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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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 Durnford was he capable.2

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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:03 pm

The navy used boys or powder monkeys on ships to run around supplying the powder.
One would imagine the QM had his own little band of boys, musicians and other camp extranumeraries to run around with the ammo during a battle. They would know who they were!
The soldiers were each carrying 70 rounds each to begin with.
I doubt that the British army in the 1800s had ever run in to a situation previously where so much ammo needed to be distributed so quickly, least of all against a "native army" so iSandlwana and the ammo supply problems would have been unprecedented, hence no protocols to be found.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:16 pm

tasker224 wrote:
I doubt that the British army in the 1800s had ever run in to a situation previously where so much ammo needed to be distributed so quickly, least of all against a "native army" so iSandlwana and the ammo supply problems would have been unprecedented, hence no protocols to be found.

As far as I can tell that's true. What one reads in the accounts again and again is that in the line companies the Lieutenants simply sent back personnel to retrieve ammunition when it looked to be running short. Durnford did the same. Smith-Dorrien has his account and his boss, Essex (who had trained soldiers in riflery) talks about loading the mule cart. It's not clear what happened to it, to the best of my recollection. But it is notable that there is no discussion anywhere about the SYSTEM for distributing ammo breaking down, maybe because there was no expectation such a thing would exist. When your men ran low, you simply sent somebody back to retrieve some from the quartermaster. I guess that had worked well enough in the past.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:18 pm

Rorkes Drift. Read some of the defenders accounts, how the ammunition was distributed to various locations to enable constant supply.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:23 pm

I reckon that is about right 6pdr.
iSandlwana was a first, in so many respects.
Us lot looking back with the "benefit of hindsight" (I wouldn't mind a pound for every time that phrase appears on the forum) can see a lot of things that we would have done differently, had we been in Puleine's position- IF we had known what was going to happen! scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:25 pm

littlehand wrote:
Rorkes Drift. Read some of the defenders accounts, how the ammunition was distributed to various locations to enable constant supply.

Have done, but have forgotton. Will get back to the books this evening!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:36 pm

Remembering that RD wasn't fortified in any way, until they received the news the camp had been lost. So very little time to prepair.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:51 pm

littlehand wrote:
Rorkes Drift. Read some of the defenders accounts, how the ammunition was distributed to various locations to enable constant supply.

Given the difference in the relative size of the terrain being held, and also that Bromhead/Chard were bunkering down for an expected onslaught, I don't think such a comparison is particularly relevant. The men at Rorke's Drift KNEW they were going to be heavily outnumbered, surrounded and cut off from any immediate support, so they had to be in it for the long haul. Credit their foresight, but don't work backward along the timeline.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:56 pm

The attack on iSandlwana was not wholly unexpected either.
Zulus had been spotted in large numbers in the hills to the North of the camp since 7am.
B Coy at RD either put a system in place or it was ad hoc.
LH ain't saying!
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:13 pm

Quote :
The attack on iSandlwana was not wholly unexpected either.
Zulus had been spotted in large numbers in the hills to the North of the camp since 7am.
B Coy at RD either put a system in place or it was ad hoc.
LH ain't saying!

"This wholly unexpected thing", it's a bit of a bugbear with me.
I except TMFH. And as I have said before, until someone can come up with a counter-argument, using primary sources and maps as the authors of TMFH have done I will not change my mind. There was plenty of enermy activity, precautionary measures could have been put in place at the early stages.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:36 pm

tasker224 wrote:
The attack on iSandlwana was not wholly unexpected either.

AN attack was expected, maybe, but certainly not an assault of the magnitude that ensued.

I'm highly suspicious about Pulleine too. I ask myself what might have happened had Pulleine been at RD and Bromhead at iSandlwana instead? Don't trouble to answer that hypothetical.but I would ask these questions...

Didn't the men at iSandlwana want to survive every bit as much as the men at Rorke's Drift? Weren't they more or less the same quality soldiers? Is it really rocket science to refuse a flank when it looks like the enemy will turn it? Do you need to be a brain surgeon to build fieldworks around a position that is the most defensible in the area (including stone walls!) when the wrath of the heavens is hastening down on you?

