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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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 Pulliene and Melville relationship.

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sas1

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PostSubject: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:06 pm

It's seems to me Pulliene and Melville were quite close, had they served with each other prior to the Zulu War. Pulliene was quite happy to let Melville defend him when Durnford asked for a few Companies of the 24th, instead of reprimanding him for talking to a superior officer in that manner. Not sure how true it is that Melville was ordered to save the colours by Pulliene, if it is why was Melville selected.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:10 pm

Good question.
Are you implying that if they were close, Pulleine selected Melville in order that he be saved?
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:21 pm

Partly. I was thinking along the lines perhaps they may have been related in someway, or friends of the families back in England. Just a thought.
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:51 pm

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Source. COL. PULLEINE'S LAST WORDS.
Thames Advertiser, Volume XII, Issue 3328, 29 May 1879, Page 3


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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:58 pm

I think if it wasn't for Melville, Pulliene just may have given Durnford what he wanted, I believe Melville had more Millitary experience that Pulliene, so perhaps Pulliene kept Melville on side for that reason, but it does seem Pulliene kept Melville on side.
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90th

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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill relationship   Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:24 pm

Hi All .
I'm not completely sure but fairly certain , Melvill was a staff officer which is different to a line officer , his tasks would have been
with the headquarters staff in the command area , possibly this is the reason he was chosen , if indeed he was to save the Colours .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:58 pm

But it does appear Melville was an asset to Pulliene, especially when it came to telling Durnford where to go. No doubt an exprienced soldier who knew what could be done and what couldn't be done.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:41 pm

Ulundi wrote:
But it does appear Melville was an asset to Pulliene, especially when it came to telling Durnford where to go. No doubt an exprienced soldier who knew what could be done and what couldn't be done.

Quite right and as 90th mentions, one would imagine a staff officer would be more confident in doing saying this.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:05 pm

So he spoke up for Pulliene. Did he kill any Zulus, did he give guildence to his men, did he stay with his men when the heat was on. No!

Did he do a runner with the colours. Yes.
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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill   Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:56 am

Hi CTSG.
You cant really say what Melvill did or didnt do , he may have killed 20 zulu's , he may have been ordered by Pulleine to take the colours or he may not , you are only speculating like all of us , but he did die attempting to save the colours . I know its pedantic but Melvill '' didnt have any men of his own '' , he was a staff officer, not a line officer , he possibly did what he was supposed to do when all was lost and that's save the colours . Question
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:24 am

So where was the experienced Melvill's advice when Pulleine was making such elementary mistakes in the deployment of his troops. ,Could it have been that Melvill wasn't as good a soldier as reports make out, just jealously protective of his battalion's integrity.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:13 am

Wasnt Melvill the Adjutant? if so responsible for the colors?

Cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill Relationship    Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:45 am

Hi Littlehand .
Sorry my friend but you are missing the point , and looking on with the benefit of hindsight . Pulleine set the defensive perimeters as per Chelmesfords standing orders of Dec 1878 ! . I think you need to read the booklet , it is reproduced in Vol 5 of ' The Journal Of The Anglo Zulu War Historical Society ' . Or can be purchased quite often on ebay . I'll endevour to post a link from where it can be purchased .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:03 pm

Pulliene was ordered to dawn in his lines, not send them out as far has he did.
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90th

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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill relationship    Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:16 pm

Hi Littlehand .
Pulleine was in a no win situation due to the topography of the battlefield , he had to extend his lines from the camp to negate the effect of ' Dead Ground ', . I'm sure Springbok can explain this much better than me , basically if he drew his lines closer to the camp , the zulu had plenty of ground in which they wouldnt be exposed to the volley fire of the troops and therefore could utilise the terrain to cover their advances toward the camp . Hope this makes sense .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:18 pm

90th he was ordered to pull his lines in. You can't say he followed Chelmsfords orders, he didn't. People tend to use the excuse, Pulliene was only following orders when it suits them to prove a point. We all know if he had done has he was order the firing line Compaines may have just got back to the camp allowing them time to resupply and form new firing lines.
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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill relationship   Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:05 am

Hi Littlehand .
This is the point , He didnt follow any direct orders from Chelmesford because he didnt leave any . He set the perimeter defence as per the orders issued in the Dec 1878 booklet . Clery / Crealock issued the orders , as for drawing in the lines have you seen a picture of the camp layout ? . They the troops , had to be that far from the back of the mountain because of the tented area which spread a fair way onto the plain , then as I've said about the dead ground , he had no choice but to move his force forward as insrtucted in the booklet , because if he didnt they couldnt see the zulus in front of them . I've mentioned this before , there is a village in front of the tented area and if you are standing in the area where the tents were , you CANT see the village because of the dead ground !. This is what confronted
Pulleine and the others . I'm not saying Pulleine isnt to blame , he is just one of several who should share in it !!. Unfortunately there were many contributing factors which all combined meant nothing could save the camp , it's Fate was sealed from possibly the moment it was chosen as the site , which in itself , ironically , just happened to be the best place due to the availability of Wood & Water etc etc . Persisting as you are with '' He was told to pull his lines in '' means you are as one dimensional as poor old Pulleine has been branded ! Salute .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melville Relationship    Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:13 am

