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 Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?

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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:05 pm

Apparently, years ago, I think it was Adrian Greaves, had been searching for the resting place of Maj. Smith R.A. Not sure what area he was looking, but it seems it was snake-infested so preventing thorough investigation. Anyone any updated info ?
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:10 am

Hi Colin

Yesterday i was discussing with someone.

He said over the years they have searched for Major Smiths grave but have been
unable to locate it. To his knolage the name was marked on a tree, that has never been found.

Hope this helps Idea


Cheers
DB14


Last edited by Drummer Boy 14 on Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:08 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Spelling mistake)
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PostSubject: Maj Smith's grave   Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:10 am

Hi DB14,

Where was the grave supposed to be, ie on the Isandlwana battle site, or elsewhere ?


barry
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90th

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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves was looking for Maj. Smith's Grave    Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:15 pm

Hi Barry.
From Memory Maj. Smith was killed on the fugitives Trail somewhere near the River if I'm not mistaken .
cheers 90th. Idea
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PostSubject: Maj Smith's grave   Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:59 pm


Hi DB14, Adrian Greaves and 90th,
This is the sort of challenge I like.
As I shall be visiting the Fugitives Trail shortly to see where Trooper Clarke and fellow troopers recovered the missing colours, and he reported in his diary seeing dead bodies there, I will take a look,..... snakes and all.
If one of you can confirm which side of the river it was ( I am assuming the Natal side), the possible search area could be reduced to a few thousand square metres.


barry
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:02 pm

Gents are we talking about Maj. Smith RA.
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:19 pm

DB14, thanks for the info. Barry, no Maj. Smith was killed on the Zulu side of the Buffalo river. David Rattray marked the possible area in his battlefield guide, and Curling refers to Maj. Smith's body being found later, having to be approached from the Natal side over the low river (at that time), because of the difficulty reaching it on the Zulu side, and located about 200 yards from the river's edge, but this might have been when it was low, not when a torrent. They moved his body to a more sandy area for burial, (closer to the river?) When he was buried, apparently Melton Prior drew a sketch of it, which unfortunately was lost, as details in it might have helped in the location. Bizarrely, although further up the river, consideration seemed to be given, that the area was actually seen in the film 'Zulu Dawn' where the actors playing Melvill, Coghill and Vereker crossed the river with the flag. Perhaps, taking into account the similar high ground and sandy bank, as during filming the river was indeed low.
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PostSubject: Maj Smiths final resting place   Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:42 pm

Hi All,

If indeed the body was moved to a more sandy location near the river bank ,ie on its flood plain, it probably has long since been washed away by the swollen river in the wet season, These east flowing rivers can rise many metres in a few hours when they are in spate and they do considerable damage..
If however the final burial site is more that about 6 metres above the river level it could still be intact. So, it would help if someone could firm up on the likely position of the final interrment.

barry
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:00 pm

Barry, I agree, if the body was buried in sandy soil, the remains could be long gone, either way, there is no cairn I've heard mention of, or any significant marker to help. All I can think of is to go by Curling's account and start where David Rattray considered a possible location. A metal detector would be a necessity, if there are any trace elements of the metal parts of Smith's uniform or equipment still existing, as I'm not sure there would be any other 'giveaway' details on the ground to assist.
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:23 pm

May I ask if someone could please add a portrait photo of Maj. Smith R.A. in this topic, so confirming visually who it is trying to be found ? Thankyou.
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:22 pm

Barry
The area just upstream of the sandy bank has a steep cliff face over looking the pool. The pool is known as the Smith Dorean pool and is traditionally the pool that SD leapt into. SD was I believe the last person to see Major Smith alive. Therefore conjecturally his place of death would be close to the top of that cliff. Moving back from that face there are softer ground conditions. Upsteam side leads to the traditional drift crossing , downstream slopes quite sharply to the bed of the stream.

The area is really overgrown. Last year my son and I spent quite some time in the area. Problem is that with the amount of growth over a 130 plus years any cairn would have been destroyed. So whilst theres a lot of loose rocks laying around it could be any where. I did publish photos of that area at the time.

Good luck in your search however.

A tip, when you walk down the hill to the drift, follow the road around dont cut across country, we did and came close to collecting a snack skin or three.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:29 pm

Colin,



This is Stuart Smith as a Lieutenant in the Royal Horse Artillery, so it could date from 1865 through to 1876.

