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 Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Wed May 13, 2009 10:45 pm

Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW

John although different subjects, I think your post (Court Marshall) and this topic Military Discipline and punishment during the AZW go hand in hand.


During the duration of the War no less than 545 British soldiers were flogged; the highest number in one year for many years. The wrongdoer was given twenty-five lashes for offences ranging from drunkenness and stealing to insubordination and desertion. A common offence was "dereliction of duty", which covered those sentries who fell asleep when on guard duty, and merited fifty lashes. After Isandlwana, the Zulus were taken very seriously and any lack of vigilance which jeopardised the security of the camp had to be dealt with severely to "encourage" the other sentries. With the drop in morale, desertion was another real threat. Until reinforcements arrived and equipment replaced, the Army were reduced to sleeping in the open in cold and wet conditions, with only hard biscuits to eat. The soldiers were in no condition to resist the expected Zulu invasion. The Army perceived that the only way to keep the troops in line was to publicly flog any wrongdoer. Given the times and conditions and the fact that the Army did hold together and ultimately triumph, the harsh punishment could be said to have been justified. Back in Britain, however, the sudden increase in the number men flogged in such a short time, especially young recruits, caused an outcry and led this form of barbaric punishment to be totally banned. Its place was taken by Field Punishment Number One, a left-over from the flogging ceremony in which the man was tied spread-eagled to a wagon wheel and left for several hours under a hot sun.

CAMPAIGN LIFE IN THE BRITISH ARMY DURING THE ZULU WAR.
Brian Best
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Wed May 13, 2009 11:17 pm

I wonder out of the 545 how many were officers.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Wed May 13, 2009 11:45 pm

There must be documented evidence, or some other source where the flogging were recorded. It would be interesting to find out the Names, regiments and the offence these individuals committed to warrant the punishment of flogging.
And what would be really interesting as littlehand states, how many were officers or senior NCOs.
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Thu May 14, 2009 3:54 pm

The Victorian wars in general were very harsh and not just during the AZW. Most of the floggings were mainly down to drinking offences.

This from the net:

At the start of the 1800s, each British soldier was in the unenviable position of being answerable to two sets of laws. According to the Mutiny Act, being part of the army did not exempt a soldier from the civil laws of the locality he was stationed in. In committing a crime a soldier ran the risk of both civil and military legal consequences for the same unlawful act. Take for example the case of Private John Mitchell who in July 1811, while stationed in Quebec City, was caught with money and goods that were not his. The stolen goods must have been substantial because the Regimental Court Martial ordered 600 lashes which were twice as many as other theft cases. In addition all the lashes were inflicted and none were pardoned. A few months later in civil court, Mitchell was found guilty of burglary and was hanged. Officers also faced the risk of execution in civil courts for, as an example, the crime of duelling.

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PostSubject: Re: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:03 pm

I found this image in a book about the Zulu War. The caption reads:

Field punishment inflicted with the Cat: Flogging was no longer permitted in the British Army during peacetime, but was allowed on active service. Both black and white soldiers were flogged during the Zulu War, as Bindon Blood's account confirms.[img][/img][url][/url]
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:40 pm

"Chelmsford encouraged the flogging of offenders; over 500 floggings were administered during the campaign at a time when it was otherwise little used as an army punishment, and indeed it was abolished in 1881"

Source: The Anglo-Zulu War as Depicted in Soldiers' Letters
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:41 pm

And just out of interest (Here's a hard lot)

"The sobriquets of the 58th are " The Black CufTo" and " Steelbacks." The former recalls the original facings ; the latter is said to have originated in the old flogging days, when the men of the 58th used to pride themselves on bearing the lash without wincing. " Idea
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:08 pm

HC Deb 17 June 1879 vol 247

"MR. O'DONNELL
Asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his at- 26 tention has been directed to the statement of the Special Correspondent of the "Cape Times" published in the "Echo" of June the 12th, who writes from the Lower Tugela that— There has been a good deal of flogging in the camp and on the march since the reinforcements were landed in Natal. Three of the Buff's were tied up on Tuesday morning, and the 88th, I hear, have had quite a festival of cats on the banks of the Tugela?

COLONEL STANLEY,
In reply, said, that beyond the statements which had appeared in the newspapers, to which the hon. Member referred, he had received no information on the subject. He would, however, direct inquiries to be made with reference to it.

MR. CALLAN
asked, if information in regard to such allegations would not be sent as a matter of course to the Horse Guards, with directions to make inquiry?

COLONEL STANLEY
I can only repeat that I have no information on the matter."
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PostSubject: Re: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:25 am

For a decade the army used flogging sparingly, but its re-emergence as a common punishment in Zululand in 1879 attracted the attention of Liberal politicians, including Gladstone, who rejected the'necessary deterrent' argument and denounced the practice as anachronistic. The number of lashes was initially reduced by Parliament before its final abolition in
1881.



During the Zulu War in 1879, William Russell, special correspondent of
The Times, wrote:

“I think the military authorities have been culpably remiss and negligent in the
discharge of their bounden obligation to maintain discipline and to protect the
property and secure the peace of well-disposed loyal citizens'. What the
reasons or motive for their indifference may be I do not pretend to surmise,
but I am sure they are pursuing a course which must lead to most serious
consequences if they gloss over or pretend to ignore the excesses which in
Natal and the Transvaal are covering the army with odium and disgrace. It is
not of drunken frolics or of robbing henroosts or poultry yards that I complain
- no, nor of orgies and street brawls which bring the soldiery into contempt in
the eyes of Boer and Kaffir - but of housebreaking, burglary, assault and
. robbery, of a condition of things which fills the minds of dwellers in stations
up-country with alarm and indignation, and the gaols and scenes of convict
labour with men wearing the uniform of the queen. There is not a house in
Heidelberg, close at hand, which has not been broken into, with two or three
exceptions, and other stations are nearly as bad. Women are flying to the large
towns, where there are some guarantees of safety in the shape of police, as
though they were hunted out by Zulus or Swazies.”
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:43 pm

Newspaper hysterics, such as those in the last post, led to a report to Parliament by Sir Garnet Wolseley on the Conduct of the Troops in South Africa.

First, here is Chelmsford's letter to the Adjutant General about the conduct of his troops. And, as examples, statistics from the reports of offences by soldiers in Pietermaritzberg and Durban .

William Russell was doing then exactly what the Daily Mail and others specialise in now - grossly overstating the case!

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Steve
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Military Discipline / punishment during the AZW   Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:17 pm

Spot on Steve, the press is always guilty of sensationalising events, and the gullible general public are duped into believing all the rot that they read in the gutter press, it beats me how they are allowed to get away with printing such rubbish, mind you, while the daily rags are sensationalising their junk, it distracts the public and gives the government the chance to hide the more important stuff in the small print, makes you wonder if they are both in cahoots. Suspect
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