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 Captain William Reginald Honison Craufurd. Letter Home.

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Posts : 7045
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 49
Location : Down South.

PostSubject: Captain William Reginald Honison Craufurd. Letter Home.   Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:14 pm

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Captain William Reginald Honison Craufurd. letter signed to his father, Colonel Honison Craufurd, and to his sister, Ekowe, Gingilovo, Mzizane Fort Redoubt, Camp Umlalaasi Plain, Port Durnford, Zululand, and Fort Inverary, 4 April-25 August 1879, written in blue or pink ink and pencil, together 31 pages, 8vo, with four envelopes, three endorsed 'From Lt. Craufurd 91st Highdr on Active Service', with Durban/Natal stamps (some fading to one letter, one envelope with partial losses); together with enclosures comprising a photograph of a convoy loading from Fort Chelmsford, Zululand (136 x 197mm), two small pencil sketches, of a cart and the commanding officer's tent at Gingilovo, and a view of the 'Gingilovo laager from native fort', and three postcards of Eshowe. Modern green folder and slipcase. Provenance: The John Robson Collection of Military Postal History, sold Christie's Robson Lowe, 8 June 1993.

A fascinating correspondence from the battlefields in Zululand, comprising letters home from Captain Craufurd of the 91st Infantry Regiment (Princess Louise's Argyllshire Highlanders), who was present at the battle of Gingindhlovu on 2 April, the relief of Eshowe and the advance of Major-General Crealock's Division to Port Durnford. Writing two days after the battle to his father and sister in Cramond Bridge, Edinburgh, Craufurd provides a vivid description of the battle.

'We had our first engagement ... it was very exciting ... these Zulus attacked us about 6am and almost immediately we found them swarming like bees all around us, firing commenced ... their skirmishing being done most splendidly ... we all admire very much the way they advanced to the attack, our men can't hold a candle to them'). In letters written throughout April, Craufurd describes a march to Ekowe to relieve Colonel Pearson, (describing it as 'badly managed' and critical of a badly chosen position to laager on the return journey with Lord Chelmsford), an incident leading to court martial, details of daily life and sufferings, provisions and equipment, the building of 'Ford Chelmsford', and awaiting the arrival of General Crealock. 'Everyone seems to think the war at an end'; writing from Camp Umlalaasi Plain, Port Durnford on 16 July, Craufurd shows his annoyance at not having been brought to the front sooner, describes 'a lively scene' on the beach, as transport ships and boats are unloaded by sailors and Zulus ('the Zulus are the ones who have surrendered to us and are now in our pay at £1 a month. They ... are much astonished as you may suppose at our proceedings ... a great many showed me wounds which they had got at Ginginhlovo, and their manner of describing how they were wounded was very amusing, especially when trying to imitate rockets or shells'). Letters written in July and August comment on the battle of Ulundi ('the Zulus expected us to get a beating, it only shows that they were still confident'), Sir Garnet's speech to '400 chiefs and headmen of kraals', the departure of General Crealock ('had a sale of all his kit yesterday'), and writing from Fort Inverary, of raids ('we have had one or two others, the most important one being to a Kraal occupied by a Zulu Induna of the name of Eskunian and who is Cetewayo's head butcher'). A touching correspondence, the letters are interspersed with appreciation of the beauty of the surrounding country, with accounts of 'absurd' native customs."
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PostSubject: Re: Captain William Reginald Honison Craufurd. Letter Home.   Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:18 pm

Craufurd, "William Reginald Houison. Ensign, 6th March, 1869 ; lieutenant, 14th September, 1870 ; captain, 23rd March, 1879. Served during the Zulu War of 1879 ; was present at the battle of Ginginhlovo, relief of Ekowe, and subsequent operations (medal with clasp
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Captain William Reginald Honison Craufurd. Letter Home.
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