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

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tasker224

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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 5:21 pm

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
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

Cheers
DB14

thanks - i have ZR, so i will give that part another look over this evening.
if he did indeed do as much as jones and hook, and from what you wrote, it appears he did, then YES!
maybe we should start a campaign to award him one belatedly. melville's father campaigned to get his son a VC in this way, but i fear that we are not and would not be as influential as melville snr!
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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 5:25 pm

Tasker it would be nice to do that but i fear it would never happen Mad


Also just to point out it was Melviles wife Sarah and Coghills farther who campained for their VCs


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DB14
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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 5:27 pm

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
Tasker it would be nice to do that but i fear it would never happen Mad


Also just to point out it was Melviles wife Sarah and Coghills farther who campained for their VCs


Cheers
DB14

thanks for that
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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 9:57 pm

If new evidence came to light (Not that it ever will) suggesting that Melville & Coghill, did in fact leave the Battlefield on thier own accord. Would their VC's be withdrawn. scratch
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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 10:03 pm

Hi impi this is from Wikipedia

The original Royal Warrant involved an expulsion clause that allowed for a recipient's name to be erased from the official register in certain wholly discreditable circumstances and his pension cancelled. King George V though felt very strongly that the decoration should never be forfeited and in a letter from his Private Secretary, Lord Stamfordham, on 26 July 1920, his views are forcibly expressed:

"The King feels so strongly that, no matter the crime committed by anyone on whom the VC has been conferred, the decoration should not be forfeited. Even were a VC to be sentenced to be hanged for murder, he should be allowed to wear his VC on the scaffold."

Cheers
DB14
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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 10:24 pm

Disappointed the Poll was cancelled. Mad
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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 10:36 pm

Quote :
Melville & Coghill, did in fact leave the Battlefield on thier own accord. Would their VC's be withdrawn

If this was the case, then this would apply to "Samuel Wassall VC" He also left the Battlefield..
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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 10:41 pm

impi wrote:
If new evidence came to light (Not that it ever will) suggesting that Melville & Coghill, did in fact leave the Battlefield on thier own accord. Would their VC's be withdrawn. scratch

A VC can not be forfeited any more, as it could originally, for a subsequebt unsporting act or behaviour as DB14 pointed out. The original act of valour can not be undone. For example, a subsequent act of cowardice or murder or treason would not over ride the original act of valour for which the VC was awarded.
However, could a VC be withdrawn if new evidence came to light - for example mistaken identity of the recipient, or the act of valour was found not to have been an act of valour at all, as in the case of C&M? Well that to my knowledge has never occurred. It would be unprecedented, it has never been tested.
Interesting question. If new evidence did in fact come to light .. and it won't...agreed, I am sure the establishment machinery would mobilise appropriately to (suppress/ cover up/ revise/ show that it was unreliable/ out of context) the new evidence to uphold the original awards.
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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 10:54 pm

I'm not to sure living relatives of those that died in Battle at Isandlwana, would be too happy. The colours are used to rally the men to a last stand. If it was found that Melville had left on his own accord and not under orders, then he robbed the men left at Isandlwana the chance to rally to the colours to make their stand instead of all the individual stands spread across the Battlefield.

As Lt: Bromhead would have said
Quote :
“ Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfast.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:20 am

Possibly a point to remember is that M & C and also Sam Wassall didnt get medals for actions on the battlefields for for subsequent events. All three at the Fugitives Drift.

Just a point.

Regards
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90th

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PostSubject: Who should've and shouldn't have received the VC.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:11 am

Hi Springbok.
Agreed , also worth remembering there were probably VC actions witnessed at Isandlwana ( Battlefield itself )
but due to the fact all those who would've witnessed such actions were killed . They are lost to the back blocks
of history . Suspect Suspect .
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.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:28 am

Heres a thourght

If Melvile wanted to take the Colours as a excuse to leave then why would he take it back into the
camp after he took it from the gaurd tent.

If he was going to use it as an excuse to leave then why wouldnt didnt he rip the silk off the pole
because a Colour is very heavy and hard to ride with.