Leadership matters. A breakdown in command can definitely turn the tide of battle. But most of the officers, NCOs and enlisted men at iSandlwana were old hands. Why would they not have been as smart as the men at RD if they had any inkling that they were about to be surrounded? Chelmsford and Pulleine could certainly have been more alert, but I think we should assume the men serving under them behaved as they were trained to do under the circumstances...and it simply wasn't enough due to the magnitude of the hole they were in.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:03 pm

Quote :
Didn't the men at iSandlwana want to survive every bit as much as the men at Rorke's Drift?

Very much so. But under the command of two bungling officers, they had no choice but to die.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:57 pm

Some good points all round, but at the end of the day, I don't think it matters if Durnford or Pulleine had been in charge of the camp. I don't think it matters if Durnford had stayed in camp to reinforce it, or whether he took the action he did.
The attack on iSandlwana was a massive shock attack and I don't think there is anything that P and/or D could have done. Even if they had worked as efficiently together as B and Ch did, they were never going to win. I still think that the final score at the end of the 22nd-23rd January 1879 battles would have still been, 1-1.
Can't deny it - as 6pdr points out - RD did have one or two features that enabled a superior tactical advantage to the camp at iSandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:01 pm

If the men had been deployed correct, with enough ammuntion, it would have been a different story. I believe it was Ian Knight who stated, if my memory serves me right 6 well aimed volleys they could have completely wiped out the Zulu army.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:23 pm

littlehand wrote:
I believe it was Ian Knight who stated, if my memory serves me right 6 well aimed volleys they could have completely wiped out the Zulu army.

Not the Ian Knight I read...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:53 pm

littlehand wrote:
If the men had been deployed correct, with enough ammuntion, it would have been a different story. I believe it was Ian Knight who stated, if my memory serves me right 6 well aimed volleys they could have completely wiped out the Zulu army.

You really think so, LH? I beg to differ.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:59 pm

littlehand wrote:
...6 well aimed volleys they could have completely wiped out the Zulu army.

Let's dtm. We start with ~ 25,000 Zulu. Now, let's assume ~1000 rifles left in camp X 6 volleys at 100% hit rate...so that's -6000. It seems to me we'd have 19,000 very scared Zulu still on the battlefield...but, um, 100% hit rate is a tad optimistic.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:05 pm

How about 1000 rifles, each soldier carrying 70 rounds each. 70 000 shots.
Assuming each shot is aimed at a different Zulu warrior to who the guy next door is aiming at, and an impossibly optimistic kill rate of 1 out of 3 shots, that still leaves a couple of thousand angry Zulus to contend with, so let's hope that the ammo re-supply problems are not too great.


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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:14 pm

Quote :
I believe it was Ian Knight who stated, if my memory serves me right 6 well aimed volleys they could have completely wiped out the Zulu army.

LH, it was 35 well aimed volleys. And it was said by Ian Knight, his artical is somewhere on the forum.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:17 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:43 pm

John wrote:
Quote :
I believe it was Ian Knight who stated, if my memory serves me right 6 well aimed volleys they could have completely wiped out the Zulu army.

LH, it was 35 well aimed volleys. And it was said by Ian Knight, his artical is somewhere on the forum.

cheers john sounds a bit more realistic.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:49 pm

Thanks John Salute

By spacing out his soldiers, Pulleine hoped that each man fired and killed a Zulu. Certainly Zulus dropped here and there; what was lost was an attitude-changing opportunity,the effect of mass fire-power. Assuming the soldiers were in two ranks and that their total number in each company was about eighty - forty Zulus would be dropped at each volley, in close proximity of the other advaning Zulu's. Volley fire would have been the most effective to ensure that a very visible and attitude-changing mass destruction was present.  We know that the Zulus in the centre formation were so shocked and frightened by the effects of Wardell's and Porteous's companies, that they fell to the ground and hid in a hollow for a while until talked into continuing their advance. But, crucially, there were gaps in the wall of lead. The effect on Zulu morale might have been achieved had they been killed forty at a time in very visible heaps. 
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:54 pm

Quote :
,the effect of mass fire-power
That certainly was the case at RD.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:36 pm

John wrote:
Quote :
,the effect of mass fire-power
That certainly was the case at RD.

