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 Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?

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tasker224

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PostSubject: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:52 am

Having just read about the loss of iSandlwana in Ian Knight's Zulu Rising it seems to me that Pulleine in the end was responsible for the loss of the camp.
Ian Knight in using the witness statements from surviving British officers right down to Colonial and Zulu soldiers who participated, pieces together the battle.
In this, the role and movements of every company, officer, scout and even the brave drummer boy sitting on top of one of the 2/24th's ammunition waggon is covered, during the battle.

Conspicuous by their absence during the battle, are Lt Col Pulleine and Lt Neville Coghill.

Such high profile players would surely have been noticed by someone, if they had been on the field of battle wouldn't they? (Even the drummer boy was noticed by one witness at his post carrying out his duty).
It would appear then that Coghill spent the battle unseen, most likely in a hospital tent, as he had injured his knee the day before and was unfit for service. (Not even fit enough it seems, even to be breaking open ammunition boxes and handing it out to those so desperately in need of it). As for Coghill, his movements when the battle was reaching its conclusion are well known and the subject of a different thread currently in discussion on the forum.
As for Pulleine, he was it seems seen by no surviving witnesses, during the heat of the battle either. Now, whether Pulleine succumbed whilst sitting in his tent writing a letter, or whether he succumbed out on the field is irrelevant.
Lt Col Pulleine was charged by Chelmsford to defend the camp. Chelmsford was fully within his rights to delegate this task fully to an infantry officer of this rank.
Pulleine should have done his job, before Chelmsford's column had even left camp. He and his officers should have planned new picket rotations and drawn up new and revised defence tactics, the moment he learned that Chelmsofrd's HQ and the 2/24th were to split off to look for the Zulu army.
He did not do this - fatal.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:49 am

Tasker
Coghill was seen, Private Williams commented that "Coghill galloped up and issued orders to pack up the Colonels tent."
Proof that he was mobile and active.

Pulleines body has been positioned close to the 2/24th tent line. Thats close to the firing line, if he had been killed writing a letter home it would logically have been in his tent, in the 1.24th tent lines, thats the oposite side of the battlefield. Brickhill searched this area trying to find him. If he had died in that area he would have been identified close to Durnfords body. Further proof of his positioning is his dispatching of Gardner to Durnfords position. Also comments made and reported by Brickhill and Gardner.

There are snippets to draw from in positioning of various personalities, small but significaant.

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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:42 pm

I think the fact that he was nearly six miles away from the Battle field is enough proof that he was more that mobile. If he was unfit for service why was he at Isandlwana he could have been sent back to R.D which would have made more sense. Who knows he might have even won a V.C.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:31 pm

Mu point is mainly about Pulleine. iSandlwana was lost before the Zulus attacked.

"Pulleine should have done his job, before Chelmsford's column had even left camp. He and his officers should have planned new picket rotations and drawn up new and revised defence tactics, the moment he learned that Chelmsofrd's HQ and the 2/24th were to split off to look for the Zulu army.
He did not do this - fatal."
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:00 pm

Totally agree with you regarding Pulleine.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:22 pm

No! Chelmsford should have made sure the camp was fortified and able to with stand an attack before he left. It was his responsibility, he was in command when they first arrived at Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Lt. Col . Henry Pulleine .   Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:57 pm

Hi Mr.Greaves.
Couple of things worth remembering , Coghill only injured his knee I think the previous evening on the way back to the camp .
So to late to be acted on in regard to being sent back to R.D . Also he was fine while he was mounted , he only struggled when
on foot . He would have fought tooth and nail to stay with the Column and certainly thought he would be on Horseback much
more than on foot . So no necessity really for him to have been sent back to the Drift . Like sportspeople really , keen to play
in big matches at any cost , if they think they can handle it !.
cheers 90th.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:28 pm

" only injured his knee I think the previous evening."

I understand that,but there was plenty of movement between R.D and Isandlwana, and let's be honest if he could escape on horse back the next day he could have made it to R.D. Quite easy and on his own horseback.

And it should be taken into consideration that he was a liability not only to himself but others, Chelmsford had the foresight not to take him as he would have been a liability to him. Coghill would have been more useful at R.D even if it was handing out ammo to the defenders.

