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 Martin Foley

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Martin Foley   Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:28 am

Hi Troops

Im trying to get information on Martin Foley, wagon Driver. He was a suvivor and fled along the Fugitives trail. I recently came across an article that said he road the trail with M & C. Ive never heard of this before and wonder what source material would point to this. If indeed there is any reference it would be the only mention of M & C being together before Fugitives Drift.

Any help out there??

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:20 pm

Hi Springbok. Click on link below. Brickhills account of his escape. He mention's seeing Foley with MC & CH.

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

I have highlighted in yellow the text in-question.
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90th

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PostSubject: Martin Foley.   Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:31 pm

hi springbok9
Found this in England's sons by J. Whybra .
Conductor Martin Foley , Civilian attached to Army Commissariat and Transport Department .
( A) Account in the Natal Mercury 28th Jan 1879
( B) Account in the Times of Natal 3rd Feb 1879
( C ) An anecdote is also quoted , anonymously in Norris - Newman's ... In zululand with the British Army
page 77 - 79 .
Mentioned in the account of LT. Davies NNH
He escaped with an army staff - sgt and a Carbineer , neither identified . In flight met Capt. Essex .
Escaped via Fugitives Drift to Helpmekaar , thence to Pietermaritzburg in the company of Lt. Davies NNH
and Capt . Stafford NNC .
Will try and do some more looking up either tonight or Tomorrow , I think I have an account by Foley
so will post anymore I come across .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:18 pm

Thanks guys.
So that puts M & C together at the BEGGINING of the trail, before Mpethe . Does this call into question Smith Dorriens statement that he saw C 200 yards ahead?
If C was riding shotgun to the colors surely he would not have parted?

Curious

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:44 pm

I think is clear and proven. Coghill did not leave with Melvill. He left before him.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:21 pm

Springbok. Are you trying to establish the time Coghill left. ??
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:53 pm

'R.Glyn Colonel' Report Sir, I have the honor (sic) to report that on the 22nd January last, when the camp of Isandlwanha was attacked by the enemy, the Queen’s Color (sic) of 1st Battalion 24th Regiment was in the camp - the Headquarters and five companies of the regiment being there also. From all the information I have been since able to obtain, it would appear that when the enemy had got into the camp, and when there was no longer any hope left of saving it, the Adjutant of the 1/24th Regiment, Lt. Teignmouth Melville, departed from the camp on horseback carrying the Color with him in hope of being able to save it. The only road to Rorke’s Drift being already in possession of the enemy, Lt. Melville and the few others who still remained alive, struck across country for the Buffalo river, which it was necessary to cross to reach a point of safety.

In taking this line, the only one possible ground had to be gone over, which, from its ruggedness and precipitous nature, would, under ordinary circumstances, it is reported, be deemed almost utterly impassable for mounted men. During a distance of about six (6) miles, Lt. Melville and his companions were closely pursued or more properly speaking, accompanied, by a large number of the enemy, who, from their well-known agility in getting over rough ground, were able to keep up with our people though the latter were mounted. So that the enemy kept up a constant fire on them, and sometimes even got close enough to assegai the men and horses. Lt. Melville reached the bank of the Buffalo and at once plunged in, horse and all. But being encumbered with the Color, which is an awkward thing to carry even on foot, and the river being full and running rapidly, he appears to have got separated from his horse, when he was about half way across. He still however held on resolutely to the Color, and was being carried down stream when he was washed against a large rock in the middle of the river. Lt. Higginson of the Natal Native Contingent, who had also lost his horse in the river, was clinging to this rock, and Lt. Melville called to him to lay hold of the Color.

This Lt. Higginson did, but the current was so strong that both officers, with the Color, were again washed away into still water. In the meantime Lt.Coghill 1/24th Regiment, my Orderly Officer who had been left in camp that morning when the main body of the force moved out, on account of a severe injury to his knee which rendered him unable to move without assistance, had also succeeded in gaining the river's bank in company with Lt. Melville. He too had plunged at once into the river, his horse had carried him safely across but on looking round for Lt. Melville and seeing him struggling to save the Color in the river, he at once turned his horse and rode back into the stream again to Lt. Melville’s assistance. It would appear that now the enemy had assembled in considerable force along their own bank, and had opened a heavy fire on our people directing it more especially on Lt. Melville who wore a red patrol jacket, so that when Lt. Coghill got into the river again his horse was almost immediately killed by a bullet. Lt. Coghill was thus cast loose in the stream also, and notwithstanding the exertions of both these gallant officers, the Color was carried off from them, and they themselves gained the bank in a state of extreme exhaustion. It would appear that they now attempted to move up the hill from the river bank towards Helpmakaar, but must have been too much exhausted to go on, as they were seen to sit down to rest again.