Also he stuck to Coghill as they tryed to reach safty at the top of the hill, from what i read the
hill is very hard to climb and Melvile would have had to almost carry Coghill, shows how determined
he was to save his brother officers life. Idea

Just an idea anyway

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:37 am

In terms of the awards, I dont think that they were connected to the colors but more for the mutual life saving efforts. Coghill for riding back into the river and Melvill for then saving Coghill.
Sam Wassall is really not open to interpretation. That was really a brave effort.
So in view of M & C do we seperate the fact of them leaving the battlefield from the second incident of Fugitives Drift? Can they be seperated?
Personaly I believe that anyone who can swim that river cross the plain and climb that bloody hill whilst carrying a fellow officer should have got the admiration he so richly deserved.
Never have been sure of Coghill though.

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:35 pm

VCs to Melvill and Coghill ? Did Wolseley not have something to say about it ? Coghill's role or mission for leaving the camp is still vague and it must have been vague then too. Helping a fellow officer after safely crossing the river ? His horse got shot meant he was not going to be able to help anyone out on dry land. He could possibly be considered the cause of Melvill's death, as having got to where they did even helping Coghill, Melvill on his own could have made it, in the same way as Smith-Dorrien, albeit without the Colour, but you could say it was safely lost as in, the Zulus couldn't get it - so his mission was accomplished somewhat.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:52 pm

Colin J
Thats why Ive allways had doubts about Coghill, Chelmsford voiced the same opinion. The victorian vision of the two of them riding of with the colors is so far from the truth. Source evidence from the trail has them meeting up and seperation at different points. And leaving at different times.
However thats not what the award was for, the drift is the issue and frankly I have difficulties trying to justify a VC for Coghills actions
He cleared the water, turned back for Melvill, his horse was shot and then he became a liability. So he was awarded a VC for that act of turning back?
Dont see it.

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:59 pm

It always saddens me when I think of poor Melvill. Participating in the battle, struggling to save the Colour over the rugged terrain, making a valiant effort to take it across the Buffalo river, then helping Coghill, leading to his death when he could have survived, if left to his own means. However, there is another reason it saddens me, more to do with Isandhlwana's aftermath, and that is the information he could have supplied about that day. It might have filled many-a-gap in the Isandhlwana story, in fact, although a long shot, he may even have known why Coghill left. Now this latter point may have removed the uncertainty about Coghill's departure from the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:04 pm

Being a front line officer and indeed adjutant his suvival would have been of immense value.

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:19 pm

Indeed. I do feel Melvill's precious account of events at Isandhlwana, could have had a significant impact on what we know now, almost to the point that the former may create a Butterfly Effect, being that this important addition to the primary sources we know of, could have influenced different conclusions, even about the participants themselves, then and to the present day in publications. Sadly, we'll never know.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:26 pm

In the same way that Bassengers diary appeared, Cochranes letters the same I remain convinced that one day in a dusty attic or on the Antiques Road Show a diary, old memoirs or letters will turn up that will allow mors insight into things.

Living in hope. Wink

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:09 pm

Chard, Bromhead, Hitch, Hook, Allen, J Williams, R Jones and W Jones were

"...recommended for the VC under the provisions of the Royal Warrant of 10th August 1858 which directed that the decoration may be conferred in cases of conspicuous courage under circumstances of extreme danger in which through the courage and devotion displayed, life or public property may be saved, for their gallant conduct in risking their own lives in their exertions to save the lives of their comrades."

Chelmsford's original recommendation for the awards to Chard and Bromhead states,

"...Whilst in no way desiring to deteriorate from the individual conduct of any of those who took part in this gallant defence, I cannot help feeling that its success must in all fairness be in a great measure attributable to the two young officers who exercised the chief commands on the occasion in question."
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PostSubject: Who should have and who shouldnt have been awarded the VC.   Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:35 am

Springbok / Colin j.
The most disappointing aspect of the whole Melvill / Coghill saga is there seems to be some conjecture
that they were indeed killed by Friendly zulus , ie Natal side of the river warriors . Who were bullied or intimidated
to do so or face reprisals from the zulu if and when they crossed the river . Suspect Suspect .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: VC's at Isandlawana/ Rorkes Drift   Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:05 am

By all accounts I dont think that Trooper Lugg, NMP, was properly recognised for his action in Rorke's Drift. The story goes that his rifle broke when swinging it and was using it as a club at the parapets after running out of ammunition. He then took to using as his primary weapon a large hunting knife "with great despatch".Those who were there reported that he was a formidable opponent ! Remembering too that he was there because he was already injured and thus incapacitated , as were some others, before the battle and supposed to be recuperating in the hospital. His actions were immortalised when he was given the Zulu nickname "Gwazamazulu" later , and held for the rest of his life in great awe and respect by his previous
enemy. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:00 pm

Did he not get anything??

