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 Col Durnford's demise

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barry

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PostSubject: Col Durnford's demise   Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:28 am



Hi All,
Is there general consensus, on this forum and elsewhere, as to how the gallant Col Durnford actually met his end during the battle of Isandlwana?


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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:43 am

Hello Barry

First a Happy New Year to you and yours and above all a very healthy ...

For Durnford, was shot dead? By the jet of a spear? Or melee?

Personally I do not know yet ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Col . Durnford's Demise    Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:48 am

Hi Barry .
I dont think there is a consensus anywhere as to how Col. Durnford met his maker . For the simple fact that there
were no eye witnesses . I think we would all be happy if he was with the last 10 - 20 , standing back to back with their
knives , Bayonets , last couple of rounds in their pistols and fists raised urging the zulu to ' come on ' . If you gotta go that would be the way !.
cheers 90th. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:07 am

90 th,

I do not think they wanted the Zulu s come, must not dream, 90th ...

War is not hollywood.

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Col Durnford's Demise    Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:16 am

Hi Pascal .
You must remember the British & Colonial troops didnt think much of the black African , and when they knew they were going to face certain death , I'm sure some , if not all were urging them on so they could take some more with them . This
has nothing to do with fairytales or '' Hollywood '' as you put it . When people are faced with advesity and in this case certain death , I'll bet they just didnt lie down and cop it !!!. I know for a fact I wouldnt go willingly !!!.
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:31 am

A Zulu

Heard Durnford yell out the word "Fire" repeatedly, and then when their was a rush he saw Durnfords body

"With his arm in a sling and a big moustache surounded by Carbineers, Soldiers and other men he did not know."

His body was found like this.

A stalwart Zulu covered by his shield lay at the Colonels feet. Around the Colonel almost in a ring lay a dozen dead men half being Natal Carabineers all riddled with assegai stabs. Clearly they had all rallied around Durnford in one last gallant attempt to cover the flank of the camp.

Also this

Yesterday Dr. Thrupp (a civilian from London, who came out as special surgeon for one year and is going home again) called here and brought a watch which he had taken from the body of an officer on the morning of January 23, to see if we could recognise it. It was Colonel Durnford's. The body was found lying within the camp, near to the hospital, with some two hundred others lying around him. It was not mutilated

Sounds like spear stabs to me.

Hope this helps Idea


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DB14
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PostSubject: Col Durnford's demise   Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:41 pm



Hi DB14 and others,

Thanks, does anyone have a report of any bullet wounds in Col Durnford's body ?


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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:36 pm

I wonder why he was spared mutilation, when the other around him were.
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:30 pm

Hi Barry

I think this is by Dr Thrrup who took Durnfords watch

The shirt beneath it, had been torn open, hanging from a slender chain fixed into a button-hole was a small gold watch and a bunch of charms. The expression of the face was peaceful, apparently disfigured by one long deep wound.

There is talk of a bullet at the RE museum taken from Durnfrods shoulder, but i think that its a fake, no one mentions it in 1879.

Old H

Prehaps they just missed Durnfords , his body was surounded by around 70 other men.

There is a report that i can't find of a one armed man shooting 4 Zulus with a revolver.

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:32 pm

Hi 90 th

Yeah right, personally I explode easily and that would make me furious if someone wanted to kill myself.

The poor Zulu, they were well served with me and then I would have avenged in other battles, if I survived Isandhlwana ..

No human right in 1879, so I would not have made ​​Zulu prisoners alive.

Finally all that is human, there is also the spirit of revenge and the adrenaline rush.

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Colonel Durnford's demise   Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:48 pm


Hi All,

The answer to the question/s raised on this thread are perhaps to be found in the December 13th essay, on this forum, on the ex Empress of the French, Princess Eugenie, and Lady Wood's visit to Natal to the former son's place of death on the Ityotyosi River, in Zululand.