The image from MacKinnon & Shadbolt's 'The South African Campaign of 1879'.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Stuart Smith 1844-1879

(kwaJimu1879 Collection)

kwaJimu1879
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:36 pm

kwajimu, excellent, thanks very much, as it puts a face to the name if anyone reading the topic doesn't already know who he is. Great photo of him.
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PostSubject: Mmaj Smiths resting place   Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:03 pm

Hi Kwajimu 1879, colin j and springbok9,

Thanks for all of your replies. These help to build up the bigger picture.
However it would be useful if springbok 9 could give me a lat/ long for the centre point of the proposed search.. This can be obtained by going into Google Earth.
I have been warned about the snakes there as they are in all the hot , humid and airless Natal ravines. Puffadders and mFezsis abound, I am told. As I have already had an "encounter" with a mamba in the coastal zone and am very wary , I will be taking all of the necessary precations.
If the grave is in the bush higher up the riverbank, I am a little optimistic that it will be intact still, as floodwaters would have swept the bank clean in the past , if flood water levels ever rose that high.

barry
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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves was looking for Maj. Smith's Grave    Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:35 am

Hi Barry.
Best of Luck in your search , you will certainly stir up a hornets nest if you find the grave site , figuratively and not literally , hopefully .
The snake question intrigues me as I do have an interest in them and think I have an idea of all of them , puffadders , Mamba's
but what are mFezsis ? ( Boomslang's ) not sure if that is the correct spelling . Does Zululand have Cobra's ?. Keep us informed
of your progress . All the best .
Cheers 90th. Shocked Shocked
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PostSubject: Maj Smiths' grave site   Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:03 am


Hi 90th,

Once again thanks for your support.
My plan is to visit the area once the weather cools a little. Right now through until March, temperatures can be unbearable in that region.
In reply to your quesstion about mFezis . This is the Zulu name for the Forrest cobra, or in Afrikaans the generic would be rinkhals. It normally spits venom very accurately, up to a range of about 3m into the eyes of it's attackers, so wearing glasses helps. I have already had this happening once to me on a hunting trip and my spectacles saved the day.
The mambas and the boomslangs tend to be found more prolifically in the lower lying heavily forrested and covered coastal zone.


barry
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90th

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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves was looking for Maj. Smith's Grave    Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:09 am

Hi Barry.
Thanks for the info , I've heard the name Rinkals but wasnt aware they were a Cobra .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:29 pm

Barry
28 22 39.81S 30 35 56.69E That puts you on top of the shear drop that traditionally Smith Dorean jumped from after his horse was shot, shortly after seeing Major Smith Shot.

Good Hunting Boet.

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PostSubject: Grid Co-ords, Maj Smith's grave   Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:47 pm

Hi Springbok,
Thanks for confirming the grid co-ords. These ensure that we are all on the same page.
I plan to do quite a lot of digital photography whilst there and will post the pictures,once returned for all to see what the terrain and conditions are like there in this day and age.

thanks again,

barry


Last edited by barry on Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:56 pm

Barry
Something Ive never seen done ( always mean to do it but forget ). Start on the SD cliff and point your camera down stream, get down to the sandy beach ( traditionally where M entered the water) and do it again, a full series right down into the chasm, all from the Zulu side would really be brilliant.

Just a thought
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PostSubject: Maj Smith's grave site   Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:12 pm

Hi springbok69,

Using your co-ordinates I have examined the terrain on the north bank of the Buffalo river at Fugitaves drift using GE, from a height of 1,2km.
The prognosis looks quite good as the terrain shown on this 2003 satellite imagery is quite sparsely covered with acacia thorn, aloes, stunted grass and sundry low shrubbery. Nothing too dense at all .
The area is criss-crossed with footpaths. Coming in from the north there is a dry N/S flowing watercourse entering 40m E of SD's pool into the Buffalo.
There is a natural lookout point above the pool at 28deg 22.762S/30deg 36.060E. This is on the E edge of the rock face on the N edge of the pool. The cliff face on the edge of the pool is 7m high. The riverbed is at an elevation of 952m, top of rockface is 959m
Access from the Natal side, in the dry season looks very easy with roads in quite good condition , which do not even require a 4x4, if dry.
As as I undersdtand it the body of Maj Smith was reinterred in softer ground near a large tree.
Now large trees do not grow on hard rocky ground, they normally form part of the riverine growth. This pins down the likely grave site even closer, possibly to an area 40 x 90m at the bottom of the slope on the W edge of the dry watercourse , and perhaps 100-200m N of its confluence with the Buffaloe .
Please comment on the above assesment .
Does anyone have a copy of Rattray's map showing where he thought the grave was, or better still, Melton Prior's drawing of the grave site.

regards

barry


Last edited by barry on Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:11 am

Melton Priors drawing dissapeared, I dont believe a copy was ever printed.