This, I sorely regret to say, was the last time these two most gallant officers were seen alive. It was not for some days after the 22nd that I could gather any information as to the probable fate of these officers. But immediately I discovered in what direction those who had escaped from Isandlwanha had crossed the Buffalo I sent, under Major Black 2/24 Regt. a mounted party who volunteered for this service, to search for any trace that could be found of them. This search was successful and both bodies were found where they were last seen, as above illustrated. Several dead bodies of the enemy were found about there, so that they must have sold their lives dearly at the last. As it was considered that the dead weight of the Color would cause it to sink in the river, it was hoped that a diligent search in the locality where the bodies of these officers were found might lead to its recovery. So Major Black again proceeded on the 4th inst. to prosecute this search. His energetic efforts were, I am glad to say, crowned with success, and the Color with the ornaments, case & (sic) belonging to it, were found, though in a different place, in the river bed. I cannot conclude this report without drawing the attention of H.E., the Lt. General Commanding, in the most impressive manner which words can command, to the noble and heroic conduct of Lt. Adjutant Melville, who did not hesitate to encumber himself with the Color of the Regiment, in his resolve to save it, at a time when the camp was in the hands of the enemy, and its gallant defenders rallied to the last man in its defence, and when there appeared but little prospect that any exertions Lt. Melville would make would enable him to save even his own life.

Also later on to the noble perseverance with which when struggling between life and death in the river, his chief thoughts to the last were bent on the saving of the Color. Similarly would I draw His Excellency’s attention to the equally noble and gallant conduct of Lt. Coghill, who did not hesitate for an instant to return, unsolicited, and ride again into the river, under a heavy fire of the enemy, to the assistance of his friend; though at the time he was wholly incapacitated from walking and but too well aware that any accident that might separate him from his horse must be fatal to him. In conclusion, I would add that both these officers gave up their lives in the truly noble task of endeavouring to save from the enemy’s hands the Queen’s Color of their Regiment, and greatly though their sad end is to be deplored, their deaths could not have been more noble or more full of honor.

I have the honor to be Sir Your obedient Servant signed 'R.Glyn Colonel' Commanding 3 Column
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:45 am

Mr G
Is it in fact proven?
Littlehand
For some time now Im been attempting to put a time line onto the fugitives. Smith Dorrien has been key to this in his reccolections. He puts C 200 yards ahead of Mellville, suposedly near Mpethe. Brickhill puts them together very early in his narative, Essex puts him at the guns with other officers. The one who seems to be wrong is Smith Dorrien.
Still working on it.
Chard
Glyn and Penn Symonds accounts both rely heavily on Higginsons account. He is a proven liar and I dont know what credibility can be attached to his account. Dont forget his account was only made public AFTER he stood accused of cowardice and stealing the horse of his recuer. His accounts of M & C shooting pursuers is also in question. M's gun was not working.
As allways this whole saga is fraught with contradiction.

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:57 am

Hi Springbok.The point I was trying to make. Was that Glynn? Did not mentioned Coghill as being with Melvill until they were near the river. So it appears to me that Glynn chose his word s carefully. He did not mention that Coghill and Melvill left at the same time. Or that Melvill was ordered to save the Colours. Maybe Glynn chose not to go into to much detail concerning the other sightings of Coghill which wouldl have showed him leaving the Battlefield before anyone else who had a horse.

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:39 am

Hi Chard
Yep I see where your going. One of the key elements of the fugitives mapping excercise will be trying to ascertain the dates of the various statements made by the escapers. From there we may get a picture as to who is originating and who is following.
As a rather of beat example. Donald Morris in TWOTS talks of the coffin shaped rock. Were did that come from? He originated the concept every other historian for years copied him. Morris allso talked of Popes last stand on the saddle, thats practically impossible to have happened given the place G company died to a man.
And again, the only evidence we have of M & C being in the water together is Higginson, Glyn et al merely repeated his statement so its now accepted as fact.
So coming back to the fugitives trail, who made the original statements and who copied? If of course any one did.
Throw in another curve ball. People generally think of the trail as being just that, a path over the hills. In actuallity the 'trail' is a very wide diamond shape, starting as a point at the saddle, widening up to maybe 500 metres then converging down to the drift itself.
Ergo when SD talks of Coghill being two hundred yards ahead, maybe they were on different tracks seperated by 200 metres.
Maybe again one route was easier than another so fugitive A leaves before fugitive B but takes a harder route so arrives later.
Possibly Higginson ran very early and got delayed. In order to give himself an alibi he puts himself in the water with two imperial officers.
Interesting isnt it?

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:36 pm

MEMORIES OF FORTY-EIGHT YEARS SERVICE
GENERAL HORACE SMITH-DORRIEN
Quote :
"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."


"The first mention of Coghill being with Melvill was made by Higginson when he and Melvill were swept of coffin rock and Coghill returned to help."


Smith says
Quote :
"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." (Melvill was behind Coghill)


Lt. Curling RA saw Coghill on the track to Rorke's Drift at an early stage of the rout and later wrote,
Quote :

"I was with Maj. Smith at this time, he told me he had been wounded in the arm. We saw Lt. Coghill, the A.D.C., and asked him if we could not rally some men and make a stand, he said he did not think it could be done. We crossed the road with the crowd, principally consisting of natives, men left in camp, and civilians, and went down a steep ravine leading towards the river".
No mention of Melvill another witness account who was there.

Source: RDVC and posted by Pete (Admin) 2008.



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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:10 pm

Hi Chard
Now you see the complexities.
Brickhill puts M&C together early in the trail with Foley. Yet later when going through a narrow defile, M is ahead. The conversation about trying to make a stand could be anywhere along the route, however other officers, Essex etc seem to have been, if not party to the discussion then clse by. These trails seem to intersect close to the crashed guns.