You say he would have thought tooth & nail to stay with the column, but he didn't during the Battle.
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90th

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PostSubject: Lt. Col . Henry Pulleine .   Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:11 pm

Hi MrGreaves.
I understand what you are saying , he could have gone back to R.D in the morning if HE wanted , there were no night movements
for small parties as they were in hostile territory , like my sporting analogy he thought he would be ok in a day or so . You must
remember that NO-ONE in the British camp expected for one minute that the zulu would attack . C'fords fear was that he couldnt
get them to '' Come on '' as he had stated previously . Hindsight is a wonderful thing even more so 132 yrs down the track ! . As for fighting
tooth and nail it was merely a statement to show how keen he would have been to stay with the Column . One cant blame him for leaving , look at the facts , it would have been fairly obvious at one point that nothing could be done to save the camp . As I stated
he was next to useless on foot so no point him staying . Whose not to say he was told to leave as the game is up ????. We will never
know , so its purely speculation on our behalf . I'm not sure C'ford didnt want take him ....... I think it was more of a case that Coghill
declined to go as he wished to rest his knee for the day or so they were going to be at Isandlwana . As for handing out the ammo
at R.D I doubt he would have been much help as he couldnt walk !. Those who were handing out the ammo there , were moving around soldier to soldier . Coghill would never have managed it.
Page 190 . Rorke's Drift by Those Who Were There , by Jones and Stevenson .
Corp Allen and Pvt Hitch both behaved splendidly . They were Badly wounded early in the evening , and incapacitated from firing
themselves , but never ceased going around and serving out ammunition from the Reserve to the fighting men .
Reverend George Smith's account .
cheers 90th. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:05 am

Tasker
There is a thread in the archives that goes to over 10 pages, all the points your attempting to/going to are covered. In essence however. Pulleine was in charge of the camp from around 4.30 in the morning, first reported sitings at 7.30, realistically what would you have had him do? His appointment to de facto head of rear column was only done as an after thought. ( Lots of references to that fro Clery et al) He couldnt have done a thing the day before as Chelmsfords decision to move was only made at approx 4am. Prior to that the theoretical head of column was Richard Glynn, Theoretical because Chelmsford had taken control of the column and had been making all decisions relative to the column ( See Glynn, Clery, Crealock Dunbar and a whole host more statements). Therefore if Glynn and his staff were cut out of decision making, he wasnt even consulted on the column move, what chance did Pulleine, titular heaad of 1/24 battallion, stand?
There was in the early morning no perceived threat, when there was, he acted according to his standing orders, troop positions were as determined in his orders. The potential confusion between him and Durnford as to who was in charge, and the eventuall disposition of troops onto the ridge all played a part. Who sent the troops? Take your pick, there is convincing evidence that says he did, there is also evidence that says Durnford did. The truth is buried with a lot more on the iSandlwana slopes.
Im no fan of Pulleine but i do believe you cant take items out of context and view with hindset then apply to the history. He was to a degree to blame but isnt the only one. Singular blame cannot be attributed to the debacle, multiple yes.

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:57 am

Tasker. Take a look at the link.

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

This discussion has been locked. But i'm sure if you feel you have something that has not been covered in there. i'm sure Admin would un-lock it..
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:11 pm

Dave
Unless memory deceives me, you started that little lot. :lol!:

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:35 pm

Full text of "The Story of the Zulu Campaign"

I though Melville's horse was shot not him. To be honest what chance do we have of getting to the truth, when in 1880 they were telling various stories.

