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 Ansteys Last Stand

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:40 pm

Some time back Neil was discussing a ruined kraal down the Fugitives trail and wondering if it was used as a defensive position.
I came across this long forgotten snippert from Otto de Wit........" I saw the English were surrounded in a Kraal some distance from the camp"...... This was an observation from the top of the Oskaberg after the noise of guns was heard at RD.
As Neils Kraal is not to far away from the 'L' shaped row of cairns is it possible that this was in fact the sight seen by de Wit? And more to the point would it be possible to see that area from the top of the hill?

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Umbiki

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:09 pm

Hi Springbok9

Need your local expertise to clarify the geography a bit on this one.

My understanding is that Anstey's last stand is generally believed to be at the site of those cairns near to the banks of the Manzinyama. Are these the L shaped cairns you refer to? If so, where was/is Neil's Kraal in relation to there?

I have been atop the Shiyane - but a while ago now - and I'm struggling to think how one could see Anstey from that point as would not Mpethe be in the way?

Apologies if I have completely misunderstood your point!

U






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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:42 pm

Umbiki
Last point first.
Its many many years since I climbed Shiyane. I know Neil has been up there a couple of times and so was hopeing that he would be able to clarrify.
When the sound of gunfire was heard at RD de Witt, Smith and a few others climbed up, all of them commented to one degree or another about the ' lines of Zulu', the 'smoke' and various other points. de Witt himself made the comment about the kraal. Mpethe itself would not be in the site line, from shiyane it would be more to the right, I think.
Hopefully Neil can clarrify that point.
As to the Kraal its in very close proximity to the 'L' shaped cairns area. This is not at the accepted last stand area, looking at the last stand with your back to the stream it would be the other side of the ravine to the left.
With the HD Google Earth its now pretty easy to see the cairns, have a look.

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Umbiki

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:54 pm

Hi Springbok9

Ok - thanks for that - am with you - will have a Google.

Idea

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:09 pm

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:06 am

Thanks CTSG.
On the oposit side of the ravine and closer to the saddle is the 'L' shaped cairn arrangement, its closer to this I was looking for the old Kraal.

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:25 am

Springbok

You are spot on with the L shape cairn formation, it is about 15 meters downhill from the Kraal, there is sufficient depth of earth there to effect burial, as the Kraal itself has a rock base.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:42 am

Neil
I do know that you were on top of the Oskaberg not to long ago. So coming back to the original quote from de Witt, could he have seen that particular Kraal from the top?
If indeed he could have then it may well support Yours and Mikes contention that it was actually a defence point.
And another brick in the wall.

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:51 am

Umbiki
Did you manage to locate the cairns on Earth? If you did and check the line of site it looks pretty clear, Ive been checking my photos, from the saddle Shiyane is very clear so no doubt the reverse angle is true.

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:12 pm

This photo says it all, its within a couple of metres of the Kraal, shows the 'L' cairns and also Shiyane in the distance.
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also page 5769.

With grateful thanks to Jamie.
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Umbiki

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:07 pm

Hi Springbok9

Yes, I did have a look thanks and as you say it looks pretty clear (although I couldn't open Jamie's link above) and I've been looking at some of my old photos too. I'm sort of kicking myself though because I didn't take the opportunity to consider this when I had the chance when on top of Shiyane a few years ago; in truth, the thought just simply didn't occur (and too breathless with the wonderful view of the Mzinyathi valley anyway I guess). Maybe I'll get the chance to visit your wonderful Country again one day and consider the matter further first hand!

Thanks for all that - genuinely appreciate it - and to Neil too.

Idea

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:56 am

ADMIN
Hi Pete would it be in order for me to download a picture from Jammies site and post it here?

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:43 am

I do re-call Jamie saying, “Please feel free to use my photo’s.” so yes but out of courtesy Add his website link as source.
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:21 pm

Admin
Sorry Pete for some reason I cant extract the photo.

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:10 pm

Springbok. Send me the link to the web-page.
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:55 pm

Lt Edgar Anstey’s last stand along the Fugitives’ Trail.

