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 August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879

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PostSubject: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:33 pm

August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879

Part of the Anglo Zulu War society collection. Thought i would post this one seperately for now. Would be interested in your thought's, he says Witt is leaving tomorrow which would make that the 7th Jan 1879.

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:13 am

We do know through various sources that Witt and Reynolds along with Rev Smith climbed Shiyane at 12.30 to see what was happening at isandlwana.
He left RD AFTER the construction of the barricades, he describes them and mentions the destruction of his 'wallpaper'.
When he left he took a sickly Lt with him, think it was Purvis of the NNC.
So no real question that he left on the 7th.

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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:14 am

But could "Hammar" have been confused with "Witt" And It was Hammar who was at the Mission station and not Witt. Meaning Witt vacated on the 6th.
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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:10 am

OH
Doubt it, Witt was well known firstly and secondly part of his conversation with I think Surgeon Reynolds is on record of him exclaiming that he must get to his wife and children.
Difficult to explain the letter.
Its written in a strange format, almost akin to someone scribbling pencil notes over a period of a few days. But would someone feed paper into a typewriter type a sentence then leave it for a few days before typing another sentence?
Its almost as if someone was working from memory and hiting point notes?

Strange
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:16 am

Otto Witt, was a bit of a scallywag, perhaps he claimed to be there just as he claimed to had stayed at Rorke’s Drift of course that was after he took part in the Battle of Isandlwana.


PS. Who is August Hammar scratch Do we have any infoe: on him elsewhere on the forum.
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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:45 am

Hi Mr G
No doubt Witt was there, he is mentioned by to many people, from Chard down to rev Smith.
Hammar doesnt come in for to much comment, dont have access to the books at present so cant give details of him.

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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:39 pm

Interesting to see, that fortifications at RD was started on the 6th Jan.
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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:50 pm

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"August was the eldest son of Elin Jakobina Ask and August Hammar, a grand-son of Maria Lovisa Hjelms. Born in Lund in 1856, he was educated at the Helsingborg High School and matriculated in June 1874. He then entered the Helsingborg Teknologiska Institutet, and graduated as a civil engineer in 1877 with a distinction in mathematics and was awarded the George Medal. One of his summer vacations was spent as a pupil engineer during the construction of the railway between Landskrona and Ängelholm.

To South Africa
A year later he decided to emigrate to the British colony of Natal in South Africa. Writing to his parents on 13 October 1878 from London, he said "On 15 October I am embarking on the steamer Balmoral Castle, a sturdy boat of almost 3000 tons, leaving from the West India Docks". Then in a letter in November he referred to the impending clash between British and Zulu forces: "... when I came to Durban, I found the situation very bad ... it would cost 15 to 20 pounds to go to Potchefstroom by post cart, carrying just a night bag. Even by ox wagon would be beyond means ... I couldn't stay in Port Natal (Durban) as I had not a penny ... after much discussion I decided to go first to Oskarsberg ..." (the Swedich Church Mission near Rorke's Drift in Northern Natal, under the Rev. Otto Witt). August walked 270 miles with an injured leg, and was met by Otto Witt. August wrote: "Otto said 'Greetings! August' ..... he had received notification of my arrival .... we mounted horses and immediately galloped to Oskarsberg ..... we made 20 kilometres in one and a half hours."
The imminent outbreak of hostilities between British and Zulu armies forced the Swedish family to abandon the mission at Rorke's Drift and August made his own way into the nearby hills. On 22 January 1879, he observed the activity of the Battle of Isandhlwana at a distance of five to six miles. This battle was one of the greatest defeats of the British army. Whilst trying to return to the Mission, he was cut off by a Zulu impi (regiment) and spent the night in the hills watching the epic resistance of the British forces at Rorke's Drift. Thus August Hammar on his arrival in Natal was unexpectedly connected with major events in its history. He sketched the scene of the battle at Isandlawana, and later the scene of the death of the French Prince Imperial in June 1879. This painting was later sent to his mother Empress Eugenie, the widow of Louis Napoleon. August became a member of Baker's Horse, a volunteer mounted regiment, and was with them in July 1879 at the defeat of the Zulu armies at Ulundi in Zululand
.

Explorer
After the Zulu war, August decided on a career of surveying, and trained with a surveyor in Verulam, Natal. In 1881 he practised as a surveyor and in 1883 he purchased a small farm near Rorke's Drift, from which he continued his practice. There he met a Dr Aurel Schultz. Together they planned a journey northwards to the Victoria Falls and then westwards to the Okavango marshlands. They left Dundee in Natal on 2 March 1884 on foot, with their baggage in a two-wheel ox cart. August's equipment included a sextant, artificial horizon, magnetic compass, thermometers and the only naval chronometer available in Natal at the time (this chronometer when last tested in January 1997 still kept very good time, with an accuracy of 0.3 seconds per day!). Over the next ten and a half months, they walked about 2,700 miles (4,300 km), visiting the Victoria Falls (about 20 years after Livingstone's discovery) and the origins of the Chobe River. August's detailed maps of the region were the first to be made of this part of Africa, and his drawings and paintings were used to illustrate "The New Africa" (Schultz & Hammar, Heinemann 1888). August resumed his surveying practice in early 1885.

