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 Isandlwana's Drummer boys

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John

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PostSubject: Isandlwana''s Drummer boys   Sat May 16, 2009 8:57 pm

Does anyone know of sure if the Incident at Isandlwana concerning the Drummer boys is true. I have heard they were hung on butchers hooks and cut open. I have also heard they were sexually assaulted before death.
Was the rumour put about by the troops to build up the anger with the British public back home. When Cetewayo was brought to England surly the British public would have lynch him if it was true. This would be something that could never be forgiven.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sat May 16, 2009 10:01 pm

There has been quite alot written about the poor Drummer boys at the Battle of Isandlwana. I have one at hand now see below, I do have more, but i will need to dig them out.

The Rev Owen Watkins wrote as follows:
'He addressed them and told them their lives depended on obedience and keeping together, and that any man who strayed from the ranks was doomed. If it was God's will and they would obey, he would bring them through into Natal. They pledged their word to abide together with him that day for life or death. But he must, if possible, get ammunition. He saw an ammunition wagon, and noticed the Zulus were too busy in the tents to bother about this wagon. He rode up with his men, and found no one there but a little drummer boy who sat on top of the wagon and said he was in charge. Simeon asked him to give him and his men a packet of cartridges each, just to help them defend themselves. But the little boy informed them that this ammunition belonged to the 24th Regiment, and as long as he was in charge no one else should have any of it. He felt the boy was obeying orders, and respected him. Then he saw there was a loose lot of cartridges lying in the grass around the wagon. Men who had come for cartridges were in such haste to fill their belts that they dropped many on the ground. So Simeon and his men each picked up a few and put them into their belts.

Simeon's heart went out to the boy who was sticking to his post of duty. He told him the battle was lost, the camp was in the hands of the enemy, the fighting all over, and, indeed, his was the only body of men holding together. He begged the boy to leave the wagon, and he would take him in front of the saddle, and as long as he had life he would defend him. The boy was surprised and hurt that anyone could think he would desert his post. His officer had placed him there, and no one should move him out while he had life. With a very sad heart Simeon had to leave him there. Brave young soul! I salute thee, for it is souls like thine, which have won the Empire!
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sat May 16, 2009 10:06 pm

John. I have just posted a message in the "One the Histrory books forgot about" Ref: Samuel Jones 45th Regiment,

Charles James and his two brothers were schooled by the Reverend Newnham at his little schoolhouse near the Anglican Church beside the Klip River. By 1872 Charles was apprenticed in the milling trade in Newcastle and had joined the Newcastle Mounted Rifles. In 1873 saw service in the Langilabalele Rebellion of 1873 with the Buffalo Mounted Guards. In 1876 Charles married Elizabeth Adams and they raised 12 children. Seven sons, Walter William; Charles Jesse; Herbert Reuben; Douglas Barlow; Otto Barlow; Victor Barlow and Leonard Barlow Jones and five daughters, May Lilian Anderson; Ellen Ruth; Olive Laura Brown, Norah Elvina, Elizabeth Anne. During the next six years Charles became a leading figure in the frontier garrison town of Newcastle and on 11 June 1878 he was gazetted second in command of the Newcastle Mounted Rifles. In December 1878 the Newcastle Mounted Rifles joined the Natal Carbineers and Buffalo Border Guard at Helpmekaar as No. 3 column concentrated for the Zulu War; Samuel and Charles were not among the 14 members of the Newcastle Mounted Rifles who saw action at Isandhlwana as they had volunteered to go with Lord Chelmsford’s column. However Samuel did record his account of the events which were published some fifty years later . “One sight, a most gruesome one, I shall never forget. Two lads, presumably two little drummer boys of the 26th Regiment, had been hung up by butcher hooks which had been jabbed under their chins, then they were disemboweled: all the circumstances pointed to the fact they had been subjected to that inhuman treatment while still alive.” Brother Reuben also missed Isandlwana because he was coming from Pietermaritzburg with a train of wagons for Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sat May 16, 2009 11:16 pm

List of Drummers killed in action at the Camp, Isandhlwana Hill, Zululand, on the 22nd January, 1879.

