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 Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: The VC myth   Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Most people say that 11 VC where awarded to take the eyes away from the defeat at Isandlwana, this in my opinion is not true.
Firstly
3 VC where awarded months after the battle to Dalton, Reynolds and Schiess so they can not be anything to do with Isandlwana.

That leaves 8 VC

Now the awards to the 24th excluding Bromhead for the moment where specifically commened for their part by Bromhead, and then recomended for the VC by Henry Degacher. So nothing to do with Chelsmford and nothing to do with Isandlwana.

That leaves 2 VC

Bromhead i can understand being awarded the VC for his part in the fighting.

Chard i am not so sure about.

So overall if Chelsmford was trying to take are eyes away from Isandlwana by giving out lots of VC he only gave out 2.

Like to hear what everyone else thinks

Cheers DB14

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:44 pm

DB14. Read the citations as to why they were awarded the VC.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:57 pm

Hi CTSG

I have read it but what act of untold bravery did Chard perform other then being in command??
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:05 pm

"In a letter home from Helpmakaar, on l6th.March,1879,Captain Jones wrote:

"Owing to the deaths at lsandhlwana, Bromhead, the second in-command at Rorke's Drift got his Company by promotion and he gets a brevet. This makes my Chard, who was in command, quite sure of a brevet, when he gets his Company, a year hence. Chard is in great luck, he left us at Durban, came up here quickly and comfortably, without all the bother of men sick, wagons sticking, etc. He leaves Isandhlwana camp an hour before the disaster, being ordered to look after the ponts over the Tugela, at Rorke's Drift. (writer's comment: an error; for Tugela, read Buffalo. It is also incorrect to say that, Lieutenant Chard was 'ordered to return to the ponbs". He actually returned on his own accord, after watching developments at Isandhlwana, which he read as possibly endangering his responsibilities at Rorke's Drift and returned there, to carry out the command duties that he had been given by Major Henry Spalding that very morning, before he , Major Spalding, set off for Helpmakaar, to bring up reinforcements for Rorke's Drift. "He there becomes a hero, gets fever and goes away on sick leave to a comfortable and hospitable house near Ladysmith, 60 miles off and vegetates there ever since. Not one iota of the work or drudgery does he get"..

In another letter, dated at St.Paul's, Zululand, on 2nd. August,1879, Captain Walter Jones wrote:

"Chard got his orders to leave No.5 Field Company for good and departed yesterday. He is a most amiable fellow and a loss to the Ness, but as a Company officer, he is hopelessly slow and slack. I shall get on much better without him, and with Porter (Lieutenant R.da C. Porter) as my senior Sub. - Chard makes me angry, with such a start as he got, he stuck to the Company doing nothing. In his place, I should have gone up and asked Lord Chelmsford for an appointment, he must have got it and if not, he could have gone home soon after Rorke’s Drift at the height of his popularity

and done splendidly at home - I advised him, but he placidly smokes his pipe and does nothing. Few men get such opportunities"
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:10 pm

Quote :
Hi CTSG

I have read it but what act of untold bravery did Chard perform other then being in command??


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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:14 pm

Thanks Littlehand Idea

Cheers
DB14

Idea Idea Idea Idea Idea Idea Idea Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:16 pm

DB14. I take it you don't think he should have got the VC.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:23 pm

In my honest opinion No i do not think so.

Chard did the same as every other defender, the only reason he got his award is because he was in charge.

If someone could tell me an act of bravery that Chard did i may change my mind but untill then
it seems unfair to me that he got a VC for being in command.

If he got one then so should every other defender.

Would a DSO not have been more approprite????

Thats just my opinion i would love to hear others

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:42 pm

Here's an eye opener, to how VCs were issued.

"Queen Victoria took a great interest in her new award, especially in the design of the Cross-. When the first drawings were submitted to her, she selected one closely modelled on an existing campaign medal, the Army Gold Cross from the Peninsular War. The Queen suggesting only that it should be 'a little smaller'. She also made a significant alteration to the motto, striking out 'for the brave' and substituting 'for valour', in case anyone should come to the conclusion that the only brave men in a battle were those who won the cross.
Lord Panmure took the commission for the new medal to a firm of jewellers, Hancock's of Bruton Street, who had a high reputation for silver work. From the beginning, however, it had been decided that the new decoration would be made of base metal and the first proof which the Queen received was not at all to her taste. 'The Cross looks very well in form, but the metal is ugly; it is copper and not bronze and will look very heavy on a red coat'

Inspired perhaps by the Queen's remarks, someone had the happy thought that it would be fitting to take the bronze for the new medals from Russian guns captured in the Crimea. Accordingly, an engineer went off to Woolwich Barracks, where two 18-pounders were placed at his disposal. Despite the fact that these guns were clearly of antique design and inscribed with very un-Russian characters, nobody pointed out until many years had passed that the 'VC guns' were in fact Chinese, not Russian, and may or may not have been anywhere near the Crimea.

