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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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 George Shepstone's Death

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: George Shepstone's Death   Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:51 pm

George Shepstone was present when the Zulu army was discovered and fourght on the Spur
with E and F Coys of the 24th regiment, and was killed trying to stop the Zulu Right Horn.

A warrior recalled

"We were told that present during the fighting was a son of Somseu, he fourgt very bravely, he
killed our people, the others feared to approach him, suddenly there dashed our brother Umtweni
before he could load and killed him."



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90th

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PostSubject: George Shepstone's Death    Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:28 am

Hi All .
Fairly certain there is much posted on here regarding Shepstone ; He and his men had their own last stand on the Western side of the mountain trying to either stop the right horn or attempting to stop the two horns coming together .
cheers 90th. Salute
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:21 am

DB

You know my theory on how Shepstone ended up where he did. Its one of the areas I will be exploring in a couple of weeks, the route between Younghusbands position and Shepstons grave. 90th has also requested photos of the area.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Tue May 01, 2012 8:40 pm

Can someone post the person who described finding Shepstone's body and the men
found with him ?




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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Tue May 01, 2012 9:05 pm

This could answer two questions.

"Shepstone galloped to warn Cavaye and then went into camp to bring the news to Pulleine. As he was speaking, the message from Chelmsford to send the baggage forward arrived. Pulleine wrote a note indicating that he could not move camp and sounded the alarm. The time was about 12h00. Capt W.E. Mostyn's company was sent to support Cavaye who had been joined by Raw and Roberts. In front of them the uNokenke and the uDududu were moving towards the back of Isandlwana while the N.N.C. were wavering. A withdrawal was started and Pulleine sent Capt R. Younghusband's company forward to cover it. The N.N.C. ran down to the camp in disorder but the rest formed up at the foot of the escarpment and inflicted severe losses on the uNokenke as they appeared over the ridge. It would appear that at this stage the main threat was from the north and the other companies under Lt F.P. Porteus, Capt G.V. Wardell and Lt C.D. Pope were extended to face in that direction. As the umCijo came over the crest they suffered considerable losses from fire directed from these positions.

Durnford's movements on the plain are not at all clear. According to some accounts he was six kilometres from camp when he bore to the left and ascended the escarpment but a message was received that the Zulus were close by and shortly afterwards they came into sight. A retreat was ordered and this was carried out in an orderly fashion by alternate troops. The rocket battery had lagged behind in the difficult terrain and had turned to the north on the advice of a Carbineer. As it approached the base of the Itusi the Zulus appeared over the crest. Before more than one rocket could be discharged, it was overrun and all but three of the crew were killed. The company of the N.N.C. which was in the rear of the battery returned to camp. Meanwhile, Durnford had reached the bed of the stream which flows south past the western face of the Conical Kop where he deployed his men in the shelter of the bank to face the inGobamakhosi and the uMbonambi. Here his men gave a very good account of themselves and were reinforced by some of the Newcastle Mounted Rifles. Durnford, with Pope's men to the rear left, had managed to stop the advance of the left horn but ammunition began to run low and horsemen sent back to the 24th Regiment wagons were told to go to their own which they could not find. There was no alternative but to desert the stream bed and withdraw to the saddle. The British right was exposed to the fierce attack of the Zulu left.