Hi Littlehand .
Forgot to mention regarding as you say if they got back to the camp area and set up new firing lines etc etc , they were taken from the rear as well , without the tents being struck no one had any idea the zulus had come from behind them , Curling mentions this as he falls back on the camp ,' ' the camp was already in the hands of the zulus ''. So new firing positions are a moot point .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:03 am

But if they has been closer to the tents, they would have had more time strike the tents, or at lease sent some men back to do it....
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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill relationship   Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:42 am

Hi Dave .
If they were closer to the tents the soldiers rate of fire would've been less , as I said - from the tents you would lose the zulu in the dead ground . A village on the plain cant be seen from where the tents were erected !! . Thousands could be hidden there and the result would've been decided quicker , once they emerged en masse and rushed the lines near the tents . I think Pulleine possibly wasnt worried about the tents as the reports came in , he was more concerned setting up his defensive perimeter when it became apparant he was in for a fight !.
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:19 am

The tents were totally irrelevant to the Battle wether they were up or down. The reason for striking the tents as been explained. it was a form of signalling to let other know there were problems. The fact LH and Springbok had showed that Milne observed the camp prior to anything happening gave them reason not to be concerned.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:48 pm

I have never understood this tent striking being used as a distress signal. Hundreds of tents.

Why would they not have used a simpler and quicker communication signal, such as a flag of some kind run up the flagpole? Don't want to give too much credit to the Royal Navy, but a flag up would have been faster than dropping hundreds and hundreds of tents wouldn't it?

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90th

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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill Relationship   Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:15 pm

Hi Tasker .
The Tents being struck had a 3 point exercise , Clear fields of fire , entanglement and a Distress signal . The way in which the 1st invasion of zululand was handled , I'm afraid your idea of a ' Flag up a Pole ' may not of been of any use , as I'm sure someone would have left it at Helpmekaar !!. :lol:
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:12 pm

Yes, sounds about right!
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:57 pm

Quote :
entanglement & Clear fields of fire.
Of course you would have to be behind the tents, for the entanglement to work. No good being 800 yards in front of them.

Quote :
Distress signal
And of course no good if an order had been issued to pack-up camp.
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90th

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PostSubject: Pulleine & Melvill Relationship   Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:25 pm

Hi Littlehand .
Dont shoot the messenger , I'm only trying to explain what was expected to happen when on Campaign in the year 1879 !. Salute
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:19 am

Of course 90th wallet could have been used as a trip hazard. Combine that with entanglement. Could have quite easily have been a British Victory.. Salute
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90th

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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill relationship    Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:35 am

:lol: Hi Chard.
I would've left it at Helpmekaar , to heavy to cart around the Veldt !. :lol:
Cheers 90th. Very Happy
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:16 pm

90th wrote:
:lol: Hi Chard.
I would've left it at Helpmekaar , to heavy to cart around the Veldt !. :lol:
Cheers 90th. Very Happy


With a small detachment of soldiers to guard the said wallet of course! :lol:
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90th

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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill Relationship   Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:33 am

Ahhhh , my Dear Tasker , a company..... No less my good man !. Shocked :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Tue May 28, 2013 9:15 pm

old historian2 wrote:
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Source. COL. PULLEINE'S LAST WORDS.
Thames Advertiser, Volume XII, Issue 3328, 29 May 1879, Page 3

Pulleine says. Lt Meville, " You and the Senior Lt Will take the Colours" Who was Senior Lt?



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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Tue May 28, 2013 10:01 pm

The actual order from Col Pulleine to Lt Melvill (note spelling of name) from the Published History of the 24th was:

"You, as senior subaltern, will take the colour, and make your way from here."

Note also only one 'Colour'.

French Artist de Neuville got it wrong by giving his painting the title 'Saving the Queen's Colours' - and almost every modern battlefield guide in KZN today quotes 'Queen's Colours'.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Thu May 30, 2013 3:59 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Wasnt Melvill the Adjutant? if so responsible for the colors?

Amazing how succinctly answering a question (correctly!) is almost invariably ignored...and somebody just changes the topic. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:22 pm

Who heard Colonel Pulleine say those words? (It does not appear to say in the article).

I didn't think that there were any survivors from Isandhlwana who escaped at the same time Melville did when he left with the colours.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:33 pm

Kopie, there's some discussion here on that subject.

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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:09 pm

kopie wrote:
Who heard Colonel Pulleine say those words? (It does not appear to say in the article).

I didn't think that there were any survivors from Isandhlwana who escaped at the same time Melville did when he left with the colours.

Correct it didn't happen... Victorian Melodrma. Doesn't up-set the cilivian's at their breakfast.

