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Zulu Dawn:Corporal Storey : [to the soldier next to him, referring to the ammunition] Soft 'eaded buggers these. Flatten out against the bone. Smash 'em out. Storey's mate: But bullets run out... and those bloody spears don 't.
 
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Surgeon-General SIR CHARLES MacDONAGH CUFFE, K.C.B., LL.D
Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 Cuffe-Surgeon-181x240Isandula Collection)
Black as Hell, Thick as Grass
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Mr Greaves

Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptySat Nov 26, 2011 10:59 pm

What do you have to say there not. Wink
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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptySat Nov 26, 2011 11:06 pm

Hi Mr Greaves

The Royal Engineers Museum Chatam

Isandlwna and the Durnford papers by Julain Whybra and David Jackson

Isandlwana by Adrain Greaves

Zulu the heroism and tragady of the Zulu war 1879 By Saul David

How the Zulus humbled the britsh empire by Adrain Greaves


Cheers
DB14
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Chard1879

Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptySun Nov 27, 2011 12:59 am

DB14, it's all speculation, if they had concrete evidence this whole issue of the orders would have been put to bed ages ago. I see Julian Whybra is going to publish text from Durnford's papers, not the original document. He claimes that they were are unreadable, yet he and Jackson seemed to have the ability to overcome this. At the end of the day Julian could just about write anything he wants we wouldn't know. Or is it the fact that because he quite well known within the circuls of the Zulu war, we are all supposed to say he's correct and he has solved the mystery of the missing orders. At the end of the day we all have to make our own minds up about what's being said. Your have listed certain individuals accounts. Can Julian, Adrian Greaves or Saul David prove without any doubt that the hand writing was that of Chelmsford, Crealock, Clery, to name but a few. For all we know Colenso or Edward Durnford could have wrote the order that now lays in the museum.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptySun Nov 27, 2011 8:35 am

Drummer boy
Greaves's book is wrong - FEC's initials are not on the envelope. They are on the letter sent to the Natal witness editor. It is simply an uncorrected error from his 2001 edition. It is simply not known who sent the docs to the Museum - it could be FEC or the editor.
CTSG et al.
I am tired of your foolishness. I am a historian. I look at what is before me and try to put it into context. I do not conspire. I have no axe to grind. I also find it rather rude of someone who does not know me to tell others what I am supposed to think and what I am saying. My personal belief is that all three men bear a share of the responsibility for the disaster at Isandhlwana. No-one is blameless. Chelmsford was unfortunate enough to survive and had to answer his critics and explain - that's why it is possible for there to be more emphasis on him. Never forget however that the primary cause of the disaster was the Zulu.
The Durnford Papers are real enough. Chelmsford's signature at the end of them is his. As usual those who are squealing loudest have least to squeal about. Crown documents can only be reproduced by permission of the Crown and I hope to secure this in the New Year for the reprint of my articles. In the meantime, treat yourself this Xmas; GO to Chatham and see them for yourself.
This is a discussion forum; it is not my task or wish to educate you. Do the reading; visit the archives; look at the primary sources. Make your points based on historical reasoning. If you can't be bothered, you have nothing to contribute, nothing to discuss, and your posts are worthless. Do not shout or abuse or bully because you can. You demean yourself. Argue constructively from the facts. If you have never learnt to do this yourself, then read others' posts, learn from them, and try to copy them.
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ADMIN

ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptySun Nov 27, 2011 8:58 am

And once again this topic as ground to a halt. This will be the 4 time this thread has been locked lock. But like always if someone has something new they would like to add, ( That has bearing on this discussion) drop me an PM.
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ADMIN

ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 2:06 pm

Requested to be unlocked by "Chard1879)
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Chard1879

Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 2:09 pm

Sorry to bring this up again!!!! But here we can clearly see that regardless of what we believe regarding the order. Clery it saying he was ordered by the General
“General first ordered me to write to Colonel Durnford, at Rorke's Drift, to bring his force to strengthen the camp” So regardless of what Crealock wrote the original order was to strengthen, not take command.


