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 Rorkes Drift to Helpmakaar.

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impi

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PostSubject: Rorkes Drift to Helpmakaar.   Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:47 pm

How far is it from Rorkes Drift to Helpmakaar, Chard and Bromhead I understand wanted to leave Rorkes Drift and retreat to Helpmakaar, Would they have a made it, if they had left when they first got the news of the disaster at Isandlwana. I know they had sick men, in the hospital, but most of them took up arms a fought along side the rest, so sick or not when the going got tough the tough got going. I'm guessing the road to Helpmakaar was in fairly good condition. As I cannot find anything to say the going was hard on this road when Chelmsford started making his way to Zululand.

Major Spalding left for Helpmakaar earlier on, does anyone have any information as to why he left. He if was left in charge was it common practice to leave your post.
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90th

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PostSubject: R.Drift to Helpmekaar    Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:47 am

hi impi.
Without searching through the books , I will try and answer parts of your questions , Spalding was waiting the arrival of
Capt . Rainsforth's co to arrive at R.D and as they were late he decided to go and see what was holding them up .
I dont think they would have had any chance to get away had they left , its a lot easier when you are on horseback
as the officers would have been , but the foot soldier no such luxury for him . Plus the road wouldnt have been in
great condition for the wagons , possibly ok for marching but a differant proposition for wagons etc etc . Then there
was the dispatch from Gardner which said they were to hold the post at all costs . hope this helps .
cheers 90th.


ps. Not sure of the distance but I will take a stab 10 - 12 miles .
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Umbiki

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PostSubject: Re: Rorkes Drift to Helpmakaar.   Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:36 pm

Hi Impi

Just to add a bit to what 90th has said, the 'road' up to the Helpmekaar plateau was/is a fair old climb too. I have seen it described as several hours march from the Drift - and yes, 10 - 12 miles, I think.

In case it is of interest, the following photograph was taken from a spot part-way up the modern day Rorke's Drift - Helpmekaar road [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] . Isandlwana can be seen (centre) while Rorke's Drift is somewhere down on the valley floor (below left) underneath the cloud!

To borrow a phrase, while "the haze obscures much", I hope the photo nevertheless gives you an insight as to the type of terrain that needed to be covered. I have nothing but respect for all those - Boers and Brits alike - who managed to get their ox-drawn waggons over such country. Truly remarkable.

Hope this helps.

U
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Rorkes Drift to Helpmakaar.   Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:48 pm

Umbiki
Hence the name Helpmakaar, or Help each other. One family alone could not get their waggons down from the plateau.

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Umbiki

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PostSubject: Re: Rorkes Drift to Helpmakaar.   Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:47 pm

Springbok9

Indeed - and that's about the limit of my Afrikaans/isiBhunu - except for something about buying a donkey (oh, and Bokke! Bokke! Bokke!, of course!) Wink

U
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Rorkes Drift to Helpmakaar.   Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:16 pm

:lol!: Buy a Donkey :lol!: now that was funny

Regards
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