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 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th

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AHB1872



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PostSubject: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:00 pm

Hello All,

My name is David Kirk and I work at A H Baldwin & Sons in London as the ODM specialist. I've had some luck lately whilst researching particular medals, and I just thought I'd share them here where people have a passion for it, like myself. I found a very informative and truly saddening newspaper article relating to the above casualty, from Sheffield:

.....................................................................................
The Sheffield Daily Telegraph, March 22nd, 1879

A Sheffield Soldier Killed at Isandula

When the 24th Regiment was stationed at Sheffield Barracks in 1868, a young man named Samuel Walker, a file cutter, enlisted “to shun bad campanions.” He was then only twenty years of age, and it was the hope of himself, as well as of his father and mother and friends, that after ten years’ service he would return to them hale and hearty, and “firmed” in his life habits by the rigid discipline of the army. His father, Mr. Samuel Walker, who lives as 24, Bine Bay Street (not fully clear), has been over twenty-two years in the employment of Messrs. Kenyon and Co., for which firm his son also worked. When the news of the slaughter at Isandula reached this country, Mr. and Mrs. Walker were deeply concerned for the fate of their son, whose term of service expired in June last. They were in daily expectation of hearing that he had been discharged, and was on his way home; but owing to the state of affairs at the Cape, his services had been required for the extra two years imposed in the event of any military emergency. The last letter received from him was addressed to a relative as follows:-


“East London, South Africa, June 11th, 1878. Dear Bill, - I now take the opportunity of writing these few lines hoping they will find you in good health, as thank God, it leaves me at present. I should have wrote to yon before, but we have been in parts of the country where we could not get anything only what we were allowed by Government. Pens, ink, and paper we could not get for any price, but now the scene has changed from fighting to sleeping, we have just come into this place and a good thing too, after been kicked about to long, Bill, ever since we put foot on shore we were bundled off to the Front – and until now we have had a rough time of it, but I am glad to tell you the worst is over. I have had a smell of Powder and Bullets but got through it all right – we have pelt the Kaffir Head Chiefs out of mess and they have just caught Kreli and Sandilli but they give us some trouble. Long marches, no beds for nights together, all for hunting these Kaffirs like hares in the bush they don’t fight out openly, all bush fighting and the devil can’t get them out only by starvation, and we have managed it al last: and for it I hear they in England has promised us a bit of ribbon, and we have to wait for the medal. Government is very good to her warriors: but I don’t care so long as I gets good health, which I am glad to tell you. I have enjoyed at present, and I hope it will continue. I expect by the time you get this I shall be off to Natal. The Zulus is going to tackle us, 40,000 of them, and all tough ones, they say. Living here is very dear, beer is 1s a pot, butter 2s 10d a lb; therefore I can’t bank much. And now I will close, hoping you will remember me kindly to all, and with best wishes to yourself and Mrs. and family.

“From No. 2038 Private S Walker,
G Company, 2/24th Regiment,
East London, South Africa

P.S Best love to father and all.”


Mr. Walker, immediately after the intelligence of the disaster to Colonel Pulleine’s column, wrote to the War Office to ascertain the fate of his son, and a day or two ago the following official intimation was received:-


“War Office, 17th March, 1879.

“Mr Thomas Walker.

“In reply to your application, I regret to have to inform you that from the list of casualties received at this office it appears that Private Samuel Walker, of 2/24th Foot, was killed in an engagement which occurred on the 22nd last.

“Ralph Thompson.”


The sad news, as may well be expected, has deeply affected the father, mother and friends of the poor young fellow who died with his companions so gallantly on the fatal field of Isandula.
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PostSubject: Re: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:47 pm

David,

Thank you for posting Private Samuel Walker’s letter, and the accompanying War Office notice of his death. This is the type of information that helps get an understanding of what the individual soldier went through, as well as his thoughts at the time.

Keep up the good work. I look forward to your future postings. If you have any similar letters from any navy men or marines from the Zulu War I would love to see them.


Petty Officer Tom
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AHB1872



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PostSubject: Re: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:54 pm

Dear P.O. Tom,

Delighted to share with like-minded folks. The other example I managed to find relates to an NMP member, Francis Louis Secretan, NMP:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Can't imagine I'll get lucky like this again for a good while, or even ever, but if I do I'll post it right away.

Kindest regards,

David

P.S. thanks to you all for contributing to this wonderful resource - one that I have only recently come across.
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PostSubject: Re: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:53 pm

Bravo David, well done indeed.

It is interesting to read that, "The Zulus is going to tackle us, 40,000 of them, and all tough ones, they say."

This by a private soldier before the battle, whilst running on another thread on here at the moment some are still of the opinion that Pulleine and others at the camp were not expecting to be attacked by large numbers of Zulus!
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PostSubject: 2038 Private Samuel Walker , G Co. 2 / 24th    Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:53 pm

Hi David .
I agree with the others who have posted previously , very well done in sharing these with us .

