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 Chard the Chilled

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Chard the Chilled   Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:44 am

Funnt thing about Chard.
He travels to Isandlwana from RD. Around 10 to 10.30 he borrows a set of binoculars and watches a significant amount of activity on the ridge. When he sees a rather large impi heading of behind the mountain ( I still dont know how he could see that from ground level) he wonders if RD is safe. He jumps on his horse and rides back to the Drift.
Thats the background.
The questions are:
If he could see the right horn from ground level from the Eastern slopes of the mountain, when he got to the western slopes and the road to RD he should have had a much better view.

When he gets to RD theres no mention of him being concerned or developing any contingency plans, at least I dont recall any.

Around 4 hours later he is told of the disaster. Only at that point is mention made of protecting the stores.

If as reported the sounds of the guns was heard by Woods then surely those at RD should have heard as well.

So with all this going on shouldnt he have been just a tad concerned.

Or is he just the most relaxed Lt in the army.

I do know that they grow some interesting weeds in that area. Maybe he was enjoying some.

Regards
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:22 pm

Wasn’t really his concern? Like the good Lord Chelmsford he probably thought the right officers were in command. Chard informed Durnford that Zulus had been seen on the hills to the north of the camp. And all Durnford did was to instruct Chard to inform the two N.N.C. companies to hurry on to Isandlwana. Relaxed or not when the going got tough he obeyed the standing orders and lived.

Quote :
I do know that they grow some interesting weeds in that area. Maybe he was enjoying some.
Bit disrepectfull.!!!!

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90th

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PostSubject: Chard the chilled    Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:35 am

hi springbok.
Interesting point you raised about Chard showing no concerns when he arrived back at the Drift . Just shows the
level of complacency involved by the British Army in regard to the zulu army / threat . Chard more than likely thought
if there was to be an attack it would be levelled at Isandlwana and the british fire power would take care of the situation .
When Chard meets Durnford on the way back to the drift and tells him what he has seen , this no doubt is what propels
Durnford to ride off and see for himself what is happening in the surronding area of the camp . If Durnford doesnt see
Chard , would he have acted in the same way ???.
cheers 90th.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:15 am

CTSG
Its called levity.
90th
I have allways believed that the prime force behind the RD defence was Dalton. My post was in order to lead up to that. The fact that Chard, brave man without question, had seen first hand the impi and had first hand seen Durnford charge of on his mission. He then reports to Spalding back at RD, was his report sufficient to alert Spalding? Spalding had earlier in the day issued his orders for the day, in expecting Rainforths detachment his instructions were to Entrench on the spot in accordance with Column Orders.
Spalding then rides of after appointing Chard as senior officer. In spite of him expressing concerns to Spalding, now that he is in charge all he does is have a good lunch and write a couple of letters. Does this not indicate a lack of appreciation for the situation?
Again it wasnt Chard that instigated the defence of the post. Quote " Now we must make a defence" that from Dalton.
Im not trying to denigate Chard, merely putting forward some thoughts for discussion.

regards
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:28 am

Quote :
all he does is have a good lunch and write a couple of letters.
I can’t see a problem with that, at lease nothing was happen at R.D to cause concern. But we could look to Isandlwana where they had a good chat over Breakfast, and take into consideration the publication the Miss Five Hours and all the sightings prior to John Chard reporting his sighting to Durnford. Well I think someone is looking for another scapegoat.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:03 am

Scapegoat for what?
He was a hero. Did his job, got a medal. Had lunch. Wrote letters.
Listened to Dalton. Pity Chelmsford didnt follow his example.
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Umbiki

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:43 pm

Hi Springbok9

You raise a point that I have often thought about - but not only in respect of Chard - as it seems to me that many of the personnel involved that day appear to have been remarkably chilled about their plight which, in turn, perhaps smacks of the complacency that 90th mentions? Certainly, I never get any sense of 'urgency' when I read accounts of the morning's events prior to the battle proper.

I think the bottom line is that if Chelmsford believed he had left sufficient forces in the camp to deal with any perceived Zulu threat, why should junior officer's like Chard think any different? Just a thought.