What we also need to take into account is that during the cold cold light of day, some if not all of these officers would be taking a look at themselves and examining some consciences. Maybe just maybe self justification would creep into their statements. In particular the more senior officers ( Gardiner etc)would start to reflect on what their peers would start to think. Probably justified thoughts really when Wolsley had a go at them. Essex in particular seems to have had his fair share of sniggers and inuendo thrown around.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:50 pm

Neil Aspinshaw’s Theory.Same topic RDVC. 2008

This is quite an interesting theory. Let me know your thoughts.



On the ground facts:
A) This is one of the only clear positions on the battlefield, apart from the HQ command position that you can clearly see Durnfords Donga and the associated land beyond as the vantage point is good.
B) Without doubt Pope was making some headway toward Durnford as he was out on a bit of an extreme.
c) When Durnford retired, oblique past Pope he inevitably left Pope exposed to side and frontage and now a matter of time to near wipe out.

So, our theory........please, its a theory... (why do I think I am going to be hung out on this?.)
a) In his position Pope would have no doubt seen the Zulu left horn beginning to extend and outflank Durnford to the right of the Donga, so could the command Tent.
b) Pope could have moved off toward the right rear of Durnford to present an extended defence, indeed he did seem to be going oblique down the slope until he had to stop and then go on the defence. Until that time his view was good to his right, but poor to his left, so he would be reluctant to move.
c) What was Coghills job as senior officer in Pulleins command, baring in mind his incapacity with his knee off saddle?, in many respects being able to deliver specific orders to those company commanders who were out of eyeshot of the command tent.
d) without doubt, the Command tent could see, quite clearly without even telescopes etc the Durnford was being over extended and the tide of the right horn were heading and extending past him, the naked eye even today is quite enough. The centre was hoding its own.
e) Did Coghill (or anyone else.. in which case who) ride down to inform Pope of a strategic reposition, to close the inveitable plug in the far right of the line which would allow Durnford to slot in the gap to Popes Left.
f) If Coghill did, and rode to a position that he was satisfied from his own observation would allow for a tactical line adjustment, what happens then?. Did he become cut off in the rapid dissolvement and left out on a limb, if he does, where does he go?
g) Well, he could ride on the outside outer edge of the left horn enveloping movement, over Malhabamkhosi, with a view to getting back into the rear of the camp by outpacing the left horn.
h) He gets over the lip of the range, only to find his re-entrant now being cut off by the right horn, so, he goes for broke and rides outside this rapidly closing pincer, until he begins to meet the first fugitves. He is now seen on the trail with others.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:22 pm

Hi Chard
I dont think it takes into account the statement by the groom to Coghill. Neils theory puts Coghill
to the right rear of Durnford, but the grooms position would be much farther over towards the mountain. Again Neil assumes then that Coghill would have either ridden over Blacks Kopie or to the outside of it entering the saddle from the back, finding that blocked then hitting the trail out. He wouldnt have had the chance to have the contact and the conversation the groom recorded.
It, the theory, also proposes that Pulleine was in the command tent ? Other theories put Pulleine where he should be, in charge of the firing line.
Assuming however that Neils correct. That would tend to blow the official line that M & C rode out of camp together and also Brickhills evidence. Unless he, Essex , Curling, etc all left at the same time as Coghill STARTED his run around the Koppie. That would really put the cat amongst the pidgeons. Bear in mind as well that SD was in the party as well. Question then arrises, if the right horn was sufficiently advance to stop Coghills re entry, surely it would have been enough to stop those above getting out?
regards
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:39 pm

Good Points. I'm looking for Chelmsford report on what he thought about Coghill. Will be interesting to see his take on things. We may as well go do all avenues.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:47 pm

Found It.

Source Adrian Greaves

Chelmsford's and Wolseley's view of events

Lord Chelmsford was clearly unhappy about the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Coghill and Melvill. Chelmsford was already aware of a number of desertions from the field by officers of the invasion force. Most notable was the desertion of two officers who were part of Maj. Dartnell's force sent to scout ahead of Isandlwana.
The circumstances of Adendorff's departure from Isandlwana, where he was on picket duty, and his arrival at Rorke's Drift are also uncertain. There is even the possibility that he deserted Rorke's Drift moments before the Zulu attack. Zulu war author, Michael Glover, states, "Chard did not notice Adendorff's defection and reported that 'he stayed to assist in the defence'. Nevertheless, the evidence is overwhelming that he decamped. He was later arrested in Pietermaritzburg." (9) More seriously, on the afternoon of the battle at Isandlwana, Capt. Stevenson deserted from Rorke's Drift leaving Lieutenants Chard and Bromhead to face the attacking Zulus. (10)

Lord Chelmsford wrote to the War Office,
"It is most probable that Melvill lost his life endeavouring to save Coghill rather than vice versa. He (Coghill ) could hardly walk and any exertion such as walking or riding would have been likely to render him almost helpless. He could not have assisted, therefore, in saving the colours of the 1st 24th, and as I have already said I fear he was a drag on poor Melvill. As regards the latter (Melvill) I am again puzzled how to reply to your question. I feel sure that Melvill left camp with the colours under orders received. He was too good a soldier to have left without. In being ordered to leave, however, he no doubt was given the best chance of saving his life which must have been lost had he remained in camp. His ride was not more daring than that of those who escaped. The question, therefore, remains had he succeeded in saving the colours and his own life, would he have been considered to have deserved the Victoria Cross?"