The original crossing point/drift is actually around 50/60 meters west of the SD pool so in the tme of the retreat its possible a path would have existed back from the cliff face traveling west to east. That would fit in with the line of flight. Moving to the river bed to the east, its only dry during the summer months, Ive seen it flowing really strongly and quite wide. In Jan 89 it would have been pretty much backed up with water coming down the Buffalo. I cant see any form of burial having taken place in that valley area. Most of the burial party would have seen the valley in flood and would have realised the futility of any grave in a flood plain.
Regards
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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves was looking for Maj. Smith's Grave    Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:18 am

Hi Springbok.
You are correct in regard to Prior's drawings / sketches of the site , they are nowhere to be found . One day hopefully when
there is a clean up somewhere they will be discovered . One can only live in hope . Shocked .
cheers 90th. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:38 pm

Barry, page 64 in David Rattray's Guidebook To The Anglo-Zulu War Battlefields, shows a map where Maj. Smith was apparently killed (standard map made for book, not Ordnance Survey). Melton Prior, and someone may correct me on this, misplaced/lost some of his drawings at Ulundi, so hopefully a soldier or such person picked them up and put them in safe keeping, not knowing who the owner was, hopefully to be found later by their descendants.
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PostSubject: Rattray's guide book   Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:37 pm



Thanks colin j,

I unfortunately do not have one of Rattray's guide book but will try to source one locally.
The more facts I have about where the body lay/was buried/ etc ; ie 200m from river bank/not accessible from Zulu side/, near a large tree/name scratched in bark of tree/ in soft sand etc helps me by process of elimination to evaluate likely spots that the grave lies.
My prelimary thoughts are that those doing the reinterring would have known about the river flooding and the height that the waters rises above the banks in the wet season, and would have come down slope to a site with softer sand and larger trees, but in the riverine belt, above that floodline.
So, if anyone can add to what has already been said above, it will speed up the search and enable us to give Maj Smith, the least of what he is owed, a marked grave .

barry
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:01 pm

Gents, I'm afraid you are unlikely to find the remains of any graves within 200 metres of the Mzinyathi River. During the two cyclones - Demoina and Imboa - the river banks were scoured out and the river bed was changed forever. The rock to which Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill clung (and which George Buntting dabbed with white paint - still visible) was pushed closer to the Zululand bank and it is now above the normal water line. In the 1960s, there was a boat moored at Fugitives' (or Sothondosa's) Drift and a local fellow used to row passengers across the river for them to buy provisions at 'Pottie' Potgieter's story, Petruskar (where the Guest Lodge is now situated). It was generally agreed that it was Potgieter who blew up the grave of Lts Melvill and Coghill. The point I would like to make, however, is that the boat was washed away during a flood. On one occasion in 1972, when I took a party of hikers to walk the Fugitives' Trail, we only just made it across because 30 minutes later the river came down in flood and raised the water level by two metres. My party had to stay at George and Margaret Buntting's house (now Mzinyathi Cottage) for 4 days before we could negotiate the road back to Rorke's Drift (which was normally so bad that it took two hours to drive it anyway). During Cyclone Demoina, the banks of most of the rivers in KwaZulu-Natal were stripped clear of most of the vegetation and ancient trees ended up in the Indian Ocean. In fact, a colleague of mine was returning from a yacht trip to Mauritius and they saw a Rhino bobbing in the Indian Ocean about 50 km from the Zululand coast. Regards, Ken
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PostSubject: Cyclone Demoina   Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:40 pm


Hi Ken,

Thanks for your feedback
Indeed, Demoina had catastrophic effect on the eastern seaboard in general and the Natal coast in particular.
But the question pondered is just how high did the water rise then and on other occasions in history.
Seeing large trees in the water 5km out to sea is not too unusaul , even to this day in non flood conditions off the mFolosi and Tugela mouths.

So, if the water rose higher than 6-8 metres in the past the balance of probibilities will be that a grave in the riverine zone could have been washed away, any grave located higher than that , ie where we are supposing, should still be intact.

Now doing some measurement will show that the elevation at 160m from the n bank of the mZinyathi is at 972m amsl, the river is at 952m amsl at that point ( SD's pool). The implication is that we have a clear (20m-7m) 13m safety margine.

So, the chances are good that a search could produce results because the people doing the reinterring would have known about the river and its flooding consequence and located the new grave 200 yards from the rivers edge.

regards
barry


PS : I witnessed the 350m long concrete bridge at Illovo Beach being taken out in 1958. The wall of water was only 7m high, at the coast. The force of the water was such that no part of that structure, as large as it was, was ever seen again.

.


Last edited by barry on Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:55 pm

Barry, if you fly over the area you can see the extent of the scouring effect. It is especially evident along the entire length of the Black & White Mfolozi Rivers but the coastal plain has somewhat recovered (although much of it is still silted up towards the mouth). In my humble opinion, there is nothing left of Bt Maj Stuart Smith's grave. Regards, Ken
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:48 pm

I was in Zulu land when Demoina hit. The old road from isandlwana back to Babanango crossed a spruit with a low level concrete bridge. Going towards isandlwana was ok, water just crossing the concrete coming back I didnt even bother slowing down as I hit the bridge. Like hitting a brick wall, got half way across then the water started taking me side ways. I climbed out of the window and managed with great difficulty to get to the bank. The villagers from the village above the crossing saw what had happened and rushed down to help. They managed to get the car onto the far bank and me with it. Thirty odd pushed the car up the slope and then managed to push start it. Thank G*d for Toyota.

