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Film Zulu Dawn:Lt. Col. Pulleine: His Lordship is of the cetain opinion that it's far too difficult an approach to be chosen by the Zulu command.Col. Durnford: Yes, well... difficulty never deterred a Zulu commander.
 
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 Pulleine was he capable ?

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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu May 03, 2012 1:21 pm


Not wishing to cause any disrespect, but was Pulleine capable of commanding at Isandhlwautf?

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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable?   Thu May 03, 2012 11:48 pm

Hi Pascal

I think that Col Pulleine was a good, brave and honourable officer and gentleman, however, due to his previous administrive work, I feel that he was the wrong person to have been left in temporary command at iSandlwana. Yes, he stuck to the orders left by Chelmsford, but when the circumstances altered, he was rather inept, and did not try to do very much about the situation that had been developing for hours. I also don't mean any disrespect by saying 'inept', as I have always had a little sympathy for Col Pulleine, perhaps a better word to use would have been 'foolish', rather than 'inept'. Maybe if he had had more experience as a line officer, rather than in administrive work, he might have realised sooner that something was afoot, and attempted to form some better defences for the camp.

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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable    Fri May 04, 2012 12:52 am

Hi Martin .
I think inept & Foolish may have been a tad harsh . Rigid springs to mind , along with one of my favourites ' Complacent / Complacency depending on the context in use .
Which could account for several poor decisions made during the 1st Invasion in my humble opinion . Salute
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Fri May 04, 2012 7:37 am

Like the rest of the senior officers he was guilty of one serious crime. Underestimating his opponent.

Didnt he make the comment to the effect of calling himself a fool for opening fire to soon and that he should have allowed the Zulu to charge and give them a thrashing?

The only officer that seemed to be able to see the threat was Melvill, making a comment about the position of the camp on the 21st when he suggested the zulus would charge straight through the camp.

But as much as his background and training would allow, yes he was capable.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Fri May 04, 2012 7:46 am

Course he was capable, he followed orders, first from Cleary and second from Chelmdford.

Up till Durnford arrived all the troops were consentrated, and not spread out, if the camp came under threat
a firing line would be close in on the camp.

It is Durnford who made the troops scatter.



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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable    Fri May 04, 2012 7:51 am

Hi DB.
I dont think Durnford was to blame for setting up the firing line a mile from camp !!!. Where is the source stating Durnford trotted the troops out to their firing line positions Question . Pulleine set the defensive measures to Chelmesford's orders , or he himself sent the troops to their positions a mile from camp to negate the dead ground - which is in front of the camp .
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Fri May 04, 2012 7:53 am

He told Pulleine he would expect his help if he got in trouble, there for Pulleine couldn't keep his men close
in on the camp as they couldn't help Durnford from there.



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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable    Fri May 04, 2012 8:00 am

Hi DB.
Sorry Sam I dont agree . I've never heard or read anywhere that Durnford issued the order for the troops to be so far out from camp ! . As I said Pulleine sent them there because of the dead ground in front of the camp . The whole zulu army could more or less close virtually on the camp by being hidden in the ' Dead Ground ' which faced the Tented camp .
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Fri May 04, 2012 8:03 am

Hi all

Yes it's true, I saw this in the book written by Patton on the 24th
"Melvill, making a comment about the position of the camp on the 21st When He Suggested the Zulu Would charging straight through the camp."

This guy had the tactical sense, ah, if he had ordered at Isandhlwana, maybe ...

Made with officers as Durnford , the garrison of the camp was condemned ...

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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Fri May 04, 2012 8:16 am

90th / DB

Hi Guys.
Let me put something into context. The firing line was not a mile from camp. Look at the various forum phots that have been posted. The camp was huge, bloody huge. The tents ran down for quite a couple of hundred metres. In width it stretched from the Koppie to the edge of the mountain. The firing line started from the edge of the mountain and ran down no more than 100 metres from the tent line down to the rocky ridge and across to the donga.
So while the end of that line was a long way from the ammunition, it wasnt a long way from the tents or the temporary parade ground.

Durnfords donger is a mile from the camp on its right front.