On that trip, the ex Empress was accompanied by General Sir Evelyn and Lady Wood. On the Royal entourage's stop- over at Isandlwana on 09/06/1880, some 17 months after the battle , Gen Wood interviewed one of the Zulus who had been attacking Col Durnford in the donga during the closing stages of the battle of Isandhlwana on 22/01/1879. That Zulu, told General Wood, first hand, how Colonel Durnford died. This interview, between Wood and the Zulu, was witnessed, first hand, by Lance Corporal Clarke NMP, who reported on it in his war diaries.

The Zulu interviewed said that he, Col Durnford, shot himself with his own pistol, and that he was not killed by a Zulu.
The very fact that Durnford was not disembowled was the first apparent sign that a Zulu warrior did not get him.

barry
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:37 pm

Quote :
The Zulu interviewed said that he, Col Durnford, shot himself with his own pistol, and that he was not killed by a Zulu.
The very fact that Durnford was not disembowled was the first apparent sign that a Zulu warrior did not get him.

Surly if this had been the case. Chelmsford would have had great delight in letting everyone know Durnford shot himself. And it would have been mentioned in the court of enquiry.
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PostSubject: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:40 am


Hi John,

Yes, a valid point, but remember this information from a first hand witness only came to the fore in the middle of 1880. Sometime, I guess, after the official enquiry and the dust had settled. Also, we do not know what Gen Wood did with the information.

Now, an earlier post on this thread mentions that a bullet wound on Col Durnford's dead body was noticed, but, they dismissed it then with the probable reasoning that the bullet could have come from the enemy, or friendly fire.

Now, the fact the Durnford may have fired that bullet no way detracts from his heroism in my mind. I believe that he was one who deserved a VC in that battle, long before many of the others who had it bestowed on them for "glory" and as a means of deflecting the British public's attention and considerable wrath away from Chelmsford's glorius mess.

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PostSubject: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:20 am

Hello and congratulations Barry

Not only is there was suicide at Isandhlwana, but Durnford is killed himself ...

And apart Durford, there were certainly others ...

Pascal was right ...

This makes sense in a battle where he was so furious ...

He did this to frustrate the enemy is a reaction of rage ...

Wonderful, I'll never had the courage ...

He shot himself in the heart, the mouth, where the skull?

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Durnfords demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:15 am


Bonjour Pascal,

Thanks for your response.
Yes indeed, it takes a VERY BRAVE man to do that.
I shall be visiting his resting place in Fort Napier in a few weeks and whilst there will be paying my deep respects to this war hero.

regards

barry


Last edited by barry on Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:28 am

I was right against almost everyone :lol!:

Not only there were some suicides, but the commander in chief in person at Isandhlwana committed suicide ... Idea

Hyper best regards for yours posts on this topic...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:30 pm

Barry
There is not just that story

There is one of him dieing in the Donga

One of him being seen stabbed in the heart

One of him being shot down by a Zulu with a musket

I dout suicide would have entered his head, he would have died in the last rush.

His body was disfigured by one long deep wound

There is no mention of the burial party of him shooting himself.

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:12 pm

Quote :
There is no mention of the burial party of him shooting himself.

If this was the case, it wouldn't have become common knowledge, it would have been an embarrassment to his regiment. The government would have had a lid put on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:18 pm

Forbes was present when his body was found and decribed that the men surounding him where

Riddled with assagai stabs

He also describes the mutalion carried out.

He wouldn't have not reported that

Durnford had a bullet wound in his head, chest or anywhere else.

The Burial Party wouldn't have been able to tell it was suicide, just a bullet hole. They make no mention, there for no bullet mark.

The public hated Durnford, it would have been released stright away.



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PostSubject: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:41 pm

Surely we can't take the word of just ONE zulu that the gallant Col Durnford took his own life. There were thousands of zulu's present at the battle, surely more than just one of them would have said something about this had they witnessed it, and like John said, Chelmsford would have made a great issue of this if this was the case. DB14 also points out other stories of the death of Colonel Durnford, so which one are we to believe? Personally, I believe that this brave and noble officer died a heroes death making a stand with his men, trying to allow others to escape before the zulu horns met and the massacre began, who knows how many men owe their thanks to this honourable man for their escape from the carnage that was Isandlwana.