The Chinese gunmetal proved so hard that the dies which Hancock's used began to crack up, so it was decided to cast the medals instead, a lucky chance which resulted in higher relief and more depth in the moulding than would have been possible with a die-stamped medal

The Queen made it plain to Lord Panmure that she herself wished to bestow her new award on as many of the recipients as possible. The 26 June 1857 was chosen by the Queen as a suitable day, and that a grand parade should be laid on in Hyde Park and that she would 'herself' attend on horseback.
Preparations for the great day were made in something of a hurry. The final list of recipients was not published in the London Gazette until 22 June, and Hancock's had to work around the clock to engrave the names of the recipients on the Crosses. Those destined to receive the award had somehow to be found and rushed up to London, together with detachments of the units in which they had served. But because of the earlier delays some of the candidates for the Cross-had left the services and were therefore not in uniform when they arrived for the ceremony. Nevertheless, the Queen herself was well satisfied with the arrangements

Queen Victoria caused some consternation by electing to stay on horseback through the ceremony of awarding the sixty-two recipients with the Cross. There is a pleasing legend that the Queen, leaning forward from the saddle like a Cossack with a lance, stabbed one of the heroes, Commander Raby, through the chest. The commander, true to the spirit in which he had won the Cross-, stood unflinching while his sovereign fastened the pin through his flesh. The other sixty-one seem to have come through the occasion uninjured. The Queen managed to pin on the whole batch in just ten minutes, which does not suggest lengthy conversation, but the whole parade, went off extremely well to the rapturous applause of the public.

Prince Albert's influence was clearly expressed in the terms of the Royal Warrant for the Cross-, which has survived, with some alterations, to the present day. It was a medal awarded 'to those officers or men who have served us in the presence of the Enemy and shall then have performed some signal act of valour or devotion to their country'. Far from striking the public as something with which to 'find fault', the new award was greeted with great enthusiasm by the British people"
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:12 pm

Not everyone agreed.

"General Sir Garnet Wolseley, thought the defence of the outpost was merely the natural action of men with nowhere left to run and facing an enemy that didn’t take prisoners. ‘It is monstrous making heroes of those ... who, shut up in buildings at Roorke’s Drift, could not bolt & fought like rats for their lives, which they could not otherwise save,"

He wrote in his journal. Nevertheless, the battle was quickly polished and publicised to overshadow the disaster at Isandlwana.

‘We are giving the VC very freely, I think,’ worried the commander of the British army, the Duke of Cambridge, after an unprecedented 11 crosses were granted for the action."
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:20 pm

Thanks Admin very intresting i had no idea about the crosses being made form guns.

I have no problem with the 10 defenders of Rorkes Drift being awared a VC they rightly deserved it.

But what is anyones opinon on why Chard got one??

What did he do????

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:41 pm

Because he was in-command. We have to remember, Chard didn't just sit back and watch. He played an active roll in the defence. It was he who created the last redoubt the last place where the survival of the men under him took place.
Chard never asked for the VC let's just say he was in the wrong place and the right time. But is it for us to say he didn't deserve the VC. I'm fairly sure the people back in England in 1879 thought he deserved it.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:51 pm

[quote="John"]Because he was in-command.

Thats what i mean being in command isnt an act of untold bravery, making a last redout isnt an act of untold bravery, no dout he fourght well but so did all of them to say he should get a VC for fighting along with everyone else is not fair on the others.

Where does it state on the critears for being awarded a VC " Being in Command of a battle" ?????

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:06 pm

Leave you with this.