"1st Witness.— Major Clery states: I am Senior Staff Officer to the 3rd Column, commanded by Colonel Glyn, C.B., operating against the Zulus. The General commanding accompanied this Column from the time it crossed the border into Zululand.
On the 20th January, 1879, at the Camp, Isandlwana, Zululand, the Lieutenant-General commanding gave orders to Commandant Lonsdale and Major Dartnell to go out the following morning in a certain direction from the camp with their men, i.e., the Native Contingent, and the Police, and Volunteers, part of the 3rd Column. On the evening of the following day (the 21st) a message arrived from Major Dartnell that the enemy was in considerable force in his neighbourhood, and that he and Commandant Lonsdale would bivouac out that night. About 1.30 A.M., on the 22nd, a messenger brought me a note from Major Dartnell, to say that the enemy was in greater numbers than when he last reported, and that he did not think it prudent to attack them unless reinforced by two or three companies of the 24th Regiment. I took this note to Colonel Glyn, C.B., at once, he ordered me to take it on to the General. The General ordered the 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment, the Mounted Infantry, and four guns, to be under arms at once to march. This force marched out from camp as soon as there was light enough to see the road. The Natal Pioneers accompanied this column to clear the road. The General first ordered me to write to Colonel Durnford, at Rorke's Drift, to bring his force to strengthen the camp, but almost immediately afterwards he told Colonel Crealock that he (Colonel Crealock) was to write to Colonel Durnford these instructions, and not I. Before leaving the camp, I sent written instructions to Colonel Pulleine, 24th Regiment, to the following effect:—" You will be in command of the camp during the absence of Colonel Glyn; draw in (I speak- from memory) your camp, or your line of defence"—I am not certain which-"while the force is out: also draw in the line of your infantry outposts accordingly; but keep your cavalry vedettes still far advanced." I told him to have a wagon ready loaded with ammunition ready to follow the force going out at a moment's notice, if required. I went to Colonel Pulleine's tent just before leaving camp to ascertain that he had got these instructions, and I again repeated them verbally to him. To the best of my memory, I mentioned in the written instructions to Colonel Pulleine that Colonel Durnford had been written to to bring up his force to strengthen the camp. I saw the column out of camp and accompanied it."

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 2:45 pm

Chard
Unfortunatly we will never know if Clery was responding to pressure to exonerate Chelmsford.

The only issue would be then what was in Chelmsfords mind when he gave the original order.
Its highly possible that he did want Durnford to strengthen the camp. Unfortunatly the history is written and the order that was given to Durnford didnt actually say that.

I dont think it changes matters much on the Durnford is Capable debate, that Im afraid will still have to use the actual orders as the reference point.

Possibly a classic example of " Send three and fourpence Im going to a dance".

regards
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 3:29 pm

I quite agree springbok. All that is certain is that initially Chelmsford asked Clery to write to Durnford. Clery may have misunderstood Chelmsford or he was filling in the gaps himself by expressing the opinion that Durnford was to strengthen the camp. It doesn't matter because whatever Chelmsford wanted, he asked Crealock to wrote to Durnford instead and in that message nothing was written about taking command or strengthening the camp.
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Chard1879

Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 3:59 pm

Thanks for the repiles....

So can we assume that the evidence given by other relating to Durnford taking over command was done so, because that’s what would have been expected n the eyes of the Military?
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 4:02 pm

Basically, yes. Durnford was the senior officer. Command automatically fell to him while he was in camp. When he left the camp, command reverted to Pulleine.
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Chard1879

Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 4:10 pm

Julian. Was it really his place to leave and revert the camp back to Pulleine albeit take command or strengthen.
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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 5:23 pm

Even with Durnfords men i think the camp would have fallen.

850 men against 20,000???

Kambula nealry fell and they had twice as many men and defences.