Barry my friend, when you visit Col Durnfords resting place, would it be possible for you to please place a Red Rose there as a token of my deep respect? I would be very grateful if you could do this for me, as I have no chance of ever getting there myself. Thank you.

Regards

Martin.
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PostSubject: Col Durnfords demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:23 pm



Hi Martin,

Thanks for responding.
I will be pleased to pay your respects too to this fallen hero, when I visit Fort Napier in a few weeks time.
I dont think that the manner in which Col Durnford met his demise should change our respect for this man. For my part it is strengthened, as to do what he did, takes a man of steel.
The sources which I quote from re this incident are first hand, written by a member of the Dartnell Patrol, and have never been in their entirety in the public domain, but have been used in parts, many times, by those historians who are seriously interested in the nitty gritty of that sad war.

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:36 pm

No offense,but it's Barry and Dave who have reason, the first to find the solution and the second in all-inclusive ... :lol!:

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:43 pm

Durnford had served in SA for many years and knew full well what the warriors of the different "kaffir" tribes were capable of from first hand experience.
Of ALL the men at iSandlwana, the ONE and ONLY man I could be persuaded to believe actually did take his own life in the situation in which the unfortunate camp defenders found themselves in, would be Durnford. He would have certainly been about the only one who would possibly have had the time, aforethought and previous experience to have contemplated "what will I do" if about to be captured by a group of Zulus warriors with their blood up.
If the story about him not suffering disembowellment is true, I think that is very significant indeed.
Would Chelmsford have made capital out of Durnford having killed himself with his last bullet? All those who think he would have, do a great disservice to the Lord. I think Chelmsford would have done what any honourable commander would have done and covered this up. Chelmsford was many things. Complacent, incompetent, slightly psychopathic possibly, but he wasn't and would not have been that dishonourable. He would of course, quite naturally, have stated that Durnford had been killed in action.
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PostSubject: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:50 pm

Hello Barry, and a very happy new year to you my friend.

Many thanks for that, I am much obliged.

You are right, no matter how he met his end, it will never alter my deep respect for this gallant officer. Like I said in an earlier post, the more I read about this man, the more respect I have for him, he reminds me of an officer I served with during my time in the Army, he also had the respect of the chaps that served with him. Yes, he was an officer, but he was also one of the lads, and shared in the ups and downs of us all, we all respected him for that, he was a gentleman.

Thanks again Barry.

Regards

Martin.
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PostSubject: Colonel Durnfords demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:57 pm

Hi Tasker,
You put it very nicely and I think it was the way it actually panned out too.
I will add that members of my family were directly involved in the military affairs of Natal for upwards of 60 years in that turbulent era, and becuase of the fear of disembowling and dismembering ( remember that Zabanga cut out the Prince Imperals left eye and ate it) they always kept one bullet, the last one ............for themselves. This too, is first hand knowledge.

barry
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:58 pm

tasker

His woundn't have had time, he died in tiny square surounded by 12 or so men.

A stalwart Zulu covered by his shield lay at the Colonels feet. Around him almost in a ring lay about a dozen dead men half being Natal Carabineers riddled with assegai stabs. Clearly they had all rallied around Durnford in one last despairing attempt to cover the flank of the camp. These gallant fellows where easily recognized by there comrades who accompanied the Column. Poor Lieutenant Scott was hardly at all decayed.

I dout he did that.


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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:32 pm


In the words of the excellent Tasker, Durnford knew what it was to be pierced by spears and he would not repeat the experience.

I wish I knew where he stuck his last ball, I can make a figurine ...

Cheers

Pascal














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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:33 pm

Lt. Scott wasn't disembolwed either.


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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:43 pm


It's suicide as well?

The Zulus are not allowed to touch opponent who committed suicide, that's a good system to determine who was killed or not, had to think ...

But if a Zulu kill an opponent with a musket ball, he is entitled to the gut ?

Cheers

Pascal














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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:56 pm

The Zulus went from body to body stabbing each one, it didn't matter who killed them, the others could wash their spears in the victim.


