Lieutenant John Chard:What's our strength? Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead Seven officers including surgeon commissaries and so on Adendorff now I suppose wounded and sick 36 fit for duty 97 and about 40 native levies Not much of an army for you.
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Captain David Moriarity, 80th, KIA Ntombe
This photograph taken when he was in the 7th Regiment prior to his transfer to the 80th. [Mac & Shad] (Isandula Collection)
The Battle of Isandlwana: One of The Worst Defeats of The British Empire - Military History

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 Casualty list

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Join date : 2013-01-03

PostSubject: Casualty list   Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:13 pm


Hi All, I have been reading a book called Forster Country. It states that in 1882 a neighbour of E M Forster, a certain Colonel Wilkinson, claimed that his son, Edward Wilkinson, was killed whilst helping wounded colleagues to safely cross the Ingogo river during the Anglo Zulu War of 1879. I can find no reference to Edward Wilkinson in the casualty lists. Can anybody help please?

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PostSubject: Casualty List   Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:44 pm

Hi Bermond .
I think it may be a typo as I'm certain the action at Ingogo River was in the first Boer war of 1881 .I do know some of those that did take part in the zulu war of 1879 were either killed or wounded in this action .
Cheers 90th. Salute

Last edited by 90th on Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Casualty list   Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:44 pm


Edward Wilkinson died during the Boer War in February, 1881.

"Soldiers' Letters from the First Anglo-Boer War, 1880-81", Frank Emery (From the Natalia”)

“At the Ingogo, danger came from the river itself. When they crossed it on the morning of 8 February, the soldiers splashed across with the water barely above their ankles. Now, after the rainstorm, the Ingogo was almost up to their armpits, and they had to link arms to get across. Despite this precaution, and no doubt because of their exhaustion after a hard day at Schuinshoogte (when none of the troops had anything to eat, and only a canteen of water apiece), six unfortunate men of the 3/60th lost their footing and were swept away by the current. Perhaps the most tragic postscript of all came the next day, when Lt. E.O.H. Wilkinson met his death. Having survived the fight, he went back alone to the battlefield on the 9 February to do what he could for the wounded left there, but on his way home again to Mount Prospect he too was drowned in the Ingogo.
His body was not recovered until the 18th, five miles below the drifts, and he was buried on the 20th. In the auction of his effects the next day -proof positive of how down-to-earth the military have to be -Marling (who calls him 'Peter') bought Wilkinson's soapbox and suit of flannel pyjamas. He had served as adjutant of the 3/60th since the Zulu War, from which he wrote (for his housemaster at Eton) an excellent account of the battle of Gingindhlovu, before he was invalided home through sickness. 14 His remains lie in the Mount Prospect military Cemetery, (grave no. 34)”


Edward Wilkinson served with the 60th in the Zulu War, and was present at the Battle of Gingindlovu.

Petty Officer Tom
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PostSubject: Re: Casualty list   Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:18 pm


This is the closest I could find to a 'casualty list' for Wilkinson.

From “The London Gazette” 29 March, 1881

“The 60th Rifles have lost two promising young officers in Lieutenant Garrett and 2nd Lieutenant O'Connell. The latter having been temporarily withdrawn from the fighting line with a few men to form a reserve, asked leave to rejoin his company, and was almost immediately killed. But the battalion has suffered a still heavier loss in the death of its adjutant, Lieutenant Wilkinson.. Having distinguished himself through the engagement by his coolness and gallantry, volunteering for every difficult or dangerous task, he was drowned crossing the Ingogo after returning to the. battle-field with assistance for the wounded. Of singularly winning disposition and manners, distinguished in all manly games, an excellent adjutant, and most promising officer, few men of his standing could boast so many and such warm friends, or be so widely missed and deeply mourned.”