Cheers
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 5:53 pm

Chard
It was his place to leave if he believed he had so been ordered.
Drummer boy
I do not believe the camp would have fallen if a defence had been properly planned for and prepared. Rorke's Drift, Kambula, Ulundi didn't fall. That said it WAS the first time the Zulus had ever met the British in combat so they would have stopped at nothing...who knows to what excesses their enthusiasm would have led them against even the hardiest of defences?
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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 5:55 pm

Bonsoir DB 14

Isandhlwana: 2040 Defenders Wink against 10 000 Zulus maximun Wink .

Kambula: 2098 Defenders Wink against 20 000 Zulus maximun Wink .

The difference is the entrenchments Wink , the Zulu took half of R D and ejected Cox infantrymen at Kambula and that their only success on entrenched troops Wink , so that non-entrenched troops triumph of Zulu, they must be more than what 5000 men as at Gingindlovu and Ulundi Wink ...

You recall the camp surrounded by a stone wall before Isandhlwana after the first skirmish, who had commanded great intelligence Wink ,this order Wink ?

If this had been done at Isandhlwana Wink ...

Cheers

Pascal
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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 6:00 pm

What do you mean 10,000 scratch

Some 600 defenders of Isandlwana where the NNC who didn't have a gun, so couldn't stop the Zulus.



Cheers
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 6:04 pm

Dont loose sight of the fact that although Durnford was the senior officer, he was commanding an independent column and therefore well within his rights to decline command of the camp and pursue what he deemed to be the correct course of action. He chose to leave the camp and protect his Commanding Officer froma perceived threat to his rear, Wrong or right choice? take your pick, it was however within Durnfords ambit to make the choice.
Consider a bit of what if,

What if Durnford had been right and the impis were in fact intent on attacking Chelmsford and not the camp. Durnfords intervention could have won the day.

The fickle finger of fate I think I once heard it called.

One other point, Most of the suviving officers commented on Durnford taking charge ( or variations to that theme) but were they all at the so called meeting in the tent? Could it well have been heresay ?

Essex in particular! What on earth would a transport officer be doing involved in a meeting between two Colonels?

Regards
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 6:09 pm

Pascal
Isandhlwana numbers were 2200 against 25000+.
Also I think you misunderstand 'entrenchments'. There were no earthworks or sangars at RD, just walls of sacks and boxes.
Ulundi was just a British square with ammo in the centre. That said, even against just this on 22nd Jany, who knows to what excesses the Zulus' enthusiasm would have led, given that it was the first time they had faced the British in combat?

Essex wasn't present in the tent - it was Cochrane.

I do not believe Durnford 'chose' to leave the camp. I believe that he saw it as lying within his orders, taken as a whole over the previous 3 days.
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tasker224

tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 6:42 pm

Don't forget also.
What every engagement with the Zulu subsequent to iSandlwana lacked, even RD which happened on the same day, was complacency.
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Chard1879

Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 6:59 pm

Quote :
It was his place to leave if he believed he had so been ordered.

Sorry Julian. Maybe I missing something. Who ordered Durnford to leave. Idea
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 10:32 pm

Hi Chard1879.
Nobody ordered Durnford to leave the camp , he took it upon himself to leave with his independent command as he most likely thought that the Good Lord was about to get steamrolled . I think it was the right thing to do as no-one in camp had any idea what
they were up against and he decided to do something about it . If he'd saved the Good Lord's backside from annihilation he would have been the toast of England for ever !. My only grievance with Durnford was the fate of the Rocket Battery , he virtually signed
their death warrant when he ordered them to follow him , why I dont know as they were on a hiding to nothing ! . To slow and couldnt
possibly protect themselves from a fast mobile enemy . Durnford should have realised this factor in my opinion . Suspect .
cheers 90th.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyMon Jan 09, 2012 11:07 pm

Getting a bit confused, Julian states that Durnford hand commard to Pulliene when he decided to leave.
What I' m struggling with is the fact that if Durnford was order to either take command or reinforce the camp at Isandlwana eitherway he was ordered to do one or the other. I can't see how he was at liberty to hand over commard to someone else when he received the order from an higher authority. I cannot see how he gave himself the right to leave even if it was to save Chelmsford. If Chelmsford's coloum had been wiped out no blame would have been past on to Durnford he may have lived to show the orders he had received. Also taking into account the numerous sighting between 05:00 hrs - 10:30 hrs this alone should have given him reason to stay.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 6:34 am

Chard Hi
Maybe I can help to un confuse.