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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:09 pm

Maybe Durnford did not want the Zulus eat one of his eyes, as they do to Bonaparte, later in the war?

He knew their customs ...

The idea of ​​being gutted and eat, even death, it may encourage suicide.

Note that the Zulu have also eaten small pieces of their victims in 1906.

Well she was dead, but there is still abuse,

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:16 pm

Eaten the princes eye Shocked

I knew they stabbed it. They weren't savages.

Do you have a source


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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:03 pm


It's Barry who said ... request to him ...














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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:16 pm

The " Gaulois " of July 16, 1879, contained the
following : —

"Our London correspondent informs us that the Empress has been saddened by the statements which represent the body of her son as having been horribly disfigured. The aromatic herbs used for the embalming blackened the flesh, which has given rise to a belief that there was a decomposition which does not exist. The Empress said, " I hope nobody will be disquieted about my son's reputation ou dans ses inter^ts."

Comte d'Herisson thus comments upon the
Empress's reported observation :

The body, then, was not decomposed? How was Mr Evans able to examine the Prince's jaw? And if he was able to accomplish this tour de force, by what illusory phenomenon was he able to recognise as his own the work of three other dentists? It is, however, this recognition which permitted him to solemnly affirm that it was the Prince's body !

The " Daily News " of Tuesday, July 15, 1879,
reported :

The document completing the formal identification of the remains of the late Prince Louis Napoleon was legally signed yesterday by the persons appointed for that purpose — viz. Prince Murat, the Due de Bassano, Mr Evans and Dr Corvisart. Dr Conneau testified to recognising a wound on the hip which the Prince received from a fall when a child. The injury left a lump of coagulated blood. Mr Evans (who, when he saw the remains, held the features in such a manner that Prince Murat and others were better able to recognise them) testified to the identity of certain teeth which he had filled. The coffin was sealed in the presence only of the executors named in the will. Before this was done a quantity of the Prince's hair was cut off for the Empress. Lomas, the Prince's orderly, who was sent out to assist in finding the body and bring it into the British camp, has given some further details in respect of the matter. He says the body was found lying in a semi-recumbent position on a slope, the arms being pressed close to the chest. There are in all eighteen wounds, five of which would have been fatal. There was a wound in the foot, and another in one of the eyes, as though an assegai had been thrown and struck him there, and subsequently been wrenched out. It was these wounds which caused the discoloration and swelling of one side of his face, the flesh apparently having been roughly torn when the assegai was withdrawn. There was also a slight wound in the mouth, and a tooth knocked out, apparently by the thrust of an assegai.

In the " Daily News " of July 14, 1879, the Paris correspondent reported that the " Figaro " devoted
two pages to " revised and supplementary correspondence from its late correspondent in Zululand,"
M. Deleage, who returned to Europe with the Prince's body. Deleage and others went out to find the three bodies : The first body (that of a trooper) they found had the head covered with a piece of flannel. Deleage comments on the fact that the savages themselves were so shocked at the mutilation of the dead man's face that they sacrificed a scrap of flannel to conceal the horror. Two hundred yards farther the body of the Prince was found. It was quite naked. The stiffened arms were a little crossed upon the breast, and the head slightly inclined to the right. There was no trace of suffering on the face. The mouth was slightly open, the left eye shut, the right eye had been crushed out by an assegai. There were seventeen or eighteen wounds, all in the front,and according to Zulu custom the stomach was cut open, but there was a very slight incision, and the entrails did not protrude. Dr Scott and Dr Robertson agreed that the Prince was killed by the assegai that pierced his right eye and penetrated the brain, and that all the subsequent wounds were inflicted on a dead body. In a previous dispatch to the " Figaro " M. Deleage stated that he had " vainly tried to close the Prince's remaining eye, which yet reflected gentleness and goodness."

On July 5, 1879, Archibald Forbes telegraphed from Landsman's Drift an account of the battle of Ulundi, which was published in the ' Daily-News " of July 28. In this telegram Forbes described some of the barbarities practised by the Zulus upon our troops. " In the long grass Buller's men found three comrades who had fallen in a reconnaissance the previous day, mangled with fiendish ingenuity, scalped, their noses and right hands cut off, their hearts torn out, and other nameless
mutilations."

