Zulu Dawn: General Lord Chelmsford: For a savage, as for a child, chastisement is sometimes a kindness. Sir Henry Bartle Frere: Let us hope, General, that this will be the final solution to the Zulu problem
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Major-General Sir William Penn Symons
( Isandula Collection)
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 Isandlwana's Drummer boys

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Posts : 9855
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 62
Location : Melbourne, Australia

PostSubject: isandlwana drummer boys   Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:59 pm

hi MrG

This from " Companion to the Anglo Zulu War by I.Knight.
" At the cape , Guy Dawnay , Went to the club , saw Commandant Lonsdale who escaped from Isandlwana and is
now raising some cavalry volunteers .............. The slaughter was far greater than we first stated... A great number
of the dead ripped open , and the POOR LITTLE BAND BOYS STUCK UP ON MEAT HOOKS .".
If I remember correctly Dawnay was a professional hunter and was killed by an elephant or buffalo several years after the war.
Dawnay was with Chelmsford as an advisor and therefore wasnt at the camp at the time of the battle.
He did write a book called " Campaigns.. Zulu 1879, Egypt 1882 , Suakim 1885 by G.C.Dawnay. Would be an interesting read.
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: isandlwana drummer boys   Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:19 am

hi all.
In reference to my previous post concerning Dawnay a couple of points need correcting , A collegue has
contacted me with the correct version of events .
Guy Cuthbert Dawnay"s older brother Lord Downe also fought in Z"land , Dawnay had hunted with John Dunn
during the 1870"s in Africa , and was in England when the news of Isandlwana broke , so he volunteered to " go out '
and when he arrived , he joined the NNC as an officer and fought at GINGINDLOVU. Sadly it was a buffalo that gored
him in East Africa which ended his life." . If anyone has a copy of " Fearful Hard Times " by I.Knight there is a picture
( sketch ) of Dawnay on page 26.
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:51 am

I've only just joined so I may have missed this bit somewhere else on the forum, but even if it's accepted that there were no drummer boys of 14 at Isandlwana surely this doesn't rule out the possibility that some people were ritually tortured and killed after the battle?

All the books I've read about the battle give the impression that all the Imperial dead were killed at once either in the main battle or in the subsequent flight, but surely in a camp that size and in all the confusion of the rout it is very possible that some men simply played dead, or were knocked unconscious. Once these people were found might the Zulu's have strung them up and tortured or killed them?

Once the war was over it would be very unwise for any Zulu to mention anything like this to the white man, and so there would be no corroboration either way for the initial reports.
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Julian Whybra

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:46 am

I think some members are confusing terminologies here. The familiar term 'drummer boys' (i.e. men with the rank of Drummer) is not the same as adolescents with the rank of Boy, of which there were undoubtedly five at Isandhlwana (see elsewhere on this forum).
As for arriving in the dark and leaving in the dark, there were several who lingered in the camp area at the tail end of the column who witnessed the camp scene in the early morning light of the dawn.
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:59 am

The British and colonials were probably as bad and in some cases worse than the Zulu when it came to tortured and dispatching captured Zulu's
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Julian Whybra

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:29 am

On what basis do you make that remark (apart from a politically correct one)?
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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana's Drummer boys   Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:05 pm

This from the Telegraph in the article 'End of an era for little drummer boys and the powder monkeys'. March 29 2002

At the battle of Isandhlwana on Jan 22, 1879, when the Zulus destroyed a British force of 1,700 men, the little drummer boys were hung on hooks behind the wagons and ritually disembowelled.

Its no wonder that some people view the Zulus as nothing more than savages.

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