"I am sorry that both of these officers were not killed with their men at Isandlwana instead of where they were. I don't like the idea of officers escaping on horseback when their men on foot are killed. Heroes have been made of men like Melvill and Coghill, who, taking advantage of their having horses, bolted from the scene of the action to save their lives, it is monstrous making heroes of those who saved or attempted to save their lives by bolting or of those who, shut up in buildings at Rorke's Drift, could not bolt, and fought like rats for their lives which they could not otherwise save" agree
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:04 pm

impi wrote:
Correct it didn't happen... Victorian Melodrma.

While I share your skepticism you can't say definitively that it DIDN'T happen either. If Melvill had tossed the colour away the moment it became awkward, I would have more confidence you are right. But survivors witnessed him carrying the colour and his body was found not all that far from where the staff ended in the river...so it's possible that life was imitating art and the melodrama actually did play out...including the wooden dialogue.

Also, we can't possibly know what Pulleine's last words were because we don't know how he died and whoever did actually hear them most likely died with him after passing the baton.

We do know who reported the earlier dialogue with Pulleine, Melvill and Durnford...
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:08 pm

Agreed he was seen with colours. But the question was, did Pulleine order him to save the colours?
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:15 pm

Thanks impi and 6pdr, that was the point I was trying to make, perhaps not very clearly.
I have no doubts about Melville's bravery in saving the colours.
But how do we know Pulleine ordered him to do so (or do we not know this)?
My understanding is that Melville was a man of great initiative.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:19 pm

Of course the colours are there for the purpose of rallying the men, when needed. Not to be used as an excuse to ride off the battlefield.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:26 pm

impi wrote:
Of course the colours are there for the purpose of rallying the men, when needed. Not to be used as an excuse to ride off the battlefield.

What are you saying?!?! Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:31 pm

This covers my thoughts.

""I am sorry that both of these officers were not killed with their men at Isandlwana instead of where they were. I don't like the idea of officers escaping on horseback when their men on foot are killed. Heroes have been made of men like Melvill and Coghill, who, taking advantage of their having horses, bolted from the scene of the action to save their lives, it is monstrous making heroes of those who saved or attempted to save their lives by bolting or of those who, shut up in buildings at Rorke's Drift, could not bolt, and fought like rats for their lives which they could not otherwise save"
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:43 pm

Was it not Wolsely who said this? Quite an opinion!!! He didn't seem to have a good word to say about anyone!
Surely Melville could have ditched the colours the moment he left the main battlefield, or given them to some other guy to carry, if he only wanted to use them as an excuse for doing a runner. The colours would have only slowed him down. He took the colours all the way to the river, a stones throw from safety and he probably drowned in the river trying to hang on to them.
I would have probably used the colours as an excuse to escape, but I feel officers in Victorian times were made of much sterner stuff (than the likes of me today) and would have done the thing that they thought was right, with little regard to their own safety or risk.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:56 pm

Quote :
Surely Melville could have ditched the colours the moment he left the main battlefield

The colours were his excuse, if he had made it to safety, he would have the evidence with him. Who would doubt him, when he states he was ordered to save the colours.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:11 pm

So can we say Coghill used Melville as an excuse to leave the battlefield. Question
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:39 pm

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
So can we say Coghill used Melville as an excuse to leave the battlefield. Question

Not really, as Coghill left before Melville?
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:48 pm

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90th

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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill relationship    Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:38 am

Impi think about what you said in regard to Melvill only using the colours as an excuse to escape . He could quite easily have dumped them long before the river saying he lost them on the way , I doubt if anyone would've doubted him except of course Wolseley , he didnt have to many kind words for most of the people he came into contact with . You must remember the Colours werent like the flags you see held up at sporting events , they were cumbersome ( unwieldly ) and damn heavy ! . Believe what you wish but an open mind is I think the better way to have an opinion .
90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Pulliene and Melville relationship.   Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:58 am

90th wrote:

He could quite easily have dumped them long before the river saying he lost them on the way , I doubt if anyone would've doubted him except of course Wolseley.

Yes, I agree.
Melville could (and perhaps should, as it would have been more prudent) taken a moment and stowed them on the way - unless of course he never got the opportunity if he had been hotly pursued all the way to the Buffalo river.
By actually carrying the cumbersome colours in to the swollen river, he put them and himself at even greater risk. If he'd hidden the colours behind a rock, they could have been retrieved after the battle and Melville and Coghill MIGHT have mede it across the buffalo to safety.
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PostSubject: Pulleine and Melvill relationship    Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:09 am

Hi Kopie .
Agreed , but obviously that didnt enter his or for that matter their minds . They did actually make it across the river and did manage to get a fair distance from the river . There has always been speculation that Melvill and Coghill were killed by zulu's living on the Natal side of the river , these zulus it seems were told to kill them by the zulu's on the other side of the river , if they didnt comply with the zulu army , they themselves would be attacked and killed , so It seems they ( M & C ) were destined to not survive the battle .
Cheers 90th.
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