"Lieuts. Melvill and Coghill, seeing all was lost, made an attempt to escape on horseback with the colours of the 24th. Coghill succeeded in getting safely across the Buffalo, but Melvill was struck by a shot just as he was reaching the far bank of the river. Coghill, with heroic devotion, turned back to assist his less fortunate comrade — alas I only to share his fate. Their bodies were subsequently discovered in close proximity, and around them a group of dead Zulus. The colours which they had so desperately defended were also found in the bed of the river, saved from the degradation of capture and contamination by the hands of savages. In this sad affair there perished twenty-six Imperial officers and 600 non-commissioned oflBcers and men. The loss of the Colonial forces was not less terrible, twenty-four officers being included in the list."
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:43 pm

Littlehand
Dont believe everything you read on line. Melvill wasnt shot, it was Coghills horse. And unless some startling new evidence source comes to light we never will know the truth.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:30 pm

Springbok. I know he wasn’t shot. I was just being flippant, but trying to point out that just over a year in 1880 they were only writing down what they believe happen, not what really happened. Because no one will ever know?
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:52 pm

Thanks - some real food for thought there; I feel myself swinging back towards blaming Chelmsford.

Chelmsford was fully entitled to delegate the defensive planning of the camp to Pulleine, but ultimately, it was Chelmsford's responsibilty to check/meet with Pulleine to ensure that this had been done to his satisfaction.

As a lot of you have pointed out and is quite clear from Ian Knight's book, Chelmsford seems to have become too hands on, trying to control everything, being tunnel-visioned in his search for the Zulu, to the detriment of other perhaps more mundane tasks.
It is quite clear that Chelmsford thought the camp had very little chance of being attacked and so perhaps neglected the planning of its defence.

Chelmsford on finally being convinced that the camp had been taken:
"could this possibly be true? I left over a thousand men to defend it."
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:54 pm

The Isandlwana issued will always come around in a full circle as who’s to blame and who’s not to blame. After 132 years we are still none the wiser. And the fact of the matter is we will never know what really took place at Isandlwana or on the furtive trail or anywhere else that was connected with the Battle that day. What we have is a Zulu Army that won on the day whether it was because of over-whelming numbers or better tactics. The British were caught with their pants down.

No matter how we try to establish the real reason for Melville and Coghill leaving the Battlefield again the fact of the matter is they did along with all the other officers and those who were lucky enough to have a horse's. There was no real reason for leaving the Battlefield other than saving their skins. Because at the end of the day they would have been chopped along with the rest if they had stay. And the Zulu Victory would have been won on a complete annihilation of the British army at Isandlwana. What we have is eyewitness accounts from those that escaped that vary, but was the point of saving your own skin if you don’t have a good excuse for doing so. The best excuse was “there was nothing more could be done, the camp had been taken”
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:30 pm

I think is also important to remember, that a lot of us have never been to the areas where the various Battles took place. Although we all read books and get some understanding of the battle’s we can never get truly get to grips with the lay-out of the land the hills and donga’s and other obstacles formed by nature. However we are lucky enough to have many members who have visited the battle fields so they would have a better understanding on really could have happen. The forming up of the right and left horn at Isandlwana the gap closing in on those that was lucky enough to escape. Melville’s and Coghill escape with the colours the route they took the difficulties encounter. They have the knowledge of the books and the geographic understanding to form their own opinions on what was possible and what wasn’t. The Isandlwana debates will continue because there are so many possibilities and avenues we can go down.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Completely agree - we will never know the full picture for sure, but it is great fun to discuss and I at least always learn something new from getting involved.

Disasters as big as iSandlwana do not come about because ONE person was to blame. If Chelmsford, Pulleine or whoever were making mistakes, where were the guys who should have been advising and backing them up?
You will probably find that a whole series of cock-ups by whole lot of people is needed to result in a disaster of this scale. The whole column after all was team, but the leadership team in that Central Column are all accountable.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:19 am

Tasker
Point to remember there was no link between Pulleine and Chelmsford in the chain of command. Between them was Glynn as titular column commander.

CTSG is quite right, if debate alone could have solved the mysteries of iSandlwana the discussions would have been over years ago. All we can do is explore for our own edification and hope that snippets of evidence occasionally pop up. AS examples of that, the Curling papers un ravelled a couple of points. Bassingers diary placed a couple of events into the space frame. And the brilliant theory, not yet proven, of the missing five hours explains a lot of technical points.
Who ever coin the phrase of riddles being wrapped in enigmas etc probably had this battle in mind. Thats why so many of us spend money in the search for answers, and people like Neil and myself go back every year to explore different issues.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:54 pm

Springbok, Glynn was out of camp with Chelmsford looking for the Zulu army.

