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 What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC

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tasker224

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PostSubject: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:38 pm

In Charlie Harford's war diary, he mentions that, "there was some grumbling among the officers of the NC, who were tired out at having to bivouac without food, forage or blankets, and two young officers, Lieutenats Avery and Holcroft , went off without leave, evidently to ride back to the camp, but were never seen or heard of again."

I am sure we can guess they did indeed head back towards the camp and were either killed there or on the way, but does anyone know if their bodies were ever found?
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:15 pm

" Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft together with NCOs and natives under their command, deserted as they simply lost enthusiasm and motivation to follow orders and made their way back to the camp at Isandlwana. The next day these two officers met the same fate as most of the men in camp. Of course they were never held to account for their desertion and had they performed their duty as ordered."

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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:26 pm

There are a few accounts, I guessing most written are speculation.

TWOTS page 355-356 another account there.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:55 pm

Originally posted by John on another thread.

"Must admit didn't fully understand th Adendroff mystery. Came across this which explains it.

"A mystery has shrouded the actual activities of Adendorff since 1879 with conflicting and confusing accounts as to his whereabouts on the 22-23 January. The controversy has lasted for well over a century and it is likely that we will never truly know whether he was a deserter or hero. Adendorff was attached to Captain Krohn’s No 6 Company of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Regiment; NNC commanded by Commandant Lonsdale and was present at the Battle of Isandlwana. It was claimed that he deserted from both Isandlwana while on vedette duty before the main battle was underway, and later at Rorke’s Drift during the preparation of the defences by quietly slipping away. However, a totally conflicting view actually places Adendorff at Rorke’s Drift during the entire defence and if so, this would make the lieutenant the only soldier to have fought at both battles on the 22 January. This feat alone would have given him great distinction and honour.

It has been suggested that Adendorff was among the officers headed by Avery and Holcroft who simply left their post during the evening of 21 January when Lonsdale made his way to join Dartnell after the detection of a Zulu impi. At Isandlwana, the next morning he was sent out on vedette duty and is confirmed as having brought a report from the piquet on the iNyoni escarpment regarding Zulu movements on the plateau. Lt Higginson was sent to confirm the oral report as the details were somewhat confusing possibly due to Adendorff’s poor command of English, being of German descent. After he was sent back to his unit, Krohn’s company played no significant role in the battle at Isandlwana as it was held back from the actual fight. Before the Zulus could rush into the camp once the British line collapsed, Krohn’s native troops broke and fled, obviously attempting to leave the battlefield early before any avenue of escape was closed by the Zulu encirclement of the camp. It is assumed by some writers that Adendorff made his way to Fugitives’ Drift several miles from Rorke’s Drift and crossed the Buffalo River at this point. However, an account written in 1939 by another survivor, Captain Stafford of E Company, 1st Battalion 1st NNC, states that his group of three including Adendorff and an unnamed soldier who can be assumed to be Lt Vane, made their way up to Rorke’s Drift by hugging the Buffalo river and crossed by ferry. To add further confusion, upon encountering Lieutenant Chard at Rorke’s Drift after crossing the Buffalo River, Adendorff stated that he had escaped by making his way along the Rorke’s Drift road which in effect was not possible as the Zulus had completely blocked it before the attack on the camp at Isandlwana took place.

The real mystery begins with confirming Adendorff’s participation in the defence of Rorke’s Drift. As he left Chard to give Bromhead the news of the British defeat, Adendorff called back to the officer that he would remain at the mission and fight. Despite this, it is believed by many that he quietly slipped away unnoticed. His motive for doing so may lie in the fact that as a survivor of the earlier engagement, he felt no real compulsion to participate in another fight against the same enemy. Even so, Chard believed that Adendorff actually remained at Rorke’s Drift throughout the entire defence. and this was affirmed by the two official reports that he wrote after the battle. Although Chard was not certain of Adendorff’s role, he presumed his position had been in the defence of the hospital. It is believed that the solution of the misidentification is in Chard’s own report and nominal roll of the survivors; both of which were presented to Queen Victoria. He described certain actions during the battle in his report involving Adendorff by writing:
As far as I know, but one of the fugitives remained with us- Lieut Adendorff, whom I have before mentioned. He remained to assist in the defence, and from a loophole in the store building, flanking the wall and Hospital, his rifle did good service.