"
Quote :
The part played by Lieutenant Chard ,at Rorke's Drift, is made all the more impressive by his refusal to claim fame or fortune from the fact he had commanded successfully, much to the envy of a small number of his senior officers. Chard always maintained that, he only did his duty and was frequently embarrassed by the public response he met when he returned home towards the end of 1879. Lord Chelmsford fittingly highlighted Chard's character, when after reading Chard's official report on the defence of Rorke's Drift, he is said to have remarked - "He has spoken of everyone but himself".
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:24 pm

Admin. I don't know how to set-up a poll, so may I suggest we run a poll to see how many people feel the VCs awarded at the Mission Station Rorke's Drift 22nd/ 23rd Jan 1879 were awarded for valour, to those that received them, or to over-shadow the events that took place at the British camp at Isandlwana.

However! I do ask that one exception be made. And that is to allow visitors to the forum to be able to vote as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:38 pm

It would certainly give us an indication of what people really think. Good idea allowing members to vote.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:00 am

Must admit. I would like to see how the dived would pan out, on what the thoughts are on this. I know which way I would vote. This has always been a bone of contention.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:24 am

Hi John

Just because Chard was modest is not a reason for being awared a VC, which is awared for Valour
and not for being modest and in commnad.

However taking in to consideration the disaster of Isandlwana and how face saving Rorkes Drift was to the British army and the govermnet it seems very unlikely that Chard would not be Awarded with the Hightest Honour.

I would have thourght that a Distingushed Service Order and promomation to Major would have been more approprite.

The other 10 VC winners i think deserved their medal, i have no problem with them.

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:36 am

Db14
If you have, and you obviously do, a problem with Chard why dont you have a problem with Bromhead? Or for that matter Reynolds.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:51 am

Hi Springbok9

I dont have a problem with Chard getting his VC i just want to know what it was for, because when i look it
up it it for acts of Valour, not being in command. Did i miss something or was it an exception.

Bromhead i think deserves it, he led bayonet chages to clear the Zulus, exposing himself and his men to
Zulu rifle fire and a new rush what could have come in at any moment.

Reynolds rushed out of the compound to deliver ammuntion to the hospital, even
though the yard was under attack, he had a near miss, a round went straight thourgh his helmet.
He also choose not to pick up a rifle and try and defend himself he choose to look after the wounded.

Like i say i would like to hear others views on this.

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:13 am

Its all about perception.
Bromhead did no more than any of the men on the firing step. Reynolds exposed himself to fire, so did everybody else.
Without doubt the battle leadership was what won the day, both Bromhead and Chard exposed themselves to the Zulu fire to inspire and lead their men. Thats the bravery and valor, that leadership was what defeated the zulu.
CSM Bourne and Comm Dalton were without doubt part of that leadership, Dalton in particular. Bourne did his job. Dont confuse the Bourne of real life with the Bourne of the movie.

No doubt Chelsford needed heros for England to celebrate, he had just had a serious A***E kicking. Cometh the oportunity cometh the oportunist. It worked for him. There were a lot of brave men that deserved their recognition, all it needed was a touch of PR and marketing skills and hey presto isandlwana was on the back burner. Maggie Thatcher was a past master at it.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:41 am

Hi All

Bromheads citation.

THE Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Officers and Soldiers of Her Majesty's Army, whose claims have been submitted for Her Majesty's approval, for their gallant conduct in the defence of Rorke's Drift, on the occasion of the attack by the Zulus, as recorded against their names, viz.:—
For their gallant conduct at the defence of Rorke's Drift, on the occasion of the attack by the Zulus on the 22nd and 23rd January, 1879.
Royal Engineers Lieutenant (now Captain and Brevet Major) J. R. M. Chard 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment Lieutenant (now Captain and Brevet Major) G. Bromhead
The Lieutenant-General commanding the troops reports that, had it not been for the fine example and excellent behaviour of these two Officers under the most trying circumstances, the defence of Rorke's Drift post would not have been conducted with that intelligence and tenacity which so essentially characterised it.
The Lieutenant-General adds, that its success must, in a great degree, be attributable to the two young Officers who exercised the Chief Command on the occasion in question.



Chards citations.

For gallant conduct at the Defence of Rorke's Drift, 22nd and 23rd January 1879. The Lieutenant-General reports that had it not been for the example and excellent behaviour of Lieutenants Chard, Royal Engineers, and Bromhead, 24th Regiment, the defence of Rorke's Drift would not have been conducted with the intelligence and tenacity which so eminently characterised it. The Lieutenant-General adds, that the success must in a great measure be attributable to the two young officers who exercised the chief command on the occasion in question.

Reynolds citation.