Sir Garnet Wolseley was to write even more strongly on the issue,
"I am sorry that both of these officers were not killed with their men at Isandlwana instead of where they were. I don't like the idea of officers escaping on horseback when their men on foot are killed. Heroes have been made of men like Melvill and Coghill, who, taking advantage of their having horses, bolted from the scene of the action to save their lives, it is monstrous making heroes of those who saved or attempted to save their lives by bolting or of those who, shut up in buildings at Rorke's Drift, could not bolt, and fought like rats for their lives which they could not otherwise save.


Just stepping back a bit. What are your thoughts regarding Wolseley's comments compaired to that of Chelmsford.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:18 pm

I posted a rather wild idea sometime ago on this forum saying just that, M was the rescuor not the rescued. You have to give some thought to Chelmsfords words. C was weakened, he had rode across some really rugged terrain to get to the drift. Dont forget that more than 50% of control on a horse is through the knees ( or so my grand daughter tells me)
the trail is not only up and down hill its through some steep river banks and gorges. The pain must have been pretty intense.
So maybe M went into the water, lost the color ( water in flood going like an express train, the color itself water logged with a heavy staff), he struggles to get over to the bank, C looses his mount M goes back in for him. Higginson sitting on the far bank sees some of the action and draws a conclusion.
One things for sure that climb out of the water, across the flood plain and then up a really savage climb, was never going to be done by a man with a dodgy knee. M carried him or was helped by H. M didnt have a servicable revolver, the chamber dropped out and was found later father back along the trail. See what I mean, higginsons story doesnt hold water. ( H then leaves the other two steals a horse and eventually dissapears.)

Wolsley probably had a good point, for the era. Personally I would have been long gone and only stopped in PMB. Still ,Victorian times, the code of honor etc. Thats why I think the fugitives tried to cover their backsides with their tales of great daring on the escape.
No doubt Wolsley was mor intemporate with his comments than Chelmsford. Cant you just see him ridgid in his stance, red faced and moustach bristling spouting of in his club.
Chelmsford himself was coming under massive critisism so his responce is a lot more sedate. interesting thing about his comments though is how he talks M into a fine upstanding example of a serving officer but merely comments on C's dissability. Could we read between the lines there at all?

Just think though, if they hadnt gone the route they did, Isandlwana would not be half as exciting.

regards

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:40 pm

Just a simple questions lad's. (If Rorkes Drift had a Hospital, Why wasn't Coghil in it) Best place for him, rather than in the heart of enermy terrortiy.

Even Chelmsford agrees "Coghill could hardly walk and any exertion such as walking or riding would have been likely to render him almost helpless"
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:10 pm

Quote :
"Victorian times, the code of honor etc. Thats why I think the fugitives tried to cover their backsides with their tales of great daring on the escape."

Well I don't like to admit it Springbok. But you hit the nail on the head. Every one of those officers making their escape had to think of a reason as to why they were there and not on the Battlefield.

Of course if the Good Lords Chelmsford orders had been followed; there would have been no need for any of this.

However I do believe the” The first mention of Coghill being with Melvill was made by Higginson, He may have been a lair, But I can find no reason why he would lie about this. He had nothing to gain. The other witnesses also say Coghill was in front of Melvill. I would like to know at what time Coghill seen by these witnesses and at what time was Melvill seen to enable us to establish the time difference between the sightings.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:15 pm

oldH,
Wouldnt Coghill ahve been at Rorkes Drift briefly before leaving for Isandlwhana wihh the rest of the column, in this time surely some one would have seen to his knee. - Just Wondering

As for not being at Rorkes Drift, maybe he was looking to get out there, fight and win!

thanks joe
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:39 pm

Coghill was ok. if mounted. On foot no good to no one. The other thing to remember is. No one knew Isandlwana was going to be attacked. Coghill should have been with Chelmsford, but he was ordered to stay in camp to rest his knee injury.

And would it have been fair to expect a man who could hardly walk to fight a battle, where the odds were all ready against him. Maybe he did leave, but I think it was to warn those at Rorkes Drift. It was just the hands of fate that brought him a Melvill together at the end. Was it not Coghill who announced that Pulleine had been killed? Did he witness this or was he told. If he witnessed the incident would this not put him in the camp when the Zulu’s had just started their deadly work?

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:34 pm

Littlehand. I’m not too sure Coghill would have known that he was going to be staying at Isandlwana at the time of the crossing into Zululand

Do you take wounded men to fight in hostile territory? The reason I say this is because Chelmsford obviously knew the extend of Coghills injury by the statement he made
“Coghill could hardly walk and any exertion such as walking or riding would have been likely to render him almost helpless"

Chelmsford also has the audacity to believe that Coghill was partly to blame for the death of Melvill.

“He could not have assisted, therefore, in saving the colours of the 1st 24th, and as I have already said I fear he was a drag on poor Melvill.”

Coghill had the best excuse in the world for leaving, his knee injury. If he had survived no one would have blamed him, and if he had made it to Rorkes Drift he would have been a hero.