Durnford when he arrived at isandlwana was senior officer. His orders from Chelmsford were unspecific in that there was no suggestion of taking command or re enforcing the camp.
He was the commander of an independent column and so had the freeedom to make his own decisions. One of those decisions was to inform Pullein that he, Durnford, would retain his independant column status and seek to protect Lord Chelmsfords rear.

The last intelligence Durnford and Pullein received was " the Zulus are withdrawing". This was one of the factors that lead to the suspicion that the impi was going after Chelmsford.

Accordingly Durnford informed Pullein that his course of action was to try and interceed between Chlemsford and the Zulu army.

As 90th says why the heck he decided to have the rocket battery tag along is one of the mysteries of the war. He had a fast moving column, was concerned that Chelmsfords flank was in danger, he needed to move fast. So why instruct the rocket battery to make its way through hostile territory with the flimsiest of support?

Hope that helps.

Regards
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 7:47 am

Hi Chard

Lord C told Major Cleary to order Durnford up to reinforce the camp, but then Crealock arrived not having heard the Reinforce bit and wrote it instead.

It was not Lord C intention for Durnford to Take command of the camp.

A good book on this is Zulu by Saul David or Zulu Victory.

His order where simply to march to this camp.

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 8:05 am

For Julian and DB14 ...

Call "retrench", a barrier built, capable of breaking the momentum of the Zulu warriors so they can remain a long time under fire, allowing charges to break their ...

That's what I meant ...

In terms of numbers of certain army in history, we will never know them, as when one is clever one takes the figures lower, so it is sure to be closer to the truth ....

Read the book of Rothwell, if not next year in 2013, 30 000 Zulu will be at Isandhlwana on this forum ...

The infantrymen of the NNC without guns are well worth their opponents, which are blue never fought, except in 1856 for some 23 years earlier ...

And should not overlook the dozens of civilians at Isandhlwana, which were always armed in one way or another ...

Five against one, in a battle in open country where defenders are not behind a barrier, the Zulus were numerous enough to win the battle of Isandhlwana, sorry ...

Without obstacles, it is 5000 men to fight the Zulu royal army in open country without barriers as at Gingindlovu and Ulundi, is proved by historical facts.

Cheers

Pascal
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 8:18 am

"His order where simply to march to this camp"

To do what?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 8:39 am

24th

Thats where it gets a bit wobbly. The orders state: " You are to march to this camp at once with all the force you have with you of No 2 column. Major Bengoughs battalion is to move to Rorkes Drift as ordered yesterday. 2nd 24th, Artillery and mounted men with the General and Colonel Glyn move of at once to attack a Zulu force about 10 miles distant."

No direct orders except to move to isandlwana.

Hence Durnfords freedom of command really.

Personally I have no doubt that Chelmsford wanted Durnford to stay at the camp, however Crealock didnt communicate that.

90th has a point that maybe Crealock didnt hear Chelsford passing the original order to Clery. But he must have been in ear shot to comment that Clery wasnt senior enough to issue an order to Durnford.

So maybe blame the debacle on Crealock........... hes been my patsy for years.

Regards

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 9:01 am

So, Chelmsford asked Durnford walking on the camp and do not tell him what for? (necessarily to strengthen it ...)

Durnford is the highest ranking at Isandhlwana, but he has no right to take command and thus innitiatives? (Chelmsford knew the differences in grades between Durnford and Pulleine, Pulleine should have received verbal instructions to curb Durnford)


Note that when a first company to the 24 th goes in front of Zulu (Company Cavaye) is on the order of Durnford ...First error of Durnford...

The only thing Pulleine was able to do is to prevent Durnford to bring with him the 24 th company to "rescue" Chelmsford.