Didn't stop the Zulus attacking though, wave after wave, hour after hour.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:40 pm

The defenders at RD fought off attack after attack, seventeen of their number being killed, but killing about 350 Zulus and when Chelmsford's column arrived, the garrison then dispatched the Zulu wounded, making their fatal casualty total over 800. This statistics give some credibility to the concept, i suggested above, of massing available fire-power; the Zulus at Rorke's Drift were killed in heaps, not ones and twos, because the defenders were not spread out, unlike the men at Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:09 am

tasker224 wrote:

Didn't stop the Zulus attacking though, wave after wave, hour after hour.

I saw a movie about that...so it must be true.
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:31 am

Littlehand .
I may be wrong but I think you'll find the total number of zulus buried was 351 not 800 !. You seem to forget RD was only a small area not much bigger than a tennis court or two for most of the battle , also they had the luxury of an elevated forified position at part of the defensive wall , and with such a small area they were able to concentrate their firepower to good effect . This couldnt have been done at Isandlwana .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:37 am

90th I think your way off target with your number..
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable .   Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:55 am

Hi Impi
According to Ian Knight from Zulu Rising , '' Chard counted 351 Bodies buried in the mass grave , but these were the bodies taken from close around the mission and later admitted , including those found dead where they had crawled , sometimes a long way off , the figure was much higher . All in all it seems that something like 600 were killed . One thing is for certain Impi , we'll never know the exact amount of those killed or wounded on the zulu side in any of the battles , it may be a case of near enough is close enough !.
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:22 am

There are other accounts even some from the defenders themselves, who said there was a lot more than reported.

It would have been a very poor show, if 139 men with rifles only down 351 over a 15hr period.
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PostSubject: Enemy dead at Rorke's Drift   Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:06 am

Hi Impi,
90th is correct, The official count of the dead at RD was 351,.... BUT, those were only the dead buried by the troops , and not those who were carried away by their comrades , or crawled away and succumbed elsewhere. For many years after the battle human remains were being found in isolated spots around that battlefield. It is my belief that the real head count was more likely three times the official number with many more maimed or incapacitated for life. That MH bullet did terrible damage to human tissue even if the wound inflicted was not initialy a fatal one.
Now, there was some splendid shooting in this battle by a handful of marksmen who were detailed to the elevated tower of mielie bags in the centre of the RD fortification. They were taking down enemy some hundreds of metres behind the enemy lines, which unnnerved the Zulus considerably.

regards,

barry


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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:45 am

The Zulu threw a lot of their dead into the river, which would have been washed away. It will never be known just how many died. But as I said a very poor show if that is the offical kill rate.
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:32 am

Impi.
I'm sure you've read the info on here over the last couple of years regarding the kill rates , I think there is an actual thread . If you read the number of zulus killed in the battles , you'll notice the actual body count is low in regard to zulu dead per Ammunition spent . The most glaring instance is probably Isandlwana , there were nearly a 1,000 armed men there , and at best they may have killed only 1800 or so , quite possibly a lot less . Its very difficult to hit a moving target with your Adrenalin flowing , dealing with an Obstructed field of fire regarding smoke , enemy concealment etc etc . Check the search box and you'll find the thread .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:04 pm

Absolutely no one can give an accurate count of how many Zulus were killed and Rorkes Drift. As Impi says many were dumped in the river, take into account the number of Zulus killed during the night fighting. How many dead bodies were were carried off in the hours of darkness.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:26 pm

Extract from Bournes account.

"In his dispatch afterwards, Lord Chelmsford said: 'To our intense relief the waving of hats was seen from the hastily erected entrenchments, and information soon reached me that the garrison...had for twelve hours made the most gallant resistance I have ever heard of against the determined attack of some 3,000 Zulu's, 350 of whose dead bodies surrounded the post.' Our losses were 17 killed and 9 wounded. Theirs 351 killed that we buried. Their wounded must have been 400 to 500, which they removed under the cover of night.

Extract from Chards report to Queen Vctoria.

