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 Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?

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PostSubject: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 01, 2009 4:26 pm

This is very interesting. A friend of mine sent me a link. Will keep you all up-to date as it comes in.

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The construction of a new KZN Wildlife staff accommodation building at Isandlwana unveiled what is believed to be the remains of an unknown British soldier. Construction of the foundations began and a few days later bones were found together with a button from a British uniform and a horse stirrup.
"Amafa, the KZN Heritage body, were notified and an archaeologist will check the construction area for further remains," said Lynn Ruddle, KZN Wildlife officer in the area.
POSTED BY NORTHERN KWA-ZULU NATAL COURIER, DUNDEE AT 6:24 AM
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 01, 2009 8:28 pm

This is great news. Do we know what regiment this soldier was from, or is it to early to tell.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 01, 2009 8:52 pm

I knew it would only be a matter of time, before relics started surfacing, like little hand said, this is very good news. And of course they will soon be able to tell what regiment he belonged to, by his uniform buttons.
Pete keep us up to date with any developments.

Got to go, night out with the lads!


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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 01, 2009 8:59 pm

I saw this on the RDVC site but they had no picture. Like S.D says Pete. Please keep us up- to date with any developments.

Hopefully it might be the start of something big and they might find a lot more artefacts. Is finds like this that can lead to History books being re-written.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 01, 2009 9:13 pm

I have enlarged the photo to get a better detailed look.


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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 01, 2009 9:21 pm

Pete. Where was the jaw bone found. Which location ?
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 01, 2009 9:45 pm

According to the artical, it was at Isandlwana.

I have sent an e-mail asking if they could let us know the name of the soldiers regiment, once it has been established. Lets hope the button is in good condition.

Now we have to Just have to wait and see if we get a reply.!
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 01, 2009 9:58 pm

Not sure what the ruling is regarding archaeological finds in South Africa. In the UK work stops until the area had been examined by archaeologists.

Just out of sentiment.? If this soldier was on his own, do you think they will re-bury him nearby where he was found. Or bury him in the nearest grave along with his comrades.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 01, 2009 10:01 pm

I like the way you think Old H.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 01, 2009 10:24 pm

There is a hole in the lower part of the jaw and two in the upper part. Could have been cause by the point of an assegai or another sharp instrument
Where the teeth are missing the bone seems to have broke away with them. Not a natural occurrence, even after being in the ground for 130 years. Considerable force would have been needed to break the bone off at that level.

Though my experience, I think your find this soldier certainly died hard.


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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Mon May 04, 2009 9:47 am

Anything back from your e-mail.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Mon May 04, 2009 6:24 pm

Hi 24th.
No. I think its a bit soon. If I don’t hear in a few weeks I will sent off another e-mail.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 08, 2009 3:24 pm

Click on link: For even better detail. No offence Admin

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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 08, 2009 9:22 pm

Thanks John. None Taken. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Sat May 09, 2009 8:16 pm

Pete. Any information yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Wed May 20, 2009 12:07 am

I have received an email today, suggesting that the bones found at Isandlwana are of someone who died many years after the Battle. The button may not be a button at all. All they have found is the jaw bones, which could have been left there by a wild animal years ago.
My source could be wrong, but don't be disappointed if its not.
If I receive any other information, I will let you know.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Thu May 21, 2009 2:12 pm

Lets hope your source is wrong. It would be interesting if this find, led to further finds.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 22, 2009 9:40 pm

Pete on the RDVC they are discussing that the button belongs to NNH officer. Have you heard anything back from your e-mail.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri May 22, 2009 9:57 pm

John. Not as yet, it will probably be a while before they release the results. I have had a quick look at the posts on the RDVC relating to this topic and is just speculation at the moment.

However there is a post by Peter Quantrill which sums at the situation as it is. So I would go with that.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Thu May 28, 2009 8:01 pm

Up date on the RDVC Website from Peter Quantrill.

More detailed info as follows:Correction to previous grave location.Now established as less than a mile down Fugitives Trail and approx 700 yards to the west. Only half a skeleton found in shallow grave. Single small button with crown distinguishable. Analysis of latter to follow.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Thu May 28, 2009 10:40 pm

Thanks for up-date Pete. Sure are taking their time. How can they make a mistake as to where the remains were found?
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:51 pm

Are we still no further with the bone find,at Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:26 pm

There has been a development, regarding the Bones found at Isandlwana on the R.D.V.C.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:46 pm

John. Thanks for up-date. Be interesting to find out who he is. Mainly for the descendents.
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PostSubject: bones at isandlwana   Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:29 am

hi all.

according to p.quantrill on the rdvc site , the identity of the bones at isandlwana will be announced on monday, i am a tad sceptical ,unless they found something by which to identify this individual,please, please , lets hope so, i hope they have concrete evidence.

cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:41 am

Post by Peter Quantrill on the RDVC Forum.

