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 Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:36 am

I have read many times that a tall man emerged from a wagon and shot loads of Zulus until he ran out of ammo, then
he jumped down and bayoneted anyone who approached till he was shot.

Why do people think this is Captain Younghusband?

Didn't he lead a bayonet charge into the Zulu ranks when it became clear his small command was doomed?

What evidence is their that Younghusband was in a wagon?

Where was his body found?

Thanks for any help in advance

DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:47 pm

DB14.I think this is what your are referring to. I have never heard of this being Younghusbands. There is a Zulu account. Of what is believe to be Younghusbands gallant charge down into the masses of Zulu's (Something along the lines of him rushing down swirling his sword around his head.


"There was a tall man who left the wagon and defended himself valiantly, maintaining his position for some time, during which we thought that we had finished off all the white people in the camp. He was shooting at the Zulu in all directions , as quickly as he could. Initially, some of the Zulu ignored him, but in the end, he attracted their attention, because of the brave way in which he was fighting and because he ahd killed many of them. He was the last one still shooting. He immediately hit or stabbed with his bayonet, everyone who came up to him, maintaining his his position for a long time. When I arrived, they had already removed his outer clothing".

Interview with Mehlokazulu Kasihayo (The Battle Of Isandlwana)
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:05 pm

Yes Littlehand this is the account where a lot of writers mention this to be Younghusband.

How can men die better, Mike Snook mentions others refering to this man as Younghusband.

It is also mentioned in Flashman and the Tiger.

This is my favorite account of his last stand.

Back with the 24th, this most savage of fights was about to end in a truly remarkable fashion. Younghusband and his men had rallied on the rocky shelf halfway up the south-east slope of Isandlwana. Here the steepness of the slope made it difficult for the Zulus to get at them. Where they pressed an assault, they were blown and off balance when they met the darting hedge of bayonets. The terrible points came over, under and in some cases, clean through the Zulu shields. Shot, brained or bayoneted, many warriors came tumbling back down the slope with terrible injuries. Younghusbands men were crazed with adrenalin. The ferocity of their resistance was without parallel in all the fights the impi had ever seen. The Zulus changed tactics, some ran half way up and hurled spears while others fired rifles many now looted Marti-Henrys. The British were trapped their could be no retreat from here. Younghusband knew that the annihilation of this last remnant of his regiment was only minutes away. He raised a word or roar that caused the survivors to look around at him. The fire of battle burned in their eyes. It was probably not necessary for Younghusband to speak; his eyes his sword would of communicated his intent. The men turned to their front, levelled their bayonets and braced themselves for the off. Younghusband raised his sword high above his head and filled his lungs. The order to charge was answered with a furious roar of aggression from the men as they spilled down the slope behind their leader. Younghusband was seen to be wheeling his sword over his head as he ran. Stunned by such impetuosity, the closest warriors recoiled in surprise. The soldiers momentum carried them thirty yards into the great host, but within seconds the Zulus had closed around them and hemmed them in. After an excessively violent struggle, this last heroic remnant of the 24th was cut down and butchered.



Cheers DB14


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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:33 pm

Mons has done an incredible and evocative sketch of the charge, its on one of the topics earlier this year, have a look it captures the spirit.
Being practical however that slope would be an absolute bugger to run down it is really rocky, probably akin to riding a horse down Devils Pass. Not your average lawned slope.

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:41 pm

I think the sketch would be found under Younghusbands Charge

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:47 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:11 pm

This is all the evidence i can find.



"for when I saw him after he was killed his coat had been taken off him, but he had a red stripe on his trousers,
and he had brown gaiter."


The reason he had gaiters on is the only evidence.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:58 pm

Relating to Spingboks mention of the Mons14 sketch.

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:07 pm

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Photo by forum member Springbok.

Springbok commented on how rocky the slope is. The attached photo probably says it all.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:50 am

Admin wrote:


Springbok commented on how rocky the slope is. The attached photo probably says it all.