"To guard the camp at Isandlwana, Chelmsford left 1,300 men, centered on the 1st Battalion of the 24th Foot, under Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pulleine."
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:17 am

tasker
You made a point a few posts back that Chelmsford should have liased with Pulleine before he left camp. My reply was that in the chain of command between them was Glynn. Therefore Chelmsford would not have discussed the camp with Pulleine before he left.

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:52 pm

When the Generals staff arrived, Glynn was out the picture. Crealock was the one who dictating the orders via Chelmsford. Not Glynn.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:58 am

My point remains.
There was (officially) no point of contact between Pulleine and Chelmsford. So weather orders were passed via Crealock or via Glynn and Clery is not material.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:27 am

Quote :
Clery is not material.
???

1st Witness.— Major Clery states: I am Senior Staff Officer to the 3rd Column, commanded by Colonel Glyn, C.B., operating against the Zulus. The General commanding accompanied this Column from the time it crossed the border into Zululand.
On the 20th January, 1879, at the Camp, Isandlwana, Zululand, the Lieutenant-General commanding gave orders to Commandant Lonsdale and Major Dartnell to go out the following morning in a certain direction from the camp with their men, i.e., the Native Contingent, and the Police, and Volunteers, part of the 3rd Column. On the evening of the following day (the 21st) a message arrived from Major Dartnell that the enemy was in considerable force in his neighbourhood, and that he and Commandant Lonsdale would bivouac out that night. About 1.30 A.M., on the 22nd, a messenger brought me a note from Major Dartnell, to say that the enemy was in greater numbers than when he last reported, and that he did not think it prudent to attack them unless reinforced by two or three companies of the 24th Regiment. I took this note to Colonel Glyn, C.B., at once, he ordered me to take it on to the General. The General ordered the 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment, the Mounted Infantry, and four guns, to be under arms at once to march. This force marched out from camp as soon as there was light enough to see the road. The Natal Pioneers accompanied this column to clear the road. The General first ordered me to write to Colonel Durnford, at Rorke's Drift, to bring his force to strengthen the camp, but almost immediately afterwards he told Colonel Crealock that he (Colonel Crealock) was to write to Colonel Durnford these instructions, and not I. Before leaving the camp, I sent written instructions to Colonel Pulleine, 24th Regiment, to the following effect:—" You will be in command of the camp during the absence of Colonel Glyn; draw in (I speak- from memory) your camp, or your line of defence"—I am not certain which-"while the force is out: also draw in the line of your infantry outposts accordingly; but keep your cavalry vedettes still far advanced." I told him to have a wagon ready loaded with ammunition ready to follow the force going out at a moment's notice, if required. I went to Colonel Pulleine's tent just before leaving camp to ascertain that he had got these instructions, and I again repeated them verbally to him. To the best of my memory, I mentioned in the written instructions to Colonel Pulleine that Colonel Durnford had been written to to bring up his force to strengthen the camp. I saw the column out of camp and accompanied it.

2nd Evidence.—Colonel Glyn, C.B., states: From the time the column under my command crossed the border I was in the habit of receiving instructions from the Lieutenant-General Commanding as to the movements of the column, and I accompanied him on most of the patrols and reconnaissances carried out by him. I corroborate Major Clery's statement.


Sorry I agree with John. Glynn was put in a postion where he had no say!!
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:59 am

Life is getting confusing.
Go back a tad. The original hypothesis was Pulleine was possibly responsible, in that: A) he should have done more. B) He should have been in touch with Chelmsford, or vice versa.
My contention was/is Pulleine was merely a battalion commander of 1/24. Above him in the nominal chain of command was firstly Clery and then Glynn. Glynn being regimantal CO.
Not withstanding the fact that Chelmsford was wont to instruct/ignore all and sundry. Pulleine was fully aware of his chain of command.
He, Pulleine, was told of the decision to split the force by his immediat superior, Clery. In terms of any movement orders they were issued by Chelmsford via Crealock, bypassing both Clery and Glynn. Ergo my statement that Clery was nott material stands firm. However the only point that Clery makes his presence felt was informing Pullein of the regimental split, This he did on his own initiative.
Whatever Chelmsfords interference with the column Glynn was still Regimental commander. His was the responsibility for issuing instructions to the regiment, his statement at the COE bares testimony to that when he says Chelmsford was in the habit of controling the movements of the column, not the regiment. Although I cant point to any evidence Im willing to bet money that when Degaucher was told to move the 2/24 out of camp, he went to Clery first.