U

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John

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:21 pm

Quote :
Well I think someone is looking for another scapegoat.
CTSG Forgive me old chap. But could you en-lighten me as to what you me. Or have you posted this on the wrong thread. scratch Or if anyone can explain i would appreciate it very much... Or am I just being thick… Rolling Eyes
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:28 pm

Umbiki
Couldnt agree more, total arrogance.
However, the Spalding daily orders werent obeyed. They were based on Chelmsfords standing orders and should have been given the respect they deserved. Interesting point that was mooted at one point was that: Chard returned and presumably informed Spalding of events. The sound of cannons was heard and Spalding decides he needs to go to Helpmekaar in person .

John
Hes paranoid.

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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:12 pm

Come on give Spalding some credit he did return with reinforcements, but on seeing the fire and hearing the Battle Raging he decided, that all was all to late and left again.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:22 am

24th
Your quite correct, but the question remains why would he want to leave when he knew the main column, a short distance away was engaging the enemy?

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:54 pm

Was Spalding's actions ever called to question. scratch

I don't own the book below, but can someone comment who doe's have a copy.

This review is from: Like Wolves on the Fold: The Defence of Rorke's Drift (Hardcover)
The 1879 defence of Rorke's Drift by 150 British soldiers against 4,500 Zulus is one of the most famous military actions in British history. The main reason for this is the superb 1964 film, Zulu, starring Stanley Baker and Michael Caine in the roles of Lieutenants Chard and Bromhead, the officers in command of the post. The other is that more Victoria Crosses were awarded for this action than for any other before or since. The reasons why are made clear in this well-written account.
The fame of Rorke's Drift is such that this book joins a long line of others. What differentiates it is that this is written by an experienced, serving officer. Not only that, but a serving officer in the Royal Regiment of Wales that incorporates the old 24th Regiment that provided most of the Drift's gallant defenders. The author's first-hand knowledge of military tactics, chains of command and psychology enables him to offer fresh insights into this historic action and especially into the motivations of those who took part. While this is the book's strongest selling point, it may also account for one or two weaknesses, in that the author seems unusually lenient towards some members of his own profession. Other writers, for example, have criticized Major Spalding, the original commanding officer of Rorke's Drift, for failing to return to his post having left it in the morning to ride to another depot a few miles away. In Mike Snook's account, Spalding's actions are not only excusable but entirely justifiable. Of course, he may well be right and he certainly makes a good case. There are other minor points, such as the fact that Private 'Old King' Cole seems to be killed twice, and the question of whether NNC Lieutenant Adendorf did or did not take part in the defence is glossed over rather quickly. But apart from such minor quibbles, the writer does a first rate job in weaving together all the available accounts of the battle into a convincing, consecutive narrative that does full justice to the extraordinary bravery, resourcefulness and resilience of this little band of heroes. And what makes it so convincing is the writer's intimate understanding of soldiering and soldiery.
The author rightly and frequently acknowledges the military prowess and courage of the Zulu warriors too. He also acknowledges that the entire Anglo-Zulu War was the tragic, unjustified and unnecessary result of hubris, ego, flawed reasoning and stubborn stupidity on the part of the British.
The latter part of the book details what became of the defenders of Rorke's Drift in later life. Some prospered, some suffered, a few, remarkably, went on to serve in the First World War. Among the most tragic is Corporal Ferdnand Schiess, who, five years after his heroic part in the defence, was found penniless and ill on the streets of Cape Town. The Royal Navy took pity on him and gave him passage on a ship bound for Britain. Sadly, he died shortly after they set sail and was buried at sea. His Victoria Cross was found in his pocket. He was just 28 years old.
So, while this may not be the last word on Rorke's Drift or the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, it is certainly a very welcome and highly readable account of this iconic action and one I thoroughly recommend.
Incidentally, those who know me as a lifelong pacifist may wonder why I review books on a Victorian war. Simple: I saw the film, Zulu [1964] [DVD], when I was 11 years old. Not only is it brilliantly made, it was also the first anti-war film I'd ever seen. If you don't believe me, watch it again and you'll see that it questions what the British were doing there in the first place and expresses clearly and powerfully the tragic futility of war.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:50 pm

Can't help don't have the book, but would be interested to know.
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Umbiki

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:00 am

Pressed for time at mo but will have a look at LWOTF and post
- unless anyone else beats me to it.

U
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Umbiki

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:19 pm

Hi Admin/Chard1879

Ok, have had a chance to look at Mike Snook's LWOTF now and to refresh my memory as to what he has to say about Spalding. For completeness, there are three areas to consider viz: Spalding's departure; Spalding's return; and the post battle aftermath.