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:04 pm

respect Idea better than the VC.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:35 pm

Who deserved a VC

Joeseph Williams

William Vereker

Peter Shepard




Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:14 pm

The VC for those who survived to defeat ...and for all killed and injured...

That's all ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:32 pm

Mkhosana KaMvundlana's extraordinary courage and self sacrifice in urging forward the uKhandempemvu was a pivotal, decisive moment in the battle of iSandlwana.
Perhaps the whole battle may have turned away from the Zulu at that impasse, if it hadn't been for his intervention.
Apart from exceptional bravery in the face of the enemy and all the other criteria considered necessary for the VC to be awarded, the most important is probably the fact that the role of the nominee has to have had a "significant" effect in the outcome of the action, in other words "made a difference" to the action in which it was awarded. Mkhosana's actions certainly fulfilled that.
His actions would have made his THE MOST outstanding VC of the period of 22nd/23rd January 1879, had it not been for the minor detail that the recipient must have been fighting with the Crown forces, not against them!
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:47 pm

Quote :
Perhaps the whole battle may have turned away from the Zulu at that impasse, if it hadn't been for his intervention.

If he hadn't of been there, it would have done the British a big favour. The Zulu would have dispersed.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:49 pm

Agreed. From what I have read, the Zulu attack was faltering until Mkhosana intervened and spurred them on again - and the rest is history.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:37 pm

Did he not get shot in the head, after giving his speech.
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PostSubject: Who should ve and who shouldn'tve been awarded the the VC.    Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:21 am

Yes Chard that is correct .
90th.
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PostSubject: Who should have and who shouldn't have been awarded the V.C.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:13 pm

In the case of iSandlwana, there must have been lot's of very brave actions that would have been considered for the V.C. but because so few men survived, these valiant deeds would most likely be unwitnessed by the survivors. One very gallant and honourable action does come to mind though, and that is the stand made by Col Durnford and the brave souls that stood with him in their attempt to hold beck the left horn and thereby allow others to escape the massacre. To sacrifice oneself to let others escape is indeed a very noble thing to do, and all honour to them.

Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:25 pm

Why should be get a VC when he was part of the problem. He didn't do himself any favours.
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PostSubject: Who should have and who shouldn't have been awarded the V.C.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:30 pm

And what part of the problem would that be?
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:34 pm

Hello!!!! scratch perhaps you should You need to study mo read what we have been debating.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:04 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
And what part of the problem would that be?

Durnford was not part of the problem, 20,000+ Zulus were the problem! Chard1879, I think it is you who needs to catch up with the reading of contemporary opinion and what most people feel now regarding Durnford and his role, and not what it says in those dusty old text books!
In my opinion, Durnford could not have done more. I think Durnford may well have merited a VC in all but one respect.
An unwritten criteria for the award of a VC, is it is also needs to serve the political agenda. Whilst Durnfurnford was officially "to blame" he would never be considered for the award.
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PostSubject: Who should have and who shouldn't have been awarded the V.C.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:19 pm

I know what is being debated, but that is in another topic, I have posted in it.

Maybe you wouldn't mind telling us what part of the problem you think Durnford was, by posting in that topic, it would be interesting to read the reasons why you think that Durnford was part of the problem.
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PostSubject: Who should have and who shouldn't have been awarded the V.C.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:39 pm

Hi tasker.

Correct, Durnford was scapegoated and like you say officially "to blame", so there was no chance that he would ever be considered for the V.C award. However, in my book (and I guess yours also), Col Durnford was an honourable officer who deserved a lot better justice than he got.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:58 pm

For years It was know that Durnford was the scapegoat, but the debate in the other thread, could suggest he may not have been the whole cause of the diaster, but he is partly to blame, his rank dictates that, as well as his action. The main issue with Durnford, is he should never have left the camp, he should have commanded from the camp. He still could have sent troops to protect Chelmsfords rear, he did not need to go in person. He should have concentrated on the deployment of the trooops, arranged ammuntion stations ect. He took over command and then handed it back.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:37 pm

impi wrote:
The main issue with Durnford, is he should never have left the camp, he should have commanded from the camp.