As more Zulus and in particular the uVe descended from the escarpment the British would appear to have adjusted their positions to that of a rough "L" with Younghusband's company at the base of Isandlwana with Mostyn and Cavaye facing north on his right. Near Cavaye's position there is a slight rise and a rocky ridge runs down to the south-east. It is evident that Porteus and Wardell were positioned on this which has a good field of fire towards the east while Pope fell back to the lower part of this ridge after Durnford's withdrawal. At this stage the British were in a strong position and the Zulus were suffering heavy losses. Observers made mention of the humming and buzzing of the Zulus like a huge swarm of bees, while Zulu inDunas were doing their best to encourage the men. A sudden turn of fortunes came giving the Zulus the advantage. The reason for this has been hotly debated. The traditional view is that the supply of ammunition dried up, the firing ceased and the N.N.C. fled, allowing the Zulus to break through and surround the various companies. Modern researchers are of the opinion that there was no shortage of ammunition but that the British withdrew to the camp and as they did so the Zulus charged in amongst them. Whether lack of ammunition or the withdrawal of Durnford caused the retreat it was fatal. The Zulus saw their chance and rushed forward. The N.N.C. broke and led the flight to Fugitive's Drift and it is evident that the individual companies fought to the last with their bayonets, surrounded on all sides by the Zulus. Capt T. Shepstone was sent to the west face of the mountain to face the uDududu and the uNokenke but was overrun. Durnford himself rallied a group of about 70 including some of Pope's company in front of the wagon park. Both the inGobamakhasi and the uMbonambi attacked them and Mehlakazulu described how they held out until their ammunition was exhausted and the Zulus even flung their own dead on the bayonets to break the defence. A group also rallied in the left rear of the lst/24th tents and it seems that Pope and Lt F. Godwin-Austin tried to shoot their way out when this was overrun. Some survivors of the companies rallied just on the western side of the neck. Younghusband's company retreated under the shoulder of the mountain and held out on its south-eastern edge until the end."
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Tue May 01, 2012 10:15 pm

Dave. The "Shepstone" Mystery will never be solved. They had know where else to go. The same problem Captain Younghusband had. Salute
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Fri May 25, 2012 9:15 pm

Reading the account again it doesn't seen to make sence

"We were told that present during the fighting was a son of Somatsu "


Who would have told them that ? How did the Zulus know George Shepstone was at Isandhwana
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Mon May 28, 2012 7:25 am

Ive sent admin some photos to post of the west side of the mountain and Shepstones grave. There are actually around ten cairns, so he would have had a force of between 50 and 60 men with him. There is a trail of cairns leading from just below Younghusbands stand round to the graves. Ita conjecture as those cairns could really be anyone but it 'feels' like a retreat round the mountain slowly being killed of.
90th
I believe these are the photos you wanted.

Cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: Colonial Regts in the zulu war    Mon May 28, 2012 7:35 am

Hi Springbok.
Yes , you are indeed correct . Looking forward to Pete posting them. Thank you for taking the time to gather these for me . How is the trip going ? . Are you still away ? . All the best mate .
90th . Salute Salute
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Mon May 28, 2012 8:03 am

Greetings 90th
Got back yesterday.
Great trip saw everything I wanted to see from, Mangeni to the Missing 5 hours area. Spent hours walking the whole battlefield and the trail. Walked the Quabe valley, the notch and the whole attack route of the zulu.
Found some old ammunition near the rocky ridge area, photographed it then re interned it. I will post as I get round to it.
One things for sure, I dont believe the main Zulu army came out of the so called bivoak area area as fast as claimed, took me a bloody long time to climb that valley wall. Im pretty convinced of at least part of the missing five hours theory, not all of it though.
One thing none of the protagonists have mention is that both Lay up areas could be decribed as being the ngwebeni stream/valley, so potentially the truth could be a combination of the two
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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Mon May 28, 2012 11:17 am

Posted on behalf of forum member springbok.
photos of Shepstones grave.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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Photos by Springbok.





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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Mon May 28, 2012 7:09 pm

Thanks for the photos.

Durnfords biography states that Boast had to dig 30 graves at Shepstones stand each containing 2 to 4 bodies.

Also didn't Raw only loose about 30 men ?



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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: George Shepstone's Death   Tue May 29, 2012 12:23 am

Springbok.

Hello mate and welcome back.

Many thanks for sharing the photo's, and also many thanks to Pete for posting them.

These are great mate, you are a lucky chap being able to visit these places (I will have to move to S.A) :lol:

I would love to be able to visit these places, it must be a very moving experience (especially iSandlwana), I will have to start saving the pennies and try to get there one of these days to pay my respects.