Dr Gannal, the eminent Paris embalmer, asked for his opinion, wrote, under date March 12, 1890:

It is a question of the death of an officer abroad as the result of wounds in the principal organs — the heart, lungs, etc. — whose body was embalmed and then brought to Europe. You ask me if it is possible that, merely by the opening of the coffin some days after the embalming, the body could become black and absolutely unrecognisable, as it was found to be when, two months afterwards, the official recognition took place. To that question I reply, no. ... If, however, the embalming had not been performed with all due care it would have been found that the body was brown, green in places, swollen by gases, the tissues softened ; in one word unrecognisable perhaps, but not black. . . . You also ask me if it is possible to open the mouth of a dead person two months after the embalming, in order to see if the molars had been filled with gold. If the body has been well preserved (embalmed), I answer, no; if it is in a state of decomposition, yes, but it would be a dangerous operation, which few of my colleagues would consent to perform unless they should be medecins tegistes, who make a speciality of these painful researches. ... I do not believe a dentist competent to conscientiously perform such an operation.

Comte d'Herisson asserts that J. Lomas and J. Brown (both in the Prince Imperial's service as grooms) told him that, on the discovery of the body, they had " recognised " it as that of the Prince :

They were deceived. Neither Lomas nor Brown was the first to " recognise " the Prince, for the reason that when the body was found it was hardly recognisable. The
body, completely naked, bore seventeen assegai wounds, some in the face and some in the chest. The assegai is a terrible weapon, making frightful wounds. Only imagination can supply the details which are lacking of the Prince's death. Once he and his companions in misfortune were killed they were all treated alike. Thus the Prince, like the two others, was despoiled of his clothes ; the Zulus, in accordance with their custom, disembowelled him ; for, contrary to Lomas's statement, they had plenty of time to perform this barbarous operation. . . . Lomas, like a faithful and devoted servant, repeated what he had been told to say. Never could he have seen in a head from which one eye had been wrenched, as well as a part of the cheek, while one lip was smashed, and there were several other wounds, a face " full of grace, and
almost smiling." If the face was in that condition, why was no photograph taken? That was the best way to prove the identity of the dead Prince. . . . The English had a well-
organised photographic service in the war with China in 1860. Twenty years later they must have had all facilities for photographing the body of the Prince if it had been considered desirable. We know what the sentiments of Europe will be when it is found that the coffin contains a body so completely mutilated [as that of the Prince Imperial].

My friend Monsignor Goddard declared, after seeing the body, that it was not in any way disfigured. I saw the coffin finally closed before it was taken from Woolwich to Chislehurst. It was considered inadvisable to permit the Empress to take a last look at the remains of her heroic son."
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:49 pm

Goodnight little hands (You have small hands?)

Congratulations you are too great, it's a super nice post to read, such dining ...

But the Zulus are cannibals I knew when I got interested in the Zulu Rebellion of 1906.

They are cannibals, because the fact of being, not necessarily the act of eating someone alive, it does eating a human being when it is.

The reasons are religious or not ...

Bravo for your post, if you could have some for me tomorrow night, I enjoyed in dining ...

You'll get lots of friends with a position like that, I love ...

PS: The Zulu were due to indigestion at Isandhlwana, right?

