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 Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:57 am

Here's an interesting account of the aftermath at Isandlwana. Posted By Martin Everett. It appears by this account that the killing of these men was rather more than the Ritual and custom of the Zulu. The fact that the mens hands and feet were bound together would suggest that they had been captured alive before the killing commenced.

And I can not see why it was neccessary to removed the mens genitals. It has been written my many authors that the Zulu had great respect for the British solders that died at Isandlwana. (They Fought Like Lions) where is the respect in that.

"First visit to Isandhlwana to bury remains 20th June 1879. My pocket ledger was recovered by Pte Carlton. Second visit 23rd June 1879 bodies found in heaps as if great resistance was shown Lieut. & Acting Adjutant Dyer’s body was found surrounded by about eleven men. Sixty four were found in a square. Four companies found. Lying as they fell fighting back to back. G Company 2/24th Regiment with the exception of a few men was found lying in the place where they were posted the previous night as an outlying piquet. In fact the whole sight was of a most horrible nature. the remains of Mules bullocks horses and harness all lying in heaps. Most every man had his interals let out and privates cut off some their hands and feet tied together. In this position they died an horrible death it must have been as could be discerned by the features as a few were still recognizable."

Source RDVC.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:05 am

Interesting!! But CTSG. The British were not exactly holy than thou, with the wounded Zulu’s after RD. There were atrocities on both sides. There always will be in war.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:19 am

Mr G. Theses atrocities took place at Isandlwana, which took place before Rorkes Drift so that speaks for it self.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:42 pm

Well let’s face it. You only bind the hands and feet to stop someone running away. This is the only account I have seen where its states Hand & Feet tied up. Surly this would have been an obvious observation to anyone that visited the battlefield. Could this be going along the same lines at the drummer boys? (Didn’t really happen)
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:23 pm

Probably no more than tales from the Battlefield to get the British public baying for blood. And the troops hardened for what was ahead. Like Chard say’s Corporal Bassage is the only one that I know of to make this statement.
Quote :
"hands and feet tied together"
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:41 pm

God. It amazes me how you can all dismiss so quickly eyewitness accounts from those who were there. Corporal Bassage wrote down what he saw, he would have had no reason to lie. Remember no one really knows what happen in the camp apart from the Zulu's. These accounts come from what was left after the Zulu had left.

Also we have to remember that most of the Zulu’s were high on drugs, (Red Dust) so binding hands & feet whether alive or dead would not had bothered them in the slightest. Hundreds of their mates and family members were lost during the battle so it was payback time. A bit like it was at Rorkes Drift with the wounded. The defenders had heard the new about the disaster at Isandlwana, but they would have known nothing about the mutilation until days after their own little battle.
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90th

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PostSubject: Bassage - Company clerk etc   Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:27 am

Hi ctsg.
How we quickly forget . Many instances during the year springbok and I have QUOTED articles from eye witness accounts
concerning your man ' The Good Lord ' but you have had the same problem , Dismissing these statements as heresay !
I have read of these reports before about the troops ( some ) being bound etc . Cant remember which books though . Suspect
When you watch Zulu Dawn as Chelmsford arrives back at the camp , you will see as they look around a chap tied to a pole !.
cheers 90th. :confused: :confused:
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:29 am

Guys, its too easy to get carried away by a mix of emotion and thirst for revenge, it happens through history, the "Angel of Mons" a classic example., even better the reported crucifixion of the a Canadian soldier in April 1915 near Ypres. hope you have had breakfast

An eye witness account, five months after the battle, after the sun, rain, Zulu's, dogs, Birds, insects had done their bit is the same as any battlefield after that period of time, a complete jumble of body parts and torn clothing. An adversary killed with any contact weapon hasn't got an died in an instant gunshot wound, he's been bashed and stabbed to bits, you simply want to make sure they do not get back up agian.

Look at any carion feeder, on a carcas they always go for the easy bit, (normally the stomach), and what do they do?, pull and tear off a good bit, then leg it to a comfortable place to dine, The result, the carcas is scatterred all over the place. Something else I have witnessed in Zululand, last year we found body of a blesbok that had fallen over a ridge, in less than three days it had gone twice its size, to blown open, to nothing in a morass of maggots.

If you look at pictures (and there is lots) of Ghettysburg during the clean up, several months after the battle, its not for the fient hearted, likewise, one of the most haunting of images from WW1 is a shell hole at Verdun, I won't go into detail, but when you see it, its rather distubing.

PS I do have the full extraction of Bassages diary, Martin sent it me last year as he lists all the Rack numbers of his companies M-H's.
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DundeeBoer

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:28 pm

I think it’s important for us to attempt to understand the Zulu culture and rituals that prevailed at the time. We must try to separate our feelings of how ghastly and cruel these rituals may appear in an attempt to better understand them. Sometimes it’s very difficult to do because we apply our own morals and behavior to those past events.

The Zulu post battle rituals: repeated stabbing the dead bodies, disemboweling and the collecting of body parts/mutilation reflect how important their belief that death in combat was an extremely important part of the Zulus interaction with the spirit world.

The bodies being repeatedly stabbed again after death or (ukuhlomula) was not considered what you or I would think of as gratuitous but the warriors marking their roll in the kill.