In a case of straightforward mistaken identity, Adendorff was erroneously taken for another man whose actions and conduct were well known by many present at the mission. One of the five soldiers who received the Distinguished Conduct Medal at Rorke’s Drift for bravery was Corporal Francis Attwood of the Army Service Corps who received his award at Pietermaritzburg on 15 November 1879. Soon after Isandlwana, news circulated in Natal of Adendorff’s arrest at Pietermaritzburg along with that of Vane for desertion and although both officers were to face a Board of Enquiry no such trial took place. Perhaps this was on account of Chard’s reports that would have been submitted as evidence of Adendorff’s participation in the defence at Rorke’s Drift throughout the action and the possibility of Chard’s own retraction in court. In any case his reports had already been submitted to his superiors.

Conversely, there are a growing number of historians that clearly believe Adendorff did stay at Rorke’s Drift and fight until relieved by Chelmsford’s relief force on the morning of 23 January. It is plausible to assume that both Attwood and Adendorff did defend the building together and that Chard was correct in his report without becoming confused with identities. It is thought that because Adendorff was an unfamiliar figure among the soldiers and at Rorkes Drift, he largely went unnoticed during the heat of the action. Furthermore, since he had arrived at the last moment during a time of confusion and activity, it would have been easy to be obscure especially to the officers. In addition, being stationed in the storehouse would add credence to his isolation and the lack of notice by those fighting outside the building. Stafford’s 1939 account in which details of their escape from Isandlwana was described related some details that Adendorff had recounted to him during a meeting.

He wrote:
I met Odendorff in 1883 and he told me that Rorke’s Drift was saved through two Godsends. The first was that the Zulus retired in the middle of the night, apparently to hold a little consultation and that gave the garrison time to strengthen the weak parts of the little fort, and the Martini Henry carbines time to cool off. The other was the Zulus setting fire to the thatch building which gave a bright light round the little fort and when the Zulus came volley after volley was poured into them. He also told me that Rev. W. Smith was a great help. You will always find that in a tight corner there is a hard case and that there was one at Rorke’s Drift. This man was cussing all the time. The Rev. Smith went up to him and said “Please, my good man stop that cussing. We may shortly have to answer for our sins”. The reply he got was “All right Mister, you do the praying and I will send the black B’s to Hell as fast as I can”.


In addition to Stafford’s account, a member of Chelmsford’s force, Trooper Fred Symons of the Natal Carbineers confirms the presence of Adendorff at Rorke’s Drift on the morning of the 23rd. Lieutenant Charles Harford’s almanac also records that Adendorff was in fact present. In weighing the evidence, a case for both sides of the argument can be made. Adendorff has evoked much attention amongst writers beginning with Donald Morris in his book The Washing of the Spears in which the author contends that Adendorff did indeed desert and had not been part of the action at Rorke’s Drift. He alluded to some available evidence to support his position but which was not forthcoming at the time. Such is the interest in Adendorff that other modern writers have taken totally opposite views to one another. Moreover however, one would think it unusual for such controversy to revolve around an unassuming volunteer junior colonial officer of the NNC who for the most part did not influence events nor contribute significantly to any extent and certainly played a very minor role during the Zulu War. Somehow, he has been picked out for special consideration from among the fugitives fleeing the battlefield at Isandlwana notwithstanding the fact that a number of regular army officers fled too and contributed very little else after crossing into Natal. His treatment has been unfair especially in light of the fact that the conduct of those other officers has not been shown much attention except for the disdain shown by Chelmsford and Wolseley who felt that they should have stayed with their men since it was their duty to do so. Adendorff did in fact make his way to Rorke’s Drift and with others, raised the alarm. For this he must be given some credit. Adendorff gave up military service when the 3rd NNC was disbanded on account of their very poor performance on 22 January when they deserted both at Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Due to the lingering debate on the officer’s conduct amongst leading historians on the subject, the question still remains, was Adendorff a coward or a hero?

