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Zulu Dawn:Col. Durnford: Sergeant, you're to ride back to Natal. When you see the Bishop tell him, that is, tell his daughter, that I was obliged to remain here with my infantry. Now go. God go with you. Sgt. Maj. Kambula: I leave God Jesus with you.
 
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 Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,

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impi

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PostSubject: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:06 am

After both battles had finshed, why were soldiers left at RD. they had no ammunition, RD had basicly been destroyed. In reality it was nothing more that a disease ridden hell hole. What was there to gain by staying there,
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:18 am

Impi

What do you mean they had no ammuntion ? The defenders and the men out with Chelmsford all had full pouches
full of ammuntion.
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90th

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PostSubject: Why were sodiers left at R.Drift .   Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:48 am

Hi DB.
I dont know why you think the defenders had any ammunition as they were down to their last box before they were relieved
by C'ford's men , and they themselves didnt engage the zulu retiring from R.Drift because they were also low on ammunition '
this is quoted by Harford among others . They certainly didnt pick up any ammo while they were camped at Isandlwana on the night of the 22nd .
Cheers 90th.

Impi.
They actually built another fortification closer to the river in March , it was named Fort Revenge by the men ; C'ford didnt feel comfortable with that name so it was renamed Fort Melvill after Teignmouth Melvill who was killed with Neville Coghill . It was constructed directly over the pool where the ponts were anchored.
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lucknow



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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:59 pm

Rorks Drift was still needed as a crossing point so needed a garrison to defend it and also a place to move up stores ready for a fresh attemped at invadeing zulu land.
The garrison would also be there to deter any potential zulu raids along the border.
Regards Gavin.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:37 pm

Don't forget the Supply depot at Helpmakaar,.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:15 pm

Was there not a case, where a waggon full of ammuntion was buried, and then they forgot where it was buried. Was this supply not on it's way to RD. maybe getting my wires crossed.
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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:57 am

90th

They had all been replenished before they were relieved, and according to Bourne they had 6 boxes left.




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90th

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PostSubject: Why were soldiers left at R,D   Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:55 am

Hi DB.
I dont see how they were all replenished I assume you mean those actual defenders at the drift ? . If Bourne is correct and not sure if he was , how long after the battle did he say there were 6 boxes remaining , if so 6 boxes by 600 per box is 3,600 rounds , divide that between 100 men and its only 36 rds per man ! . Hardly replenished in my eyes and of course dont forget C'ford's men who most certainly werent replenished with any rounds other than what they carried on their person , so replenished I certainly wouldnt call it that . Salute .
Cheers 90th.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:07 am

Hi 90th

Not sure where i read it but, someone said that in the morning all the men were topped up on ammo and
Bourne says at the end of the fight there was 6 boxes left, it was his job to give out the ammuntion, so Bourne
would be more aware how much ammuntion was left then Chard.

Chelmsfords men hadn hardly fired a round all day, so they still had 70 rounds on them.



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90th

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PostSubject: Why were soldiers left at RD.   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:18 am

Hi DB14
Do we know for fact that C'ford's force did have 70 rds ? . I think I'd like to see a primary source stating that fact before I believe it !. C'ford did leave orders for his reserve ammo to be placed on Mule Wagons or wagon so it could be send instantly if it was required !.
Cheers 90th. Salute
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:34 am

90th

The soldiers always carried 70 rounds.
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lucknow



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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:58 pm

As Helpmakaar was a supply depot would it not be the case for ammunition to be sent down the line to Rorks Drift along with any other supplies needed.
Regards Gavin.
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90th

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PostSubject: Why were soldiers left at R.D   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:17 pm

Hi Gavin.
That would have happened at some stage either much later that day or the next day , the ammo wouldnt have been sent till it was summoned for and that wouldnt have been to after the arrival of C'fords remaining force , not before .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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lucknow



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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:10 pm

Hi 90th,
i here what your saying and you know a lot more on the subject than i do !
My answer was more along the lines of the post needed holding becuase of its importance as a crossing point for the impirial forces and those coming the other way ie the zulu ! It was needed for stores and to show the people of natal that although there had been a set back they were still being defended, (How much comfort they felt from that im not shore ).
As for the ammunition the post was still to have a garrison so at some stage sooner rather than later it had to be replend with ammo.
So thats my take on why Rorks Drift needed to be held no matter how hard the conditions were for the garrison.
Regards Gavin.
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90th

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PostSubject: Why were Soldiers Left at R.D    Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:00 am

Hi Gavin .
I'm not disputing that RD needed to be held , if you see my earlier post I did mention the building of Fort Melville closer to the river , I was answering DB's comment in regard to his post stating that the troops were replenished with ammo . Clearly that wasnt the case ! . If there were only 6 boxes left as DB Stated , that is only 3,600 rds . Not going to go far with the 100 or so R.D defenders as well as all the troops with C'fords Column . C'ford's men only had 70 rds or less and there wasnt any ammo wagon with them when they arrived at R.D . In regard to Bourne's comment that there were six boxes left , that may have been so but once it was divided up among the defenders it may have left merely half a box which is what Chard says was the remaining ammo. Hope this makes sense !. Once C'ford and his force arrived at R.D there is no doubt ammunition was sent for from Helpmekaar and probably arrived with Spalding when he made his way back to the drift . Salute Salute
Cheers 90th. Salute
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lucknow



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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:24 pm

Hi 90th,
Thanks for the indepth answer, good debate .
Regards Gavin.
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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:51 pm

There was no need to have left anyone at RD. The Zulus didn't have to cross at RD they could have crossed anywhere they had wanted to. RD wasn't the only crossing point. It was our good friend Chelmsford’s way of showing all was not lost. And possibly the fact that John Dunn had told Cetshwayo, that if he drove the British out of Zululand to expect the consequences of reinforcements being sent. Plus RD should never have been attacked in the first place according to Cetshwayo.

I haven't seen any sources that stated there was ammunition being distributed to RD from Helpmekaar, before or after the Battle at RD. could be wrong but I can’t find any.
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90th

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PostSubject: Why were Soldiers left at R.D   Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:15 am

Hi Littlehand .
I cant remember reading of any ammunition being sent from Helpmekaar to RD either , but it certainly would've taken place when they sent other supplies there , as the place wasnt evacuated so supplies of all sorts would have made their way there at some stage AFTER the 23rd Jan .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:43 pm

Was there not some concern regarding the lack of ammuntion and man power at Helpmarker.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:30 am

LH

RD had most the supplies for the 3rd column, given that nearly all the waggons were lost at Isandlwana how
could they have been moved ?
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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:06 pm

Sorry DB. It might be me, but I not understanding what you are saying scratch
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:02 pm

DB. How could what be moved. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:21 am

He is saying that the supplies remaining at RD could not be moved because all the wagons were lost .
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:52 am

Thanks Gary, thats what i mean, it had taken months to buy and move all the supplies, there was no way they
could have moved all of them.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Why were soldiers left at Rorkes Drift,   Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:03 pm

What Supplies?
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