As to the Major's departure from Rorke's Drift, Mike Snook details the handing over command on pages 20 - 23. He describes Chard's return from iSandlwana and his subsequent briefing of Spalding in respect of, "how the troops left at the camp (i.e. iSandlwana) had been under arms since breakfast time " and of the "large body of Zulus" he (Chard) had seen in the hills. Mike Snook asserts that Spalding, "listened carefully" and that they (Chard and Spalding) agreed that Rainforth's absence at Helpmekaar had become "problematic". The author goes on to say, "Spalding was already committed to making a trip to Helpmekaar after lunch and said that he would make it his business to hurry Rainforth down to the drift by last light." That's pretty much it apart from the famous checking of seniority episode and "nothing will happen" comment.

Moving on to pages 107 & 108 of the book we come to the crux of the matter as regards the recent posts on this thread. Mike Snook rehearses the familiar story of Spalding's return, how he met with deserters from the drift who assured him the post had fallen; how he could make out the buildings were on fire, it was turning dark and "parties of the enemy" were "abroad". The author asserts that Spalding had no reason to suspect he had been lied to; indeed, the flames above Rorke's Drift appeared to confirm that it had fallen.
I quote Mike Snook, "Given the circumstances, it is impossible to criticise Spalding for his decision to turn back. To push on in the dark would have been nothing short of foolhardy. This did not stop one modern writer recently describing Spalding's conduct as 'craven', but this is nothing less than an outrageous and wholly unwarranted slur. Spalding had left Rorke's Drift an hour and a half before anybody began building barricades, and his decision to turn back now for Helpmekaar was nothing more than a militarily prudent one. Nor was the decison his alone; he was no more senior in rank than Russell Upcher". The author then goes on to describe how Spalding, Rainforth and Upcher conferred on the road and agreed the sensible thing to do was to return to Helpmekaar and make ready for the defence there.

Finally, on page 138 of LWOTF, Mike Snook tells of Spalding's return to Rorke's Drift (at about noon the following day) whereupon he made his report to Chelmsford. Again, I quote, " Over the next few weeks a spiteful rumour spread that he (i.e. Spalding) knew the Zulus were coming when he rode away to Helpmekaar, but this was manifestly untrue and he was never under any pressure from the official chain of command on this point. He had missed his date with destiny, but given the circumstances could not have done more than he did."

I have done my best to precis Mike Snook's assessment of Spalding's actions in LWOTF and hope I have done it justice. If there is any misrepresentation then it is of my doing. The highlights above are the salient points as I perceive them to be in the context of this thread. I am not aware of the "modern writer" to whom Mike Snook refers - or if I am, it has passed me by somewhere. No doubt other Forum members will know.

Hope this is helpful.

U




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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:27 pm

Let me preface my remarks by saving I have the utmost regard for Mike Snook and his assesments.
However, he does have this unswerving loyalty to his regiment and will brook no argument that puts any member of the regiment, or its history, in a bad light.
With that said look back through Mikes writings, posts, books and responces to questions. Never ever have I seen him question any order or action by any officer of the 24th.
Before this book was published his findings could have easily been guessed based on that history.
Others have questioned Spaldings actions, and I believe that those actions were glossed over and allowed to die in the after glow of that magnificent defence. Lets face it to have a senior officers mental fortitude questioned on the heels of the reversals of Hlobane, Isandlwana and the death of the Prin e Imperial would have been just to much. What was the quote from Michael Cain about the British Public and disasters?
Just a personal observation but thats what this forum is for and I would be more than delighted for someone to shoot be down in flames.
Does anyone have information on the subsequent career of Spalding?
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joe

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:35 pm

Didnt Spalding retire in December 1880
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:47 pm

John.
Quote :
" Or am I just being thick…"
Yes John you are....
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90th

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PostSubject: Spalding   Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:07 pm

Hi all.
I thought I posted a reply to this yesterday but cant seem to find it . I have never read anywhere that there was any
problem with Spalding's character or his actions on the 22nd Jan . If I remember correctly Rainsforth's Co I think
it was , was due at the drift the previous afternoon or evening and Spalding was setting off to see what the delay was .
He wanted to leave early so he would be back before evening . We know that he ran into fugitives who told him that
Isandlwana and RD had fallen , as he got closer to the drift seeing the building on fire he had no choice and made the
very prudent decision to retire back to Helpmakaar and attempt to build an adequate defence for the zulu army who they
thought for sure was going to come a knocking !!!.
cheers 90th. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:15 pm