Source: Officer desertions from the field of battle during the Anglo-Zulu War were too numerous for comfort
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By Dr Andres Traverse"
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90th

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PostSubject: What happened to the deserters Lts Avery & Holcroft NNC    Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:14 pm

Hi Tasker .
In answer to your question as far as I'm aware their bodies were never found , I think the term deserter is a little to strong and I've said this before . The decided to leave because they were obviously very hungry , spent and no doubt not happy at having to spend the night out from the camp when in fact Dartnell was supposed to have been at Isandlwana by dusk on the 21st from memory . As they have actually gone back to Isandlwana I'd hardly say it was desertion , it wasnt as if they took off to Helpmekaar or some other place out of Zululand .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:29 pm

90th wrote:
Hi Tasker .
In answer to your question as far as I'm aware their bodies were never found , I think the term deserter is a little to strong and I've said this before . The decided to leave because they were obviously very hungry , spent and no doubt not happy at having to spend the night out from the camp when in fact Dartnell was supposed to have been at Isandlwana by dusk on the 21st from memory . As they have actually gone back to Isandlwana I'd hardly say it was desertion , it wasnt as if they took off to Helpmekaar or some other place out of Zululand .
Cheers 90th.

Thanks for the information. As you say, their bodies in all probability remained unidentified back at iSandlwana, along with so many others.
Two points on the desertion issue 90th.
1. I have to disagree with your reasoning above. Soldiers (and in particular, Officers) do not take themselves back to base because they are feeling peckish, or unhappy about enduring a little discomfort on patrol, due to changing circumstances!
2. If their bodies were never found, then maybe they really did desert and lived out the remainder of their lives quietly and anonymously somewhere. The last that is known of Avery and Holcroft appears to be the desertion of their duties from Major Dartnell's camp, in the early hours of the 22nd January 1879. (If their bodies had in fact been discovered back at iSandlwana, it would have gone some way towards saving their reputations).
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PostSubject: What happened to the deserters Lts Avery & Holcraft   Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:21 pm

Hi Tasker .
I would normally agree with you on these points , but these were not officers of the Imperial army but merely Colonial rankings
which to them possibly didnt mean very much ! . Their comfort in their own eyes far outweighed their sense of allegiance to rank or uniform ! . Peckish is understating the matter dont you think ? , they were more like famished , exhausted and possibly not cut out to be in the field in that roll in any case , I've wondered if they ever did get away and lived out their or his life or Lives in seclusion ? , I suppose we will never know , unless a trunk is opened in an attic or basement somewhere in Africa or elsewhere around the world which sheds light on their / his life or Lives ! . I do know what you are saying but the Colonial Rankings I dont think meant a great deal to some of their holders ideals ! .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:14 pm

Lieuts. Samuel Avery and Francis Holcroft were kia at Isandhlwana. They are on the official casualty list.
They did leave the Malakathas and returned to camp but not with their Natives and NCOs - that's absolute rot - there's not one source that says that. This is pure invention on the author's part. Neither is there any source that suggests there were a number of other officers who left without permission either. This was an assumption on Morris's part.
If you look at the list of NNC officers and NCOs you will only find the full complement required for the number of coys in camp. I know of no other 'deserters' for want of a better word from Lonsdale's group.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:03 pm

Hi Julian
Your most probably correct but in the interests of accuracy their bodies were never identified, as such. At least not to my knowledge. Therefore it is possible, no matter how remotely, that they did survive the battle. Highly unlikely I do admit that they could have dissapeared without a trace, but Lord lucan managed it! Surprised

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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:12 pm

Springbok
Most of the bodies were not identified as such; only a few were. So your comment applies to 95% of the men in camp! Avery and Holcroft's names were on the official casualty list after all.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:23 pm

Julian

I agree the names were on the list but that cant be absolute proof of their death surely?

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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:31 pm

Both names appear in this artical. Although not conclusive just stating they were missing, but someone must have thought they were in the camp to give thier names among the missing.

New Zealand Herald, Volume XVI, Issue 5396, 4 March 1879, Page 3
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:33 pm

Major Black ? Suspect


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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:40 pm

Springbok
Yes, it's proof. The official casualty list contains no name of a man that was subsequently found to be alive after all. Where there was doubt, the names were left off completely, appearing in a subsidiary casualty list. Any remaining individuals were individually recorded, like Hall, who was eventually recorded alive. Others, like McCarthy and Mansfield never received any confirmation and were left MIA, presumed dead.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:36 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Springbok
Most of the bodies were not identified as such; only a few were. So your comment applies to 95% of the men in camp! Avery and Holcroft's names were on the official casualty list after all.