So when Pulleines orders where to defend the camp he did just that, lined his troops up to face the perceived threat on the edge of the tented area. The approx firing line is the present day road. the tent line behind that.

If the two of you are refering ( troops far out from Camp ) to the two troops sent onto the ridge. Thats still an ongoing issue. Julian/Jackson maintain that Essex told Chelmsford that Durnford ordered the first troop out and Pulleine the second. Thats still a bone of contention, personaly i believe Pulleine was responsible for both troops going onto the ridge.

Cheers Guys.

PS See 90th, if you jumped on a plane you could be here for the 16th and enjoy a tour of the battlefields with me.
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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable    Fri May 04, 2012 8:36 am

Hi Springbok.
My bad , I had a look at Anstey's map which he completed in Nov 1879 , it appears the firing line was more like 800 odd yards from the camp ? . I think I was getting confused as there is talk it was a mile round trip for the ammo carriers to make it out there and back .
Cheers 90th.

PS. Salute . I will be away the week of the 12th - 17th hopefully in sunny Queensland . Shocked . Think I'd rather be at Isandhlwana. :lol: . Better post this before the Missus see's it . Sad Sad Sad .
Cheers 90th Salute


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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Fri May 04, 2012 8:41 am

The garrison of the camp was condemned with or without Pulleine Salute ...
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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable    Fri May 04, 2012 5:00 pm

Hi Springbok .
Just read an unexpected surprise I will have the full 7 pages of the Brickhill account posted shortly . Salute
Brickhill says and I quote '' the infantry arranged in lines in the rear , about a MILE from the nearest camp ''. You will see this for yourself when you read his account . I know I said initially they were a mile from the camp but I did think I'd got it incorrect !. A friend has emailed it to me as I have no clue I'll send it to Graves who will hopefully post it for us / Impi .
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Fri May 04, 2012 10:05 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
and attempted to form some better defences for the camp.

Given the camp streched for over a mile, and Pulleine had orders to defend every inch of it, what
defences would cover that distence ?



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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable?   Sat May 05, 2012 9:55 am

Hi DB

If you look back to 'The missing five hours' thread in March, you will find your answer there.

If you remember, we discussed about this back then, and the topic was joined by a number of fellow members of the forum, including springbok, 90th, and littlehand, who all made some good suggestions regarding the defences.

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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 10:06 am

Hi all

I you want more, Pulleine was capable? Yes or no?

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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 10:07 am

Mr Cooper

This was the suggestion.


Mr M. Cooper wrote:
Like I said earlier, there were rocky outcrops and dongas that could have been fortified by the wagons and carts to form various sorts of smaller laagers and redoubts, etc, and the cattle, stores, ammo, etc, could have been placed within these, and could then have been defended by the various companies.

Given there were only 7 Coys of the 24th and the whole camp had to be defended, how could the front and rear of the camp be covered if, Coys were looking after cattle in laagers, remember 7 Coys only just defended the front.

Curling and officers of the 24th had previously seen large bodies of Natives in other wars, and they proved to
be harmless, or if they did attack, they were beaten in a few volleys.

Also Pulleine wanted the Zulus to attack, everyone, Durnford, Gosset ect, believed they could beat the Zulus hands
down.

Pulleine followed orders that day, he can't be blamed for following orders, he also couldn't disobay them.


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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 1:46 pm

To really explore this you need to ask the question: What was Pulleine expected to do, what were his orders?

Answer, defend the camp !

It was impossible, even with Chelmsfords force combined to surround the camp. Difficult to imagine the sie of tht camp reall because contemporary photos just show a big field. But that field was the camp. I would estimate a force 6 to 7 times the combined column strength would be needed to establish a perimeter.

Pulleine therefore did what he could, anchored the end of his line on the rock and faced the threat coming from the North. What he didnt take into account was the zulu tactic, pretty damned stupid really as they all knew howw the zulu fought.

The only chance those troops had was to ignore orders completely and leave the camp and defend themselves.

And one can imagine how cross the General would have been if he got back and found his troops all cowered in a huddle with no camp left.

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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 2:04 pm

90th
Thanks for the post of Brickhills statement, theres a hang of a lot in there to think about. But firstly the 'Mile' from camp he talks about for the troops can only, because of the sequence, refer to Cavaye and co on the ridge.