I can see it in the History Books.

Lieutenant Coghill who could hardly walk and any exertion such as walking or riding would have been likely to render him almost helpless but Lieutenant Coghill fought his way through the hoards of Zulu’s rode over rough terrain, crossed fast flowing rivers to bring the news of the disaster at Isandlwana to the mission station at Rorkes Drift.


I agree with Wolseley and always have done on this issue.

"I am sorry that both of these officers were not killed with their men at Isandlwana instead of where they were. I don't like the idea of officers escaping on horseback when their men on foot are killed. Heroes have been made of men like Melvill and Coghill, who, taking advantage of their having horses, bolted from the scene of the action to save their lives, it is monstrous making heroes of those who saved or attempted to save their lives by bolting or of those who, shut up in buildings at Rorke's Drift, could not bolt, and fought like rats for their lives which they could not otherwise save.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:15 pm

I knew the Good Lord Chelmsford would get the blame sooner or later.

Quote :
Chelmsford also has the audacity to believe that Coghill was partly to blame for the death of Melvill
.

They should have given Wolseley a VC. just to shut him-up. That was his problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:32 pm

Quote :
Do you take wounded men to fight in hostile territory?
I like that.

Admin. So your not in the Coghill Camp either.

Quote :
Lieutenant Coghill who could hardly walk and any exertion such as walking or riding would have been likely to render him almost helpless but Lieutenant Coghill fought his way through the hoards of Zulu’s rode over rough terrain, crossed fast flowing rivers to bring the news of the disaster at Isandlwana to the mission station at Rorkes Drift.
Now I like that. Problem is: He stopped to give assistance to a brother officer.

CTSG.
Quote :
I would like to know at what time Coghill seen by these witnesses and at what time was Melvill seen to enable us to establish the time difference between the sightings.

I think this would be a useful exercise. But it would be better to start at the beginning. The first attack on the camp. Then create at timeline to the point when they started leaving for the fugitives trail. Then identify the timse Coghill and Melvill was seen. Problem is I don’t think the times are available.

I like Neil’s theory, but Springbok has put a spanner in the works. Not quite sure what he’s saying. So I need to think about it.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:41 pm

Littlehand
Quote :
Now I like that. Problem is: He stopped to give assistance to a brother officer.

But Chelmsford said's he was a drag on poor Melvill.” So did he help or hinder.


Quote :
Do you take wounded men to fight in hostile territory?
No you don’t. A wounded man is a burden, a dead man isn’t.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:56 pm

Just to satisfy myself, where would Coghill have been located at Isandlwana? Would he have been nearer to the fugitives trail, than Melvill? What I mean if Melvill were on the other side of the camp would this not have been the reason why he was behind Coghill. Like I say I don’t know where Coghill would have been. So is there a records or accounts that puts Coghill and a certain location just before he left. Did anyone see him leave.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:24 am

Hi Everyone. Why was there no objections from any of the other survivors with regards to the actions of Coghill & Melvill if it did happen the way the History books say it did
The History books say they left together after Melvill was ordered to save the colours. None of the survivors that saw Coghill and Melvill on the trail stated that’s not the way it happened. When they were awarded the VC in 1907 again those survivors that were still living again did not disputed it. (Or Did they) Idea
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PostSubject: Martin Foley.   Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:18 am

hi all.
The reason why Coghill wasnt in the hospital at R.D is If I remember correctly , he had damaged his knee chasing
fowls at a kraal late the evening before , therefore he couldnt go back to the Drift at night . Also he was fine as long
as he was on horseback and an attack on the camp wouldnt have even crossed their minds , If you could ask all
those in the camp they would have to a man welcomed an attack as they didnt think they had any possibility of losing.
They had experience fighting in the kaffir wars and would have thought the zulus no better . Well , that train of thought
was about to change , wasnt it ?. In regard to higginson he certainly had nothing to gain but had plenty to lose !!.
And lose he did !!. History has painted him as a liar and I dont see any evidence to contradict this thought. As I posted
earlier Coghill wasnt required to stay behind as he wasnt a line officer , and who isnt to say he wasnt told to get out as
he was useless anywhere but horseback and by merely looking at the numbers in the attacking force , it was no doubt
going to get a tad hairy Shocked . It isnt like he did a runner as soon as the ' murderous Heathen ' arrived !. He more
than likely left around the same time as the others , We must remember Curling was way out on the front line and he
says when he gets back to the camp with the guns the zulus are already among the tents doing terrible work with their
assegai's Suspect . I'm happy for Coghill to have left when he did , as he was certainly at a great disadvantage .
Not wanting to bag Curling but he has come from a long way out on the front line and basically gone srtaight through
the camp and kept going !. Obviously saving the guns was his first and foremost thought whereas Coghill in my way
of thinking ' wasnt obliged to stay ' .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:17 am

Small correction:
1)Coghill was 1/24 Battalion staff officer. I believe that puts him in the catagory of a line officer.
2) His position should have been attached to Pulleines' staff.
3) That would have put him some where close to the firing line with Pulleine, acting as a messenger advisor etc.
4) With Neils theory that would have him dashing around the line passing instructions.
5) In terms of time he is positioned talking to the groom, I believe telling him to saddle Pulleines horse? That doesnt make sense in that if Pulleine was in command of the battle he would surely have been mounted allready.
6) At the time hes talking to the groom the lines must have been breached, Zulus are in the tent areas. However the circle isnt closed because he can still get out.