"On the day following, we buried 351 bodies of the enemy in graves not far from the Comissarriat Buildings - many bodies were since discovered and buried, and when I was sick at Ladysmith one of our Sergeants, who came down there invalided from Rorke's Drift, where he had been employed in the construction of Fort Melvill, told me that many Zulu bodies were found in the caves and among the rocks, a long distance from the Mission house, when getting stone for that fort. As in my report, I underestimated the number we killed, so I believe I also underestimated the number of the enemy that attacked us, and from what I have since learned I believe the Zulus must have numbered at least 4,000"
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:25 pm

Is it possible tab LC was a bit cauious towards Durnford, as Durnford along with the Colenos were sympathisers toward the Zulus cause. Would he have not been a constant concern to LC.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:46 am

Certainly a good reason, to keep an eye on him...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:34 am

Ray63 wrote:
Is it possible tab LC was a bit cauious towards Durnford, as Durnford along with the Colenos were sympathisers toward the Zulus cause. Would he have not been a constant concern to LC.

Absolutely not. What do you thing the "Zulu cause" was, anyway?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:15 am

Quote :
Absolutely not. What do you thing the "Zulu cause" was, anyway?

6pd. Why do you think the Coleno's were against the Zulu War.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:32 am

Ray63 wrote:
Is it possible tab LC was a bit cauious towards Durnford, as Durnford along with the Colenos were sympathisers toward the Zulus cause. Would he have not been a constant concern to LC.

Durnford was an honourable man by all accounts I have read and would have and indeed did, put his duty before personal feelings.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:36 am

John wrote:
Quote :
I believe it was Ian Knight who stated, if my memory serves me right 6 well aimed volleys they could have completely wiped out the Zulu army.

LH, it was 35 well aimed volleys. And it was said by Ian Knight, his artical is somewhere on the forum.

According to Ian Knight, the approximate ratio of rounds fired to enemy killed or incapacitated in the late Victorian era, was 50:1.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:41 am

Private Jobbins. Says we killed at least 450.

Harry Lugg, "states there was some of the best shooting at 450 yards that I have ever seen"

Quite a distance from the barricades, god knows how many Zulus were carried off. But most of the dread counted after the battle was in close proximity or in the compound of RD. Hooks report claimes 351 perhaps his account has been used by the authors, but their are plenty more that state otherwise. I believe 800 to be a more accurate figure.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:44 pm

[quote=6pd. Why do you think the Coleno's were against the Zulu War. [/quote]

I'm not sure but Bishop Colenso, if that's who you mean, was a cleric. Anthony Durnford, the topic of this discussion, was a Royal Engineer who raised auxiliary forces for the Crown and died fighting with them at iSandlwana. No reputable historian has ever claimed that Chelmsford (or anybody else) ever had slightest doubt as to his loyalty to the British Army. So Dave, what is it that you imagine he was fighting for?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:22 pm

"Durnford spent more than 20 years in routine peace-time postings. In 1854, he had married, but the relationship had crumpled under the impact of the deaths of two children in infancy. Only with a posting to the Cape garrison at the beginning of 1872 did his prospects improve. Durnford enjoyed both the country and the diverse societies he encountered there, developing a sympathy for African peoples rare among British officials at the time."
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:35 pm

Ulundi wrote:
"Durnford enjoyed both the country and the diverse societies he encountered there, developing a sympathy for African peoples rare among British officials at the time."

I fail to see any indication whatsoever in the statement that his loyalty to the Crown or the British Army was in any way compromised. Moreover, had he not developed "a sympathy for the African peoples" then he could not have raised the mounted units that fought so effectively at iSandlwana. Be explicit. What is it you are implying?
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:13 pm

Col Durnford's loyalty to both the Crown and the British Army are clear for all to see (or should that be read). He raised auxilary forces for the Crown, and the forces he raised were all very proud to serve with him. He was well respected by both military and non military figures, he was an honourable man who cared for the men that served with him, and he had a sympathy for the African people. He was scapegoated for the loss at iSandlwana and his name was blackened, but there were others who saw through it all, and knew where the guilt lay. His funeral was attended by many, many people, he was a well respected, brave, gallant and honourable officer, and did not deserve the web of deception and lies that were spun about him to detract the blame form others.
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barry

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PostSubject: Col Anthony Durnford   Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:40 pm


Hi Martin.