I didn't realise how good the position of the slope of the hill would be, if the men had taken a tight formation there. I guess, the field would have been littered with wagons, tents etc
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:01 pm

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Source: The Book Of The VC. By A.L.Haydon
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:44 pm

This is from Flashman and the Tiger.

"In connection with Flashmans defence of the wagon with revolvers it is intresting to note that one of the Zulu warriors, a son of Chief Sirayo later described how he had seen one of the British force, " A very tall man, keeping up a spirited revolver fire from an empty wagon. " We all said what a brave man he was...... he kept his ground for a very long time." The South African Campain of 1879-1880, are probably correct when they identify the hero as Captain Younghusband of the 24th Regimnet.

Also i remember reading that it was one of the Bamdsmen of the 24th who escaped later report that Younghusband with 3 privaites turn a wagon into a rifle pit.

In the washing of the spears it says that Younghusband was one of the last to die, after being forced off the top with 3 survivors all 4 found some ammo and climbed into a wagon and turned it into a rifle pit. They where rushed and the 3 men where killed but Youmghubamd escaped, minus his tunic and entered another wagon. We know the rest of the story from their.




Any ideas where all this comes from???
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:49 pm

Good Post DB14 & Dave.

Was it ever confirmed "Eye Witness Account" That Younghusband did make his last stand on the Nek, and did charge down with his men to certain death. We have been led to believe that the Zulu's stopped their attack, to allow him to shake hands with his men before resuming his gallant charge. Or is this all Victorian fantasy. And know one really knows what happen to Younghusband.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:57 pm

We know that is body was found at the foot of Isandlwana by major Black.

We know someone led a bayonet charge into the Zulu ranks

What we dont know is who it was

In my own opinion the hand shaking didnt take palce, how could it, it would have been hand to hand combat, right in each others faces. No time for hand shaking.

In my opinion it was Younghusband who lead the charge.

The man in the wagon was probebly a NNC officer or a Natal volunter.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:10 pm

This excerpt from the Telegraph describes what happened on the 22 January 1879 -

"In the ensuing chaos, the British were overwhelmed and cut to pieces. Of 1,774 British and African troops in the camp, only 55 survived. Some 14 British soldiers, led by Capt Reginald Younghusband of the 24th Foot, made a last stand on the slopes of the mountain. Zulu sources record that the men shook hands before making a final bayonet charge.

As they charged to their deaths, a giant shadow fell across the plain and a 76 percent eclipse of the sun took place. By the time the solar eclipse was over, an industrial revolution army equipped with guns had been annihilated by a force carrying nothing but spears. Ntshingwayo had achieved the impossible"



Can anyone post or post a link to this
Quote :
"Zulu sources record that the men shook hands before making a final bayonet charge."
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:02 am

Gentlemen
When we start to quote George Mcdonald Fraser as a Reliable source we are descending into the realms of the ridiculous.

Would one of you please point me in the direction of the source material for all these quotes, not authores interpretations or parliamentarians grandstanding in true victorian manner.

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:44 am

Hi Springbok

got to be quick bus is coming at ten to


If you look at my above post then you will see that the author wrote
"The South African Campain of 1879-1880, are probably correct when they identify the hero as Captain Younghusband of the 24th Regimnet."

It is probebly mentioned in this book and a great many more.

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:20 am

I repeat, source evidence.

The only reports are those of the Zulu. None of whom mention by name or give a valid description of 'the man on the wagon'. Apart from a brief comment on how he was first ignored and then killed when he became a nuisance theres no thread to connect him with Younghusband. The concept of Younghusband being the leader of the troops on the mountain is itself conjecture.

I am more than happy to be proved wrong...............but not by a fiction writer who specialises in borrowing a famous character from english lit and posing him in every conceivable heroic situation possible. GMF is a goodly companion to Make it up Morris.

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:14 am

Mons14, sketched the scene of Younghusbands charge down into the Zulu’s that’s how he perceived it to be in his mind, and that image is now planted in our mines. I think we would all like to think, that’s what really happened. But let’s honest we all know that it didn’t.

