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 Melvill's Revolver

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Melvill's Revolver   Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:29 am

We are told that Melvill's revolver didn't work as the cylinder had fallen out and was later picked up by
one of the burial parties.

Does anyone have any more infomation regarding this ?

How did they know it was Melvll's ?


Cheers
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver   Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:11 pm

I wonder why Melville clothes were left in tact. Especially as he was wearing a red Patrol Jacket & Coghill was wearing Blue.

Has it ever been established who the other two soldiers were.

Quote:
"Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill 1/24th 
Drawing their revolvers, the two officers shot and killed a couple of Zulus...Some days later when a patrol found their bodies, they also found a ring of dead Zulus, evidence that Melvill and Coghill had sold their lives dearly...It is unlikely that they shot any of the enemy.  Certainly not Melvill as the cylinder of his revolver had long since fallen out and was lying in Lord Chelmsford’s tent back at Isandlwana where it was picked up later that day by Henry Francis Fynn, the Umsinga magistrate, who was serving on Chelmsford’s staff.  As for the bodies of Melvill and Coghill being surrounded by a ring of enemy dead, this is an inherited Victorian perception, highly romanticised, that Britain’s soldiers always died admirably as epitomised in Alphonse de Neuville's painting of the incident in which Melvill and Coghill lay in death, sword in hand, as though in peaceful slumber, with each man still grasping the pole of the Queen’s Colour. In reality, there was no ring of enemy dead.  Lieutenant Hillier, an officer of the 3rd Natal Native Contingent, who was one of the twenty volunteers who found the bodies of Melvill and Coghill, recorded the incident in a letter to his father “...crossing over the hill overlooking the Drift, we came across the bodies of poor Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill; they lay behind the bodies of two soldiers, where they had made a stand.  Coghill was quite naked except for his boots and a gold ring on his finger which Captain Parr took off.  Poor Melvill had everything on, but was much disfigured.”  There is no mention of dead Zulus.
Lieutenant Henry Harford of the 99th Foot, also serving in the 3rd. N.N.C., and also amongst the volunteers who found the bodies, likewise makes no mention of any Zulu bodies nearby those of Melvill and "Coghill"


Source: Letters from Ron Lock.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver   Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:13 pm

Adrian Greaves has a theory that one of them was Sergant Cooper.

If Clothes were bloody they were left alone, so thats probebly the reason for him.
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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver   Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:45 am

Hi all

If there were no corpses of Zulus, it is because they were taken away by their comrades ...

Cheers

Pascal
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