As a small example of the established chain, look at 'Zulu', Chard issues an order to Windridge, Windridge immediatly looks to Bromhead for his approval, immaterial that Chard was a superior officer.

Having said that lot let me get back to those two questions A) Pulleine couldnt do more because he was only in command of the camp for a matter of 3 hours. B) He had no access to Chelmsford within the chain of command to broach or engage him in any discusion about the camp security, and untill around 4:30 that morning it wasnt his place to do so.

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:24 pm

Springbok. You are stating how it should have been, not like it was. You only have to look at Glynn's evidence that alone tells you, he was trying to make a point. It’s clearly obvious that Glynn to a back seat, he had know choice…

Its bearly two lines. For someone in his postion he would have had a lot more to say.

2nd Evidence.—Colonel Glyn, C.B., states: From the time the column under my command crossed the border I was in the habit of receiving instructions from the Lieutenant-General Commanding as to the movements of the column, and I accompanied him on most of the patrols and reconnaissances carried out by him. I corroborate Major Clery's statement.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:16 pm

Mr G
I fully agree and its been my contention through many a post. However, I do believe that the subservience to Chelmsford was in command of the column. He could have said a lot more, and in various comments at a later time did. He knew that Crealock was going to try pas the buck from his boss. Refer to a letter sent by Crealock to Glynn asking a question about the column, Glynn ignored the letter and commented that Crealock was asking the wrong man.
That said, look at Glynns record, theres no way that he would back away from command of his regiment, and theres no evidence to say he ever did. The evidence you have quoted says just that, "The Column".
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:21 pm

Of course we we must agree that his hands were tied. "I accompanied him on most of the patrols and reconnaissances carried out by him" He must have felt like Chelmsford shadow...
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:39 pm

A point I made several posts back and which is coming through in most others is: -

"Chelmsford seems to have become too hands on, trying to control everything."
(Hitler made this same mistake in WW2 - interfering - and ultimately, it lead to his defeat).

A lot of posts indicate there was much confusion in the chains of command as a result of this, between Glynn, Crealock, Pulleine et al;
as you all know, if there is uncertainty in the chain of command, mistakes will ensue. This confusion is ultimately Chelmsford's fault.

My opinion is coming round to that it wasn't one person's fault, but a failure of all the senior officers to work effectively as a team.
One person can't be blamed for the iSandlwana blunder alone. It takes more than one person to create a mistake this big and the senior officers, Glynn, Crealock, Pulleine could have sought clarification from Chelmsford at any time until he left the camp and should have had the balls to do so.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:01 pm

Remember from the on set "Lord Chelmsford invaded Zululand without the knowledge of the British Government in the hope that he could Capture Cetshwayo" He was in a rush to prove a point ? mistakes where bound to be made.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:56 am

I have never understood this. Wasn't Sir Bartlett Frere a member of the British Government.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:13 pm

Frere was appointed High Commissioner of Southern Africa. Not sure that post is construed at part of the British Government.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:40 pm

Seems then, that many people think Pulleine is the one who shoulders most of the blame for the loss of the camp.
Poor Durnford, the traditional scapegoat.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:41 pm

Agree, is death was on the cards as soon as he arrived at Isandlwana. Though no fault of his own. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:22 pm

John wrote:
Agree, is death was on the cards as soon as he arrived at Isandlwana. Though no fault of his own. Salute

Well, with the exception of those lucky few who secured horses relatively early in the defeat, couldn't you say that about nearly nearly everybody still in camp at Isandlwana after ~4:30AM?