Hear hear,....and a very brave man and a loyal subject!

regards

barry
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:42 pm

tasker224 wrote:
[According to Ian Knight, the approximate ratio of rounds fired to enemy killed or incapacitated in the late Victorian era, was 50:1.

Yes, 40 or 50 to 1, he writes in ZULU RISING. He also says,

"In fact, the expenditure of rounds by front line companies in battles of the Victorian era is often surprisingly low. During the battle of Khambula, three months later, Evelyn Wood noted that the imperial infantry 'expended in four hours an average of 33 rounds a man...the tactical doctrine of the day placed great emphasis on a slow and steady rate of fire, and there were good practical reasons for this. " (p.377 Zulu Rising)



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:35 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
Col Durnford's loyalty to both the Crown and the British Army are clear for all to see (or should that be read). He raised auxilary forces for the Crown, and the forces he raised were all very proud to serve with him. He was well respected by both military and non military figures, he was an honourable man who cared for the men that served with him, and he had a sympathy for the African people. He was scapegoated for the loss at iSandlwana and his name was blackened, but there were others who saw through it all, and knew where the guilt lay. His funeral was attended by many, many people, he was a well respected, brave, gallant and honourable officer, and did not deserve the web of deception and lies that were spun about him to detract the blame form others.

Quite right. Durnford was an honourable man by all accounts I have read and would have and indeed did, put his duty before personal feelings.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:52 pm

Deleted Un-wanted comments.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.2   Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:30 pm