For the conspicuous bravery, during the attack at Rorke's Drift on the 22nd and 23rd January, 1879, which he exhibited in his constant attention to the wounded under fire, and in his voluntarily conveying ammunition from the store to the defenders of the Hospital, whereby he exposed himself to a cross-fire from the enemy both in going and returning.


Last edited by 1879graves on Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adding Reynolds citation.)
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PostSubject: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:47 pm

I have decided to cancel the “Poll” it will serve no purpose, the way this discussion is going at present. I have also renamed the topic.


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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:25 pm

The issuing of VCs at Rorke's Drift is quite a touchy subject for some I think, especially if suggesting it was to distract attention away from Isandhlwana. That said, rather than vote on the poll, at the moment anyway, I will say this. Rorke's Drift was a valiant defence of the post against overwhelming odds. However, if VCs of such a scale could be awarded to so many defenders for that reason, then there should have been VCs awarded to the two Isandhlwana commanders, albeit posthumously, for the valiant defence of the camp, that has been proven, damaged the Zulu Army attacking there, by devastating it's ranks, so much so, that it took a long while to recover, as well as allowing Chelmsford's force to retreat unscathed. But regarding the latter point, you must ask yourself why they weren't awarded to Durnford and Pulliene ? My opinion, although they deserved these awards, it would then have been impossible for the Higher Command to criticise their actions afterwards, considering they would be VC holders killed in action, heroically defending the Isandhlwana camp against overwhelming odds. At Rorke's Drift VCs were awarded to the commanders Chard and Bromhead. Remember, Melvill and Coghill received VCs posthumously.

This is just my opinion about VCs, rather than voting on the poll.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:41 pm

Hi Colin J

Sadly that would never have happned.

Chelsmford needed a scapegoat for the defeat, so by lying and shifting the
blame the Gallent Colonel Durnford was wrongly accused of being the reason the camp fell.

Pulliene was also dead and could not defend himself.

Because Isandlwana was a defeat no commander would have given the
people in charge a medal.

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:44 pm

Admin, though I don't necessarily agree with polls, if the other poll is responded to by a reasonable number of voters, then may I ask if you would start another asking if Durnford and Pulliene deserved VCs as the senior commanders in the defence of the Isandhlwana camp ? This is more about what their defence accomplished, not about judgements of these individuals made post-Isandhlwana or their decisions/actions on the battlefield, by comments made from those at the time and in books since then and up to present day.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:56 pm

Even thinking of awarding a VC to either Durnford, the bumbling fool, or Pullein the hide bound is ludicrous in the extreme, they are both culpable and well deserve to share the blame with Chelmsford et al.
The defenders of RD did just that, well lead and motivated. The defenders of isandlwana were lead to their graves by fools. Harummmph

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:18 pm

A bit extreme old chap on your views of Durnford and Pulliene don't you think ? Rorke's Drift 'well lead and motivated', you are forgetting the fact it was a fortified position, with several hours to prepare. If you are painting Durnford with the same brush as Chelmsford and Pulliene, you are mistaken. Durnford was newly arrived to the camp, immediately taking measures when informed of the situation. You are judging the men post-Isandhlwana, right into present-day, rather than the battle's accomplishment as I requested.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:38 pm

Quote :
may I ask if you would start another asking if Durnford and Pulliene deserved VCs

Lets see how this one goes. I'm not a great lover of Poll's,they misplace the art of conversation.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:43 pm

Disagree Colin
Wether looking in hindsight or analising the situation faced, the conclusion is inescapable. Culpability has to be shared, not one of the senior officers can escape blame to one degree or another. The facts have been picked over ad nauseum and will be for the next 100 years I assume. And getting rid of personal preferences and looking at the cold facts as has happened over many topics on this forum. Nobody has yet come up with a calculated defence of any officer.

Why didnt Chelmsford fortify
Why didnt Glynn assert himself instead of sulking.
Why didnt Pullein adapt.
Why didnt Dunford take command
Why didnt Dunford get back to the camp post haste instead of that useless retreat,
Why didnt Clery listen to advice on positioning of the camp.
Why didnt Crealock do his job properly


RD was fortified, great decision making by the commanders (Dalton probably.) It was well defended, The decision to split the defended area in half, great command decision. The actual defence, the creation of the redoubt, opening the ammo boxes, having a flying squad, all good solid military decisions.
Those are the accomplishments for Bromhead and Chard.

Isandlwana: Hundreds of men dead, slaughtered, mutilated.......... Accomplishments where?