Cheers

Miam !Miam ! Pascal
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:50 pm

Quoting Barry:

"I dont think that the manner in which Col Durnford met his demise should change our respect for this man. For my part it is strengthened, as to do what he did, takes a man of steel. "

Hear here, Barry, hear here! I totally agree!
I actually hope Durnford did take his own life.
If he was the last one left in the donga, and this possibility is quite likely given his men rallied around him, he would have known what was coming when the Zulus got to him.
If he had the good sense to save the last bullet for himself, it demonstrates that he was completely cool in combat, thinking clearly and in total control of his actions.
I will not hear it said that this would have been a dishonourable thing to do by non-experienced and judgmental posters on this forum who have only experienced mortal combat from the comfort of their living room sofas. I have known, both personally and known of, some utterly first class, courageous, outstanding - the VERY best kind of people who have taken their own lives, after having given to their country and fellow men everything they had to give. (One who springs to mind was TWICE decorated for gallantry in Iraq).
If Durnford is among these spirits right now, then my respect for him has grown 100%.
RIP Col Durnford. Barry, please bow your head to him for me when you next visit. I hope to do this myself personally one day, to him and the others that fell there.
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PostSubject: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:35 pm


Hi Tasker,

Very correct and true. The way this gallant and brave officer was treated , giving his all, leaves me saddened and very questioning of the twisted Victorian morality
Let me know when you decide to visit Natal, Tasker.

regards

barry

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barry

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PostSubject: The Prince Imperial   Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:41 pm

Hi Littlehand,

Thanks for your splendid post about the Prince Imperial.
I could tell quite a lot more about the brutality of those times, but will desist, as I perceive that some readers are becoming a little squeamish.

regards

barry
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:59 pm

How the he'll can you all talk about Col: Durnford as being the Hero of the Battle of Isandlwana, then start making statements that he shot himself.

Quote :
"I dont think that the manner in which Col Durnford met his demise should change our respect for this man. For my part it is strengthened, as to do what he did, takes a man of steel. "

:lol!: What the hell is going on here, if he did shoot himself he would be nothing more than a coward. ( and you all know that)

But of cause he didn't shoot himself and your all talking a load of old rot. He may not be my favourite person, and I still think he was partly responsible for the loss of the camp. But I would not be so disrespectful to suggest he shot himself. Admin I must insist this topic his removed. It's an outrageous comment to make.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:14 am

Tasker. You will do yourself no favours replying in that manner. This is why topics get locked down, or put in the ring. For once I can see CTSGs point it a brave man would fight with his men, not take the easy option of shooting himself. I to believe Durnford did not shoot himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:48 am

Hi all

1 / Durnford was not a coward, but a great fighter, just as much Chelmsford was a bad strategist, Durnford was a bad tactician ...

2 / It is not really responsible for the defeat, which was quasiement innévitable, given where it took place.


3 / Because all senior officers, including Durnford, were unable to innovate at the tactical level, all adhered to the tactical rules of 1877, while Chelmsford will return to the old regulation, the square, for example ...


4/ Durnford has only precipitated the defeat, everyone knows how ...


5 / The fact that suicide is not an act of cowardice, even if it is not to be massacred alive and have his corpse outraged. Instead it's terribly heroic ... Even if he did not make it our honor as a samurai...

6 / He knew the customs of the black warriors and what seems like he already was nearly cut to pieces with blows of spears, he knew what awaited with opposite lascars...

7 / When the Victorian societée, there is no doubt that it was rotten ...

8 / Yes, the Zulu War, for those who have suffered, is to stack like any other war story ... This can be seen when one wants to demystify the war ...

9 / Nothing to do with Hollywood, alas.

Cheers

Pascal
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:56 am

barry wrote:



The sources which I quote from re this incident are first hand, written by a member of the Dartnell Patrol, and have never been in their entirety in the public domain, but have been used in parts, many times, by those historians who are seriously interested in the nitty gritty of that sad war.

barry

We are delving into some strange realms. Durnford committing suicidem prince Imperials eyeball being eaten, Zulus as cannibals ( Flesh is used for muti, not food).

I share CTSG,s frustrations.

If the good forum members have proof then post it, enough innuendo and extrapolation.

Barry youve posted some wonderful excepts from Clarks diaries, post the reference to the above quote.

Pascal.....................your an idiot.
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barry

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PostSubject: Col Durnfords demise   Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:04 am

Hi Tasker and Pascal,

Both of you are right and are illustrating the traits of free and intelligent thinkers. Keep posting.