Quote :
There has been a dramatic development with regard to the identification of the individual whose button was recovered from a shallow grave just off Fugitives Trail. In conjunction with a request for help by AMAFA , and through the help of John Young, RL & I will post details within the next day or so, as AMAFA are considering releasing an earlier statement. RL and I can only add that an individual has been identified.

Are we talking about the Name of the individual or the Regiment of the individual. I'm not convinced a name can be announced based on a regimental button.
But lets wait until Monday..
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:17 pm

Just a quick question.
What happen to Battlefield etiquette. Members visiting battlefields or taking part in re-enactments during this season of commemoration are respectfully asked to observe the following rules in order that these sites should not be irretrievably spoiled for future generations.
Metal detectors may not be used under any circumstances. Under the new legislation they can be confiscated if used without a permit.
Do not buy artifacts offered by casual sellers at or near battlefield sites.
If you find a button or insignia, cartridge or any other relic, leave it where you found it. If you are concerned that somebody else may remove it, bury it under a stone or in a shallow hole.
Digging in and around graves and memorials is prohibited by both the current National Monuments Act and the new National Heritage Resources Act.
If you see that a headstone or memorial has been damaged in some way, report it to the National Monuments Council's (NMC's) Graves Division.
Do not remove damaged sections of memorials or headstones from their original sites.
Do not attempt to repair damaged memorials or headstones. This may only be done under the authority of a permit from the NMC.
If you see anybody breaking the law or damaging a site by removing artifacts, report them to the NMC or the police.

Does this apply when it suits? If they can go to this length to identify this fellow, then in my opinion they, should try and identify the rest of the poor souls. Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:38 pm

In the event they have identified this soldier by name. Anyone want to take a guess of who it could be.
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PostSubject: name of trooper   Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:05 am

hi 24th.

i wouldnt have a stab , but if you go on the RDVC FORUM site, one of the guys has had a stab in the dark ( no pun intended). he was tossing up a dozen or so names , worth a look he may get it right.

cheers 90th
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:35 am

I would like it to be (Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Burmester Pulleine) Based on, no one really knows what happen to him during the battle, and his body was never found.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:16 am

For further information concerning the remains found at Isandlwana go to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

This can only be good news for the History of the AZW. Well done to all those concerned with the identification process.
Good to see Ron and Peter leading the way with up-dates,.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:32 pm

More information found

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A unique single button found with the skeleton of a British soldier killed by King Cetshwayo’s victorious army at the battle of Isandlwana on January 22, 1879 has led to his positive identification.

“This is a truly remarkable discovery,” said Arthur Konigkramer, chairman of Amafa, the provincial heritage body administering the historic battlefield.

“The button is unique as it belonged to Colour-Sergeant M.C. Keane and he was the only member of the General Staff Corps at Isandlwana. He was staff clerk to Colonel John Crealock, military secretary to Lord Chelmsford, commander of the British invasion of Zululand.”
“If the button had come from the uniform of a soldier of the 24th Regiment, he could never have been identified as hundreds of them died at Isandlwana and are among the 1300 men buried there.”

Konigkramer said Ezemvelo KZN staff, responsible for nature conservation on the site, were digging foundations for guards’ accommodation in April when they found a half-intact skeleton. Amafa archaeologists later unearthed a single button next to the remains.

“We sent a photograph to John Young, a military medal expert in London, who was able to identify it and the soldier who wore it,” said Konigkramer.

“Keane was not a front-line soldier and was likely one of the last to abandon camp at Isandlwana when it was obvious the Zulu were overwhelming it,” he said.

“He was probably on horseback which would explain his body being found some way down the Fugitives’ Trail along which survivors fled towards the uMzinyathi river and the safety of Natal.

“He was probably speared by the right horn of the Zulu army which had snaked behind Isandlwana mountain to trap the fugitives. His body was found alone which is unusual.”

Most of the British and Colonial soldiers killed at Isandlwana were buried four months later where they had fallen. White cairns mark mass graves of unidentified men whose families would never know their whereabouts.
But Konigkramer said possible DNA testing would further identify Colour-Sergeant Keane and may enable his descendants to be traced.

“A discovery like this adds to the rich and stirring history of Isandlwana which is a drawcard for visitors from all over the world.”
(Photo courtesy of Amafa)

Source:http://blog.ecr.co.za/newswatch/?p=5836


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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:51 pm

Pete. Excellent work with keeping us up-dated regarding the bones at Isandlwana.

The photo it quality, along with the story behind it? I love it when history gives up her secrets.

Excuse the language. But bloody well done.