90th. I thought Spalding made one of the members of the Rocket Battery that had escape from Isandlwana, go back to Rorkes Drift and it was he who saw the smoke and heard the gun fire. So they all left in the opposite direction.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:08 pm

Here's a man who witnessed Spalding's return to R.D. Private Hector Grant. Click on link: Bottom of page...
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:12 pm

Thanks 24th that's the chap i was talking about.
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:31 pm

Lt. Henry Hollingworth Harward was court-martialled for cowardice; he abandoned his men at the battle of Ntombe. So what the difference between him and Major Spalding who also abandon his men. ( Rank I suppose ) scratch
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90th

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PostSubject: Chard the chilled    Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:40 pm

hi littlehand.
I have been searching for the last hour to find any details of whom Spalding met on the way to R.D , all I have found is
he came across fugitives coming the other way , but no details of who they were . Will keep looking .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:46 pm

90th Click on 24th's link four posts above.
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PostSubject: Chard the chilled    Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:47 am

Hi all .

Chard1879.
Spalding left RD at least 1 1 /2 hrs before news of the Isandlwana debacle so he couldnt possibly be seen or charged with
cowardice or desertion in the face of the enemy .

More detail on 24th's post regarding Spalding .
This article I think by G. Alexander .

Spalding meanwhile , passed a small Dutch farm on H'makaar Rd named Vermaaks , where he left a spare horse , then unexpectedly met Maj . Upcher and his 2 Co 's coming from the opposite direction . Spalding continued to H'makaar , why he
did is unknown . He then returned to Upcher who informed him of the disaster . Upcher obtained this info from the increasing number
of Auxilliaries and native horseman who had reached the R.D Rd and told the stationary troops what had gone on . Spalding decided
they should proceed to Vermaaks . Here the column halted , Spalding rode forward to obtain a clearer view . As he went forward he was passed by Basuto's and Civillians , many of whom had said the Mission Station had fallen. He also now encounters the first Imperial survivors . " There were one or two mtd inf ? , several of these I ordered to accompany me but all except two slipped away
when my back was turned " . Pvt's H.Grant & W.Johnson met Spalding at this time and it is probable these 2 stayed with him . When
zulus were seen between themselves and the Mission Station withdrawing was the only option open to them . Littlehand you are correct Grant and Johnson were indeed from the Rocket Battery , another survivor of the Rocket Battery , Pvt J. Trainer also
arrived at H'Makaar with Spalding .
cheers 90th.

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:41 am

Hi All

Several posts above I posted Mike Snook's take on Spalding but here is an alternative view for you to compare, contrast and consider (apologies, time pressures have prevented my posting this sooner).

I have had a fresh look at Rorke's Drift by Adrian Greaves and I quote, " With regard to the departure from Rorke's Drift by Major Spalding, little sympathetic was ever said. Many believed he would automatically have been awarded the Victoria Cross as the commanding officer, if only he had remained at his post. After all, there was no valid reason for him to personally ride to Helpmekaar especially as Chard had already informed him that the Zulus were possibly approaching the position; and there were several underemployed officers who could easily have undertaken the task." Greaves goes on to assert that there was a general belief that Spalding could easily have pressed on to the Drift on his return journey but that, "Perhaps it was to save him from embarrassment that no official questions were asked ....." .

The author also includes an interesting footnote regarding the spread of subsequent rumours that Spalding had deserted his men. The footnote concerns a memo that Chelmsford wrote (in May 1879), " ...... to the adjutant general in which he exonerated Spalding " believing that he had acted correctly in leaving the post to seek the overdue replacements. Chelmsford wrote that it was, " 'the non - arrival of this detachment that caused major Spalding to go to Helpmekaar to hasten its departure' " and referred, " 'to this latter point in justice to Major Spalding as I have heard that remarks have been made relative to his absence from this post at the time' "

So, the other side of the argument. I would only add that Spalding was, of course, on Chelmsford's staff so might this have influenced the tone of the latter's memo?