In my opinion before leaving the camp, Chelmsford warned Pulleine that Durnford arrive in the camp and Durnford Should stick to the instructions left to Pulleine, it Should Be No Confusion Between Durnford and Pulleine ...

Anyway, it Durnford that precipitated the massacre ...

Cheers

Pascal
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 3:11 pm

Chard #1
I did not write that Durnford was “ordered to leave”.
I wrote “I do not believe Durnford 'chose' to leave the camp. I believe that he saw it as lying within his orders, taken as a whole over the previous 3 days” which is a very different thing.
The movement of the Rocket Battery must be seen in this light.
Chard #2
There was no formal handover of command from Durnford to Pulleine. It was automatic as soon as Durnford left the camp. Springbok is quite right when he writes “Durnford when he arrived at isandlwana was senior officer. His orders from Chelmsford were unspecific in that there was no suggestion of taking command or re enforcing the camp.” Durnford was neither ordered to take command nor to reinforce the camp at Isandhlwana. The order was simply “to march to this Camp”.
Drummer boy
Lord C told Major Cleary to order Durnford up to reinforce the camp, but then Crealock arrived not having heard the Reinforce bit and wrote it instead” is a little over-dramatised. Originally Clery was to have written to Durnford but Chelmsford preferred Crealock to do it instead and did so at Chelmsford’s dictation. Clery was not privy to Chelmsford’s instructions to Durnford and assumed Durnford was to reinforce the camp. Saul David’s book, I’m afraid, contains too many errors and he ignores too many primary sources. Lock & Quantrill’s book is good but is curiously vague in this very area of the Durnford message. Annoyingly, Knight also leaves things unsaid in this same area. Jackson (pp.19-20) confronts the issue head on and is at pains to clarify the situation.
Pascal #1
‘Retrench’ in a military sense is the same as the French ‘retrencher’ and means ‘to dig a trench with parapet or firing line’. It was never an option in Zululand. Indeed it only becomes current in the First World War and for a time in the Boer/Crimean Wars. Against natives it was not considered necessary.
Numbers as regards the Zulu at Isandhlwana are pretty much known within a thousand. Personally I would state with conviction that their numbers were 26,500+ (I rounded it down to 25,000 above). Rothwell’s figure, relies on contemporary hearsay and estimates and is grossly unreliable.
The esprit de corps of the NNC was not high against the Zulus (with the exception of the Zulu companies) although one in ten had a rifle and minimal training. Even so, their primary purpose was for scouting and picquet duty, not front-line service.
24th
Read Durnford’s three previous orders consecutively and you can answer your own question.
Springbok
Jackson, as above, clarifies the sequence of events.
Pascal#2
So, Chelmsford asked Durnford walking on the camp and do not tell him what for? (necessarily to strengthen it ...).” No, not necessarily.
Durnford is the highest ranking at Isandhlwana, but he has no right to take command and thus innitiatives?” He has every right. No question!
In my opinion before leaving the camp, Chelmsford warned Pulleine that Durnford arrive in the camp and Durnford Should stick to the instructions left to Pulleine, it Should Be No Confusion Between Durnford and Pulleine ...” Not if Durnford was of the opinion that he had his own orders to follow (in respect of his own troops) and not if the situation had changed sufficiently to warrant a change to Chelmsford’s orders (in respect of Pulleine’s trrops).

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 4:23 pm

Hi Julian

Pascal answer at # 1

When I say "retrench", I mean like a fence built of stone around the camp of Bashee, a low wall WAS Formed on the Exposed face of this camp !

I'm not making this!

Who gave this order intelligent?

Gives ROTHWELL its figure from the testimony of the Zulu veterans themselves , the Zulu are not liars, contrary to Chelmsford at the same time in his two pamphlets giving the kind of figure that you said ...

When the NNC, now it's impossible to ignore their presence since Thompson's book ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 4:34 pm

Hi Julian

Pascal answer to # 2

Yes we saw the result!

Durnford is the No. 1 responsibility of defeat ...

He shipments on 24 th in front of the Zulu, company by company and then wants to rescue Chelmsford who had certainly not given such instructions in the orders given to him, especially if the camp was attacked ...