(The above was signed by General Colley)


Petty Officer Tom
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PostSubject: Re: Casualty list   Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:35 pm

" Captain Edward Hutton, 3/60th Rifles, arriving in Natal with his battalion late in March 1879, almost immediately received orders to march to the Thukela River and join the Eshowe Relief Expedition. There was probably no time to issue him with a copy of Fynney’s report before he encountered the Zulu army for the first time at Gingindlovu on 2nd April. He was clearly impressed by what he saw.
Shortly after we were in our places large, streaming masses of the enemy were seen moving at a rapid rate through the bush that hid the Inyezane from our view. The Zulu impi was estimated at 12,000 men; contrary to precedent, they did not wear their full war costume, but carried rifles, assegais, and small shields. The dark masses of men, in open order and under admirable discipline, followed each other in quick succession, running at a steady pace through the long grass. Having moved steadily round so as exactly to face our front, the larger portion of the Zulus broke into three lines, in knots and groups of from five to ten men, and advanced towards us. Not a sound was heard…
The Zulus continued to advance, still at a run, until they were about 800 yards from us, when they began to open fire. In spite of the excitement of the moment, we could not but admire the perfect manner in which these Zulus skirmished. A small knot of five or six would rise and dart through the long grass, dodging from side to side with heads down, rifles and shields kept low and out of sight. They would then suddenly sink into the long grass, and nothing but puffs of curling smoke would show their whereabouts. Then they advanced again, and their bullets soon began to whistle merrily over our heads or strike the little parapet in front.
 Captain Hutton was not alone in his admiration for the way the Zulu attack developed at Gingindlovu. Guy Dawney, a gentleman adventurer, who managed to attach himself to the 5th Battalion, Natal Native Contingent, shared his wonder.
We could see large bodies moving round behind the first ridges…The big bodies of Zulus broke up into skirmishing order before crossing the ridge, and the way they then came on was magnificent. We kept up a heavy fire at every black figure we saw, but they crawled through the grass, and dodged behind bushes, shooting at us all the time, and soon every bush in front of us held and hid two or three Zulus, and the puffs of smoke showed us they were there.
   A newspaper correspondent writing for the Natal Mercury, also present at the battle, reported the Zulu method of attack to his readers, confirming the impression gained by Hutton and Dawney.
…two large columns of the enemy were seen coming down the Inyezane hills, while one came round the left by the Amatikula bush, and another smaller one from the direction of the old military kraal. In ten minutes’ time our laager was completely surrounded, and the attack began. The enemy came up with a rush to within three or four hundred yards of our position, being favoured in many places by the nature of the ground. They then scattered more, and advanced skirmishing, under a hot fire, to about one hundred yards of the laager, all round. Unfortunately there was plenty of long grass and bushes to shelter them, and as they lay down immediately after firing, our men were not able to dislodge them.

Lieutenant E.O.H. Wilkinson, 3/60th Rifles, another eyewitness, watched the Zulu attack close on the British laager but fail to charge home.

The Zulus meanwhile had got up to about 30 yards from the trench, wriggling through the grass at an incredible pace, but the fire of our fellows was too hot, and though they held on behind any cover they could get hold of, they could not ‘rush’ us as they intended."

Source:Ian Castle
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PostSubject: Re: Casualty list   Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:46 pm

"Lieutenant E.O.H.Wilkinson of the 3rd Battalion 60th Rifles wrote of the Battle of Gingindlovu; “...and we followed suit, firing volleys by sections in order to prevent the smoke obscuring the enemy, and we had repeatedly to cease fire to allow the smoke to clear off, as some young aspirants out of hand paid little attention to section firing.” He concluded; "One lesson we learnt in our fight was, that with the Martini-Henry, men must  fire by word of command either by individuals, or at most, by sections: independent firing means in firing in twenty seconds, firing at nothing; and only helped our daring opponents to get close up under cover of our smoke. Officers had to be everywhere, and to expose themselves to regulate the fire within bounds, and I feel sure that for the future, only volleys by sections will be fired.”
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PostSubject: Re: Casualty list   Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:56 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Casualty list   Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:56 pm

Excellent work POT and LH Salute
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