It was in Durnfords power to possibly ( only possibly) to turn the tide. He had two occasions when he could have done that and didnt both times.

Sorry couldnt begin to think of awarding a medal to either.

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:03 pm

I think that Joeseph Williams who died defending the patients in the hospital
should have a VC

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:10 pm

springbok, it's a pity we've never had a proper debate before this. Anyway. The full list you've made doesn't concern me, only point 4 and 5. Point 4 - if Durnford was the fool being put forth as you have done, what difference would his taking command have done, what would he do in the time allocated ? He was an Engineer officer in charge of a mostly native column, but no, you'd have him in charge of several 24th companies as well as other units present. In charge of his own men when leaving the camp, as he left an apparent, to his knowledge anyway, able 24th commander to handle the camp. Point 5 - 'useless retreat' ? Heroic retreat with what was native troopers, not a professional cavalry, but hey, they done bloody well. Stopping at the donga where he did, instead of hastily back to camp ? Yes, or he could have went to the camp and turned to watch the Zulu Left Horn roll up the firing line, wiping out many 24th companies before they got anywhere near the camp. What were the companies doing as Durnford held his position ? They stayed put, never pulled the line round and moved backwards, to start a fighting retreat, but remained static, so Durnford's covering fire was wasted, and please don't use the complete red herring they were assisting Durnford, it was him assiting them, but they didn't respond. Their cairns we see today would have been mostly, if not all, in the area of the firing line, not further back. Why did Pope move position, opening Wardell's right flank, perhaps not firing as he did so ? His choice or was he ordered and by who ? He had a larger company than the rest, so if their fire weakened on the Right Flank as he moved, that's a lot of MH firing decreasing towards the Left of the Chest and the Left Horn. 'It was in Durnford's power to turn the tide ?! scratch He was a one-armed, newly-arrived Engineer Officer commanding a mainly native column, not superman ! What books, pray tell me, have you been reading ?
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:12 pm

Not forgetting Pte Joseph Williams, 2/24th, who, according to Col. Degacher, would also have been recommended for a VC had he survived.......

Reynolds' award was delayed initially because the Surgeon General of the AMD submitted the recommendation to the War Office before obtaining a written confirmation from Lord Chelmsford, thereby breaching the official protocol for the award.

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:51 pm

Just a few.

"The Graphic; May 10, 1879, P.454
Under – Home
MISCELLANEOUS
The gallant conduct of the defenders of Rorke’s Drift has received meet
recognition from Her Majesty by the bestowal of the Victoria Cross. The recipients
are Lieutenants (now Captain and Brevet Majors), Chard and Bromhead, Corporal
William Allen, and Privates John Williams, Henry Hook, William Jones, Robert
Jones, and Frederick Hitch, all of the 24th Regiment; and it is added that had
Lieutenants Melville and Coghill survived they also would have been recommended
to the Queen for the same honour. The Cross carries with it an annuity of 10 L to all
except commissioned officers.


The Graphic: June 21, 1879, P.598
Under – Home
MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
Another list of soldiers upon whom Her Majesty has conferred the Victoria
Cross for their gallant conduct in Zululand has appeared in the ”Gazette.” The names
are Colonel Redver Buller,60th Rifles; Major W.K. Leet, 12th Regiment; Surgeon-
Major Reynolds; Lieutenant E.S.Broome, 24th Regiment, and Private Wassall, 80th
Regiment. – On Thursday a staff of seven nursing sisters from Netley Hospital left
Southampton for Natal.


The Graphic : August 16, 1879: P.162
Under – The Court
On Tuesday her Majesty and the Princess Beatrice crossed over in the Alberta
to visit the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, being conducted through the building
by Surgeons-General Massy, C.B. and Longmore, C.B., and visiting the various wards
containing the sick and wounded from the Zulu War. Before leaving the Hospital her
Majesty decorated with the Victoria Cross Private Hitch, of the 1st Battalion 24th
Regiment, who was wounded while saving the lives of the wounded men at Rorke’s
Drift.