Drummer Adams, W. H. 2003
Drummer Andrews, C. 267
Drummer Dibden, G. 1786
Drummer Haynes, Jno. 542 ( Pte. on the roll)
Drummer Osmond, C. 1226 ( G. on despatch
Drummer Orlopp, J. F. 2
Drummer Perkins, T. 1-24/1
Drummer Reardon, T. 501
Drummer Stansfield, S. 114
Drummer Thompson, Jno. 1787
Drummer Wolfendale, A. 2004
Drummer Wolfendale, J. 1399
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sun May 17, 2009 6:08 pm

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

When the Invasion began, the Army’s morale was high with the expectancy of defeating another primitive tribe. Isandlwana changed all that. Those soldiers
who returned to the camp and witnessed the terrible carnage were shocked to the core. The dead had not just been killed but ritually disembowelled and
brained. Not a living creature had been spared. Men, little drummer boys, horses, oxen and even pet dogs; all had been butchered. The effect on the
soldiers was profound and the shock waves spread throughout the Army. The Zulus became imbued with almost superhuman qualities. They could swiftly
cover large distances and then charge without fear until they overran their foes, who could expect no mercy. After Isandlwana, the British soldier’s fear
and hatred of the Zulus led them to become ruthless in their pursuit of defeated warriors and prisoners were rarely taken.

So I guess its a good enough reason why. Like it say's " prisoners were rarely taken."
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sun May 17, 2009 7:48 pm

May 24, 1879.


A very pathetic bit of private news of poor little MacDowell. He was sent by the General to tell them to strike the tents, and was urging on the ammunition to the front, and encouraging the bandsmen to carry it, when a Zulu shot him. A good and not painful end--God bless him! The Capt. Jones who told this, said also that one little bugler killed three big Zulus with his side-arms before he fell!.

A press report after the battle noted that two drummer boys had been mutilated while still alive, although experts disagree on whether the boys were dead or alive when the mutilations took place (the report did bring to an end the practice of taking drummer boys in the field with their regiments).

There is quite a few articals that suggest the mutilation of the Drummer boys did take place. Seen nothing yet to suggest it did'nt.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:14 pm

I have spend years looking for information on this particular subject. Doe's James W Bancroft write this as fact (ie) from a geniune resource. Or has been taken from other History books.

I would like to quote from James W Bancrofts book The Zulu War, 1879 Rorke's Drift "The dead on the battlefield at Isandhlwana were treated with disgusting savagery.
They were disembowelled, and their entrails scattered amongst the debris. Some men were decapitated and their heads placed in a gruesome ring. But one sight more than any other sickened the men who visited the battlefield. The Zulus had siezed five band-boys, and either tied them to wagons by their feet and slit their throats, or hung them on butchers hooks by their chins, sliced them up, then cut their privates off and put them in their mouths."

I have spend years looking for information on this particular subject. Doe's James W Bancroft write this as fact (ie) from a geniune resource. Or has been taken from other History books.

Dave.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:49 pm

Dave. I would say that James W Bancroft obtains his information from genuine resources.
G.
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana Drummer Boys.   Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:34 pm

hi dave.
I havent had time to have a proper look, but, I am fairly certain in '" THE RED SOLDIER " by FRANK EMERY . there are soldier
eye-witness accounts on this subject.
cheers 90th.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:17 am

The word Drumer "Boys" is misleading, the youngest was 18. (Holme). Take a look at Bandmaster Bucks band in "The Road to Isandlwana" (Gon) , I can't see any boys?.
This is something which has got rather tainted by history and paintings!.

The only boys present would have been those belonging to private wagon contractors, or Colonial such as Wetherley.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:24 pm

How we imaged it was.
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I take it these were brothers.

Drummer Wolfendale, A. 2004
Drummer Wolfendale, J. 1399
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:05 pm

Drummer Adams, W. H. 2003 was aged 19 when killed
Drummer Andrews, C. 267 was aged 23 when killed
Drummer Dibden, G. 1786 was aged 22 when killed
Drummer Haynes, Jno. 542 ( Pte. on the roll) was aged 18 when killed
Drummer Osmond, C. 1226 ( G. on despatch ) was aged 31 when killed
Drummer Orlopp, J. F. 2 was aged 19 when killed
Drummer Perkins, T. 1-24/1 was aged 36 when killed
Drummer Reardon, T. 501 was aged 18 when killed
Drummer Stansfield, S. 114 was aged 22 when killed
Drummer Thompson, Jno. 1787 was aged 21 when killed
Drummer Wolfendale, A. 2004 was aged 19 when killed
Drummer Wolfendale, J. 1399 was aged 26 when killed
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:10 pm

1879Graves. There are defiantly no boys there. Which brings me to my next question. ?