You really think so?
There were no orders for Durnford to STAY at the camp. His column was independent. Durnford was in a no win situation wasn't he?
The camp was lost hours before Durnford's arrival, the camp was in a hopeless situation, but let's imagine Durnford HAD stayed at the camp and took charge; imagine how the text books would read:

Lt Col Pulleine, an infantry trained officer iof the 24th Foot, was organising the camp's defences using his half dozen or more companies of the 24th Foot, plus several other companies of infantry and mounted men.
Up rode Colonel Durnford, a colonial engineer officer, with no formal infantry training. The small engagements he has been involved with up to this date have not been too successful, but hey, he is an engineer, not a man of war.
He outranks the infantry Colonel, Pulleine of the 24th and takes charge of HIS companies, and the rest of the camp defence force.
An ill-judged piece of one upmanship. Why on earth did this colonial engineer believe that the officers and men of the 24th would take kindly to his usurping their own colonel and muscling in on their party with his column of mounted colonials.
In the hours that follow, the camp is taken by the Zulus and over 1500 men are massacred.
Whose fault was it that the camp fell???
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:52 pm

Quote :
His column was independent.

It was until he was ordered to move to Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:23 pm

Chard1879 wrote:
Quote :
His column was independent.

It was until he was ordered to move to Isandlwana.

And it was again when he got to iSandlwana to find no further instructions.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:39 pm

impi wrote:
He should have concentrated on the deployment of the trooops, arranged ammuntion stations ect. He took over command and then handed it back.

Why should he have thourght of doing any of that considering the enemy were reported to be retreating ?



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PostSubject: Who should have and who shouldn't have been awarded the V.C.    Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:48 pm

Durnford's orders of the 19th told him that he would be needed to support Chelmsford in his attack on the zulus, the orders of the 22nd did not alter this, they merely requested him to move up to the camp (this would be in readiness to support Chelmsford in the attack on the zulus).

Durnford was to act as one pincer arm against the zulus, and Bengough the other pincer arm, whilst Chelmsford would be at the centre ready to engage them. For confirmation of this, read the exchange of posts between Julian and myself on Thu Nov 15, in the topic 'Durnford was he capable'.

If there was any change to this plan, and Chelmsford had wanted Durnford to stay at the camp to reinforce it, or even to take command of it, then Chelmsford should have made this clear by leaving specific orders for Durnford at the camp, but he didn't.

Durnford was not instructed to move to the camp to stay there or to take command, he was ordered to support Chelmsford in his attack on the zulus, and by moving up to the camp he would be in a good position to perform this.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:07 pm

Quote :
Durnford's orders of the 19th told him that he would be needed to support Chelmsford in his attack on the zulus, the orders of the 22nd did not alter this, they merely requested him to move up to the camp (this would be in readiness to support Chelmsford in the attack on the zulus).




Martin thats what you think happen. But you have shown nothing to support it. Why would be go to support Chelmsford, when he knew all about the large numbers of Zulu reported around the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:22 pm

Gents we seem to be covering the same ground as that on the "Durnford was he Capable" thread..
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PostSubject: Who should have and who shouldn't have been awarded the V.C.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:44 pm

Chard.

You say that is what I think happened, then say that I have shown nothing to support it. I have quoted in the post above the confirmation of this, take a look at the exchange of posts between Julian and myself on Thu Nov 15, in the topic "Durnford was he capable".

All the evidence is there in the various orders, reports, eye witness accounts, the enquiry, many books and other publications, and also here on the forum. The problem is sifting through it all, and trying to sort out fact from fiction, and all the lies told in the cover up by Chelmsford and his cronies, in an attemp to cover their own backsides.

There were reports coming into the camp all morning of zulus in the area, Pulleine had done very little about it, when Durnford arrived, he arranged his own men as scouts and sent out his own troops to try to gather better information about these zulus. Confusing reports came in saying that the zulus were here and there and that they were retreating, however, there was a report that a large body of them were heading towards Chelmsford, he had no option but to act on this, he had to try to find out where they were going, just in case they were attempting to cut off, outflank or attack Chelmsford, that is why he left the camp, he was ordered to support Chelmsford, and was attempting to do just that.

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PostSubject: Who should have and who shouldn't have been awarded the V.C.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:46 pm

Sorry Pete.

Maybe you should move the last few posts to that thread.

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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:58 pm

Martin. There would be no point as its already there.
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PostSubject: Re: Who should have and who shouldn’t have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Zulu War 1879.   Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:10 pm

Martin. There would be no point as its already there.
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