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 Horace Smith-Dorrien

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:18 am

Smith Dorriens life history really puts a few issues of iSandlwana into perspective. He was a brave man, he didnt run away from a fight. And yet he left iSandlwana? Loocking at the time frame he wasnt the last to leave the battle and yet he felt that he could do no more. Modern historians debunk the old theories that the fighting was over very quickly, the various stands tend to prove their point. So from his position, at the wagon park, its elevated so he would have had a good view over all of the battlefield, he comments on the companies retreating as far as the neck and forming a line with fixed bayonets. He also mentions most of the wagons being driven away from the waggon park?
He says he fled when the companies were over run with the backs to the rocks. Some thing strange with his recolections of events, We know that Ansteys fighting retreat was effectivly the last resistance, the sequence of events would then put SD either leaving while Anstey was retreating over the neck or before, in which case the fighting was at its height?
When he did eventually get onto the trail he was passed by both Coghill and Mellvil, Coghill first then Mellvill later. As Coghill was the first to report that Pullein was dead, would that mean that SD left while he was still alive?
Hardly likely given the mans character.

How much therefore are the memories tainted by conversations with other suvivors, either on the trail, Helpmekaar, or later in the war.

A further conundrum to ponder.

Regards
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:22 pm

Hi All

How true this is, I have no idea scratch

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ciroferrara

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:04 pm

the man who rode away with smith-dorriens horse i beleive was lieutenant Hamer
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:18 pm

Hi ciroferrara

Now that is very interesting because I am unable to find a Lieutenant Hamer listed scratch

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90th

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PostSubject: Horace Smith - Dorrien   Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:06 pm

Hi All.
There was a Jas , Nathaniel Hamer an acting control officer attached to the Army Commissariat and Transport Department .
I think This will be the '' Hamer '' Ciroferrara is referring to .
cheers 90th. Idea
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:10 pm

Hi 90th

I have the following listed:

Acting Commissary Officer J.H. Hamer, Commissariat and Transport Department

and

Conductor James Nathaniel Hamer, Locally Recruited Transport Department

No Lieutenant scratch
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ciroferrara

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:58 pm

sorry my mistake it was in fact James Hamer a who was attached to durnfords command (not a lieutenant)
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:59 pm

Quote:
SD's own account, written shortly after the battle, doesn't mention Hamer by name.



Extract from "Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service"

"With help of my revolver and a wild jump down the rocks I found myself in the Buffalo River, which was in flood and eighty yards broad. I was carried away, but luckily got hold of the tail of a loose horse, which towed me across to the other bank, but I was too exhausted to stick to him. Up this bank were swarming friendly natives, but I only saw one European, a Colonial and Acting Commissariat Officer named Hamer, lying there unable to move. I managed to catch a loose horse, and put him on it, and he escaped. The Zulus were pouring in a very heavy fire from the opposite bank and dropped several friendly natives as we climbed to the top. No sooner had I achieved this than I saw that a lot of Zulus had crossed higher up and were running to cut me off. This drove me off to my left, but twenty of them still pursued for about three miles, and I managed to keep them off with my revolver."


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ciroferrara

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:23 pm

my extract is according to Ian Knights Zulu Rising
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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:49 pm

Hamer doesn't mention SD in his own account of the battle, though according to SD's biographer, he was active in trying to get SD's bravery acknowledged

For two separate acts on the 22nd January he was recommended for the Victoria Cross but he did not receive it as the proper channels of communication were not employed. Mr Hamer, the civilian commissary whose life he had saved, wrote copious letters to the Horse Guards and to Horace’s family but to no avail. When this became apparent Hamer did his best to obtain for him the Royal Humane Society’s medal but was told that it was too late. Many years later Horace wrote that he thought the decision was the right one.The Man who Disobeyed: Sir Horace-Smith Dorrien and his enemies. (p17)
By A. J. Smithers
Leo Cooper. London
1970
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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:21 pm

"Hamer doesn't mention SD in his own account of the battle, though according to SD's biographer, he was active in trying to get SD's bravery acknowledged"

Amberwitch, if you had stolen another soldier's horse and bolted, leaving that man for dead, would you mention him in your account of the battle?

Perhaps explains Hamer's campaigning in trying to get SD's bravery ackowledged - GUILT.


On the subject of SD's "bravery" and in fear of reopening the thread started by Dave on Wed 17th Feb - Coghill and Melville Issue, none of those who fled the battle on horseback leaving their comrades on foot to fight til the end should have been honoured in any way - they were saving their own hides.
I am not saying they were wrong to flee and I am ashamed to admit that perhaps, under the same circumstances, I would have done the same thing; although I never abondoned my comrades, I hasten to add in over 22 years' service and I have been in a few tight spots. But one thing I am sure of, SD, Coghill, Melville - none of them deserved to be HONOURED for running from the battle, no matter what the excuse.
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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:40 pm

Amberwitch, if you had stolen another soldier's horse and bolted, leaving that man for dead, would you mention him in your account of the battle?

Does SD mention stealing? Hamer was a younger man than SD, quite exhausted and wet through at the time.
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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:56 pm

From SD's own, "Memories of Forty Eight Years Service" from a letter to his father:

"I was the only white man to be seen until I came to one who had been kicked by his horse and could not remount. I put him on his horse and lent him my knife. He said he would catch me a horse. Directly he was up, he went clean away."

Later SD identified that man who broke his promise as James Hamer. Not surprisingly, Hamer does not mention this incident in his own account of his escape.


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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:58 pm

Also, enlarge and read 1879Graves' second image in the second post on this thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:01 pm

Hi All

After ciroferrara said it was Hamer, this got me thinking, so I checked the medal roll and my database.
On checking I came up with two Hamer's:-
Acting Commissary Officer J.H. Hamer, Commissariat and Transport Department and
Conductor James Nathaniel Hamer, Locally Recruited Transport Department

Acting Commissary Officer J.H. Hamer come from D.R. Forsyth Medal Roll
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And I also have James Nathaniel Hamer in my database. My question then was, were they the same person or different individuals?

Now on checking the original roll, see below, you can see how the mistake has happened by D.R. Forsyth.
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So they are the same individual
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:40 pm

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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:28 am

Hi All

This is the colour version from 'The World' circa 1912. (John Young Collection)

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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:19 pm

Why doe's it have SPY written on it ?
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kwajimu1879

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:46 pm

'Spy' was the pseudonym of Sir Leslie Matthew Ward (21st November 1851 to 15th May 1922) an artist who worked for 'Vanity Fair' & 'The World'.

kwaJimu1879
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:41 pm

SMITH0DORRIEN'S SPRINT FOR LIFE.
Star , Issue 6819, 12 June 1900, Page 2
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Also posted by Springbok.

This wasn't how he told it in " MEMORIES OF FORTY-EIGHT YEARS SERVICE"
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Horace Smith-Dorrien   Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:08 pm

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We see a parade and a large crowd of people at a ceremony to unveil a Great War memorial in the town of Alfreton in Derbyshire. The ceremony is performed by General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien.
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90th

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PostSubject: Horace Smith - Dorrien    Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:20 am

Good get Mr G , pity it didn't show more of Horace .
90th Salute
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