S.D
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:04 pm

Pete must agree with S.D great work.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:19 pm

The button and remains should be re-buried where they was found, let the poor soul rest.!!! And that’s all I have got to say about that.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:23 pm

That was a bit of luck. The only soldier, to be wear that regimental button== out of all those that was there.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:59 pm

Is not possible that this button may have come of the tunic of a soldier that visited Isandlwana after the event, maybe a member of a burial party, we know by the history book many visits were made to the area.

Sgt Keane may have been the only member from that unit on that fateful day, but how many others, from that same unit have venture in and around the area after his death. Keane himself could have lost that button before the battle.

To make a positive ID Its got to be DNA from descendents, there are just to many ways that but button could have ended up there.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:35 pm

Hi John. Correct there are many scenarios we could play to ascertain how the button came to be where it was discovered. But I think it would be wise to give them the benefit of the doubt until a full report has been released.
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PostSubject: bones at isandlwana   Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:04 am

hi all.

pete, good job,well done keeping us all up to date , i hope they can get a positive I.D. imagine how many more people
may want to know about the zulu war , bring it on !!!!.

cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:31 pm

Does anyone know how, many other soldiers were in General Staff Corps (GSC) during the Zulu war? And was any of the (GSC) attached to Chelmsford column, when he left Isandlwana.

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PostSubject: staff corps.   Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:25 am

hi all.

can somone tell me if the GENERAL STAFF CORPS and the ARMY SERVICE CORPS are the same unit ??.
looking at DESPATCH OF TROOPS TO NATAL AFTER RECEIPT OF INTELLIGENCE OF THE AFFAIR AT ISANDLWANA. ( long winded or what !! ) There is no mention of a GEN STAFF CORPS. the table is from NARRATIVE OF THE FIELD OPERATIONS CONNECTED WITH THE ZULU WAR OF 1879.

Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: daily mail.   Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:10 pm

hi all.

if you go to the U.K"S DAILY MAIL online site , they have found a photo of CLR-SGT KEANE !!.


cheers 90th
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:17 pm

Thanks for information 90th

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Photo Copyright ©️ John. Young

Colour-Sergeant M.C. Keane was just 24 on January 22, 1879 when he fell during the first major battle of the Anglo-Zulu War.
Please note the photo above is not of Sgt Keane. This photo was used for regiment identification only.

Now we know what he looked like. Look at the cap badge.Sameone John Young has identified.

from uk.Daily Mail: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:45 pm

See what I mean about History.

1 Remains and Button found.
2 Examination of Button
3 Regiment Identified
4 As luck has it only Sgt Keane was the only one present from that regiment.
5 Photo of Sgt Keane Found and published.

Awaiting DNA Results.


S.D
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:48 pm

sas1 and 90th. I will have a look with regards to your questions

sas1 wrote:
Does anyone know how, many other soldiers were in General Staff Corps (GSC) during the Zulu war? And was any of the (GSC) attached to Chelmsford column, when he left Isandlwana.

sas1


Quote :
can somone tell me if the GENERAL STAFF CORPS and the ARMY SERVICE CORPS are the same unit ??.
looking at DESPATCH OF TROOPS TO NATAL AFTER RECEIPT OF INTELLIGENCE OF THE AFFAIR AT ISANDLWANA. ( long winded or what !! ) There is no mention of a GEN STAFF CORPS. the table is from NARRATIVE OF THE FIELD OPERATIONS CONNECTED WITH THE ZULU WAR OF 1879.

Cheers 90th

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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:08 pm

SD. Totally agree with you on the, time from find to identification.
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:33 pm

Pete. We maybe jumping the gun. This from the RDVC (Peter Quantrill) I have made bold the extract in question, could be the media got the wrong end of the stick.
It maybe the photo in the link, is of the unidentified individual use to match the button.

From: Peter Quantill.
Quote :
I have asked John Young to answer the button question. John in fact sent us a photo image of an unidentified individual wearing a cap on which was the badge of the General Staff Corps. This was identical to the button.
Here was John's response to our query.
" It is a General Staff Corps button, there was only one man from the unit at Isandlwana - Colour- Sergeant M.C.Keane. See this image of their cap badge."
From this it is clear that the General Staff Corps carried their own unit badge and therefore buttons. It was not a General Service button.
Hopefully, John will add if necessary.
Amafa have made their release today and the story should be in the UK press tomorrow. Certainly the local press. Hope this clarifies matters.
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:35 pm

S.D. I have been looking, no luck. Looking forward to your reply.

sas1
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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:23 pm

sas1. Thanks for your post. I have it on good authority that the photo shown in the media and on this forum, is not Sgt Keane, The photo was used to show the similarity between the cap badge and the button.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Soldier's bones found at Isandlwana battlefield?   Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:24 am

That's a bit annoying Mad

So does anyone know who, the fellow is in the photo.
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