To suggest, as others on this forum have done, that Durnford was a coward for taking his own life when his C in C had dumped him in the priverbial "deep end" , taking the lions share of men and equipment on a frolic around the Zululand countryside when they should have been defending the camp : and at the last stand when Durnford, incapacitated as he was, and having been pushed into an incredibly tight corner by that same clever C in C, and was the last man standing took his own life denying the enemy the chance to do that ; is ludicrous in the extreme.

This kind of statement will go down like a lead brick amongst the military in general and particlualrly in the land where hari kari was considered the most noble final act amongst the Japanese in WW 2, in situations when their odds were similarly stacked against them.

regards

barry
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:24 am

6" / He knew the customs of the black warriors and what seems like he already was nearly cut to pieces with blows of spears, he knew what awaited with opposite lascars..."

Pascal. In which case he should never had put himself in that position. He should have stay out of the war. Or he should have warned the men under him so they had a choice to shoot themselves.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:30 am

Why should he have been defending the camp? Surely his task was to engage the enemy, not move 12 miles into Zulu land then cower behind barricades?

Posts are being made ASSUMING that Durnford commited suicide, all with no evidence attached.

The earlier post describing the so called Zulu witness's descrption as having fought Durnford in the Donga in the later stages of the battle is ludicrous. The battle in the Donga was a mile away and much earlier in the battle.

How did this witness know it was Durnford?

Similar, possibly, to the so called killer of Pullein in his tent ( we know thats wrong because Pulleins body was seen outside the tent area.)

There is no recorded description of Durnfords death, merely generalisations of that particular area of combat.

There is a huge cultural difference between the Japanese and the British......ritualised ending to shame,against the stiff upper lip backs against the wall attitude.

There is no recorded description of bullet wounds to Durnfords head. Surely the best way to comitt suicide is to shoot one self in the head? Not in the foot and wait for peritonitus.

Intelligent informed debate is what this forum is about. Make your point and prove it.

Wallowing in the depths of fertile imagination leads to missinformation and distortions of History. One of the main reasons its so difficult to unwind the true story of the battlefields.

You want to read fiction.......................... read Morris or Saul Davids.
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90th

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PostSubject: Col. Durnford's demise .   Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:15 am

Hi All .
I dont usually deal with innuendo and conspiracy theories so I'll stick my head on the block !. Shocked . I dont think
for one moment Durnford shot himself as wouldnt that have been the icing on the cake for Chelmesford ; can you
imagine the following '' Poor Durnford , he knew he stuffed up and took his own life to boot , see I told you he caused the disaster '' . Sorry I dont believe it . I would need irrefutable evidence , ie; A coroner / Doctor's report etc etc . As
far as I'm aware there was no mention of a gunshot wound to his head , which is where you would be aiming !!!!.
I'm sure peritonitis isnt instantaneous , at least not in Australia . Shocked Shocked .
Also , I find it hard to imagine he had the presence of mind to realise when he was down to his last shot , Please I dont think so . Dont wish to sound condescending in any way shape or form . Idea
cheers 90th .
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:05 pm

My word I certainly miscalculated banding words and trading sarcasm with such an eloquent word master and mental moribunnd as such. tut tut
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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:03 pm

Always speak my dove, you have a nice pen. (And I do not say where) :lol!:
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Umbiki

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:34 pm

Hmmm .... whenever the topic of Durnford is raised I tend to reach for the most excellent book on his career in Natal and Zululand, Droogleever's, "The Road to Isandhlwana".

On page 230;

" Durnford's last moments are not clear. He was believed to have been shot through the heart but his body was also found to be covered with assegai wounds. He lay on his back - for some reason the Zulus had not stripped off any of his clothes - on the nek close to the stony kopje, probably close to the Rorke's Drift road. Around the fallen Colonel was a most poignant scene. Lieutenant Durrant Scott and fourteen of his fellow Carbineers, Natal Mounted Police, Buffalo Border Guardsmen, Newcastle Mounted Riflemen, Imperial and black infantry lay scattered around him."