The disemboweling or (qaqa) has been fairly well covered as allowing the spirit of the fallen to be released into the afterlife or the circle of re-birth.

What we see in the “eye witness” accounts as acts of gruesome mutilation, were part of the Zulu belief that body parts of a fallen enemy could be collected and added the war-doctor or (izinyanga) medicines or (intelezi.) These body parts, especially from ones who had fought bravely would be a very important and a powerful part of harnessing the supernatural force or (itonya) that would allow the warrior to excel in battle.

Here is a short quote from the article “wet with yesterday’s blood” – the disemboweling controversy, by Ian Knight from Journal 6, June 1999 of the Anglo Zulu War Historical Society. I would highly recommend getting a hold of the complete article if you can as it describes in detail the different rituals and important cultural points to give us a better understanding of why things were done.

"Specific parts of the body were thought to hold the courage of the enemy, and this dictated the pattern of mutilation. Mpatshana described an incident during the civil wars of the 1880s when Zibhebhu kaMaphitha, chief of the anti-royalist Mandlakazi section “…fetched intelezi medicines from a deceased man. Pieces were cut off him. A piece was taken from his forehead; it was taken by a doctor…His rectum, penis, bone of right forearm (throwing arm), also the cartilage from the bottom of the breast-bone were taken…The rectum is taken so as to cause fear by causing ‘agitation’ of the stomach, and to bring on diarrhoea. This is the method of causing fear. The doctor then treats his own impi with these bits of human flesh”.

I add these last quotes from the same article not to dispute any eyewitness account but merely to keep our minds open to both cultures.

“Despite deep-seated settler fears that these mutilations were carried out before death, and therefore mounted to torture, there is no evidence that this was in fact the case. Indeed, during the frenzy of battle it was usual for the Zulus to kill everything they came across, not only enemy soldiers, but non-combatants, oxen, horses, and even pet dogs. With just one exception, it proved impossible for the Zulu commanders to induce their men to take live captives, and it is extremely unlikely that men would have been captured for the purpose of preparing ritual medicines – especially when parts taken from a dead body were considered just as efficacious.”

“…. The injuries inflicted by the Zulus to the bodies of the British dead were neither willful nor cruel, but actually reflected both a deep spiritual belief and the respect the Zulus had come to feel for their enemy, seemed little consolation to their comrades at the time. However; the circumstances were too painful for such a huge gulf of cultural misunderstanding.”


Regards, Jeff
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:31 pm

You raise some very good points. But the issue is not so much the Zulu culture and rituals that prevailed at the time. We are aware of that. Its the fact that Corporal Bassage. States that British Soldiers hands & Feet were bound. This i don't think was done after death. So to me the bounding for these soldiers points to per-meditated killing not ritual.
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Al Amos

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:42 pm

An honest question.

Not knowing the particulars of the camp that day, could the bound men, hands and feet tied, (does the good corporal give numbers or where found?) have been men in the "brig"? Could they have been men that were being held by the Brits for breaking the rules, and bound up before or as the battle began to prevent the "criminals" from excaping during the excitement of the day. Afterall, if you tie the guy up the guard can go to the firing line. Then as the whole thing fell apart, who would have the time to "free" the prisoners?

Just an honest question, all armies had "bad apples" that we kept "locked up" in some fashion from time to time.

al
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:11 pm

Al Amos. Some ggod points. Howver I don't recall reading that any British Soldiers were ever bound hand and foot for crimes out in the field. They would have been sent back to barracks for a court of enquiry. Also if that had, had been the case I would of thought that anyone bound would have been release in these circumstances, after all they would have also been fighting for thier lives too.
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:25 pm

CTSG
Quote :
. pre-meditated killing
I think this was on the minds of all concerned that day. After all it was a Battle..
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:06 pm

Quote :
I think this was on the minds of all concerned that day. After all it was a Battle..
Good point Admin.


"Melton Prior. He visited the battlefield Isandhlwana six months after the disaster, and wrote this account:

"In the ravine dead men lay thick – mere bones, with toughened, discoloured skin like leather covering them, and clinging tight to them, the flesh all wasted away. Some were almost wholly dismembered, heaps of clammy yellow bones. I forbear to describe the faces, with their blackened features and beards blanched by rain and sun. Every man had been disembowelled. Some were scalped, and other subject to yet ghastlier mutilation."
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jast



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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:05 am

[quote="DundeeBoer"]I think it’s important for us to attempt to understand the Zulu culture and rituals that prevailed at the time.

Culture indeed !!
I suppose we should ask the prisoners they took about their culture....... some hope.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:51 pm

The Zulu's didn't carry rope, so the only place they could have got it from is the camp, he is talking about G company dead, who were found nearly a mile from the camp, so the Zulu's went into the camp, got rope, returned to the fight and tied them up, then killed them.

I don't buy it.



Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Corporal Bassage - Company Clerk/Storeman C Company 2-24th    Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:46 pm

scratch [quote="jast"]
DundeeBoer wrote:
I think it’s important for us to attempt to understand the Zulu culture and rituals that prevailed at the time.

Culture indeed !!
I suppose we should ask the prisoners they took about their culture....... some hope.
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