PRESENTATION OF THE VICTORIA CROSS TO MAJOR CHARD. R.E.
Dr. Doyle Glanville, to whom we are indebted for this sketch, gives the
following account of the incident which it depicts:- “On the march back from
Ulundi, General Wood’s Flying Column arrived, after a weary journey over terribly
broken and hilly country, at St. Paul’s Mission Station on July 15, 1879 and
encamped on a neighbouring hill under the Inkwenke Mountain. That same evening
Sir Garnet Wolseley arrived in the camp with his staff from General Crealock’s
column at Point Durnford, on the coast some thirty miles off, and on the following
morning, at nine o’clock, all the troops of the column were drawn up for their first
inspection after the battle of Ulundi. They consisted of the 5th Company, R.E.,
Captain Jones, R.E.; No. 7 Battery, R.A. under Major Tremlett, R.A.; one battery
Gatling guns under Major Owen, R.A.; the 1 – 13th L.I, under Major England, 80th
Regiment (Major Trucker); 90th L.I., Major Rogers; Buller’s Horse (Irregular Horse),
Colonel Buller; and Wood’s Irregulars (Colonial Levies). Sir Garnet Wolseley,
together with Lord Chelmsford and Brigadier-General Wood, attended by their
respective staffs, rode down the ranks and back to the saluting point, opposite to
which were drawn up the Royal Engineers. Sir Garnet Wolseley then rode a few
paces forward, and Major Chard, R.E., being desired to fall out, went up to Sir Garnet,
who, speaking in the hearing of all the men, said that he had been commanded by her
Majesty the Queen to present him, Major Chard, R.E., with the Victoria Cross in
recognition of the valour which he had shown in the Defence of Rorke’s Drift from an
attack by the Zulus on the night of January 22, 1879, and this being the first occasion
on which he could do so, he felt much pleasure in taking so fitting an opportunity. Sir
Garnet then pinned the Cross on Major Chard’s breast, and Colonel Colley having
read an extract on the subject from the London Gazette, Sir Garnet Wolseley shook
hands with and congratulated the gallant major, and the ceremony terminated with a
march past of all the troops.”

CAPTAIN LORD WILLIAM BERESFORD, 9TH LANCERS
Is the third son of John, fourth Marquis of Waterford. He was born in Ireland
in 1846, educated at Eton (where he first showed his bellicose proclivities, behind the
gas works). He passed very creditably into the army in May, 1867, and he was
gazetted to the 9th Lancers, and joined them in Dublin. He sailed with the regiment to
India, and on arrival there was appointed A.D.C. to Lord Northbrook, and
subsequently to Lord Lytton, on whose staff he is now serving. Anxious to see active
service he volunteered for the Jowaki campaign on the frontier, where he was first
under fire. He subsequently volunteered for the Afghan war, but hearing that there
was not likely to be much fighting, he obtained leave to go straight to the Cape as a
volunteer for the Zulu war. He had the luck to be appointed to Colonel Buller’s staff,
and took advantage of every opportunity to exhibit his personal courage. One of the
bravest of the many deeds which have to be placed to his credit was performed during
a reconnoitring expedition on the day proceeding the battle of Ulundi, when he turned
in the face of four or five thousand Zulus to save the life of a sergeant of the 24th Foot,
whose horse had fallen under him. Lord Beresford wheeled about and took up the
man behind him on his horse, and brought him safely away under the close fire of the
savages, who were rapidly advancing in great force. For this magnificent display of
bravery he had received the appropriate reward of the Victoria Cross, and will
probably be gazetted as a Brevet-Major.


MAJOR WILLIAM KNOX LEET, V.C., 13th LIGHT INFANTRY
Is a son of the late Rev. E.S. Leet, Rector of Dalkey, Ireland and the youngest
of five brothers, all of whom have served or are now serving in Her Majesty’s army or
navy, and have received medals for war services, his brother Captain H. Knox Leet, of
the Royal Navy, being the fortunate possessor of six, including the Legion of Honour
and the Medjidie; Major Leet has been upwards of twenty-four years in the 13th Light
Infantry. He served with distinction through the Indian Mutiny Campaign, and was
frequently mentioned in despatches for gallantry in the field. He was Adjutant of his
Regiment, Musketry Instructor to the 10th Depot Battalion; Captain Instructor of the
School of Musketry, and on the staff of the Cork District for upwards of five years.
He served through the campaign of Secocoeni, and subsequently joined Wood’s
Column before it entered Zululand. Having been appointed Corps Commandant of
the two battalions of “Wood’s Irregulars” and Oham’s warriors, he was engaged in
many dashing expeditions with the corps under the gallant Buller. In the retreat from
the Zlobane Mountain his horse was shot under him, and his led horse was also killed.
He then mounted a pack horse, and in the descent of the mountain with two other
officers became separated from the rest of the force. The Zulus were almost up with
them, firing and throwing their assegais. One of the three – Lieutenant Duncombe –
was here struck down, and another Lieutenant Smith, of the Frontier Light Horse, was
so exhausted that he was unable to go on, and would certainly have been killed had
not Major Leet, at imminent personal risk, taken him on his own horse. For this
gallant deed Major Leet has been awarded the Victoria Cross. On the following day,
at the battle of Kambul, he commanded the fort in front of the position, and inflicted
great loss on the Zulu army. Soon after this he was obliged on account of a very
severe injury to his leg received in the retreat from the Zlobane to resign his
command, and return to England invalided.