Whats so compelling about that statement though is his reference to melvill and where he actually fell of his horse, literally as he was getting out of the river on the Natal Bank. Proves Ken Gillings point made some time back that the Coffin Rock has moved quite significantly to its present location.

Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 5:34 pm

In hind-sight. Pulliene was obeying hs orders. "Defend" the camp.

Durnford however was told to move to the camp. That was it. Nothing else.
It which case he should have been under the Commarnd of Pulliene. Instead he may Pulliene's decision hard.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 6:48 pm

springbok9 wrote:
To really explore this you need to ask the question: What was Pulleine expected to do, what were his orders?

Answer, defend the camp !

It was impossible, even with Chelmsfords force combined to surround the camp. Difficult to imagine the sie of tht camp reall because contemporary photos just show a big field. But that field was the camp. I would estimate a force 6 to 7 times the combined column strength would be needed to establish a perimeter.

Pulleine therefore did what he could, anchored the end of his line on the rock and faced the threat coming from the North. What he didnt take into account was the zulu tactic, pretty damned stupid really as they all knew howw the zulu fought.

The only chance those troops had was to ignore orders completely and leave the camp and defend themselves.

And one can imagine how cross the General would have been if he got back and found his troops all cowered in a huddle with no camp left.

Regards
Completely agree. Even a standard army camp without any elaborate defences takes an "eternity" to set up; that's at least my experience and I've yet to see those supersoldiers who are able to make a laager (let alone in an already existing camp) from scratch in a couple of hours.

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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 7:44 pm

Looking at Brickhill's accounts posted by forum member 1879Graves. On page 2

Brickhill's says " Col: Pulleine who thoroughly complex as to what to do"

Also interesting to note that " Gardner advised him to disobey the Generals orders.

Which by reading some of the historic discussion as been recommended before. As a new member let me know if I'm not making sense..
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 9:30 pm

Quote :
Quote :
Col: Pulleine who thoroughly complex as to what
to do.
Those with Pulliene that day seems to have noticed he had a problem with the situation. Gardner even had the sense to see that the generals orders should be disregarded in view of the situation.


Which gives thought to CTSG favourite quote.

"When a column is acting SEPARATELY in an enemy's country I am quite ready to give its commander every latitude, and would certainly expect him to disobey any orders he might receive from me, if information which he obtained showed that it would be injurious to the interests of the column under his command"
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 9:38 pm

Hi John

Pulleine did not know about that pharse, as it was only sent in a private message to Durnford on the 13th
of January.


Also pulleine had told Chelsmford the camp was under threat from a large force of Zulus, he was prebebly expecting reinforments to be on there way, not to strike the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 9:53 pm

I wonder if Gardner did.

The messages he sent would not have given Chelmsford cause for concern.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sat May 05, 2012 11:29 pm

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
Pulleine did not know about that pharse, [...]
He doesn't need to. The whole concept of having officers in an army and their training is centered around enabling them to act on their own. They are supposed to find solutions (within reason) to complex emerging problems which their superiors can't possibly foresee when they give their orders.
It's actually rather strange that Chelmsford felt the need to specifically adress Durnford in this way.
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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable    Sun May 06, 2012 6:08 am

Hi All .
I suppose we could argue this forever with the benefit of hindsight , but certainly the Good Lord Chelmesford thought him
to be so !. Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Sun May 06, 2012 4:15 pm

Listening to Rob Caskie talk. Link posted by Litlehand. Rob makes quite a good point when referring to Pulliene regarding him being admin staff and as he puts it a pen pusher. Rob says he was probably selected because of his admin skills and that he would be the man when it came to making an inventory of equipment needed and being moved up country. Either way Chelmsford made the wrong choice.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Mon May 07, 2012 7:38 am

Rob Caskie is one hell of a nice guy and a good orator, but dont forget he is an entertainer not a historian. His mentor was of course the best in the business, the late David Rattray.

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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Mon May 07, 2012 11:51 am

But good to see Rob Caskie thinks the same way as we do.