That said, it's still odd that there is so little on record about Pulleine once things hotted up. I wonder if anybody here buys that he was moving about the battlefield dynamically on horseback?
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:02 pm

There are I think two references to people looking for Pullein, the QM Pullen was one possibly the other could have been Brickhill. I would need to check. Both the refernces have him being looked for in the tented areas. If he wasnt at his normal post, the HQ tent of the 2/24th below the Koppie then potentially he could have occupied the Col HQ tent, as would be his right and duty. Private Williams was around this area quite a lot, and Coghill on at least two occasions, neither mention seeing him there. So its highly likely he would have been on the firing line. He was seen there early on, hence the infamous quote that was recorded: "Oh what a fool a fellow is, if we had kept quite and drawn them on we could have given them a sound thrashing."
With a certain amount of conjecture and detective work we could possibly pin him down a little more.
Without doubt two of the major causes of the firing line being withdrawn were the apearance of the right wing over the saddle and the withdrawl of Durnford, again from piecing together testimony we know these two events were pretty close together.
If Pullein was on the rocky ridge with Pope, he would have seen both events and would have been able to order the bugler to sound a withdrawl. If he was towards the guns he wouldnt have seen a thing. Moving up the line its only when he would have had to have been between E and F companies that he would have seen the saddle but not the donga, father along between E and C he would have been in a position to see the saddle and the right horn. He would have been able to see the retreating volunteers from the donga fairly quickly.

So if you accept that Pullein was the only one with authority to order a general retreat he would have been positioned around a third of the way down the firing line, or if your familiar with the battlefield a few yards below the present access road.

Just my theory.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:58 pm

6pdr wrote:
John wrote:
Agree, is death was on the cards as soon as he arrived at Isandlwana. Though no fault of his own. Salute

Well, with the exception of those lucky few who secured horses relatively early in the defeat, couldn't you say that about nearly nearly everybody still in camp at Isandlwana after ~4:30AM?

That said, it's still odd that there is so little on record about Pulleine once things hotted up. I wonder if anybody here buys that he was moving about the battlefield dynamically on horseback?

All very true, well said 6pdr. With respect to " I wonder if anybody here buys that he was moving about the battlefield dynamically on horseback?" I think the answer would be "no" and even if he was, as commander, he shouldn't have been.
I have myself also long been suspicious of the lack of details in statements on Pulleine's movements, crikey, he was the boss!
My theory is as follows and apologies for spamming this comment from another thread:

With the Hillsborough disaster and its recently discovered cover up still fresh in our minds, it should remind us to be suspicious, always. Cover ups and evidence destruction/tampering/invention has long been a part of British uniformed services disaster management.
Out of respect for Pulleine and the 24th Foot who suffered enough that day, perhaps any comments on Pulleine that were not glowing were erased from statements.
It happened, and still does. I myself have seen casualty reports, shall we say, edited, to make them more palatable. Very worthy, understandable, and one can see why it happens, but the truth it aint.

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:10 pm

I recall reading he was always within the camp area.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:03 pm

At Isandlwana the general retreat would have been a natural accurance forced by superior enermy numbers and storage of ammuntion. I honestly beleive,at the retreat stage each company was working independantly of each other under the command of thier own officers.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:20 pm

I find it very odd, that Browne claimes to have seen Pulliene's body, then couldn't remember where he saw it. And then no one else tryed to find it, although they knew it was there. I still think there is some food for thought, with regards to that statement being made " Our officer shot himself" Like Tasker has said "
Quote :
casualty reports, shall we say, edited, to make them more palatable"
it does seem its one of those cases where the less said about Pulliene the better.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:22 pm

tasker224 wrote:

I have myself also long been suspicious of the lack of details in statements on Pulleine's movements, crikey, he was the boss!
My theory is as follows and apologies for spamming this comment from another thread...Out of respect for Pulleine and the 24th Foot who suffered enough that day, perhaps any comments on Pulleine that were not glowing were erased from statements.

Yes, that's exactly what I was getting at. By the time Pullen was looking for him to support a "counterattack" toward the saddle the game was up anyway. And Springbok makes a good point regarding who and what were visible from different vantage points on the battlefield, so maybe Pulleine just had his hands full on the firing line and the folks there were the only ones to see much of him. But given the level of detail we have about some bit players, it's rather remarkable that "the boss" is mostly MIA.