COMMANDANT CECIL D’ARCY, V.C.
Of Frontier Light Horse, is the youngest son of Major D’Arcy, late 18th Royal
Irish, and Cape Mounted Rifles, and was born at Wanganni, New Zealand, in 1851.
He held an appointment in the Civil Service, which he threw up on the outbreak of the
Gaika and Galeka War, when he became a trooper in the Albany Mounted Volunteers.
When they were disbanded he was made a Lieutenant in Carrington’s, afterwards
Buller’s, Frontier Light Horse, in which he served all through the wars, taking part in
every action in which his regiment was engaged in Zululand, and distinguishing
himself by repeated acts of bravery, received the Victoria Cross for giving up his
horse to a wounded trooper when hotly pursued by the enemy at Zhlobani Mountain,
on the 28th March, while in the Flying Column, under Sir Evelyn Wood, V.C., K.C.B.,
- Our portrait is from a photograph by Carl Bluhm, King William’s Town, Cape
Colony"
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:52 pm

This might be of some use.

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:39 pm

ColinJ
What books have I been reading? Virtually ever thing thats ever been written.
Beside the point.

Like most debates on the forum, isolated issues take over. I do not believe you can look at a single person in isolation, his / their actions have to be put into context with the balance of events happening in the same time and space.

Chelmsford left the camp, split his forces. He had no option, he had to support Dartnel, his target was to bring on a Zulu attack. He had to leave behind the slow moving wagons etc.
His not entrenching or fortifying is forever laid at his door.

If Durnford was considered senior enough and capable enough to command a complete column then he should have had the maturity to make correct decisions.

To his credit he was the instigator of intelligence gathering.

Its debatable if it was his order that sent the companies onto the ridge. Its out of character for it to have been Pullein.

He elected to leave the camp when he was senior officer without waiting for the results of his ' probes'.

He was effectivly the first to engage with the major force ( left wing). That was a fair distance from the camp. If instead of trying to slow down the wing with a staged withdrawl he would have been better of getting the hell out of there and back to the camp.

A 4 mile foot race against horses? The zulus had allready travelled a long distance, the winner of that race is beyond doubt.

That would/could have given some additional time to be able to form Plan B, squares withdrawl to the saddle whatever.

As it was he fought from the Donger, when the left wing started to leach through the gap between him and Pope he withdrew. Effectivly in panic, he lost control of his men. He was reported by at least two sources wondering over the battle field until he eventually joined witth QM Pullens force and the rest is history.

That all needs to be put into the time and scale matrix along with Pulleins abortive actions..

However as I said earlier, his errors are only part of a series. For that he is just as culpable as the rest of the command structure.

The one armed engineer sympathy issue doesnt work.

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:15 pm

Hi Springbok9

Bit off topic but you do realise you have chenged your age to 12????

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:43 pm

Firstly, to get it out of the way 'one-armed engineer' isn't a sympathy issue, it's a fact, and is meant as a description of him, not a defence, which would have been a very poor one if used by myself in this way. Chelmsford was out of the camp, therefore not the issue in hand. 'Durnford senior enough to command a column' - you did happen to read how his column gradually depleted before entering Zululand. His N.N.H. and N.N.C. were for scouting and following up a fleeing enemy, not front line combat. Out of character or not, it would have been Pulliene sending the companies, not Durnford. Getting back to camp would only have been possible if the 24th companies had been deployed correctly, but they weren't and needed their right flank held that was swinging in the wind. Did Pulliene forget about the chance of a Left Horn ? Durnford on the Right Flank in the donga made the Zulu Left Horn go on a wide berth, whereas if he had fallen back they could have continued quickly to the firing line unimpeded. Zulu were as fast as horses. Lost control of his men ? When ? They fell back with the Colonials holding position as a rearguard. Wandering over the battlefield ? He would have been seeking out Pulliene and was known to be collecting more mounted men. Again QM Pullen's stand ! Rolling Eyes That wouldn't happen to be from a recent popular history book, rather than actual history book would it ?He joined the mounted men led by Capt. Bradstreet and Lt. Scott. Your argument(s) are lost in a mixture of contradictions and probably wrong influences.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:18 pm