It is not possible to see this site from the Oskarsberg / Shiyane because it is below the Mpethe and almost on the banks of the aManzimyama stream. I have attached a couple of photos. It must be borne in mind that there are several ‘last stands’ which may be seen while walking the Fugitives’ Trail (which I did with 28 other people on Saturday).

Lt Anstey’s remains were repatriated after a visit to the site some time later by his brother Tom. He was buried in Woking, Surrey. From what I can recall, the grave fell into a state of disrepair and became vandalised but was restored at the initiative of Ian Knight and his great, great nephew, Patrick McGrath.

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Fugitives' Trail-Anstey's Stand.
Photo's & Text by Ken Gillings.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:32 pm

Ken thanks for the photo's. How many me died during Anstey’s last stand.
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:45 pm

Hi All
Ansteys grave was vandalised at Woking, and its position lost, his name was placed on the old family memorial within the cemetery when it was renovated.
Rai
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90th

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PostSubject: Anstey's Last Stand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:52 am

Hi Dave.
According to Ian Knight in his book , The National Army Museum Book Of The Zulu War .
He quotes about 60 in Anstey's Last Stand . On Page 104.
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:13 am

Admin
Fully agree that you cant see Shiyane from the 'last stand', to deep down in the valley. However the theory is that a stand was made higher up towards the saddle, hence the 'L' shaped series of cairns.
A few metres away from the cairns is an old Kraal.
De Witt commented that he climbed Shiyane to see what was happening and "witness troops fighting from a Kraal, some distance from the camp."
From Shiyane you cant see over the saddle so that Kraal would have to have been on the back slope.
Hence the theory that that was the Kraal in question.
Pete the link is on this topic a couple of posts back.
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:49 pm

Was Anstey’s and his men trying to escape along the trail, Or had they been pushed back to the location shown on the photo. Where they made their last stand.
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:33 am

Several stands were made by pockets of men who had managed to escape through the nek between Isandlwana and the Mahlabamkhosi ('Black's Koppie') and these may be seen when one walks the trail. If my memory serves me correctly, there are 4 or 5 such groups of cairns that are situated from the nek (including the L-shaped one referred to) down the slope as far as the aManzimnyama stream. Only a couple can be seen from the summit of the Shiyane / Oskarsberg. Furthermore only a couple of isolated cairns are visible between the aManzimnyama and the Mzinyathi but unless they have recently been painted, they were only identifiable as a pile of stones. When I walked the Fugitives' Trail weekend before last, there was no sign of them. As I've mentioned on several occasions, the main section of the battlefield was fenced off in 1928 and as a result, many cairns outside it fell into disrepair or even disappeared. In 1958, many of the cairns outside and inside that perimeter were flattened by the Provincial graves curator to make them appear as ordinary graves and an attempt was made to restore them according to old photographs. Before there was so much interest in Isandlwana, the remote cairns (including the groups) were only occasionally painted, whereas nowadays they are regularly maintained.
Regards, Ken
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:28 am

Hi Ken
Thanks for that. The point has I think become defunct. Ive checked on the map by Lt Walter James dated 18.03.79 and he does not indicate a Kraal in that position, others yes that one no.
However Im sure that map was drawn from sketches provided by members of Chelmsfords column, James never actually visited the battlefield.

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:45 am

Interestingly the survey map done by Anstey and Penrose, does indicate a kraal in exactly the right position.
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PostSubject: Anstey's Last Stand   Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:51 am

hi sprinbok9.
Is it possible you can post the Anstey / Penrose survey map ?.
cheers 90th.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:05 am

90th
Lock and Quantrill have used it as part of their thesis so easiest would be for you to download it from there posting on the RDVC site, they have it as appendix A.
If theres a problem I will scan it in and send it through.

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PostSubject: lieutenant edgar oliphant anstey   Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:17 am

i was leafing through my collection of zulu war books and inside ian knights : isandlwana 1879 (osprey publishing)
found a picture of lieutenant anstey wearing the undress patrol jacket... anyone know whos collection it resides? john young possibly?
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:36 pm

It this the one.
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:25 am

no im afraid it isnt. the picture i refer too his hair is shorter anh he wears a blue undress patrol jacket.
i will try to post a copy of it onto the forum
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:10 pm

Hi ciroferrara

I have the photograph in my collection but believe another is held in the Royal Archives at Windsor. Of course, there may be others too .........

