Lt. Melvill: Well done, Sir! Did you see that Noggs? Deceived him with the up and took him with the down. Norris-Newman: Well well, this one's a grandfather at least. If he'd been a Zulu in his prime I'd have given odds against your lancer, Mr.Melvill.
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Lt. (Brevet Major) J.R.M. Chard, 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers--Rorke's Drift and Ulundi
(Mac and Shad) Isandula Collection)
Rededication Rorke's Drift Defender William Wilcox. 8th May 2011 Dolton Devon.

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 Smith Dorrien

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Frank Allewell


Posts : 6799
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 71
Location : Cape Town South Africa

PostSubject: Smith Dorrien   Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:38 pm

Ive been re reading Memories of 48 years service and found some strange discrepances. I know that he was pretty advanced in years when he wrote his memoirs so maybe this accounts for the lapses. However his memory of events have lead to a lot of conclusions being drawn.
Some examples.
He left isandlwana to ride to RD shoertly after midnight arriving at dawn. Approx 4 hours. He delivered the orders to Durnford from Chelmsford ( who promptly leaves and heads to isandlwana). SD then supervises the erection of the riem gallows. When that was underway he sees Bromhead and borrows 11 rounds for his pistol. While still with Bromhead they hear the sound of heavy guns from the camp. He then heads of back to the camp., and arrives just as Durnford does.
My problem is this, A)the time frame for all that. B) The heavy guns werent firing at 8 oclock in the morning. C) How did he manage to catch up to Durnford who left shortly after dawn, approx 4 hours prieviously. Durnford had a 4 hour head start on a 4 hr journey.
D) Unless SD had left immediatly after he arrived he couldnt have arrived at the same time as Durnford.
By all accounts Durnford was making maximum speed.

So if his memory is at fault with those time and space events, can we rely on the rest of the story, apart from the over all impression that is.

Specifically can we say that his reccolection of seeing Coghill " a half a mile ahead" aproaching the Fugitives Drift could be fact? Could be it was one of the other fugitive officers?
My reasons for getting into this is that if we take SD out of the equation then the traditions of Melvill and Coghill get closer to being fact. The only testimony that splits them up is his. All the others put M & C together at various points.

Any input?

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Posts : 9619
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 62
Location : Melbourne, Australia

PostSubject: smith - dorrien   Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:31 am

hi springbok.
I dont have the Smith - Dorrien book for that exact reason . I have read over the years several critics dont put
much credence in his book as it has a few flaws and was written many years after the events and also he was
a decent age when it was written . No disrespect is meant to S.Dorrien , but time and facts dont match when there
is a large gap between the two . :) .
cheers 90th.
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Join date : 2010-01-10
Age : 66
Location : Taunton

PostSubject: Re: Smith Dorrien   Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:31 pm

Hi Springbok,

I have found this online account: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I presume this is the account you refer to. Just click through the pages..


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Frank Allewell


Posts : 6799
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 71
Location : Cape Town South Africa

PostSubject: Re: Smith Dorrien   Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:17 pm

Hi John
Yes thats the one. Only problem is it doesnt show his maps.
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