Thats as close as we can get to a timing position for Coghill. However the next step is to try and locate him in space. That cant be done is isolation, we need to look at the rest of the survivors statements to see who talks or spots who.

I still believe that the Drift story is incomplete. Its allmost as if the area was deserted apart from M, C and Higginson. Why does nobody else mention the three of them staggering up the hill. If the colors are so important why are they not mentioned actually at the drift.

Can anyone come up with any sightings apart from SD and Brickhill?

Enter
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:40 am

Pete
Why "Audacity"? Surely he was expressing an opinion based on what he knew of M's condition?

CTSG
Higginson did have a reason to lie. He needed an Alibi, the two imperial officers were it. Think about this one, Higginson crosses, heads of up the hill ( way ahead of the rest, where he should not have been ) looks back and witnesses some of the action in the water, its a clear view going up the hill, and concocts a statement involving himself in order to try and mitigate against the horse stealing episode?

Impi
None of the survivors were in a position to 'throw stones' I wouls suspect they were all trying to keep there heads below the parapet.

Dave
Mike Snooks theory is that when the line looked like collapsing Pulleine needed a focus or rallying point so sent M of to fetch the traditional rallying point, the colors. M got the colors and headed back to the line pulleine saw he was to late and told him to save the colors. Plausible explanation?

Regards


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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:58 pm

Curling say’s
“I again saw Lieutenant Coghill, who told me Colonel Pulleine had been killed.”

It has been established that Coghill left before Melvill. (Eye Witness Accounts)

Quote :
Mike Snooks theory is that when the line looked like collapsing Pulleine needed a focus or rallying point so sent M of to fetch the traditional rallying point, the colours. M got the colours and headed back to the line Pulleine saw he was to late and told him to save the colours. Plausible explanation?

Which would make it impossible for Pulleine to give the order to Melvill to save the colours he was dead. As Melvill had left the Battlefield after Coghill. Of course he may have rode off in the wrong direction at first.

Quote :
Pete
Why "Audacity"? Surely he was expressing an opinion based on what he knew of M's condition?

Chelmsford had a unique way of blaming someone & everyone apart from himself. He knew Coghill was un-fit for duty. So should have sent him back to Rorkes Drift. Coghill was a burden in his condition, and may have been to Melvill. But who allowed the burden to be there in the first place. But the fact remains that both of these officer’s should have remained with them men at Isandlwana. Along with the other officers than abandon their men. I keep hearing the excuse “When all was lost” they left. What about the Private soldiers. I we saying they didn’t know all was lost. They had no choice but to stay and fight, and fight they did along side those officers that stay with them.

I can never understand why it’s said that Coghill & Melvill were killed at the Battle of Isandlwana. They weren’t they were killed six miles away from the Battlefield. They were killed on the day of the Battle of Isandlwana.

I may have asked this question before. Hopefully Springbok can give a reasonable estimate. How long would it take to cover the six miles on Horseback in the conditions Melvill and Coghill were under? Taking into account the terrain over which they would have to ride.

“Lieutenant Curling, R.A., were returning with great difficulty, owing to the nature of the ground, and I understood were just a few seconds late. Further on the ground passed over on our retreat would at any other time be looked upon as impracticable for horsemen.”
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:28 pm

Thanks for that Pete.
As I said when I started the string on Mikes Book. There are some glaring errors, the M & C being amongst them .Difficult to estimate the length of ride to FD but with 20 000 Zulusbehind acting as encouragement, 60-90 minutes would do it as tops, could be as low as 60. Having walked over the area I can say for certainty that its not horse country.
To be half a mile ahead then puts Coghill leaving around 5 to 10 minutes before M. So Pulleine would have been dead for an equivalent time.
In terms of Chelmsford blaming all and sundry, that could just explain 9 pages are discusion with CTSG.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:33 pm

It doe's appear that Coghill was infront of everyone else,which must mean he was first to leave. Apart form Higginson.

+ He was on an un-familiar Horse.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:11 pm

But when ever they left or where ever they went. They had the colours with them. They could have quite easily dropped the colours. (Remember that Gentleman)

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:53 pm

Captain Essex's
“The only space which appeared opened was down a deep gully running to the south of the road into which we plunged in great confusion. The enemy followed us closely and kept, up with us at first on both flanks, then on our right only, firing occasionally, but chiefly making use of the assegais. It was now about 1.30 P.M. about this period two guns with which Major Smith and Lieutenant Curling, R.A., were returning with great difficulty, owing to the nature of the ground, and I understood were just a few seconds late. Further on the ground passed over on our retreat would at any other time be looked upon as impracticable for horsemen to descend, and many losses occurred, owing to horses falling and the enemy coming up with the riders; about half a mile from the neck the retreat had to be carried on in nearly single file, and in this manner the Buffalo River was gained at a point about five miles below Rorke's Drift.”