Drummer Boy has usefully quoted elsewhere on this thread, the Archibald Forbes account (when writing in the Daily News) about the finding of the body. Droogleever quotes it thus;

"In a patch of long grass, near the right flank of the camp lay Durnford's body, the long moustache still clinging to the withered skin of the face ...... Durnford had died hard - a central figure of a knot of brave men who had fought it out around their chief to the bitter end .... Around him, almost in a ring, lay about a dozen men, half being Natal Carbineers, riddled by assegai stabs."

Zulu accounts exist to substantiate the above 'stand'. See Coupland's, "Zulu Battle Piece - Isandhlwana" footnote to page 93, " When we closed in, we came to a mixed party of mounted and infantry men who had evidently been stopped by the end of our Horn ... they made a desperate resistance, some firing with pistols and others using swords. I repeatedly heard the word "fire" given by someone. But we proved too many for them and killed them all where they stood. When all was over I had a look at these men, and I saw an officer with his arm in a sling and with a big moustache, surrounded by carabineers, soldiers and other men that I didn't know."

In answer to the original question, therefore, about Durnford's demise, all the evidence suggests that he was involved in some sort of courageous 'last stand' in which he played a leading role. As put by a Carbineer who was with the subsequent burial party, (Droogleever, p231), "What struck everyone on the field was the way in which the Carbineers who fell stuck ... to Durnford, of all men!".

I do not quite understand why such emphasis should be put on the fact that Durnford's body had not been stripped or mutilated. This was not necessarily unusual. Norris-Newman's, "In Zululand ...etc etc.' includes an eye witness account of Lt Col Black's visit to the battlefield in March 1879. Describing the state of the bodies, the eye witness account states, "Some were perfect skeletons; others that had not been stripped, or only partially so, ......." In the light of this, the fact that Durnford's body had not been stripped appears to carry no particular significance.

Of course, all of the above does not answer the question of possible suicide raised elsewhere in this thread. The truth is we shall never know but I, for one, am not prepared to speculate too much on the issue if only because I believe the Durnford family have suffered enough, even to this day, in having to defend the Colonel's reputation.

All I would say is that, personally, I should have to see the reference from which the suicide theory emanates in it's full context before being persuaded as the mention of the 'donga' does cast some doubt on its accuracy. We know for certain that Durnford's last moments were spent near to the foot of Mahlabamkhosi but, as alluded to by Springbok9 above, that spot is a mile or so away from the action at the 'donga' (which, in any case, had taken place earlier in the day).

Finally, turning to the separate issue of the eating of the Prince Imperial's eye - without wishing to 'crack' a gastronomic joke - I do think we need to take this with a pinch of salt! I stand ready to eat my words - again, no pun intended - but I am intrigued as to
where the reference to Xabanga actually eating the eye comes from? I am aware that Xabanga is generally credited with striking the first blow on the Prince and Langalibalele's evidence confirms, "someone stabbed him in the right eye" but, until now, I have heard no suggestion it was eaten! Moreover, Ian Knight's brilliant, "With His Face to The Foe" includes (p217) reference to Surgeon Scott's formal examination of the body which confirms the wound through the "right eyeball". The fact that he used the term "eyeball" rather than "socket" suggests to me the eye, or at least, what was left of it, was still there. So, something else we may never know .... oh well, time for a cup of tea and a lie down - Happy New Year all.

U

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PostSubject: Re: Col Durnford's demise   Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:00 pm

Hi Umbiki

Thats an intesting post and raises some good points.

His body was stabbed repeatedly, but not disembolwed.

Not everyone had been disembolwed on the field.

Lt. Scott
Lt. Coghill
Lt. Melvill

When Durnfords party was overwhelmed, their was still fierce hand to hand fighting taking place, so the Zulus would have killed Durnford and then rushed off to kill some more.

There is no report of a bullet wound to Durnfords head, thats where he would have shot, and if he did its safe to assume that his head would have been blown off from that range.

There are more reports.

I saw Col. Durnford fail stabbed with an assagi.

As i was escaping i saw Col. Durnford shot though the heart.

The repoert of Suicide doesn't make sence with all the other evidence.

I hope this has cleared that up

Cheers
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