was in command [Spalding left him in command] the decision was his to make.

Spalding had gone to Helpmakaar to find out what had happened to the two companies of the 1/24 that had been expected and were on the road somewhere,

Wells heres food for thought?
These two companies were late but on the road to Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana, in fact they are said to have seen the fighting in the distance but returned to helpmakaar. If the battle at Isandlwana had not taken place on the 22nd but on the 23rd as the Zulu commanders wanted, these extra two companies would have probably been at Isandlwana late on the 22nd or early on the 23rd, we know Pulliene had been ordered up to Chelmsford's new camp in the Mangeni Valley but would he have had enough time on the 22nd to move the complete camp at Isandlwana up to Chelmsford or would this have happened on the 23rd. I feel the camp might have been moved on the 22nd but more likely on the 23rd. An extra two companies on the right flank where Pope was could have made a great difference in the battle if it took place on the 23rd.???????????
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90th

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PostSubject: chard was capable.   Wed 14 Apr 2010 - 9:06

hi all.
The following from Rorkes Drift by those who were there by Jones and stevenson.
Chards first report from the Nat Archives. " About 3.15 pm on that day , I was at the ponts when two men came riding from
zululand at a gallop , and shouted to be taken across the river . I was informed by one of them , LT Adendorff of Lonsdale's
regt ( who remained to assist in the defence ) of the disaster at Isandlwana camp , and that the zulus were advancing to R.D.
The other a carbineer rode off to take the news to Helpmakaar, almost immediately I recieved a message from LT. Bromhead
commanding the company 24th regt at the camp near the commt stores, asking me to come up at once . I GAVE THE ORDER
TO INSPAN , STRIKE TENTS , PUT ALL STORES INTO THE WAGON and at once rode up to the commt store and found a note
had been recieved from the 3rd column to state that the enemy were advancing in force against our post , WHICH WE WERE TO
STRENGTHEN AND HOLD AT ALL COSTS .LT Bromhead was most effectively employed in loopholing and barricading the store
buildings and hospital and connecting the defence of the 2 buildings by walls of mealie bags and two wagons . I held a hurried
consultation with him and with Mr Dalton of the commt ( who was actively superintending the work of defence and whom I cannot
sufficiently thank for his most valuable services ) entirely approving of the arrangements made . I went round the position and then
rode down to the ponts ...................
This from Dalton..." When intelligence of the disaster at Isandlwana reached R.D ., It was RESOLVED BY BROMHEAD in conversation with SURG REYNOLDS and MYSELF , to hold the post at all costs .

This from Surg Reynolds....LT. Bromhead , acting comm Dalton , and MYSELF forthwith consulted Together , LT Chard not yet
having as yet joined us from the pontoon, and WE quickly decided that with barricades well placed around our present position
a stand could best be made where we were. In other words , REMOVING THE SICK and WOUNDED WOULD HAVE BEEN EMBARRASSING TO OUR MOVEMENT. Desertion of them was never thought of....................
In my humble opinion Chard was certainly capable as were the others who were making the decisions .
cheers 90th
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 14 Apr 2010 - 14:50

hi,
well thats another officer gone, whos next? :lol!:

Chelmsford? :lol!:

Thanks joe
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Thu 15 Apr 2010 - 22:16

90th and myself are thinking along the same lines.

We should look at the defence of Rorkes Drift as a group decision; it became quite apparent to all, that they had no alternative but to stay a fight. As far as i'm concerned rank didn’t play a part as much as we are led to believe from the film Zulu. From what I have read about the Battle of Rorkes Drift, they seemed to have worked in perfect harmony with each other, each one knowing exactly what was needed to fortify the mission station. Chard, Dalton & Bromhead all had a part to play. It was teamwork that won the day. It was Unfortunate that Dalton was not initially named among the VC recipients, but he eventually receiving his medal in January 1880.

Lets look at what Chard had to say in his report, about Dalton and Bromhead. (Some Extracts)

“Lieutenant Bromhead was most actively engaged in loopholing and barricading the store building and hospital, and connecting the defence of the two buildings by walls of mealie bags and two wagons that were on the ground. I held a hurried consultation with him and with Mr. Dalton of the Commissariat (who was actively superintending the work of defence, and whom I cannot sufficiently thank for his most valuable services), entirely approving of the arrangements made. I went round the position and then down to the ponts and brought up the guard of 1 serjeant and 6 men, wagon, &c. I desire here to mention the offer of the punt man “Daniells” and Serjeant Milne, 3rd Buffs, to moor the ponts in the middle of the stream and defend them from their decks with a few men. We arrived at the post about 3.30 p.m. Shortly after an officer of Durnford’s Horse [Lt Alfred Henderson] arrived and asked for orders. I requested him to send a detachment to observe the drifts and ponts, and throw out outposts in the direction of the enemy, and check his advance as much as possible, falling back upon the post when forced to retire and assisting in its defence. I requested (not ordered) Lieutenant Bromhead to post his men, and having seen his and every man at his post, the work once more went on.”