Tasker .
Obviously 40,000 is a hugely inflated figure , which put into context is closer to the numbers of all the zulu nation . As you have been in the Queens service you are no doubt aware that an enemy put at double their combat strength sounds far more menacing than the actual number which may be involved ?. There is little doubt the British didnt have any clue as to what proportion of the zulu army they would encounter . Walker also states '' All for hunting these Kaffirs like hares in the bush , they dont fight out openly , all bush fighting and the devil cant get them out only by starvation '' . This was Chelmesford's main fear , that the zulu would not attack his force and therefore they wouldnt be defeated soundly in a one off battle facing the superior firepower of the M.H etc etc . . Hope this makes sense . Salute
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:11 am

"The war began in January 1879: Cetewayo had forces estimated to number around 40,000 men, all of which were extremely mobile. Lieutenant-General Lord Chelmsford was placed in charge of the British forces, which he organised into five separate columns, of which the 13th formed part of the number 4 column, based at Utrecht. The aim of the campaign was to secure Natal and the Transvaal from invasion. An ultimatum was delivered to Cetewayo, which upon expiry on 11 January 1879, led to the invasion of Zululand by columns 1, 3 and 4, with the other two columns remaining in defence"


Quote :
This was Chelmesford's main fear , that the zulu would not attack his force and therefore they wouldnt be defeated soundly in a one off battle facing the superior firepower of the M.H etc etc

By in hinesight, he wouldn't know if they were going to attack or not.
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PostSubject: Private Samuel Walker , G Co 2 / 24th    Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:22 am

Hi Impi .
?? , Your point being ?? . scratch .That is what I've said , Chelmesford didnt expect to be attacked and certainly not by the numbers involved , read Walker '' We cant get them to fight openly '' .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:39 pm

I would be very interested to know exactly, what Chelmsford was expecting. They had the intelligence to know, what they were up against. John Dunn who had been friends with the king since boy hood, would have known the number the king had under him. And going by the the recommendation in Chelmsfords liitle book posted in another thread, he knew only to well what he was up against.

"20) The British Troops must be told to expect an attack upon them by numbers very far in excess of their own and they must be cautioned not to fire until ordered"
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PostSubject: Re: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:35 pm

90th, if Chelmsford didn't think he would be attacked, then he SHOULD have! (Not shouting, just emphasising the word).

Know your enemy!

And that is what it boiled down to really, isn't it? Lack of knowledge on his enemy, complacency, arrogance, words we've all heard and used before in this.
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PostSubject: Private Samuel Walker 2038 , G Co.   Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:31 pm

Hi Tasker .
Agreed !. I think ' Noggs ' actually says something along those lines to Crealock in zulu dawn ! Very Happy . Crealock's reply something like '' If we were fighting a European enemy it'd be different '' . Certainly because of their experience with the other tribes it seems they thought the zulu would be the same to much extent . Shocked
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:55 pm

Quote :
I think ' Noggs ' actually says something along those lines

:lol: He didn't say that at all , not even along those lines :lol:

So I wouldn't take overly comfort from that, because if Pulliene sinks, your sink with him 90th Salute
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PostSubject: Private Samuel Walker 2038 G. Co 2 / 24th   Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:03 am

Hi Littlehand.
Actually I'm correct ! , in reply to tasker '' Know your enemy '' . Noggs does say to Crealock '' Had it drummed into my thick skull that a good commander never willingly splits his forces .... especially in an enemy's country before knowing their dispositions '' . Crealock replies '' Ah yes ......... If we were facing a european enemy armed with guns , I think your point would hold Noggs '' .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:07 am

That's from the film Zulu Dawn, never seen anything to suggest that conversation really took place...
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PostSubject: Private Samuel Walker 2038 G Co 2 / 24th    Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:35 am

Hi Impi .
I'm well aware its from zulu dawn , I did say that two posts ago !! , it's an attemp at humour in reply to Taskers post about ' Know you enemy '
I'm sure the conversation didnt take place in the real world . Salute
Cheers 90th. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:09 pm

90th wrote:
Hi Impi .
I'm well aware its from zulu dawn , I did say that two posts ago !! , it's an attemp at humour in reply to Taskers post about ' Know you enemy '
I'm sure the conversation didnt take place in the real world . Salute
Cheers 90th. Very Happy


However, a conversation along those lines might well have happened in real life.
I am sure that the idea of not splitting one's forces in an enemy's territory would have been basic and standard army practice back in 1879.
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PostSubject: Re: 2038 Private Samuel Walker, G Company, 2/24th   Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:24 pm

NORRIS-NEWMAN
Crealock, old fella. I'm doing notes for my dispatch and I need to clear up a few military points... I don't want to bother His Lordship. Had it drummed into my thick skull that a good commander never willingly splits his force, especially in an enemy's country, before knowing their dispositions.

COL. CREALOCK
Ah yes, if we were facing a European enemy armed with guns I think your point would hold, Noggs. Further may I remind you, I do not make the strategies you wish to comment on. I am only His Lordship's secretary.

NORRIS-NEWMAN
I wouldn't take overly comfort from that, Crealock old fella, because if he sinks, then you sink with him."
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