Cheers

Pascal
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 4:53 pm

Pascal#2
Chelmsford's instructions and orders on 22nd and before need to be examined very carefully.
Pascal#1
Yes, a low wall was built but that is not a retrenchment or an entrenchment. It's difficult for you in English always to say what you mean and mean what you say. If it were a low wall that you meant then that was equally ridiculous for Isandhlwana. There was no time to build it on the 22nd, there wasn't the manpower. It was even ridiculous to build it on the 21st. As for its effectiveness against a Zulu charge, it would not have withstood one.
Re Rothwell, I'm sorry, his figure is wrong. I refer you to my 1988 June article 'Contemporary Sources and the Composition of the Main Zulu Impi, January 1879' published in the Journal of the Victorian Military Society, June, Issue 53 in which EVERY available Zulu source is listed. The Zulus are not liars, no, but they had a limited concept of numbering. Their expression of regiments' size in terms of numbers of amaviyo is far more reliable when gauging the impi's size.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 4:53 pm

Here is part of a letter that James Hamer wrote to his mother after the battle. It suggests that it was taken for granted that Durnford would take command of the camp. I've not got a copy of the original (at the Army museum in London) and the transcription I have is vague about the conclusion of the last sentence. Can anyone help here? Durnford gave Hamer a verbal message to deliver to Chelmsford so obviously had expected the general to be at Isandlwana. Any idea what that message would have been?


Copy of part of my sons’ letter (James Nathaniel HAMER, engaged in the Commissariat by Colonel DURNFORD)

I dined the night before in his tent with Colonel DURNFORD and (poor?) Captain Geo SHEPSTONE. We were then at Rorke’s Drift about 10 miles from the Isandlwana camp. The next morning Wed Jan 22, we had a dispatch from General Lord CHELMSFORD and Colonel DURNFORD sent for me to his tent. I had some breakfast with him, & he gave me a verbal message to Lord CHELMSFORD at camp. When I got there found the General had left the camp to attack the Zulus. About and hour after my arrival in camp, Col. DURNFORD arrived with his mounted native horse, the rest of the native contingency being some miles behind. The Zulus were then seen on the distant hills in small numbers (for an officer lent me his glass and I saw them myself). Colonel DURNFORD being superior officer took over command and orders from Colonel PULLEINE and of course has all the (....?).
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 5:06 pm

Yes I know that Julian

Zulu count their regimental numbers by number of companies and Chelmsford said in his pamphlet 60 ment by companies excep for the iNgobamakhosi regiment with companies of 70 men ...

I hope to know before I die, the number of companies in each zulu regiment in every battle for fun to calculate the total Zulu number after the two Gospel of Saint Chelmsford ...

Cheers

Pascal
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 5:14 pm

Well, being a Colonel, he would have been expected to have been able to to operate with a certain degree of initiative wouldn't he?

According to Hamer's letter, it would seem that he and Durnford weren't even aware that Chelmsford had left the camp by the morning of the 22nd, so it seems a little unfair to expect Durnford to ride into the camp a few hours later, find that Chelmsford had left and instantly realise that he was now the senior officer in camp, take control like a knight in shining armour (whilst Pulleine had been sitting on his arsenal all night), immediately begin to gather, assimilate and act on the known intelligence and then plan and organise the defeat of 20,000Zulus with a force of 2000 odd in an hour or two?
Am I being unreasonable?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 5:27 pm

Amberwitch
I know that letter well. It does NOT suggest that Durnford was supposed to take command of the camp (although any superior officer arriving in camp would have automatically taken command). It states post eventum as a fact that Durnford DID take over command - but we know that already from several other sources.
Nowhere is the content of Hamer's message recorded - not even Hamer's family has knowledge of it. Donald Morris told me that he saw an account by Hamer in the Killie Campbell which has long since proved untraceable. Morris couldn't recall its content but he said he thought he might have a copy of it in his papers in the attic which he was not willing to revisit. Well, he didn't revisit, then died, and God knows what's happened to his papers since then. But it's intriguing nevertheless. If any RSA forum members would like to undertake a search in the Killie Campbell, it might prove an interesting find.
Pascal
I can help you. It's been done. You will know before you die, which I hope is a long way off.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 6:22 pm