The two drummer boys that were supposedly mutilated while still alive is it possible that the boys belonged to the private wagon
Contractors, has Neil mentioned? Do we know the name's, age, of these boys or even if they were at Isandlwana when the battle started.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:55 am

The two youngest recorded in the Noble 24th by Holme is "Boy" Joseph McEwan 2/24th attested Dover 20/4/77 age 14, which would put him 16-17.

Also "Boy" Daniel Gordon 2/24th attested 16/12/75 age 13. Which would also put him 16-17.

These would not neccesarily be with Pope, more like left on camp duty.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:47 pm

Was there a Drummer boy killed by our own troops as depicted in Zulu Dawn? If not did the producer believed this happen from, some reference book or other resource he may have seen.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:58 pm

Good question Dave. But I don't know the answer.

However on another note I did read somewhere that. Simeon Kambula of the Natal Native Horse had a conversation with one of the Drummers Boys regarding issuing of ammunition. But I cannot remember where I read it.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:33 pm

Oh no! Come all this bloody way to get shot by a bullet from Birmingham? Shoot straight you bastards! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:35 pm

The Rev Owen Watkins wrote as follows:
Quote :
'He addressed them and told them their lives depended on obedience and keeping together, and that any man who strayed from the ranks was doomed. If it was God's will and they would obey, he would bring them through into Natal. They pledged their word to abide together with him that day for life or death. But he must, if possible, get ammunition. He saw an ammunition wagon, and noticed the Zulus were too busy in the tents to bother about this wagon. He rode up with his men, and found no one there but a little drummer boy who sat on top of the wagon and said he was in charge. Simeon asked him to give him and his men a packet of cartridges each, just to help them defend themselves. But the little boy informed them that this ammunition belonged to the 24th Regiment, and as long as he was in charge no one else should have any of it. He felt the boy was obeying orders, and respected him. Then he saw there was a loose lot of cartridges lying in the grass around the wagon. Men who had come for cartridges were in such haste to fill their belts that they dropped many on the ground. So Simeon and his men each picked up a few and put them into their belts.

Simeon's heart went out to the boy who was sticking to his post of duty. He told him the battle was lost, the camp was in the hands of the enemy, the fighting all over, and, indeed, his was the only body of men holding together. He begged the boy to leave the wagon, and he would take him in front of the saddle, and as long as he had life he would defend him. The boy was surprised and hurt that anyone could think he would desert his post. His officer had placed him there, and no one should move him out while he had life. With a very sad heart Simeon had to leave him there. Brave young soul! I salute thee, for it is souls like thine, which have won the Empire!
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PostSubject: drummer boys   Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:04 am

hi oh2.
Yes , I am the same , I have read the account by Simeon Kambula several times . But I cant remember the books
I read it. I quickly looked through 5 books but drew a blank. :lol!:
cheers 90th
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:00 am

90th
Did the Rev Watkins survive Isandlwana?, there has been so much mytholigy about the battle and the last moments, in particular the "Drummer Boys", if history proves i.e Regimental Rolls that small boys were not there, legend has taken over from facts. The Victorian public loved a romatic end, look at the paintings, I suppose its how the Times reading Victorian public expected thier army, if was to meet its demise, to go. in a romanticised last stand of defiance, but not so.
Take a look deeper into Watkins statement.

Simoens men asking for Ammunition at a 24th wagon were not going to get it as it wasn't a stock item. Scrabbling around on the floor for ammo that didn't work or even fit in their rifles is also factually incorrect.

Film has not helped, when Cy Endfeield wrote Zulu Dawn,actually... a jolly read, he was drawing much of his info from TWOTS which is also 25% conjecture, thus Zulu Dawn became the same, If Chelmsford has not issued any orders for entrenchment, the battle lines were dictated by conditions on the day, so Little boys with stakes and hammers, marking out simply was not done or had the time to be so organised. Wood did at Khambula, he had time to mess about with defences.

The bandsmen in action would have been involved in stretcher duties and ammunition distribution, no doubt, however the myth overtakes the reality when the Victorian public's tolerance for disaster on a grand scale could contamplate anything less than utter final defiance.