Essex is saying about 1.30pm he saw Smith and Curling who were returning with great difficulty. In Curling’s statement he is almost confirming what Essex says.
So we can only presume that Coghill was leaving about the same time as he was spoken to by Curling. (No mention of Melvill)


"Lieutenant Curling
The limber gunners did not mount, but ran after the guns. We went straight through the camp but found the enemy in possession. The gunners were all stabbed going through the camp with the exception of one or two. One of the two sergeants was also killed at this time. When we got on to the road to Rorke's Drift it was completely blocked up by Zulus. I was with Major Smith at this time, he told me he had been wounded in the arm. We saw Lieutenant Coghill, the A.D.C., and asked him if we could not rally some men and make a stand, he said he did not think it could be done. We crossed the road with the crowd, principally consisting of natives, men left in camp, and civilians, and went down a steep ravine leading towards the river. The Zulus were in the middle of the crowd, stabbing the men as they ran. When we had gone about 400 yards, we came to a deep cut in which the guns stuck. There was, as far as I could see, only one gunner with them at this time, but they were covered with men of different corps clinging to them. The Zulus were in them almost at once, and the drivers pulled off their horses. I then left the guns. Shortly after this. I again saw Lieutenant Coghill, who told me Colonel Pulleine had been killed."


Curling says We saw Lieutenant Coghill, the A.D.C., and asked him if we could not rally some men and make a stand, he said he did not think it could be done.

After Curling’s first encounter with Coghill he was making good his escape “We crossed the road with the crowd, principally consisting of natives, men left in camp, and civilians, and went down a steep ravine leading towards the river”]

He then says he left the Guns and saw Coghill again who told him Colonel Pulleine had been killed.

So where did Coghill go after his first encounter with Curling. The only way he would have known if Pulleine had been killed was either someone told him. Or he rode back into the camp and witness it for himself.


The other mystery is concerning Smith-Dorrien. In the court of enquiry he say’s.

“Lieutenant Smith-Dorrien, 95th Regiment, states: I am Transport Officer with No. 3 Column. On the morning of the 22nd I was sent with a Despatch from the General to Colonel Durnford, at Rorke's Drift, the Despatch was an order to join the camp at Isandlwana as soon as possible, as a large Zulu force was near it. I have no particulars to mention besides”

Can’t quite understand why he never mentioned who he saw and how he escaped. But then in his memoirs many years later he writes

"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 probably didn’t realise Coghill knee was injured".)



Maybe he didn’t want to up-set the civilians at their breakfast. As it was viewed as the two dashing Lieuntents who saved the regimental colours.




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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:20 pm

Thanks for the post Admin. Clears up one point. I did Say.
Quote :
"It doe's appear that Coghill was infront of everyone else,which must mean he was first to leave. Apart form Higginson"

But its quite clear now that Smith-Dorrien left before Coghill.

I do recall one of the stories relating to Pulleine's death, was that he was killed by the River.

Curling’s Says "We crossed the road with the crowd, principally consisting of natives, men left in camp, and civilians, and went down a steep ravine leading towards the river"

If Coghill had gone ahead of Curling which would have been the most obvious action considering the circumstances after his first encounter, It may have been possible that he witnessed Pulleine's death by the river. Or saw his body.


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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:28 pm

Ok. Just a few things.

1) Never heard of the death of Pulleine's near the river story. ( Source Please) Idea
2) Must have missed the Smith-Dorrien. But can't see why he didn't make it clear then, that the two officers were not together when trying to save the colours.
Quote :
"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."
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:35 pm

Apologies missed this off. Smith-Dorrien Continued.

"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."


Unfortunately the Sketches are not available on the web.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:40 pm

Doe's anyone have the book. If yes would it be possible to post the sketch's in-question. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:51 pm

Maybe a bit of sour grape's

"On the evidence of other survivors Smith-Dorrien was recommended for the award of the Victoria Cross, but the award was denied. In his own words and with the hindsight of the horrors of the First World War he stated, “...for any trivial act of good Samaritanism I may have performed that day would not have earned an M.C.,[Military Cross] much less a V.C. ...”


Chard1879. You could purchase one of your own.

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:25 pm

Most interesting Disussion.

Smith-Dorrien

"After getting through the mass of Zulus busy slaying, I followed in the line of fugitives. The outer horns of the Zulu Army had been directed to meet at about a mile to the south-east of the camp, and they were still some distance apart when the retreat commenced. It was this gap which fixed the line of retreat.

I could see the Zulus running in to complete their circle from both flanks, and their leading men had already reached the line of retreat long before I had got there. When I reached the point I came on the two guns, which must have been sent out of camp before the Zulus charged home. They appeared to me to be upset in a donga and to be surrounded by Zulus.


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."

Could someone explain what he means by "It was this gap which fixed the line of retreat"?

"Again I rode through unheeded" So do we take it when he left. there were no Zulu's around to stop him.