PS: some of us do.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:06 pm

Alas, ah if Pulleine had been alone, to control, without interference, Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:32 pm

Perhaps they should have worked together. Two officers from different regiments. Both in the same boat, and couldn't work out the best form of defence.One obeying orders, the other disobeying. The one order to defend the camp was binding on both.

RD is the best exsample. Two officers working together, One Officer of Engineers. The other an Officer of the 24th.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:36 pm

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
One obeying orders, the other disobeying. The one order to defend the camp was binding on both.

Durnford followed his orders from the 19th and according to the one on the 14th, you all ways post he could disobay an order if he felt he needed to.

Pulleine was told to defend the camp and Chelsmford told him specifically how to providing a document
called Orders to Column Commanders, which Pulleine followed and lost the battle.

Which one of them disobayed an order ?


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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:52 pm

it is only a question of interference between Pulleine and Durnford, if one (Pulleine) had commanded no troops would go outside the camp, and each time an infantry company or cavalry troop is leaving the camp , this was a very big mistake and it is not Pulleine who ordered it ...
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:14 pm

Quote :
Durnford followed his orders from the 19th and according to the one on the 14th, you all ways post he could disobay an order if he felt he needed to.

DB. I think you have reached you limit on this subject. Your repeating the same old hash!! He received another order on the 22nd. If you want to keep believing he was following Pre-orders that that fine. But you won't go beyond the 19th.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:36 pm

The new order told him to go to the camp, not remain there, and not take command, and not to reinforce.



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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:10 pm

It didn't tell him to send scouts to the hills, It didn't tell him to deploy companies of the 24th. It didn't tell him to take command. It didn't tell him to use Compaines of the 24th to support his retreat.
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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:17 pm

Hi DB.

Spot on.

The order of the 22nd instructed him to move up to the camp at iSandlwana.

This would be so that he could be closer to support Chelmsford, re: his orders of the 19th. If there was any change to these orders of the 19th, then Durnford would expect to find them in the care of Pulleine at the camp. Chelmsford did not leave any further orders for Durnford at the camp, so as far as Durnford was concerned, the orders of the 19th were the ones that he was to follow.

Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:34 pm

I still say it was a Welsh Regiment, that fought at Rorkes Drift.
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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:44 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Nice one LH.

And I suppose that the 'Flying Scotsman' was actually a bloke with wings, wearing a kilt and carrying a bottle of scotch. :lol:

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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:06 pm

Quote :
I still say it was a Welsh Regiment, that fought at Rorkes Drift.

Sorry! Am I missing something. That's common knowledge..
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:14 pm

They were Welsh, They wouldn't make a film Zulu showing they were Welsh if they wasn't.
Happy to be corrected.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:56 pm

They were a British regiment, up until the 19th Jan.
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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable    Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:58 pm

Ulundi
scratch Question . Are you being flippant as well :lol:
90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:25 pm

Quote :
"" Colonel Miles placed Captain Barter and his force under command of Major Durnford, who was taken aside by the Lieutenant-Governor and told not to fire the first shot ..... Contrary to orders (Durnford's) the Carbineers had loaded their rations and some ammo on pack-horses instead of carrying these necessities themselves. ..... The head of Bushman's River Pass was reached 24 hours behind schedule ....
[ Durnford's horse slipped and consequently Durnford suffered from a dislocated shoulder, two broken ribs and lacerations.] ....
But with iron will and indomitable courage he insisted on pressing on with his Basutos and 32 Carbineers out of his original 55. Mindful of his orders not to fire the first shot, Durnford relied on parleying. The Carbineers became increasingly nervous, and their own senior officer, Captain Barter, reported to Durnford that he could no longer rely on his men.The apprehension of the Carbineers was aggrevated by the vociferous expression of fear by one of their NCOs, Sgt. Clark. When Durnford sensed that his men were on the point of breaking, he called dramatically, ' Will no one stand by me?' "
The rest is history, and in my view, and others, the Carbineers, failed to distinguish themselves in glory, and yes, there was a hate campaign against Durnford, for no troops like having their valour questioned.
But the Carbineers more than atoned at Isandlwna.
Durnford never reported 'sick,' following the Langalibalele affair. On November 17 he commanded a force of 60 men of the 70th Regiment, 30 Basutos and 400 Natal Natives, re-climbed the pass to bury the dead.In a letter home, referring to one of the slain foe, he wrote, " I took his weapons and raised a cairn above his grave. In future days his friends will see that one Englishman, at least, can respect a brave man, even though he had a black skin."
Durnford's never tried to defend himself public, but again in a letter home wrote, " I am at present the best hated man in the colony. My crowning fault is that I have branded a portion of their volunteers with cowardice. Of course, I could have made a glorious despatch, but it would not have been true."
General Cunynghame, GOC British troops Southern Africa, summary was as follows:
" It is fair to observe upon the steadiness and bravery of Major Durnford, regarding which the volunteers gave ample testimony ..... Shaken, almost paralysed by a fall with his horse ....he never shrank from his duty, and , although severely wounded in two places, he used his utmost exertions to rally the retiring troops."