Thanks again mate.

Martin. Salute
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Tue May 29, 2012 7:59 am

DB14 Look on Boasts map and you will see he has marked around thirty sites. They really are in a difficult place to get to, in rocky soil so its possible they were subject to a re burial. I could only find ten graves, one of which was unpainted and one or two loose piles of rocks that could possibly be old cairns.
Look on the view of the side of the mountain and you can see the difficult access. There is actually a notice banning people from that side of the hill and also climbing to the summit.

Martin

Martin your quite right I am fortunate. I generally go there every 18 months or so for a weekend but this time i spent a lot more time that let me walk the whole area rather than driving around. Hard on the old feet but well worth it.
Last Sunday I was sitting on the rocky ridge close to a cairn, badly damaged cairn, the weather was horrible, cold and miserable, I was looking along the line of retreat. It really is very very obvious. And you could almost picture what had happened. It was a very moving experience.
Ive taken a lot of interesting photos that will I hope answer a lot of questions, I will send of to Admin as and when I can.

A subject that cropped up not to long ago was exactly what did Hamilton Brown see? Ive taken photos from the ridgr of the camp and also used a 200mm lens to try and replicate his view through a telescope. He had one heck of a grandstand view

Cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: Colonial Regts in the zulu war    Tue May 29, 2012 8:08 am

Hi Springbok .
Thanks mate , very much appreciated . I know from several books that the vegetation has increased by nearly 90 %
since the day of the battle , would be interesting to see the same pictures without all the shrubbery . Again thanks very much for taking the time to post the photos I was keen to see . Wish I had of been there with you Suspect . Thanks also to you and your other half for sending the pages Very Happy , I have sent a return email to your wife echoing the same . You need to study mo You need to study mo . You are right they are a little difficult to read . :lol: . All the best
90th . Salute Salute
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Tue May 29, 2012 8:42 am

Springbok

I extensively explored that side of the mountain, and it appears there was a great deal more fighting on this side than meets the eye, especially on the scree slopes. I suggests Shepstone et al did a far more understated job in holding off the right wing of the Zulu assault, otherwise they'd be up and in the wagon park long before the main line was pushed back.
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There is alot of cartridge cases on that part of the slope, I found a hand full, but all those I saw were blank .45 and .303 from re-enactments /filming etc.

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Tue May 29, 2012 10:55 am

Hi Neil
Couldnt agree more. You will probably have noticed the lack of vegetation on the western face, major drought in the area at present. Chatting to Charles at the RD lodge, its first time he can recall the Buffalo not running.
Its also the first time Ive been able to see the western cairns from the aproach road. Ive asked Pete to post some photos of Fugitives Drift, standing in the middle of the drift looking downstream, there is no water.

The cartridge caps I found were down on the East at the Rocky Knoll as its now being refered to. Ill get Admin to post a photo of them.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Tue May 29, 2012 11:05 am

Incidently for the forum members if you look at the third photo down you will see Shiyane in the middle distance.

Neil

Forgot to mention the the Fugitives trail is now a joke. The bush has been cleared for a wide path . around 3 meters wide and theres so many arrows painted on the rocks its like being in the middle of town with one way street signs. Be clad we had the experience of yesteryear its gone now.

Cheers
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: George Shepstone's Death   Tue May 29, 2012 12:32 pm

Hi springbok.

Many thanks for the information, I look forward to seeing the other pictures, and echo 90th's remark about wishing I'd been there with you.

Sore feet eh! tell you what mate, the next time you go 'yomping about' take some compede or blist-eze with you, :lol:

Once again mate, many thanks for the information, much obliged.

Best regards.

Martin. Salute
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: George Shepstone's Death   Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:49 pm

Most say they were NNC but i have a few problems with that.

1. Wouldn't they have run at the first sight of the Zulus ? They did elsewhere on the field.

2. They would not have had enough firepower to stop the attack, only around 20 rifles per Coy and only
five rounds of ammo which they would have shot away in under a miniute.




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