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 My grandfather Major William Knott (Can anyone confirm if this is true)

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old historian2

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PostSubject: My grandfather Major William Knott (Can anyone confirm if this is true)    Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:45 pm

Found this on another histroy forum. Just wondering if this can be confirmed.

“What I have in brief is this. (I plan to send to Greytown the whole biography of my grandfather Major William Knott, from the time when, as a bugler of 16, he went with the NMP and Shepstone to the Annexation of the Transvaal, through the , Basuto and Zulu wars, 1st & 2nd Anglo Boer War, 1906 rebellion and WW1. I also plan to enclose a photo of him with his 8 medals)
William Knott was a Major and 2nd in Command in Royston's Horse 1906. Family story and information from J Stewart's "History of the Zulu Rebellion 1906" and "Galloping Jack" (Napier Devitt 1937) give this:
When the story came that Bhambata's body was lying in a cleft in the Tugela Valley Colonel Jack Royston ordered Major Knott "to find the body and take the MO (Major Platt) with you" (from Galloping Jack) Because it was impossible to get the 5 day old body, not too decomposed because of the very cold weather, up the steep sides of the cleft, it was decided to decapitate it and bring it to Greytown. (Both Stewart and Devitt). General Mackenzie was appalled to see it in a basin, (Devitt) but neither Stewart nor my grandfather had that story. Stewart says that at no stage was there any disrespect. Grandfather said the head was placed in a tent on a leopard skin and displayed to all rebels who recognised and identified it and saluted it.
Knott and a contingent were then ordered to take the head back and bury it decently with the body where it lay - which they did. But my grandfather took a final photo which was donated by my brother to the Pietermaritzburg Museum in about 1980. It should still be there.
I cannot recall if there was any mention of Dr. Flook in Devitt's book, but Stewart has no mention of either Flook or Platt. And Grandfather never mentioned the either MO's name.
So there are several very conflicting stories. Stewart is painstaking in detail and documentary evidence. Devitt I cannot be sure of as I had only the photocopied pages relevant to Major Knott. Grandfather, well word of mouth and two generations on.......But there is that photo.
For myself I have to say that in all my family history writing and research there has been a conflict between family 'legend' and documentary facts. I try to incorporate both. Fact can be dull set against a real live story..... Sincerely and a very happy Christmas.”


Patricia Frykberg (nee Knott)


Source: Greytown.co.za
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PostSubject: Re: My grandfather Major William Knott (Can anyone confirm if this is true)    Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:00 pm

Old. H. It could be true. Is there a date when Patricia Frykberg (nee Knott) posted that letter.

Bambatha was captured and killed during the battle at Mome Gorge on 10 June, while Sigananda and his men surrendered. Bambatha was decapitated and his head displayed as a trophy by the colonial troops.

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