U
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:59 pm

would it be possible for you to put a copy of the picure on the forum?
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Umbiki

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:54 am

Hi Ciroferrara

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

Hope this is helpful.

U
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:36 pm

fanastict picture :lol:
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:23 pm

Could have I found another?..........The 1stLt

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:07 pm

brilliant :)
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:04 pm

Is it fair comment to say that Anstey and those with him were trying to escape from Isandlwana, but were cut off and had no choice but to go down in History for making the last stand as we know it today. Or is it possible that they had seen Melville with the colours and presumed they should follow him in order to rally to the colours.
(Just a thought) Idea
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PostSubject: Anstey's Last Stand   Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:44 am

Hi Dave .
Not sure if escape is the right word in regard to Anstey's withdrawl , he did withdraw / retreat in order . The route they took probably
had more to do with the pressure excerted on them and the route taken by the zulu's in their attempt to get at Anstey and his men . As for following the flag , I doubt they even saw it or Melvill .
cheers 90th Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:49 am

No doubdt they were cut of, from the saddle the natural escape/withdrawl route would have been to follow the road. However with the right horns presence they were forced on an oblique passage down to the stream. I would believe that once they got to the stream they had their backs to a steep defile. Across the stream, possibly even in the stream, the pursueing zulu had been killing fugitives. Ansteys choice could only have been to allow the group to try and individually scramble down the defile and be cut apart or to retain the cohesion at the top and try to move sideways around the drop. Its a contention thats exactly what he did until he hit the side of the donga. Once he was trapped between the two drops it was only a matter of time. Brave bunch of men indeed.

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:19 am

Thanks Spingbok/90th.

Is possible for someone to show the route Anstey might have taken if he hadn't hit the side of the donga, using a Google Earth.
Can we also assumed the route they would taken, would actually have taken them out of harms way, or was it inevitable that the outcome would have been the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:41 am

Dave
As Sprinkbok says, the Manzimyama donga has sheer sides on the Isandlwana side, between 12-15 feet high running oblique with their route, their is a small re-entrant in the rock, where a spring feeds the main water-course, it is the only route off without a sheer drop for at least fifty years further on.

It is probably more exaggerated now than in 1879 due to erosion, but a formidable drop non the less.
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:59 am

Dave
have a careful look at the new Google Earth, the HD version is realy clear. So much so that you can see the cairns very well. if you follow the line of cairns right to the stream you will see a large grouping, thats the last stand. It will give you an idea of the topography Anstey faced. Also to consider is that a lot of the discusions and points raised now are done with massive hindsite. From Ansteys point of view: Surrounded by screaming threatening zulus, huge concentration on the forces in front of him, the smell of blood and probably fear, he doesnt know the countryside, he really has no idea whats facing him. The fact that he got his men so far is without a doubt a testimony to one of the most courageous acts to come out of the battle. If he had lived I have no doubt he would have become a great leader of men.

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:27 pm

a Google map photo with the red lines would be helpfull in this case.
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:04 am

John
Probably the best view is on Jamies site. Section 3, photos 5a,b,c
That will show you the defile Anstey was trapped against.

Regards

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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:09 pm

apart from the obvious photos of anstey.. are there any obscure or previously unknown photos of him? in a group maybe?
any feed back apreciated

ciroferrara, exeter
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PostSubject: Re: Ansteys Last Stand   Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:04 pm

This describes Ansteys running fight, its from a warrior named Umhoti
in Jackson.

"A portion of the British force passed over the Nek and took up a Position under
the cover of the dongas on the right of the road and from that place kept up such
a fire that no Zulu dared show his head over the Nek, from here they were
dislodged by the right horn and tried to retire across the road and down
the fugitives track,in overwhelming force and pushed among the dongas of the
Manzimnyama, where they made their last stand, this body of soldiers
fought well and whenever they faced about to retire they fired over their shoulders at us."





Cheers
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