"The outer horns of the Zulu Army had been directed to meet at about a mile to the south-east of the camp, and they were still some distance apart when the retreat commenced"

I always thought that it was a fight for life when trying to get through the gap, But it appears they were retreating sometime before the horns met.
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PostSubject: Martin Foley.   Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:55 am

hi impi.
' It was this gap which fixed the line of retreat ' simply means it was the clearest path to take to escape , as the two horns hadnt
completely met up at this stage , no doubt there were zulus in the area but not as many as there would have been once the two
horns joined . And we must remember this gap would have been getting smaller with the passing of each minute as the zulu were
running to link up both horns and therefore encircling all the remaining troops etc who were attempting to flee . ' Again I rode
through unheeded ' seems to me Horace can thank his lucky stars that he arrived at this point after the guns , Curling states
their were members of all corps clinging on the fleeing guns before it was upset in a donga and the zulu fell upon them , no
doubt this is what saved Smith - Dorrien as he says himself ' They ( The Guns ) appeared to be upset in a donga and to be
SURROUNDED by Zulus ' . The zulus no doubt occupied in the slaughter of those who had hitched a ride on the guns .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:35 am

Theres no question that Pulleine was found by the river, his body was located in the camp area.

So far it apears that Smith Dorrien was first out of camp. In that he was PASSED by Coghill. However he does mention the Guns. That would mean he left after Curling. As Curling was noted to have spoken to Coghill that should then put Coghill BEHIND SD.
Enigma time.
Possibly Coghill got delayed/lost/took a different route that put him behind SD.
So the order of departure could have been, Curling and the guns, followed by Coghill, then SD. So if we believe history Pulleine gave the colors to M and then presumably died, Coghill witnessed the death or saw the body. That puts Mellville in front of every one.
However SD mentions that he was passed by M.
So a possible order of departure could have been ???????
Or possibly all together?
The time frame for all of them leaving would have been minutes, so I think its pretty fair to assume a mass departure along slightly different tracks.
Curling and the guns first.
Then Coghill, conversation re Pulleines death.
They then trot of.
SD arrives at the guns and takes a different quicker route, I think he went one side of the chasm and the others got across or into it.
Coghill arrives at the stream first, crosses and heads uphill to Mpethe. SD half a mile behind. Mellvil catches up to SD and passes him then adopts a different route.
At some point here Mellville passes/overtakes Coghill ( trying to ride with a damaged knee).
They all get held up at the narrow defile, M goes through before Coghill ( Brickhills statement)
Then then head over the bog on top of Mpethe. Splitting up to find their own paths. SD goes wider to the right as does Coghill.
M enters the water and gets swept down, C is higher up and crosses.
SDs' Horse gets killed in the mellee when Smith gets killed, leaps of the Cliff into the river.

Any thoughts?
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PostSubject: Martin Foley.   Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:11 am

hi springbok
What you said actually seems to make sense of a subject that has been tossed about since that day .
I think you are correct in assuming only minutes separated who left first and who left last , and it was
no doubt who took which route decided who would be in front of whom :) at any given time Idea .
Not having been to Isandlwana and not being able to picture from where the left horn outflanks Durnford
to where the right horn comes around the mountain , how much time would there have been before the zulu
horns would have linked up ? . Springbok do you have a 180 deg photo of that landscape as I'm sure many
on the forum would be quite excited to see a picture of that magnitude . Hope this post made sense .
cheers 90th. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:41 am

hi 90th

Not ideal I know - and Springbok9 may well be able to do much better - but in case of interest I have put together two sets of 4 photographs which, with a bit of imagination and visual 'stitching' together, give a semblance of a panoramic view of the field at iSandlwana. These may help with a sense of perspective. See the first 8 photos at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ( try the 'carousal' view facility).

I do have some video footage which I took from the top of 'Black's Koppie' which gives an almost 360 degree view - all very shaky and amateurish but footage all the same! One day I'll get round to finding a web platform on which to show it but much work needed on my IT skills before then - but .... one day ...... one day ...... Rolling Eyes

In the meantime, and in the absence of any others that can be offered, I hope the above pics are of some help.

U
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:44 am

90th
SirDC once stitched together that sort of photo, I took it standing at the Youndhusband cairn on the shoulder of the mountain. It shows Durnfords last stand and the area of aproach of the left horn, in the centre is Blacks Kopie and the saddle, to the right going away is the line of the trail, marked by the cairns. on the right is the area the right horn came around with Mpethe hill on the extreme right.
Ill see what else is in the files.
The Sir DC masterpiece is on a string about Addendorf ( another one) from April 26th. Sorry dont know how to paste a link.
Once that right horn started racing from the stream bed, tops of ten minutes. Jamies actually got a good shot looking back from the trail at the stream, gives a good idea of the distance.

Regards
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:46 am

Umbiki

Yep thats pretty much it.
Nice shots
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Martin Foley   Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:03 am

Ive sent pete a copy of that stitched photo. In a really but really amateur way Ive added a bit of info. The red arrow to the left is the direction of the left horn. The blue arrows to the right is the right horn coming round the mountain over the saddle and pushin out to the right. The black line is the fugitives, where it stops is the slope leading down to the chasm/donga. it then starts up again going to the top of Mpethe. The black cross marks the valley containing Fugitives Drift.
You can see with the red arrows and the blue arrows what the 'window' looked like, closing all the time. And how far the Fugitives had to go.
Hope that helps not confuses


Last edited by springbok9 on Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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90th

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PostSubject: Martin Foley.   Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:13 am

hi umbiki
Thanks for the photos and very good shots they are . It certainly helps , much appreciated .
cheers 90th.
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90th

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PostSubject: Martin Foley.   Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:44 am

hi springbok.
You are right , I forgot all about the panoramic view that you posted earlier this year . Looking forward to the info
you have added to the picture .
cheers 90th Idea .
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