Hope this is helpful but no more from me today; it's Halloween and Mrs U's mother is threatening to come over so I'll be busy hanging garlic flowers around the door.

Idea

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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:57 am

Quote :
Chelmsford's staff so might this have influenced the tone of the latter's memo?
That should bring something nasty in the form of CTSG. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:11 pm

Maybe he thought if he sent someone of a lower rank those in-change of bringing up the reserves might not have taken much notice, so he did it himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:09 pm

Did Spalding himself, have nothing to say about returning to RD and then leaving again because he thought it was to late.
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:13 am

Umbiki wrote:
Hi Admin/Chard1879


I quote Mike Snook, "Given the circumstances, it is impossible to criticise Spalding for his decision to turn back. To push on in the dark would have been nothing short of foolhardy. This did not stop one modern writer recently describing Spalding's conduct as 'craven', but this is nothing less than an outrageous and wholly unwarranted slur. Spalding had left Rorke's Drift an hour and a half before anybody began building barricades, and his decision to turn back now for Helpmekaar was nothing more than a militarily prudent one. Nor was the decison his alone; he was no more senior in rank than Russell Upcher". The author then goes on to describe how Spalding, Rainforth and Upcher conferred on the road and agreed the sensible thing to do was to return to Helpmekaar and make ready for the defence there.

There is a further, very telling point, a few lines further down in this passage:

Quoting Mike Snook again:

"Alerted in the late afternoon by the arrival of the first of the cross-country fugitives, Captain Edward Essex amongst them, Colonel F.C. Hassard RE had left Essex in charge at Helpmekaar and had ridden after Upcher and Rainforth to recall them. He met them not long after they turned and immediately took command"

This makes it clear that even if the company commanders and Spalding had elected to proceed, they would very shortly after have been ordered to return to defend Helpmekaar by Colonel Hassard, who - quite rightly - was concerned for the safety of the stores and civilians there. RD - fallen or not - was on it's own.

Spaldiing's actions are, like those of Chard at Isandlwana that morning, open to either interpretation, but in absense of compelling evidence to the contrary, should be interpreted favourably.

Aidan

PS: I have been blitzed by books arriving since ordering them according the 90th's recommendations (thanks 90th), Both Mike Snook's books and Zulu Rising being the first ones read but plenty more to read including Noggy's :)
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:25 am

Aidan
Enjoy your books.
When I started this topic it was more thoughts on why no action was taken in the morning. Chard arrives back from Isandlwana, must have been in somewhat of a rush, to all intents and purposes thats the way he left. On his return he had to have reported to Spalding, not only the events but why he came back in such a hurry, ( having seen the Zulus massing and manoevering around the back of the mountain).
The point being what would have happened next?
All we do know is that Spalding heard the news, packed up and left on a some what spurious mission. Surely any messenger with a note from the senior officer would have done the job?
Another view would be to say that Spalding WAS indeed concerned, to the degree that he thought he needed those reserved brought from Helpmaakar urgenntly. Hence ride of in person to chivvy them up and get them to the Drift faster. If we accept that theory then why was there no sence of threat at the Drift ( write a letter have breakfast)?
Doesnt add up.
No threat, no reason to ride of.
Threat perceived then issue orders accordingly.
I would agree that once the attack had begun there was little point in the troops carrying on to the Drift.
I still cant come up with a scenario that works?

Regards
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90th

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PostSubject: Chard the chilled    Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:31 am

Hi Aidan .
Glad to see you are getting through the books , I have just finished Snook's HCMDBetter and enjoyed it , bit of a worry
there are minimal footnotes in regard to how he arrives at his conclusions . Also halfway through number 8 in the Legacy
series and as usual thoroughly interesting and enjoyable . Once again Kris Wheatley hits the nail on the head , much in-depth
family research from before and after the war . Still waiting on two books and two papers , which should arrive shortly .
Thanks for the kind words Aidan , keep me informed of your reading progress :lol!: .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Chard the chilled    Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:43 am

Hi Springbok9.
I'm firmly in the camp that Spalding wasnt overly concerned that is why he decided to go himself . Basically to break the
mundane drudgery of the Drift . Chard had been back at least 3 hrs ? before Spalding left which by memory was about
2pm ?. Also dont forget there wasnt any inkling of what was happening at Isandlwana till 3.15 - 3.30 in which case Spalding
had left well before that time . So we see Spalding hangs around the camp for 3 hrs or so after hearing what Chard tells him.
If he was worried or getting cold feet to me he would have done a runner as soon as he could . He wouldnt hang around for
3 hrs Suspect
cheers 90th.

