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 Civilian Conductor C. H. Chinn

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PostSubject: Civilian Conductor C. H. Chinn    Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:19 pm

"Civilian Conductor C. H. Chinn was killed in action at Marabastadt on 19 February 1881. He had previously served with the Transvaal Rangers during the Zulu War in 1879, and was present at the engagements at Hlobane and Khambula. He is mentioned in a privately published account of the action at Hlobane Mountain which is taken from The Zulu War. And my part in it, by W. H. T. [probably Trooper W. H. Thomas, Transvaal Rangers]:

‘We kept to this position for about twenty or so minutes, thus ensuring the escape of at least some of our comrades. At about this time I briefly looked over at Commandant Raaff and saw him exchange words with an officer of the Frontier Light Horse, whom I did not recognise [probably Lieutenant Everitt] and Serjeant Chinn of our unit. Moments later I watched as this officer moved back towards the Ntendeke Nek until he was out of sight. Once this officer disappeared I commenced my firing again until I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to find Serjeant Chinn standing above me. He leaned toward me so as to be heard above the noise, and told me to follow him. Which I did along with perhaps seven others, from various units, including one man from Bakers Horse... Our group became instantly separated from each other. And although I don’t recall many individual instances during the descent, I do recall seeing Serjeant Chinn spin around and fall to one side. I could not get to him for the amount of others between and I felt sure he must be killed or condemned to be so. On this count I am glad to say I was wrong.’

Sergeant Chinn, whose occupation is given as Waggoner, appears to have been discharged from the Transvaal Rangers in August 1879. In October 1880 he was attached to the 94th Regiment as a Civilian Conductor. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities in 1880, two companies of the 94th Regiment were based at Marabastadt. On 23 November, one company was ordered to Pretoria, leaving behind one under-strength company, and approximately 25 civilians under the command of Captain E. S. Brook, of the 94th. This small garrison withstood a three month siege, losing 4 men killed or died of wounds, and 13 wounded."
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