"(22) ANTHONY WILLIAM DURNFORD (1830-1879), eldest son of (18) Edward William Durnford and third cousin of (21) Charles Day Durnford, was born in 24.5.1830 at Manor Hamilton, Co. Leitrim, Ireland.  He married Frances Catherine Tranchell, daughter of Colonel Tranchell, Ceylon Rifles, on 15.9.1854 at St. Stephen’s Church, Trincomalee, Ceylon.
     He was educated in Düsseldorf, Germany from 1842.  In July 1846 he entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich as a gentleman-cadet.  On 27.6.1848 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and was posted to Chatham. 1849 saw a posting to Scotland (Edinburgh and Fort George).  In October 1851 he was sent to Trincomalee, Ceylon, attached to the command of Admiral Sir Fleetwood Pellew, where he was mainly engaged in harbour defence works.  He was promoted to Lieutenant on 17.2.1854.  In 1855 he became Assistant Commissioner of Roads and Civil Engineer to Ceylon.  He acquired a reputation as a gambler and as a heavy loser and this may have begun to have a deleterious effect on his marriage. He volunteered for service in the Crimean War which was granted in November 1855.  He was however detained by a bout of fever.  He was eventually sent to Malta, arriving there in March 1856, with the intention of proceeding to the Crimea.  The war with Russia was coming to an end so, instead, Durnford was kept in Malta.  March 1856 saw his appointment as Adjutant to the Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Royal Engineers (his father), Malta.
     He returned to England in early 1858 and in from February of that year he became an itinerant instructor of field works in various military academies and on 18.3.1858 he was promoted to Second Captain.  By September 1859 he was an instructor in field works in Chatham, where he befriended Captain (later General) Charles Gordon (of Khartoum fame).  In December 1860 he was sent to Gibraltar as the Lieutenant in command of 27th (Field) Company, R.E.  He was promoted to First Captain on 5.1.1864 and in August of that year returned to England.  He became estranged from his wife in 1864 and October saw him despatched to China with the intention of joining his old friend, (then) Colonel Charles Gordon, and his ‘Ever-Victorious’ Army there.  However, he disembarked in Ceylon suffering from heat exhaustion and a nervous breakdown.  He was obliged to stay in hospital for three months during which time he was nursed back to health by Gordon himself (whilst en route back to England).  In January 1865 he was invalided home and stationed at Devonport.
    In 1870 he was sent to Dublin and in 1871 to Cape Town arriving 23.1.1872.  From there he re-embarked on the Syria for Port Elizabeth.  He then proceeded overland to King William’s Town and thence to Natal.  On 5.7.1872 he was promoted to Major.  He was ordered to return to Cape Town in January 1873 where he was stationed at the Cape Castle.  In May he was posted back to Pietermaritzburg, Natal, where Durnford befriended the controversial John William Colenso, Bishop of Natal, and his daughter Frances, with whom he later, allegedly, began a romantic affair.  He found he shared the same views as Colenso toward the native population and promoted and supported their interests whenever he could.  His sympathies would inspire fierce loyalty among the African troops he was to command. 
    In August 1873 he was attached to the staff of Natal’s Secretary for Native Affairs, Theophilus Shepstone, on his coronation mission into Zululand and was the senior British officer at King Cetshwayo’s coronation on 1.9.1873.  In October of that year he was appointed Chief of Staff by Lieutenant-Colonel Milles in an expedition against a rumoured native uprising of the amaHlubi led by its chief Langalibalele.  As part of the expedition, Durnford was expected to hold Bushman’s River Pass and prevent the chief’s escape.  On 4.11.1873 Durnford and his men were caught in an ambush there in which he suffered an assegai wound and lost the use of his left arm.  Durnford was given the post (with effect from 1.11.1873) of Acting Colonial Engineer; on 11.12.1873 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.  1874 saw Durnford active in blocking passes in the Drakensberg range in an attempt to contain the amaHlubi and to prevent any Basuto incursion in sympathy.  He also began to speak against the injustice done to the amaPutini tribe who had been unjustly accused of conspiring with the amaHlubi and had had their lands confiscated.  On 13.7.1874 Durnford became a Justice of the Peace.  On 10.10.1875 he was replaced by a subordinate as Acting Colonial Engineer largely because of his outspoken views on native affairs and confederation.  In May 1876 he was replaced as Commanding Royal Engineer, Natal by another subordinate. On 27th May he embarked for England to obtain specialist medical advice on his injured and useless arm, to take a rest cure in Germany, and to take up a posting in July in Queenstown, Ireland, doing maintenance work on the three forts there.  Overwork, physical pain, and perhaps the cloud he felt himself under on leaving South Africa led to a collapse through exhaustion and his departure from Ireland.  His old friend, Charles Gordon, came to his rescue and put a word in for him.  On 8th February 1877 Durnford found himself aboard the Danube leaving Southampton bound for Natal re-appointed as Colonial Engineer.
     He arrived in Pietermaritzburg on the 23rd March.  Shepstone was about to annex the Transvaal and Durnford was sent up to Newcastle on 10th April.  On the 11th on his own initiative he moved on to Pretoria in the Transvaal only to find on his arrival on the 15th that the annexation had taken place on the 12th.  He was then asked to ensure that the British forces at Newcastle were brought up to Pretoria.  After this he returned to Pietermaritzburg on the 26th.  Between February and June 1878 he sat on the Zulu Boundary Commission which found in favour of the Zulu.  In July he was asked to put forward plans for bridging the Tugela River – clearly viewed by his superiors as having import in the event of any future military action in Zululand.  In addition he recommended the formation of a Natal Native Pioneer Corps – two companies were raised by October despite the opposition of the Lieutenant-Governor of Natal who saw arming natives as a dangerous exercise.  Ultimately three regiments of a Natal Native Contingent were also raised for skirmishing and scouting purposes (Durnford was given command of the 1st Regiment N.N.C.) besides six troops of Natal Native Horse.  On 11.12.1878 he was promoted Brevet Colonel though he may not have been aware of this promotion at the time of his death.  In the 1879 Zulu War he was the commander of No. 2 Column invading Zululand.
     He and his wife had three children [Edward William (in one record Edward Charles) b. 19.6.1855 in Ceylon, d. 16.7.1856 in Malta; Frances Elizabeth Mary b. 5.1.1857 in Malta, married N. McIvor Rapp 1883, lived in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, d. 1919 without issue; Julia Brabazon b. 1859 in England, d. 1860 in England].
On 22.1.1879 Brevet Colonel Anthony William Durnford was killed in action at the battle of Isandhlwana.  He was reburied at Pietermaritzburg on 12.10.1879.

Source:Julian Whybra.
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