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:03 pm

90th
Wise words.
However, when Spalding left the battle had been raging for some time. The sound of guns had been heard, Smith et al had climbed the Oscarberg and seen fighting behind the camp.
Still doesnt fit.

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90th

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PostSubject: Chard the chilled    Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:38 pm

hi Springbok.
I see your point , But we must remember Spalding didnt expect the zulu to win the battle at Isandlwana . All members of the invading
forces from the commanders down to the drummer boy's had complete confidence and quite a deal of complacency toward the
zulu nation . Even if Spalding heard the shooting he certainly wouldnt have been expecting the worst Suspect . And then if he did
expect the worst he did the right thing by attempting to hurry along the 2 Co's from H'makaar by going in person. In regard to Smith
watching the battle from the Oscarberg he couldnt really tell what was happening , he himself says he thought Dabulamanzi's
attacking force was the NNC heading back to the drift !. Spalding was long gone before there was any inkling of the unfolding
disaster that was transpiring 12 miles ( Approx ) away Idea . Going back to Spalding taking it upon himself to chase up the missing
troops I dont have a problem with that , he could have been thinking If he sends another , they may not show or have the urgency
that he would no doubt show on catching them up and hurrying them along . They were supposed to be at the drift the previous
afternoon or by evening at the latest . That is the primary reason in my way of thinking why he decided to act on this in person .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:04 pm

No one knew what was going to happen, after the main column crossed into Zululand. Rorkes Drift was no more than a make Shift Hospital and supply depot. As far as they were concern they were as safe as house (So to say) there was nothing much happening at the time Spalding left to gee-up 1st Battalion 24th Regiment , departing with those famous last words

“Chard 'I see that you are senior, so you will be in charge. Of course, nothing will happen, and I shall be back again early this evening.’

So he and others could see no harm in leaving a junior officer command. Spalding did return, but was sensible enough not to ride head on into a raging Battle, the same decision the Good Lord Chelmsford made at Isandlwana.

Lt. Henry Hollingworth Harward deserted his men during the Battle. Spalding was not at Rorkes Drift when the Battle took place, in the same way the Good Lord Chelmsford was not at Isandlwana during the Battle. Spalding was lucky enough to have left good officers in command even if they only held the ranks of lieutenant’s Unfortunally the same can not be said of those left in-command at Isandlwana.

Quote :
90th "But we must remember Spalding didnt expect the zulu to win the battle at Isandlwana"
If Spalding had known whom the Good Lord Chelmsford had left in commard at Isandlwana, He would have fortfied Rorkes Drift at 05:30. Or abandon the post all together and return with all to Helpmekaar.

But don't forget Spalding did pay for his decision to leave because when rode out, with him went his chance of military glory. scratch


Last edited by Chelmsfordthescapegoat on Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:21 pm

Lieutenant H H Harward was tried by a general court-martial at Napier, Pietermaritzburg, on 20th February 1880. Two charges were brought before the court.
1) Of having misbehaved before the enemy, in shameful abandoning a party of the Regiment under his command when attacked by the enemy, and in riding off at speed from his men.
2) Of conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline in having, at the place and time mentioned in the first charge, neglected to take proper precautions for the safety of a party of a regiment under his command when attacked.
The court found Harward ‘Not Guilty’ on both counts. The findings of the court were submitted for formal approval to Sir Garnet Wolseley. He disapproved of the findings and would not confirm them.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:28 pm

Should have posted this earlier.

Copy of Major Spalding D.A.A.G's Report.