Quote :
As F.W.D Jackson has observed, "Do little more than hint at the final stages of the Battle”;
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:38 pm

I have been to the site many times now, and followed the steps of the immortals and each different guide i have been with will tell you that Younghusband charged down the hill. Robert Gerrard first told me the shaking hands story as told by the descendents of the zulu, and the position where the charge commenced is in place with the direction of Younghusbands retreat along the side of the mountain, Mike Nel another great historian , does not agree with the hand shake but is undoubted that Younghusbands charge took place . I am sure they can confirm who the officer in the wagon was, I will ask. The one soldier I have never understood is the poor soul who was hiding in the cave , possibly one of Youghusbands men as it is in the close vicinity of their charge, who at the end of the battle decided to give himself away and with very accurate fire took a few zulu out before he himself was killed .
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:50 pm

Rob is a great racconteur and story teller, as with David Rattray and Rob Caskie, its what they do. Ask him for the source ( Rob allways refers to Oral History when pressed ) Davids reply was allways "why let the truth get in the way of a damn fine story".
The point I make is that there is absolutly no testimony that supports the melodrama, wonderful as it is. With the exception of one statement about the flashing sword and a 'phew' on the end of it.
Interesting point to debate on, if the troop charged down hill into the midst of the Zulu, and I assume died there, why is the burial cairn on the top of the slope?

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:13 pm

Springbok9 , as guides they have to invent but must have an element of truth one of the new guides is a decendent , who claims his great great grandfather witnessed the charge , now if all this is to be lies then we are doing no justice to those who have died in any conflict .
I was at Blood River in August now that is a story that may well have been written by Walter VanDer Mitty !
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:38 pm

"We worked round behind Isandhlwana under cover of the long grass and dongas, intending to join with the Ngobamakosi on the " neck" and sweep in upon the camp. Then we saw white men beginning to run away along the road " kwa Jim ; " many of these were cut off and killed, down in the stream which flows through the bottom of the valley. More and more came over, some mounted and some on foot. When they saw that the valley was full of our warriors, they turned to the left and ran off along the side of the hill towards Umzinyati (the Buffalo) ;those who had not got horses were soon overtaken. The Nodwengu pursued the mounted men, numbers of whom were killed among the thorns and dongas, but I heard that some escaped. Our regiment went over into the camp. The ground is high and full of dongas and stones, and the soldiers did not see us till we were right upon them. They fought well a lot of them got up on the steep slope under the cliff behind the camp, and the Zulus could not get at them at all ; they were shot or bayoneted as fast as they came up. At last the soldiers gave a shout and charged down upon us. There was an induna in front of them with a long flashing sword, which he whirled round his head as he ran it must have been made of fire."
Supposedly to be Captain Youughusband.

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:09 pm

Its allways been assumed that it was Younghusband, probably was.
He was one of the most experienced officers present, so accepting that fact, why would he sacrifice his life, and those of his men?
From the historical last stand markers the scree slope goes backwards up to the mountain and the so called cave. It would make a lot more sense to me that this highly experienced ( He was acting battalion commander at one point) officer would attempt to continue his fighting retreat and get to a comparitivly safe place within a matter of a few yards.
He had manoevered his men for hundreds of yards through some severe terrain fighting of the chest and right wing, why would he suddenly give up?
Did Durnford? Anstey? Pope?
Is the sacrificial idea a thought that would pass through a highly experienced officers head? Would he be prepared to condemn his men to death when there was an alternative?

Or possibly a more junior officer would be more likely to panic/give up and make the ultimate sacrifice.
Or yet again maybe it wasnt an officer, induna means a leader, could be anyone thats picked up a sword really.
Personally Ive never believed it was Younghusband, I believe it is possible that he was struck down earlier and that final charge was lead by a less experienced man.

Just a thought.