Chard credits Dalton with superintending the work of defence, he does not claim the credit himself. And the same form Bromhead.

Chard carries on to say.

“I saw that our line. Of defence was too extended for the small number of men now left us, and at once commenced a retrenchment of biscuit boxes.”

We ( not I ) had not completed a wall two boxes high, when about 4.30 p.m. 500 or 600 of the enemy came in sight around the hill to our south, and advanced at a run against the south wall. They were met by a well sustained fire, but notwithstanding their heavy loss, continued the advance to within 50 yards of the wall, when they were met by such a heavy fire from the wall and cross fire from the store, that they were checked, but taking advantage of the cover afforded by the cook house, ovens, &c., kept up a heavy fire.

So when we hear the wrong men were given the VC, I'm not reall sure what they mean.

Although Chard was in command. He was cleaver enough to know he had experienced men with him. He was more than capable.
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garywilson1

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Fri 16 Apr 2010 - 6:03

But surely a VC is not awarded for merely being in command and organising a defence - that is what officers are trained and paid to do .

The defence of RD was heroic but i think the number of VCs awarded was too high and an attempt to distract from the earlier disaster .
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Fri 16 Apr 2010 - 19:37

Quote :
But surely a VC is not awarded for merely being in command and organising a defence

'For gallant conduct at the Defence of Rorke's Drift, 22nd and 23rd January 1879. The Lieutenant-General reports that had it not been for the example and excellent behaviour of Lieutenants Chard, Royal Engineers, and Bromhead, 24th Regiment, the defence of Rorke's Drift would not have been conducted with the intelligence and tenacity which so eminently characterised it. The Lieutenant-General adds, that the success must in a great measure be attributable to the two young officers who exercised the chief command on the occasion in question.'
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garywilson1

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Sun 18 Apr 2010 - 18:06

So a VC IS awarded just for being in command and organising a defence ?

I am not saying they were not capable officers but that is exactly what they were trained to be .

At the end of Zulu Richard Burton is talking about the awarding of VCs , awarded for possibly courage "............. above and beyond that which is normally expected in the face of the enemy ."

Its quite normal for officers in charge to organise the defence , particularly when there was not a lot else they could have done .
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Sun 18 Apr 2010 - 18:38

Quote :
So a VC IS awarded just for being in command and organising a defence ?

Hi Gary. I think Chard did a bit more on that. He wasn't exactly standing on a hill like an induna. He was there fighting along side his men.
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Sun 18 Apr 2010 - 19:21

hi
I do beleive the defence would not have been a succes without the 2 officers and Dalton,

Quote :
He was there fighting along side his men

wasnt an officer expected to fight along with his men?

thanks joe
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Mon 19 Apr 2010 - 6:26

Hi Littlehand - i agree with you , but again , does that qualify you for a VC ?

I am looking for something extraordinary which he did to merit the award , something which has not been done by British officers under fire for hundreds of years before and since.

best regards , Gary.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Mon 19 Apr 2010 - 7:28

Gary
I dont think there was any specific incident. Rather an overall command, to ensure the safety and survival of the men.
I cant remember who made the observation, possibly Noggs Newman , saying of the awards, "Wolsley went around pinning medals on anything that moved."
I think that if the battle is put into context, and you cant really apreciate how small it was unless you have seen the battlefield, it came at a point when the British public was desperatly in need of heroes. The reverses, defeats and incidents called for a diversion and some form of good news. When it hit the papers the defenders were instant action hero's and with hero's you pin medals on them.
So yes I would agree, an over reaction.
But please Im not trying to downplay or belittle Chards magnificent men or their actions.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Mon 19 Apr 2010 - 8:15

Springbok - thats exactly what i am trying to say only you have explained it better than me !!

No-one is trying to belittle the defence , only to put it more in context regarding the awarding of medals .

Gary.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Mon 19 Apr 2010 - 8:41

Gary
What I find really interesting about RD and Isandlawana is the effect the two films had on perceptions of the actual battles. Hook for instance, " you never were any good", when in reality he was a member of the Temperance society and lead a blameless life. Bromhead is now forever in our minds as an upper class twit ( maybe thats right?). CS Bourne? Many posts have been made questioning why he didnt get a VC. All perceptions from the movie. The biggest being " Men of Harlech", I do know of one devotee of the battles that insists that Ivor Emmanuels grand father was at the battle. Also there were more English at the battle than Welsh.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Mon 19 Apr 2010 - 9:28

Also Dalton who comes across as somewhat upper class and Adendorf who is given great credit for organising the defence .
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Mon 19 Apr 2010 - 15:04

hi
ie heard somewhere cs bourne took a promotion instead of a vc, anyone else know of this

thanks joe
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Mon 19 Apr 2010 - 22:02

11 Victoria Crosses plus many other awards. The most surprising part was that Colour Sgt Bourne only received a Distinguished Conduct Medal.

There are a few stories kicking about as to why he never received the Victoria Cross. None of them make sense. He was one of the driving force behind the defence.