Custer, and Hollywood versus modern archeological and forensic sceince has now proven this fact beyond doubt.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:31 pm

Neil / 90th.

Lt Col Durnford was an old friend at Edendale. He was pleased to have the contingent under his command; pleased too, to have with them the son of his former interpreter Elijah. He promptly issued them with Martini-Henry carbines, but, to their regret, the military authorities turned down their request that they be given the same rations as the white volunteers.

When they say rations would this have included the Martini-Henry carbines?
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:18 pm

I have spent hours looking for eyewitness accounts, relating to the drummer boys at Isandlwana. I have looked in most of the books written by those who served during the Zulu War, and there is no reference to the Drummer Boys, its seems the killing of the drummer boys was based on hear say only. I believe some of the defenders at Rorkes Drift made reference to the poor little drummer boys but again this was passed down through the grapevine. There seems to be no mentioned of the drummer boys by any Zulu eye witness accounts, and also if you look at the court of enquiry statements there is no mention of the Drummer Boys. So were they there or not. !! Or should I say. They were there but not little boys as portrayed in the famous paintings.

But if anyone as got any eyewitness accounts please post.


Applogies for got to add this, but i think its fiction:

May 24, 1879.

"A very pathetic bit of private news of poor little MacDowell. He was sent by the General to tell them to strike the tents, and was
urging on the ammunition to the front, and encouraging the bandsmen to carry it, when a Zulu shot him. A good and not painful end--God blesshim! The Capt. Jones who told this, said also that one little bugler killed three big Zulus with his side-arms before he fell!"

I can't find a MacDowell that was at Isandlwana
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:32 pm

Written in Memory of Troop Sergeant Major Khambula, DCM, an African:

Who for all the wrong reasons, but in good faith, fought bravely and loyally for the English Army from the beginning to the end of the Anglo-Zulu War. He was with the Natal Native Horse.

He fought for "The Great White Queen" at Isandlwana, Hlobane, Khambula, Nondwengu and Ulundi. He guided his European Comrades through the African bush he knew better. He opened a path, which was later to be referred to as "The Fugitives Route/ Drift" for his Comrades to escape the slaughter at Isandlwana. He fired at his African Brothers across the Buffalo River for more of his Comrades to escape.

The Citation in his Distinguished Conduct Medal (WO 146/1) reads: "This non-commissioned Officer. saved the life of an Officer of the Frontier Light Horse by bringing him out of a very heavy fire behind him on his horse." After the award, Rev. Owen Watkins of the Methodist Church of which Khambula was part of the flock, wrote, "Simeon Khambula had truly served The Great White Queen, he received the medal from the hands of an English General at a parade of the troops. Had he been a White Man, he would have received The Victoria Cross"27. So wrote the man of the cloth.

Troop Sergeant-Major Khambula was ostracized by fellow Africans as a traitor and denied the Victoria Cross by the English because of the colour of his skin. Let us learn from his mistake; let us know who we are. We are the Children of Isandlwana.

This account is not written by the authors of 1879zuluwar.talk-forums.com and as such is represented as it was written by the author, Themba Mthethwa. Please contact him directly should you have any comments. This is designed to portray a Zulu perspective on the stories of Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift, and does not necessarily constitute the opinions of this site.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:57 pm

Being a practical person, I would have picked up a M/H if there was no ammunition for my weapon. And lets face it there must have been quite a few lying around. By the time the Zulu’s got to the tent area.
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PostSubject: Isandlwana Drummer Boys.   Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:27 pm

hi dave.
LT MCDOWELL .F.H . ROYAL ENG ( STAFF) KIA ISANDLWANA 22 / 1 /1879.
Taken from " CASUALTY ROLL FOR THE ZULU AND BASUTO WARS SOUTH AFRICA 1877-79.
by I.T. TAVENDER .
cheers 90th.
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana Drummer Boys.   Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:34 pm

hi Neil.
Cant say I have ever heard of the REV WATKINS let alone did he escape from Isandlwana :) I will go and check
my copy of WHO"S WHO IN THE ZULU WAR - THE COLONIALS by Adrian Greaves and see if the good REV is
mentioned . Just changing the subject , Neil do own a working Snider ? and what is it like to fire as compared to the
Martini- Henry ?. An american company often sends me messages about sales they are having , I will try and post
it for all to see.
cheers 90th.
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana Drummer Boys.   Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:48 pm

hi neil.
here is the link I mentioned .
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cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:29 am

90th
Thanks for the link, all of the Sniders IMA have are Nepalese copies from the C1880's, they look good but I don't think I would like fire one!.