1. "At 2 p.m. on the 22nd inst. I left Rorke's Drift for Helpmakaar, leaving a second horse at Varmaaks. My intention was to bring up Captain
Rainforth's Company 1st Battalion 24th Regiment to protect the ponts. Lieutenant Chard, R.E., on returning from the camp Isandlwana, had observed Zulus on the neighbouring heights. I thought they might make a dash for the ponts during the night.
2. Between Varmaaks and Helpmakaar, where I arrived 3.45 p.m., I met two Companies 1st Battalion 24th Regiment under Major Upcher; on returning from Helpmakaar, I met Major Upcher, who informed me of the disaster at Isandlwana.
3. We advanced as far as Varmaaks with the troops. I then pushed on to the foot of the Berg, accompanied by Mr. Dickson, of the Buffalo Border Guard. The road was covered with fugitives, chiefly Basutos and people in civilians' clothes, but there were one or two mounted Infantry. Several of these I ordered to accompany me, but all, except two, slipped away when my back was turned.
My-object was to ascertain whether the post at Rorke's Drift still held out. In this case I should have sent word to Major Upcher to advance and endeavour to throw myself into it.
4. But every single white fugitive asserted that the Mission-house was captured; and at about 3 miles from the same I came across a body of Zulus in extended order across the road. They were 50 yards off— a deep (ravine) donga was behind them, capable of concealing a large force. They threw out flankers as if to surround the party.
Mr. Dickson agreed with me that they were Zulu, an opinion soon borne out by the " horns " which they threw out. So we trotted back to the troops some two miles in rear.
5. On reaching the summit of a hill from which the Mission-house is visible, it was observed to be in flames. This confirmed the statement. of the fugitives that the post had been captured. This being the case it was determined to save, if possible, Helpmakaar and its depot of stores.
6. It was growing dusk: the oxen had already had a long trek; the hill had to be re-ascended, and the heights were said to be lined with Zulus. I examined them with my glass, but could not observe the enemy. There may have been a few detached parties, however, as these were observed by competent witnesses. No attack was made by them: and the column reached Helpmakaar by 9 p.m., when wagon laager was formed around the Commissariat stores. Colonel Hassard, R.E., met us half way up the Berg and took over command from me.
7. The following morning a dense fog prevailed. About 9 a.m. a note arrived from Lieutenant Chard, R.E., stating that Rorke's Drift still held out and begging for assistance. It was considered imprudent to risk the safety of Helpmakaar by denuding it of its garrison, and probable that Rorke's Drift had already been relieved by the column under the General. It was determined to push down to the Drift some mounted men to gather intelligence. I was in command.
A short distance from Helpmakaar Mr. Fynn was met, who communicated the fact that the General's column had relieved Rorke's Drift. At the top of the Berg I met Lieut.-Colonel Russell, who confirmed the news. At about noon I reached Rorke's Drift and reported myself to the General."
(Signed) E. S. SPALDING,
Major, D.A.A.G.

It all makes sense to me. He is hiding nothing.

Source: NortheastMedals
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:14 am

The worth of this site is the debates that can take place. We will of course never know what was going through Spaldings and Chards minds, thats why its so good to have different minds exploring the possibilities.
Well done guys.
We do of course have an exeption in that we all know what waas going through Chelmsfords mind...........nothing. scratch

Regards
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Aidan



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PostSubject: Spalding and Chard..   Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:34 am

Also it should be noted that in Chard's report, Spalding was already intending to go to Helpmekaar after lunch on other business and - on hearing Chard's report - agreed that Rainforth not having arrived was becoming 'problematical'. He undertook to chivvy Rainforth (who he outranked) on to RD while he was at Helpmekaar.

In the event he found both Rainforth and Upcher with their companies already marching for RD. He left them on the march and continued on to Helpmekaar to do whatever it was he had originally intended, then rode back and rejoined the two companies still some distance from RD.

Obviously no fugitives had yet arrived at Helpmekaar when he left as otherwise I am sure Col Hassard would have sent him back with the return order for the two companies rather than going himself.

Springbok9: I do agree Chard's actions subsequent to his hurried departure from Isandlwana - given his reason for concern - does seem odd, which is why I said it could be interpreted both ways.

However I think that, given he saw no sign of Zulu forces on the way back and Spalding's lack of urgency, Chard was probably reassured that the Zulu's he had seen were not heading their way. Hence the unhurried lunch and letter-writing.

He does not appear to have heard the gunfire from Isandlwana that sent Colour-Sgt Bourne and the section commanders to the top of Shiyane to see what they could. They returned having observed the fall of shot from the 7 pounders, still no-one was concerned that there was any peril to RD. That only became a concern with the arrival of Adenddorf and Private Edward Evans.

Bromhead and Dunne were placidly sitting under an awning having a smoke and a chat when they saw the first fugitives crossing the Buffalo in the distance (which Chard would not have seen from his lower position). but they took no alarm until Evans arrived to blurt out that the Camp had been taken.