Marriage
In July 1886, he married Elizabeth Lamb, daughter of an Englishman who had arrived in Port Natal in 1860. Their first daughter Elin was born at Rorke's Drift in 1887. The family then moved to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Natal, and two sons, Holger and Augustus, and their second daughter Elsie, were born there in 1888, 1890 and 1892 respectively.

Surveyor
In 1890, August was appointed as Government Surveyor, and over the next 25 years was responsible for most of the primary and secondary surveying of Natal. This included the politically important survey of the Zululand-Transvaal boundary during 1893. In 1910 he collaborated with the British Navy in a survey of the coastline of Natal and Zululand. He retired on pension in about 1922, but was still active in surveying for much of the rest of his life. His contribution to the surveying of Natal is well documented, as is his training of young surveyors in Southern Africa. As an indication of August's dedication to his profession, it is recorded that the then Surveyor General named a farm between Durban and Pietermaritzburg "Hammarsdale"; today it is an important industrial area.

Contact with Sweden
During the Anglo-Boer war (1897-1901), his younger brother Josef, a doctor attached to the Swedish Red Cross mission to the Boer army, was able to meet August briefly in South Africa. Josef was a member of the party sent to look for traces of Andre's ill-fated expedition to the North Pole by balloon in 1905; Josef sent some mementoes of this trip to his brother August, including a polar bear skin with mounted head, which was later exhibited for many years in the Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg.
In 1901, August made his only return visit to Sweden, travelling by ship up the East coast of Africa through the Suez Canal to Italy, and then by train to Sweden. His parents had moved to Nosaby near Kristianstad, where his father August was now the priest. On his arrival, August wrote to his wife in Pietermaritzburg: "My dearest Liz ... my reception was the heartiest you can imagine ... I have never seen such a pleasant home as that of my parents ...". He met most of the members of his family during this visit, including Josef, his sisters Bina and Eva, and their families. This was his last direct contact with his family in Sweden, for his father and mother died in 1905 and 1911 respectively.
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Artist
Apart from his career as a surveyor, August is best remembered as an accomplished landscape artist. He started painting, using water colours and oils, as a young man in Sweden, and he continued producing outstanding paintings right up until 1930. His early paintings were of the landscape of Northern Natal during the Zulu wars; then there was the series painted during his journey to Central Africa with Schultz; these were followed by a large number of paintings devoted to central Natal and the coast. All his paintings are in the hands of the family, apart from one he gave to his pupil James Steere. He was very retiring in nature, and refused to exhibit his paintings. However during his absence in Sweden in 1901, his wife Elisabeth exhibited four of her husband's paintings in Pietermaritzburg, under the name of "Mr Dauber"; these paintings took the first four prizes! August was an accomplished landscape photographer as well; unfortunately most of the negatives have been lost and his photographs survive mainly in family albums, in South Africa and Sweden."
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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:26 pm

Quote :
On 22 January 1879, he observed the activity of the Battle of Isandhlwana at a distance of five to six miles. This battle was one of the greatest defeats of the British army. Whilst trying to return to the Mission, he was cut off by a Zulu impi (regiment) and spent the night in the hills watching the epic resistance of the British forces at Rorke's Drift. Thus August Hammar on his arrival in Natal was unexpectedly connected with major events in its history.

Did he leave an account of what he witnessed. If yes can someone point me in the right direction. Mind you would he have seen much at 6 miles. What with the smoke ect. I wonder if he saw the eclispe. scratch

How far was Milne when he was trying to observe the goings on at Isandlwana through a telescope.
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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:06 pm

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PostSubject: August Hammer Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879.   Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:34 am

Hi LH.

Many thanks for the link mate, very interesting.

Martin. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:54 am

John
I will send a couple of photos to admin, milnes view and also Hammers view from 6miles ( 10 Kilometers )

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:35 am

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Photo 1) This a photo taken of the Oskarberg from 10Kilometers away and is what August Hammer would have seen.

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Photo 2) Is the approximate view Milne would have had of the camp through his telescope a touch earlier in the day.
Photos and text by Springbok.
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PostSubject: August Hammar Letter Dated 6 /1 / 79.   Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:46 am

Thanks for posting the photo's pete and also to Springbok for taking them and sending them along . Salute
Cheers 90th. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:08 pm

Springbok thanks for the photos, regarding Milnes view is this looking at the front of the camp.

If it was possible a good excercise would be to take Milnes original telescope and take an image through that. I do believe hs telescope is in some museum. Just a thought.
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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:02 am

Hi John
This photo was taken with a 200mm lens to simulate the view Milne would have got using his telescope so its about as close as you will get.
Would love to get my hands on Milnes telescope.

Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: August Hammer Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879.   Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:53 am

Hi springbok.

Great pictures, isn't it odd how the hill looks different from Hammers viewpoint.

Thanks for sharing them.

Cheers buddy. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: August Hammar Letter Dated 6th Jan 1879   Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:05 pm

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