I have Two Sniders, a BSA 1868 Rifle, three groove rifling, pleasant to shoot but not particularily accurate, although the five groove rifle will compete roughly 1:1 with a Martini at 1-200 yards if the bullet has been swaged and with a good plug, my cast bullets are not so good.

My Snider Carbine BSA 1871 Mk3 is a beauty but shoots like a moose, they are a 50-100 yard gun, sighting is to 500 and it would be lethal at that range but accuracy is not there. I'll post some images of the breech action to illustrate how they work. If you look at last image you can see how the extractor works, it was on the front of the block that I beleive Durnford was hitting with his hand.
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana Drummer Boys.   Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:04 am

hi Neil.
Thanks very much for your reply and photo"s , as for Rev Watkins I"m fairly certain he didnt escape Isandlwana
because he wasnt there as far as I can tell. The only mention of him in " THE WHO"S WHO OF THE ZULU WAR
THE COLONIALS by Greaves and Knight is in the story of Simeon Nkambule ( often spelt Kambule ), where he says
if simeon was a white man he would have been awarded a V.C. He saved a colonial trooper during the retreat at
Isandlwana by taking him up behind his saddle. Then in a skirmish commanded by Buller on the 3rd July this force
was nearly ambushed near the White Umfolsi River and in the subsequent retreat Simeon saved another man. This
time his gallantry was recognised by the award of a DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL . According to the citation:
" This non-commissioned officer has also set an excellent example to the men of the troop , of courage and ready
obedience under fire . At the White Umvolozi River on the occasion of LT-COL Buller"s reconnaissance towards
" Ondine ", the day before the battle of Nodwengo ( Ulundi ), Simeon Kambula saved the life of an officer of the
Frontier Light Horse, by bringing him out of a very heavy fire behind him on his horse . He was present at
" SANDHLWANA" ," HLOBANE", " KAMBULA " and " NODWENGO", besides many smaller actions , and has
taken part in every patrol of the mounted troops of the Flying Column , since 14th March 1879.

I left the spelling the same as what was written on the citation. The citation is taken from the book.
WHO"S WHO OF THE ZULU WAR by Greaves and Knight.
cheers 90th.
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:15 pm

Outstanding photo’s Neil.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:32 pm

Neil. So is this the rifle that Durnfords lot were equip with.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:38 pm

Neil.What could one expcet to pay for that rifle.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:37 am

Interesting to note,

The medals to Dmr. T. Perkins were sold in the last five to ten years. The group consisted of an Indian Mutiny Medal - Perkins served there as a boy Drummer in the 24th. Also his South Africa Service Medal named to him also as a Drummer.

The South Africa Service Medal to Drummer T. Reardon is currently offered for sale by a dealer in the UK. Reardons brother, a Sergeant also fell at Isandlwana. However Drummer Reardons medal has remained unsold as there are some issues related to the clasp and suspender having been replaced or repaired.

David


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mons14

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:08 am

The medal to Dmr. T. Reardon 1/24th Killed at Isandlwana

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The medal to Dmr. D. Gordon 2/24th - possibly the youngest soldier of the 24th to die at Isandlwana. (From a private collection).

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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:57 am

Quote :
some issues related to the clasp and suspender having been replaced or repaired.
as long at the repair or replacement was done professionally is there really a problem.
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mons14

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:12 pm

24th wrote:
Quote :
some issues related to the clasp and suspender having been replaced or repaired.
as long at the repair or replacement was done professionally is there really a problem.

No not really - it doesnt change the fact the medal is HIS etc. etc.

....But all collectors agree that the price should be considerably less in light of these fixes - not priced at the top end as it is. Further confusion came when it was discovered that the last time the medal was for sale (I think in the mid 90's) the clasp was different then what's on the medal now. It's turned a lot of collectors off - Never can I remember an Isandlwana casualty medal ever remaining on offer for the length of time as this medal.

I would absolutely love to own this medal myself, but cant justfy the price in light of above. At the end its too big an investment for there to be these kinds of lingering questions.