It appears then that Chard, in common with the others at RD were not concerned that any immediate threat to RD was in fact developing, and we can only assume that Chard's lack of concern compared with his alarm at Isandlwana at 9:30am was due to lack of Zulu activity on his way back and Spalding's lack of worry on the issue, given Chard was a LT with no war experience he would naturally 'take his cue' from Major Spalding.

Certainly his subsequent actions - including the canny and critical decision to build the 'Biscuit box' barrier and later (after some hours of battle) the coolness to plan the 'Mealie bag redoubt' - as well as his actions generally under fire absolve him of any suspicion of cowardice. Maybe as Mike Snook portrays him he was just a phlegmatic character not given to much introspection?

Cheers

Aidan
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:57 am

Aidan
Have to agree really.
Sometimes its nice to pay Devils Advocat.
Ive no doubt that all from RD were extremely brave men indeed, if a tad laid back. Its a pity that, to my mind, Dalton has never really received the kudos he so richly deserved.
Cy Enfield needs to shoulder some of that blame. :lol!:

Regards
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Aidan



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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:28 am

springbok9 wrote:
Aidan
Have to agree really.
Sometimes its nice to pay Devils Advocat.
Ive no doubt that all from RD were extremely brave men indeed, if a tad laid back. Its a pity that, to my mind, Dalton has never really received the kudos he so richly deserved.
Cy Enfield needs to shoulder some of that blame. :lol!:

Regards

Dalton got a VC, Dunne who so courageously exposed himself for over an hour while constructing the 'mealie-bag redoubt' got nothing and is usually overlooked compared to Dalton. He saw further service in the Transvaal rebellion, Tel-el-Kabir and later saw active service against the Dervishes - possibly whirling even :) . Reached the rank of colonel and was made companion of the Bath in 1896, not bad for a commissary Idea

Cheers

Aidan
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:44 am

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:


Quote :
90th "But we must remember Spalding didnt expect the zulu to win the battle at Isandlwana"
If Spalding had known whom the Good Lord Chelmsford had left in commard at Isandlwana, He would have fortfied Rorkes Drift at 05:30. Or abandon the post all together and return with all to Helpmekaar.

But Spalding did know that CTSG.

Chard had met Durnford on the way up to Isand while he was returning to RD and then from Spalding's orders which Chard quoted in his letter to HM the Queen, "The whole force of Lt-Col Durnford having departed...." I would find it difficult to believe Durnford had not passed on the fact that he was ordered to the camp and therefore would be in command there - given that they knew Pulleine was OC at the camp and Durnford ranked him.

Having read the whole of the letter from Horse Guards (Adj-Genl Ellice) sent to Chelmsford in Aug 79 - it is very clear that of the whole letter only one item out of 6 had any criticism for the tactical-level leadership on the day - and that aimed more at Pulleine than Durnford - the rest was aimed right between Thesiger's eyes Rolling Eyes

Are you sure you aren't from La-Mancha? :lol!:

(just kidding )

Aidan
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:23 pm

Come on we all know Durnford had his own agenda, Whatever Chard said to him or anyone else, would have gone in one ear and out the other.

Quote :
Dalton has never really received the kudos he so richly deserved.
He got a VC. The highest award for gallantry what else would you suggest.

A Blue Peter Badge. Idea (I'm sure someone will tell you what a Blue Peter Badge is)
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:06 am

Take it into context.
He got a VC and was recognised for his bravery under attack. Its only been in later years that modern authors have given credence to the part he played in the planing and leadership before the attack.
That is the point i attempted to make.
Ive seen the Blue Peter badge on photos of Chelmsford, just above the award for passing the buck.
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:46 am

Chard makes good Refrence to Dalton in his report. Now James Marshall was the one who should have received recognition, but he received none. But again we must only discuss those mentioned in the History Books; after all they’re never wrong are they!!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:38 am

I dont understand why James Marshall is singled out? He fought, defended himself as did the other 159..ish.
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:58 am

Exactly my point. Most of you can only relate to the well-known defenders, namely the V.C holders. Before I show my reasons as to why I singled out James Marshall. Look at how and why Schiess was warded the VC.
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PostSubject: Re: Chard the Chilled   Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:00 am

scratch
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