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:11 pm

Can anyone confirm where Younghusbands body was found.?
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:28 pm

I never thought the man was Younghusband, but liked to consider the concept of it being a 24th officer, who much in the same mould as Melvill, sought to obtain the 2/24th Colour just as the tent it was in was about to be swamped by Zulus, perhaps with them bypassing it at first whilst pursuing the other defenders through the camp, thinking all the other white men were killed or had fled this area. Seeing he was then cut off, secured the Colour somewhere, perhaps trying to conceal it under a wagon, possibly the same one he fought upon. I liked this idea because it gives a good reason for him out of sight initially in this isolated area, then appearing and making his stand, hoping this prior act to his death saved the Regiment's cherished treasure, as he couldn't flee with it, his only option being to hide it in the hope the Zulus overlooked it and later British forces recovered it, much like Melvill's found in the river.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:59 pm

Springbok.
Quote :
He was one of the most experienced officers present, so accepting that fact, why would he sacrifice his life, and those of his men?

DB14
Quote :
They fought well a lot of them got up on the steep slope under the cliff behind the camp, and the Zulus could not get at them at all ; they were shot or bayoneted as fast as they came up.

This is a very good point. If Younghusband and his men were standing their ground, Why would they have charged down. Who's knows how long they could have lasted.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:02 pm

Hi Chard i dout they could have last long at all.

They where out of cartridges

Zulus had plenty of guns

Zulus had throwing spears

Alone and cut off with no surport

" Finished "
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:02 am

Db 14
To glib Im afraid.
Not one of those senior officers were prepared to give a yard. Why would Younghusband be different.
Never give up hope.
I dont believe it was in their phsyc to think of giving up. All wasnt quite lost, from his position he would have looked down and saw at least one other, Anstey, group fighting. And probably another on the shoulder. That slope is so steep ( try walking up it without pausing for breath) it was made for a bayonet defence.

The Brits of that era were instilled from birth the concept of never give up hope. I dont believe he ever did.

Just an opinion, will never be proved...............or disproved.

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:46 am

Could he not ahve been attempting to reach the saddle and join up with the rements of the 1st battalion?
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:18 am

DB 14
Its allways possible. But do you think a headlong charge into the massed Zulu ranks would acheive that? If you look at the picture I posted off the slope, the stand cairn is visible on the top of the plateau, and the stand on the saddle was centred on the position of the monument, thats a heck of a lot of Zulu to fight through with bayonets.
Just doesnt add up really.

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:43 am

Springbok

I have started a new topic trying to find out where Younghusbands body was found, hopefully this will tell us if he could have lead the charge.




Regards Drummer Boy 14
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PostSubject: Why do people think that Youghusband died in a wagon.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:03 pm

Hi all.
The only reasons I can see why Younghusband decided to try and cut a path through the zulu were 1 / Running out or had no ammunnition to hold off another determind charge by the zulus ... 2 / Because of number 1 , he more than likely was attempting to
Link up with another group who were holding their own not to far away .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:19 pm

90th wrote:
Hi all.
The only reasons I can see why Younghusband decided to try and cut a path through the zulu were 1 / Running out or had no ammunnition to hold off another determind charge by the zulus ... 2 / Because of number 1 , he more than likely was attempting to
Link up with another group who were holding their own not to far away .
cheers 90th.

Isn't there talk of the dude in the cave being given some ammo, maybe they only had a few rounds left and gave them to him?
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PostSubject: Why do people think that Youghusband died in a wagon.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:49 pm

Hi Ciscokid.
Yes I think I've read that somewhere as well .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:44 pm

This is from the Noble 24th


"A bandsman who escaped from the battlefield reported that he saw Captain Younghusband making a desperate stand at the last. With the men of his company, he turned a wagon into a rifle pit, and defended it as long as his ammuntion lasted. "

Can someone please post this report if it exists at all

Cheers DB14 Idea



P.S. Thanks 90th i got the book today and its very intresting.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:27 pm

"The Washing of the Spears" Donald Morris recounts.