David
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90th

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PostSubject: Isandlwana Drummer Boys.   Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:24 pm

hi mons14.
I am amazed its still for sale , I would love to buy it also , dont think the other half would be in total
agreeance .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:31 pm

Chelmsford & John

Yes, this is a BSA 1871 Snider Mk3 carbine, made as such, not a cut down rifle.

Value £5-600.

Neil
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:14 pm

Two questions please gents.

1 How much is the medal selling for.

2 Neil. You seem to have quite a large collection of various weapons.. May I ask which is your favorite rifle and is there any Zulu War Histroy behind any of them. (Were they used in the Zulu War
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:00 pm

Priced at 7950 + GBP
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:12 pm

Its difficult to find Martinis with actual pre-cauldwell regimental markings at the best of times. there was ovr 450,000 made before 1879 so the odds of finding one is pretty slim, I have recorded an example to the 80th Regiment, found in SA 20+ years ago, it is a Mk1 3rd pattern, exactly correct and un-altered, which do point to the fact it was "lost".

The Swinburn I am working on at the moment is certainly of the right pedigree, Natal "V" serial numbered, military sold out of sale marks and Bayonet lug, it is a V & R Blakemore retailed example, made at he Abingdon Gun Works, Birmingham.
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The Snider carbine is CMR Marked (Cape Mounted Rifles) so again of the right pedigree.

Here is a picture of another Swinburn I had alonside the Snider, this Swinburn was retailed by King Of Durban, notice how this has a shortened forend and no bayonet bar, this is often seen, it appears to be 50/50 mix, obviously some colonials felt if they needed a bayonet it was a bit to close for comfort.

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Internally the guts to Swinburns are totally different, it uses a hammer and plunger action, rather than a spiral spring direct to the firing pin as found in a Martini, the extraction is awful, no wonder Buller bitched about "the martini carbines"...but how was he to know?
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:48 pm

Neil. What got you interested in these particular weapons? Was it the film Zulu.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:37 pm

Her Majesty's Army; a descriptive account of the various regiments now comprising the Queen's forces, from their first establishment to the present time ([189-?])

" The Zulus described how the " red soldiers taunted them to come on," and how when our ammunition was all exhausted, the cunning savages hurled the bodies of their own dead against the gleaming fence of bayonets, and then rushing in, assegaied every man. Another account describes the tortures and mutilations inflicted on the wounded: " The men who returned with the General saw enough of it one poor little drummer-boy held up on a bayonet."

Back in 189? Authors were stating "Little drummer boy". Is it possible that’s the sons of soldiers were with their fathers but not listed as being there.?
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:42 pm

24th
Yes, it was now 11 martini's 2 sniders,2 Lee Enfields and god knows what else i should have stuck to Batman.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:43 pm

:lol!: You don't mean it. You have a great collection.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:09 am

24th
Yep, heres but a few of the lovelies, These are those on my Fire arm certificate and shoot. I have others which are mint, but not shot.



Jason put on his site a while back.


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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:13 pm

Neil from the top the second and last rifle has some sort of covering. What’s that for?
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:16 am

' We fell in without sound of the bugle just as the first glimps of daylight was showing-and were all out of camp on the road to have Rorkes Drift before objects could be distinctly seen. I mention this because on the way I heard some terrible stories about mutilated bodies. These were invented for the occasion, as it was impossible for those who told the yarns to have distinguished anything in the night it being exceptionally dark.........'

Lieutenant John Maxwell 2/3rd NNC.

That is an extremely valid point to have made about the light. They arrived in the dark and left in the dark. The rumour mill workrd over time I suspect.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:29 am

Mr Greaves
Its a leather handguard, these were not general issue until the LOC of 1885 when it bacame standard pattern, however they were field made from 1876. It does three jobs.
1) Protects hand from the heat of the barrel after rapid firing
2) Prevents the heat shimmer from distorting sighting
3) Gives enhanced grip, especially in bayonet excercise.

Whilst all the slings on my Martinis' are original V.R. issue, the handguard is not, but I use it for shooting.

Springbok
I agree with you, apart from Black and a few others who wanderd off with lanterns, Chelmsford ordered the rest in close order. They had no idea who was about in the dark, with the campsite over nearly half a mile long.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:18 pm

Doe's anyone know if the Zulu ritual of disembowelment was restricted to those who fell at Isandlwana, or are there other accounts in other actions against the Zulus. I was thinking maybe to those that didn’t make it down the Devils Pass.
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