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Lt. Melvill: Well done, Sir! Did you see that Noggs? Deceived him with the up and took him with the down. Norris-Newman: Well well, this one's a grandfather at least. If he'd been a Zulu in his prime I'd have given odds against your lancer, Mr.Melvill.
 
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Lt. (Brevet Major) J.R.M. Chard, 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers--Rorke's Drift and Ulundi
(Mac and Shad) Isandula Collection)
Rededication Rorke's Drift Defender William Wilcox. 8th May 2011 Dolton Devon.
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 Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?

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tasker224

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PostSubject: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:11 pm

Just wondering, is it known, or can someone pinpoint who was/were the first to fugitives to have left the battlefield of iSandlwana?
Springbok mentioned on another thread about the fact that Coghill (and so Melville) probably left late in the day, but who left first and how soon did they leave? Did he/they leave minutes or hours before M&C?
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:56 pm

I thinking the members of the Rocket battery that escaped.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:15 pm

I would say the camp followers who where watching the battle Idea

Cheers
DB14
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90th

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PostSubject: Who was the first to leave Isandlwana   Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:49 pm

Hi all.
Quickly reading three of the survivor accounts of the Rocket Battery by Trainer , Johnson & Grant , all very
similar actually the same !. They withdrew back to the camp after their escape and stayed till they saw the camp was virtually surrounded then they decided to leave . This happened as they say after Durnford had left the Donga in front of the camp .
cheers 90th.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:20 pm

What about Adendorff, Gert Wilhelm. It was thought he left very early in the battle.
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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:24 pm

Given that the rocket battery were one of the first units to engage and be over run, would those survivors have been unable to fall back and re-engage? Would they have been a spent force and as such entitled to escape, having done their duty?
(My instinct is there was nothing else they could do other than save themselves and fight another day).
It seems the rocket battery survivors would be strong candidates for the first to have fled the battlefield.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:28 pm

I would still say the camp followers left first

"Civilans, wagon drivers, Native servants"

Would leave the moment the Zulus appered, they would have no duty

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DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:35 pm

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
I would still say the camp followers left first

"Civilans, wagon drivers, Native servants"

Would leave the moment the Zulus appered, they would have no duty

Cheers
DB14

You are almost certainly correct in that DB14, but my Q was really with respect to the fighting men. Sorry if I didn't make that clear originally.
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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Tasker, sorry about that.

It would probebly then be some NNC or NNH followed by there white officers and NCO's



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90th

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PostSubject: Who was the first to leave Isandlwana   Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:21 pm

Hi Tasker. I tend to agree with DB14.
cheers 90th.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:13 pm

I'm fairly sure two members of the rocket battery ran into Spalding on his way back to RD with the delayed reinforcements. And I believe, Spalding made them ride towards RD to ascertain the situation,when they saw the smoke Spalding when back the way he come, with the reinforcements.
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90th

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PostSubject: Who was the first to leave Isandlwana   Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:11 am

Hi 24th.
I had a quick check and the three survivors of the rocket battery met Spalding & Upcher on the road heading to Rorke's Drift. After they saw the smoke and that a large force of zulu was in their front and flanks
also close to a large donga where as Spalding puts it '' Could've concealed many more '' . Also they had been told ( Spalding & Upcher ) that the Drift had fallen , they took the only course possible as Helpmakaar
was completely undefended , they retired .
cheers 90th.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:29 am

Who would have been the first British Officer to leave.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:33 am

Only 5 Imperial officers escaped. I would say Coghill.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:39 am

I would say Smith-Dorrien or Cochrane.

Coghill stopped twice on his way out the camp, speaking to
Glyns servant and Smith and Curling, the others in my mind
would have over taken him by then.

Cheers
DB14
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PostSubject: Re: Who was the first fugitive to leave iSandlwana?   Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:19 pm

90th wrote:
Hi 24th.
I had a quick check and the three survivors of the rocket battery met Spalding & Upcher on the road heading to Rorke's Drift. After they saw the smoke and that a large force of zulu was in their front and flanks
also close to a large donga where as Spalding puts it '' Could've concealed many more '' . Also they had been told ( Spalding & Upcher ) that the Drift had fallen , they took the only course possible as Helpmakaar
was completely undefended , they retired .
cheers 90th.

if there was already smoke at RD, wouldn't this have been very late in the day?
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90th

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PostSubject: Who was the first to leave Isandlwana   Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:41 pm

Hi Tasker.
Quite possibly as Spalding didnt leave the drift till 2-00 2.30 pm. He left by accounts an hour or so before the
news of the disaster arrived at R.D. The smoke could have been from the rifles , dust etc , and possibly the
hospital as I think it would have been smoking a while before it actually become a blaze .
cheers 90th.
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