Given that Hamer was in such close proximity to Durnford I find it surprising that he wasn't required to give evidence in the subsequent enquiries. Was it because he was a civilian, or did the powers that be have their own agenda? Hamer was full of sympathy for Chelmsford in the letter so would have been unlikely to disparage the general.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 6:46 pm

He probably did give evidence in the Court of Inquiry but it was not separately recorded (along with much else). It is certainly true to say that an anecdote Hamer mentioned is recorded in a summary of survivors’ evidence collected by Mr. Longcast, Chelmsford’s interpreter, dated 6th February 1879.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 7:04 pm

Tasker is never unreasonable ... Wink
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 11:13 pm

Gents. All I'm trying to establish is exactly what orders was Col: Durnford issued with. We know that orders were issued. Smith-Dorrient himself says he was sent to RD to delivered them,which he did. Now I will hold my hands up. And say I am some what "confused" In past discussions we have debated wether or not the orders were to take, commard or reinforce, the camp. Now it appears it was none of these.

Julian/ SD/ Ken Gillings,David Payne.You are all well known authority's on the Zulu War 1879. Is it possible to get in laymens terms exactly what was Col: Durnford's roll at Isandwana on the day 22nd January 1879.

If we could establish that, without the he said she said , he was near by, he may have meant to say that by didn't mean that ect. I would fully appricate it.
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 11:23 pm

Hi Chard.
I'm fairly certain DB14 & others have posted the orders verbatim somewhere in this thread , have a read of them and make up your own mind .
Cheers 90th. Idea
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 11:31 pm

And what does that order state.
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 11:35 pm

Hi Chard .
Look through the thread and you'll find it . Idea
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyTue Jan 10, 2012 11:48 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyWed Jan 11, 2012 5:53 am

Hi Chard
Look back on this thread 1 page. I have written out the exact wording of the orders sent to Durnford.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyWed Jan 11, 2012 7:37 am

Anyway you could talk about 1000 years of Isandhlwana ...

It Durnford who commanded ...

It Durnford who did everything to accelerate the disaster ...

But he is not the head ...

It Chelmsford who had to account for such an attack ...

And the only chance the British had very small, it was a square with all the ammunition in the center, at the foot of Mount Isandhlwana ...

Cheers

Pascal
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyWed Jan 11, 2012 7:42 am

Chard this is his last order, he was told to move to Isandlwana camp, nothing else.

You are to march to this Camp at once with all the force you have with you of No 2 column – Major Bengough battalion is to move to Rorke’s Drift – as ordered yesterday.

2/24: artillery & mounted men with the General I Colonel Glyn move off at once to attack a Zulu force about 10 miles distant.
If Bengough battalion has crossed the River at Hands Kraal it is to move up here (Naugwane valley)



Also look at this letter by Crealock in 1886

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Cheers
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyWed Jan 11, 2012 8:40 am

Its this the order delivered by Smith.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyWed Jan 11, 2012 9:54 am

Hi 24th
Yes thats the order delivered on the morning of the 22nd by Smith Dorrien to Durnford at RD.

Regards


Last edited by springbok9 on Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.1   Durnford was he capable.1 - Page 11 EmptyWed Jan 11, 2012 10:24 am

The last order Durnford received was:
“You are to march to this Camp at once with all the force you have with you of No. 2 Column.
Major Bengough’s battalion is to move to Rorkes Drift as ordered yesterday.
2/24, artillery & mounted men with the General & Colonel Glyn move off at once to attack a Zulu force about 10 miles distant.
J.N.C.
If Bengough’s battalion has crossed the River at Ilands Kraal it is to move up here (Nangwane Valley).”
Therein lies the problem. Once you have completely taken in every nuance this message holds be prepared to read the penultimate message which, of course, has a bearing on this one.


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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