"Captain Younghusband was one of the last to die. When "C" company's ammunition was gone, he had shaken hands with all his men and stayed to the end of the fight on the rocky platform over the wagon park. He had finally been forced over the edge with 3 survivors, and the 4 of them found some cartridges, clambered into an empty wagon and turned it into a rifle pit. They were rushed, and the 3 men were killed in the wagon bed, but Younghusband, minus his tunic, got away again and climbed into still another wagon. He was all alone, and the Zulus in his vicinity had stopped fighting, and when he opened fire, they scurried back hastiliy. He kept firing until all his cartridges were gone, and a few Zulus then tried to close with him. He baynoted every warrior that laid a hand on the wagon, and he lasted for a long time until a Zulu finally shot him."
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:59 pm

That might be possible except how would he loose his tunic, adding to this Melokazulu said the warriors themselves removed it. I highly dout this happened.


Cheers DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:00 pm

Also his body wasnt found in the camp but on the hill.
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runner2



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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:07 pm

Hello.
Isn't this the wrong forum to discuss what happened to Younghusband!
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90th

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PostSubject: Why do people think that Youghusband died in a wagon.   Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:14 pm

Hi Runner2 .
Agreed , not sure how this thread found its way onto the ebay page !. scratch scratch .
cheers 90th. Idea
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Younghusband

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:58 pm

I am certain (cannot remember if I read it or heard it as a Zulu verbal account) that the final 'charge' was by a soldier with long 'yellow' whiskers - I don't recall seeing a picture of Younghusband but I am told that he had a long blonde moustache.
The site of his cairn is a logical place for him and his company to retreat with their backs to the steepest part of the hill, as they reached the point at which the cairn is found they would have see the retreat behind them cut off and a 'last stand' would have been the only real option - although why more of the soldiers didnt try to scale to the very top of the summit seems strange to me as high ground would make sense when all else seems lost.
Younghusband's 'last stand' is almost certainly not correct anyway as there must have been numerous other 'last stands' along the route towards fugitives drift.
All around Younghusbands cairn are many much smaller cairns - the fight must have been ferocious!
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:33 pm

The photos I've seen of Younghusband don't give the impression of light coloured hair or whiskers but dark, being maybe brown. Mounting to the top of the summit is only really possible by starting at the lower north end, from what I've read anyway. Even if they managed they'd have been isolated, including the fact the camp defenders already thought Chelmsford might have been defeated, so no help forthcoming. The ammunition wagons were in the camp, as well as more 24th men and others still fighting. He'd have wanted to support them and also be supported by them. There is a row of cairns neatly positioned near the back of the saddle that I always thought may have been C Company, after their remains were tranferred to a more suitable area.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:33 pm

90th- Runner2.

Thanks for pointing that out. Must admit, I missed that. Topic has now been moved to right section. Idea
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:36 pm

Has anyone ever read the report from the bandsman who escaped, talking about Younghusband????


I never have, does it exist at all??????


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DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:15 pm

DB14. Bandsman E. Wilson escaped the from the battlefield of Isandhlwana and his personal account of his escape is held in the Regimental Museum.
I believe his account is also in the Noble 24th.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:28 pm

Thanks Admin i have the book at home and will search for it later.



Cheers
DB14
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runner2



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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:20 pm

Hi


Last edited by runner2 on Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:51 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Wrong Topic)
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:09 pm

"A bandsman who escaped from the battlefield reported that he saw Captain Younghusband making a desperate stand at the last. With the men of his company, he turned a wagon into a rifle pit, and defended it as long as his ammuntion lasted.

This isn`t true, the bandsman that did escape made no such clames, there is no
record of it anywhere.

Also this man would have to have been around when the camp was over run
and the men where al engaged in hand to hand fight, he could`nt have lived
to tell the tale.

Doesn`t add up, wonder where it came from????

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Why do people think that Younghusband died in a wagon?   Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:48 pm

DB14. Everyone needs to agree, that once the survivors had escaped, and the camp was over run, no one knows what took place. It is all speculation. Maybe a few soldiers stories were told. And believe me there are quite a few. Even some of those that were with Chelmsford wrote home telling their families they had fought at Isandwana.
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