- 6pdr
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:13 am

Brickhill saw Pulliene and Gardener talking to each other in or near Pullienes tent and then they left together.

Pullen asked Brickhill to go to Pulliene to ask for help, Brickhill says he could see no officers near the 24th camp area.

Gardener, under Orders from Pulliene took men down a quarter mile in front of the camp. He then went back to Pulliene where he observe the men falling back, he also witnessed Durnfords fall back, Pulliene must have been with him.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:27 am

impi wrote:
, Brickhill says he could see no officers near the 24th camp area.

Come to think of it, where does the idea that Pulleine may have died in his tent come from? I know it's depicted that way in the movie, ZULU but I assume the film was influenced by prior scholarship. Off the top of my head I'd guess THE WASHING OF THE SPEARS...or is it just a (not so) logical inference from Brickhill's observation? (If it was a Hollywood production I wouldn't even bother asking because it would inevitably be made up out of whole cloth.)
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:32 am

Has anyone got the accounts of Captain Offy Shepstone and Charles Tatham of the Carbineers? Regarding Pullienes body.
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PostSubject: Lt Col Pulleine - Responsible for the loss of Isandlwana ? .   Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:54 am

Hi Impi .
In response to your question I found the Following in '' Isandlwana 1879 - The Sources Re- Examined by FWD Jackson.
Page 38 , Footnote ( 155 ) .

Colonel Glyn ( Milne's Report ) and Commandant Browne ( Memoirs ) both recognized his body in the camp area on the morning of 23rd Jan . Charles Tatham of the Carbineers , who was with the expedition to Isandlwana on 21st may says ; '' We found the bodies of Colonel Pulleine and Colonel Durnford lying amongst those of the Imperial Soldiers ( who had fallen back on the camp and rallied around the former ) , Natal Mounted Police and Volunteers who made the last stand . I saw the bodies of both these officers '' . Pulleine , says Tatham , was identified by his uniform by Black or another Officer - Account from the Newspaper cutting referred to note ( 54 ) . According to Capt Nourse ( E. Durnford , p 233 ) , Pulleine was last seen with about 40 men of the 24th 800 yds in rear of the Nek , while there is a story that a zulu called Maqeda Ka Ntshingwayo assegaid a man believed to have been Pulleine whom he found writing in a little tent . Coghill told Curling that Pulleine had been killed , and told Melvill in Bickley's hearing that he had been shot .

Cheers 90th. Salute

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:52 am

Theres no doubt where the men of the 24th placed the blame in the aftermath.

Lt William Whitelock Lloyd of the 1/24th.

"We and a good many other boys know certain things concerning Ld. C's actions on the 22nd Jan, which if they were raised abroad would simply down him in the eyes of the world ans cause his recall in double quick time....I should like to build a great haycock of tambookie grass ans put him on top with a match applied beneath.............Ld C had better take care or he may find certain things he did not mention in his drivelling report may come out."

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:13 am

Just a personal opinion from someone who wasn't at Isandlwana.With no foundation.
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:16 am

Impi
To put your three meetings onto a time line.

The meeting between Gardner and Pulleine witnessed by Brickhill was before battle commenced, Gardner had just arrived with the message from Chelmsford.
Gardner gathered the mounted volunteers and took them to the donga.

Gardner remains with Pulleine till he saw the mounted men retiring and rides across.

The third one is the key issue. To see that and to be able to get across to find out why they were retiring he had to have been on the rocky ridge. So if he had been ordered to stay with Pulleine it would mean that he was also there.

The alternate, of him being in his tent, would mean that he could have seen the donga but nothing of the firing line itself. Its probably feasable for the conspiracy theorists to think that he was in his tent and Gardner failed to mention it in order to protect his reputation!
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PostSubject: Re: Lt Col Pulleine - responsible for the loss of iSandlwana?   Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:19 am

Littlehand
Your pretty emphatic on that? On what basis?
You woudnt conceed that perhaps he was a barometer for the feelings of the men?
He does open mentioning that it isnt a personal opinion.
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