A better known Zulu War Historian / Author. One who writes with respect.
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:33 pm

Wood's speech from "From Midshipman to Field Marshal"


"Yet surely no greater proof of devoted steadiness was ever given than that shown by the Natal Carabiniers on the 22nd of January 1879. Imagine a gentle slope up which is storming a restless, surging wave of encircling black bodies, which, though constantly smitten by leaden hail, breaks but to sweep on again with renewed force. Imagine a crowd of terrified non-combatants, and friendly Natives, flying through the already burning camp, and pressing on to the rapidly narrowing outlet over the fatal Nek.

Then there comes on the scene a one-armed man, who, having slowly fallen back before the ever-increasing foe, is now determined to die. 'Save yourself, as for me I shall remain.' He thus dismisses the Staff officer, and H'Lubi's black soldiers, who urge the great chief to retreat with them.

Recognizing his commanding courage, around him gather some 20 similar spirits, who, nobly disdaining death, resolve to cover the retreat of the guns, or die with them.

That melancholy field of Isandwhlana is a Record of what Colonists did, in Silence and Death, but none the less a living record now and forever. In the place where Durnford fell there was a heap of slain ; the enemy lay thick about him, but your sons were close, and the brave hearts of the best of your fighting men ceased to beat, in the effort to shelter their elected heroic leader. He himself was fully worthy of their devotion, and history will narrate how the ring of dead White men that encircled him, formed a halo round his, and their, renown." [i]
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:46 pm

Great posts Admin.

It gives the Durnford bashers something to mull over, however, like I said in an earlier post, no matter how many light bulbs you try to switch on, they will still refuse to see the light.

Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulleine was he capable ?   Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:24 am

Admin.. With all due respect, are you not here to observe. Your opinion of the Good Lord Chelmsford is well known on the web. So I feel it would be unfair for you to contribute, as it could persuade others to see your points of view, base on your status (Admin) as I said no disrespect intended. I'm also guessing you know the source of my information, and I know there was bad blood between you, and if I'm not mistaken, one of the issues forced him to leave a certain site. The same issue is being debated by us now, so you can see, how it would be unfair if you participate. Better to let us learn by our own mistakes, I'm sure other members will agree, for once. Salute
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90th

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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable    Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:50 am

CTSG .
I cant believe your lasp post , '' Admin is here to observe '' !! . Please , we are all here to find the facts . As for you being worried it may disuade others from your point of view to another !!! Are you serious ! . The whole idea , if you dont get the meaning of this forum , is to get to the truth or as close as we can get to it . For you to be worried Admins posts may disuade others to a different point of view , where is the harm in that ! . To me it shows you are not to convinced on your own arguements if your worried what may be posted may change other minds . Why is better to learn from your mistakes when the truth is out there !. No historian of any note would blinker themselves from information which is known not to agree with their own . If your happy to continue bashing Durnford , Fine , but what Admin has posted may make others sit up and take notice . I think Admin has done the right thing , he's found some primary evidence and used it !. Otherwiswe what is the use of the Forum ????.
All that is owed the dead is the truth ! .
Cheers 90th.

ps . If you were joking , well done , you got me a treat !. If you werent well the post stands .
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Pulleine was he capable?   Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:00 am

Watch out 90th, you may get rebuked as being "just a colonial". :lol:
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