Following the Zulu Wars C/Sgt F Bourne was offered a commision but didn't accept it due to lack of funds. Or so the story goes.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Mon 24 Oct 2011 - 21:12

So why was he awarded a VC???

For being in command??

No dout he was a brave man but what did he do to earn his VC???

Any ideas because i have none scratch scratch

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 16:55

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
So why was he awarded a VC???

For being in command??

No dout he was a brave man but what did he do to earn his VC???

Any ideas because i have none scratch scratch

Cheers
DB14

for being in command.
the man in command of a significant action almost always gets the/ or a VC
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 16:57

Can you please post another example for this happening Idea




Cheers
DB14
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 17:04

try lt cdr ian fraser, lt cdr s h beattie, Sqn Ldr R. A. M. Palmer, wng cdr guy gibson, incredibly brave leaders, all of them, just like chard.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 17:20

Hi Tasker,

I totaly agree with Guy Gibson......... But did his crew get VCs becasue they where in just as much danger?????


Cheers for thoses other examples

DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 17:29

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
Hi Tasker,

I totaly agree with Guy Gibson......... But did his crew get VCs becasue they where in just as much danger?????


Cheers for thoses other examples

DB14

i didn't think Gibson's crew got VCs. If you read about what exactly Gibson did, you will find his VC was richly deserved.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 17:41

Both myself and my farther believe that Guy deserved his VC, but his crew where in just as much
danger as he was, they deserve the award as well as him or at least some award or something for their part
do you know if they got anything??????

Cheers
DB14
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 20:08

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
Both myself and my farther believe that Guy deserved his VC, but his crew where in just as much
danger as he was, they deserve the award as well as him or at least some award or something for their part
do you know if they got anything??????

Cheers
DB14

i don't know for sure but i am sure the odd dfc and dfm was awarded.
remember, the crew had no choice, they were under gibson's orders to go and to return time and again into the danger zone. gibson did this deliberately, knowing the danger of his own free will and initiative. as the boss, he went well beyond the call of his duty, taking the overall responsibility for the lives of his crew and the other crews.

a modern and similar-ish incident is the 4 marines who volunteered and strapped themselves to the 2 apache helicopters to go and rescue a stricken colleague in the killing zone of the jugroom fort raid in the afghan in 2006. only the officer got a gallantry award, the mc, tho all 4 were in grave and imminent danger.
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 21:01

Gent's I can see where your going with this, but we seemed to have jumped to WW2. Not really in line with "Was Chard capable?" Not really on topic...
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 21:13

Sorry Admin probebly better done thourgh the pm system


Cheers
DB14
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 21:17

I6th.March,1879,Captain Jones wrote of Chard.

Quote :
"It is also incorrect to say that, Lieutenant Chard was 'ordered to return to the ponbs". He actually returned on his own accord, after watching developments at Isandhlwana, which he read as possibly endangering his responsibilities at Rorke's Drift and returned there."

Can anyone confirm if this is true. I was always under the impression he was order to build a bridge. Or are we looking at sour grapes on "Jone's part"
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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 21:29

Chard's report to Queen Victoria

"On the morning of the 22nd January, I put the corporal and three sappers in the empty wagon, with their field kits, etc., to take them to the camp of the 3rd Column; and also rode out myself. The road was very heavy in some places, and the wagons went slowly; so I rode on in advance, we arrived at the Isandhlwana Camp, went to the Head-Quarters Tent, and got a copy of the orders as affecting me, and found that I was to keep the ponts in working order, and also the road between Helpmakaar and Rorke's Drift and the orders also particularly stated that my duties lay on the right bank of the River Buffalo"

I wonder why he emphasis’s this part. Could something had been said along the lines what “Jone’s” was saying..
Quote :
"particularly stated that my duties lay on the right bank of the River Buffalo"
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 22:31

Its as though he is justifing the fact, that he did not remain Isandlwana. Did he take it upon himself to leave. Is this order available anywhere to view on the web?
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 22:49

If Chard left iSandlwana, he may well have been required to justify why, which he has done looking at OH2's post. He clearly did this as he was obeying his orders to work on the ponts.
There can be no suggestion that he left the camp for any other reason than to carry out his orders. As I have read on another thread here today, even Pulleine didn't know what was going on the morning of the 22nd. If Chard had forseen what was going to happen at iSandlwana, well, no one else did, so why would Chard?
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Wed 26 Oct 2011 - 23:06

Great lines from Zulu

Lt. Chard: Did the runner bring orders?
Lt. Bromhead:
Quote :
He brought orders to the commander of this post.
Chard: To do what?
Bromhead: To hold our ground.
Chard: To hold our ground? What military genius thought up that one? Somebody's son and heir, who got a commission before he learned to shave?
Bromhead: I rather fancy he's nobody's son and heir now.

Sometimes wonder if the directors of Zulu had access to information we don't
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Was Chard capable?   Thu 27 Oct 2011 - 11:54

Don't they call it "artistic license"?
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