Your arguments are patronising to the point of rudeness. Debate the poiints raised not me. Your ideas of time and space dont fit the actual events on the ground.
The line was drawn from the mountain towards the koppie. At the line of the donga it kicked back along the rocky ridge.
Pullein had no information whatsoever of what was coming at him so drew up his line according to his standing orders.
Theres no correlation between,'getting back to the camp, and the position of the line.
Durnford was the only senior officer who knew what was coming, he saw the left horn long before the chest got to the ridge.
A speedy return to camp with that information would have been a great help. Time gained would have been invaluable.
The flanking move by the left horn was not the first point of break in the line, that happened between Durnford and Pope. Sources confirm that.
There was no orderly retreat from the donga, consult your sources.
Pullens stand is a matter of fact, not merely drawn from popular books.
Zulu were as fast as horses? After a 50 mile forced march, a high speed run from the valley and a 4 mile run to the donga, the chances of the impi catching the Horemen was never there. The Zulu have a reputation far exceeding their capability.
I dont have wrong influences, my arguments are based on source material collected over many years, mot popular authors, I would suggest if you want to debate logically and with authority you do the same.

Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:19 pm

DB 14
Yes Im aware of it.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:50 pm

Ok Springbok9 i just thourght i was a bit wierd and your account may have been falty scratch


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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:52 pm

Springbok, I don't follow your first comment 'patronising to the point of rudeness' scratch I initially asked about VCs to Durnford and Pulliene which you termed 'ludicrous' and proceeded to take the topic elsewhere, well away from what I had requested. You said I used a description of Durnford as a sympathy issue - which it was not. In the above post you now say 'I would suggest if you want to debate logically and with authority' which I have been doing, responding to your points. My answers and questions are as evenly balanced as your own. Please don't label me with something that isn't true. It is unfortunate indeed, that you have changed the tone of this topic into something darker. I'll end my participation in this distasteful unwanted alteration of the original topic now.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:19 pm

.


Last edited by Drummer Boy 14 on Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:35 pm

I have merged the "VC myth" With " Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879" reason hopefully is self explanatory.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:50 pm

"The Victoria Cross had its origins in the Crimean War. This was the first major war that was reported on by war correspondents in the field. In this case, William Howard Russell of “The Times” reported on the bravery of the common soldier and pushed for a bravery award that could be given to the common soldier in recognition of his bravery. At this time, only senior officers were awarded medals for bravery as it was deemed that it was their leadership that drove men on to victory.

Maybe they brought the old regulation back. Still it sums up Chard quite well.
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PostSubject: Who should've and shouldn't have received the VC.   Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:13 am

Hi Littlehand .
Your post from ' The Graphic June 21st 1879 , P598 .
Broome , should read Browne .
cheers 90th. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:50 pm

[quote="Sherman"]Not forgetting Pte Joseph Williams, 2/24th, who, according to Col. Degacher, would also have been recommended for a VC had he survived.......

Coghill and Melville didn't survive either, but they were recommended for and received the VC many years later in the 20thC, when the award was extended to deceased soldiers....and they shouldn't have got it, but that is another discussion.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:53 pm

Tasker do you think Joesph Willams deserved a VC???
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:59 pm

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
Tasker do you think Joesph Willams deserved a VC???

tbh, i don't know enough about what he did in that hospital. robert jones and hook's roles are well documented. can you recommend where i could read more on willaims' role? i would guess a good book on RD?
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:12 pm

The best is of course is " Like wolves on the fold " By Mike Snook but chapter 8 is a waste of time so dont bother with it.

Also the account in Zulu Rising is very good and in " The heroism and tragady of the Zulu War 1879 by Saul David"

Joesph williams did the same as every other defender of the hospital, the only
diffrence was that his heroic acts cost him his life.

He held the Zulus from braking into the room at the point of the bayonet
in an effet to protect the patience, 14 dead Zulus where later found outside the door.
He could have escaped out of the hole in the wall but choose to try and defend the sick, a true hero.

He deserved the 12th VC of Rorkes Drift

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