I drove down through Melmoth to the coast road and managed to get over the Tugela Bridge. Actually I was the last man across before it collapsed.

There is a concrete bridge in a field just below the Swazi border that originally stood over the river, about 1/2 mile away. Demoina decided to move it.

Avis car hire were really cross when they saw the state of their car, in particular the high water mark on the seat backs.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:40 pm

On the 15th of May Black returned to Isandlwana, his party stayed for 20 mins before following the fugitives trail to the buffalo river. It was on this survey of the trail that the body of Major Staurt Smith was found near the river and buried under a plie of stones.

In 2007 members of the Anglo Zulu War Historical Societey visted the srea armed with comtemporary sketches, in an attempt to find Smith's grave. As the area is remote, heavily overgrown and very rocky, in spite of there best efforts no trace of Smith's grave could be found.


How the Zulus humbled the British empire by Adrain Greaves


Hope this helps

Cheers


Last edited by Drummer Boy 14 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:27 pm

Could " Mitford" have seen Major Smiths Grave.

I turned round and saw Major Smith, R.A., who was commanding the section of guns, as white as a sheet and bleeding profusely ; and in a second we were surrounded, and assegais accounted for poor Smith, my wounded M.L friend, and my horse.
From Smith-Dorrient.

"The shattered skeletons of four horses or mules in a heap together, and thinly covered over with stones those of the two unfortunates who presumably were with the team"
From. Mitford. His observations whilst walking " Fuitives Trail"

Just thinking along the lines of Smith-Dorrients, horse, the wounded mans horse and Major Smiths horse. And the pile of stones possibly containing Smith and the wounded man. ( Just a thought)
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:03 pm

John

Curling buried Smith, his horse and 19 others, he says Smiths grave
was marked with a cross.


Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:23 pm

DB14 what date did Curling bury Smith.

You posted this.

"
Quote :
Subject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:40 pm
On the 15th of May Black returned to Isandlwana, his party stayed for 20 mins before following the fugitives trail to the buffalo river. It was on this survey of the trail that the body of Major Staurt Smith was found near the river and buried under a plie of stones.

In 2007 members of the Anglo Zulu War Historical Societey visted the srea armed with comtemporary sketches, in an attempt to find Smith's grave. As the area is remote, heavily overgrown and very rocky, in spite of there best efforts no trace of Smith's grave could be found.

How the Zulus humbled the British empire by Adrain Greaves


Hope this helps

Cheers
DB14"
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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves was looking for Maj. Smith's Grave ? .   Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:04 am

Hi DB.
Can you post your source that Curling buried Maj. Stuart Smith ? . I'm not home so cant look it up myself . Suspect .
cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:10 am

Going by Curling's letters, I would have thought he was to traumatised to have returned to Isandlwana. So I to would be interested to know the source. I don't recall reading this in the book.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:59 am

Page 129 and 134 of the Curling letters.

The following day, 22nd of May Colonel Harness crossed
the river with Curling and his battery, leaving a squadron
of lancers to gaurd the crossing.

Harness wrote to his sister

"Some 200 yards up, we found poor
Smiths remains and we dug a grave.
One of us read a burial service and
marked the place with stones and a wooden cross."


Curling later wrote

"I could not help but think when buring him, how nearly i shared the
same fate. He did not appear to be assagaied and most probebly died from
the effects of falling down the rocks. We found his dead horse a little
above him and 19 other white men who had either fallen or been shot
down."
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:29 pm

Quote :

"I could not help but think when buring him, how nearly i shared the
same fate. He did not appear to be assagaied and most probebly died from
the effects of falling down the rocks. We found his dead horse a little
above him and 19 other white men who had either fallen or been shot
down."

Seems a bit odd after two months Curling say he did not appear to have been assagaied surly all that would have remained was bones.
Also Blacks visit says they they buried him under a plié of stones, 7 days prior to Curlings visit.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:30 pm

Ian Knight in zulu rising says they half finished burying him when they came
under attack and had to stop and return to RD.


Cheers
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:03 pm

I would like to see the primary source. It will be in the foot notes.

Black doesn't mention coming under attack when they found "Smith"
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Was Looking For Maj. Smith's Grave ?   Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:34 am

24th wrote:
Black doesn't mention coming under attack when they found "Smith"

A few points

It wasn't Black that i copied out it was from Greaves, Black didn't make a report
for the 15th of May.

Page 575 and 580 of Zulu Rising covers his first burial and the final one.
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