But these 95% of men were where they were supposed to be, Julian, so it is natural to assume that they died where they were ordered to be.
Avery and Holcroft were not where they were supposed to be. Though likely that it is that they returned to iSandlwana, this is not proof, unless their arrival during the early hours of the 22nd was recorded by anyone.
I think it was a very kind and generous decision on the part of those that it concerned, to include their names on the casualty list.

Would I put a bet on the fact that these 2 died in camp? I sure would.
Would I bet my kids' lives on it? No way.

I go with Springy on this one.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:42 pm

Ray63 wrote:
Both names appear in this artical. Although not conclusive just stating they were missing, but someone must have thought they were in the camp to give thier names among the missing.

New Zealand Herald, Volume XVI, Issue 5396, 4 March 1879, Page 3
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As do all the names of the officers of the 3rd NNC who accompanied major Dartnell's patrol into the hills to the East; ironically, these 2 officers would have survived and subsequently been struck off the list of the missing, had they not deserted.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:43 pm

Tasker
Their arrival in camp was recorded. I'll have to check but I think it was either Higginson or Stafford.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:54 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Tasker
Their arrival in camp was recorded. I'll have to check but I think it was either Higginson or Stafford.

That would answer the question in my original post if you could prove that.
(I am sceptical about anything that Higginson said, but he would have had no motive to make up this).
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:30 pm

Sorry, I haven't had time to check yet - I'll try sometime in the next two days - it may've been Murray from their regiment.
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PostSubject: What happened to the deserters Lts Avery & Holcroft NNC ?   Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:53 pm

Hi All .
I'll try and have a look later this morning when I get home .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:15 am

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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:17 am

Julian Whybra wrote:
Lieuts. Samuel Avery and Francis Holcroft were kia at Isandhlwana. They are on the official casualty list.
They did leave the Malakathas and returned to camp but not with their Natives and NCOs - that's absolute rot - there's not one source that says that. This is pure invention on the author's part. Neither is there any source that suggests there were a number of other officers who left without permission either. This was an assumption on Morris's part.
If you look at the list of NNC officers and NCOs you will only find the full complement required for the number of coys in camp. I know of no other 'deserters' for want of a better word from Lonsdale's group.

Hi Julian,

I often read the posts in this forum, but this is the first time I have actually posted on here myself. I have been a Zulu War enthusiast since about the age of 8 when my father gave me E.A. Ritters book on Shaka to read. Shortly thereafter I saw the movie Zulu, and I was hooked. As many here are, I have been particularly interested in the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift.

I have a few questions about your comments regarding the number of NCO’s present in the camp. I agree with you that the list of officers does comport with the appropriate number of officers for the number of companies left in camp (2 companies of the 1st Battalion, and 3 companies of the 2nd Battalion), however, I do not think that this is the case with the number of NCO’s who were at the camp. According to most sources that I’ve read, a company of NNC consisted of 3 officers (one captain and two lieutenants) and 6 NCO’s (please correct me if this is inaccurate). If this is accurate then the number of NCO’s at the camp should have been 30 (12 for the 1st battalion and 18 for the 2nd battalion). Based on the list of casualties in your book, “The Roll Call”, which I believe has been re-titled, “England’s Sons”, the number of NCO’s present at the camp (not including staff sergeants) was 27 for the 1st Battalion (13 sergeants, 12 corporals and 2 other NCO’s), and 27 for the 2nd Battalion (12 sergeants and 15 corporals). Since there was supposedly one less company of the 1st Battalion present, there should have been fewer NCO’s of the 1st Battalion present, not the same amount.

I have always wondered if the additional NCO’s could be attributed to the second company of NNC that Hamilton Brown says was sent back with captured cattle under the command of Captain Murray the night before the battle, but which I believe most historians have concluded was an inaccuracy in Brown’s account. However, Murray was in the 2nd Battalion so I don’t know what the likelihood would be of him commanding an additional company from a different Battalion. Alternatively, could it be possible that the NCO’s in the two half companies of NNC under the commands of Avery and Holcraft also returned to the camp with these officers? I would love to get your thoughts on this matter.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:57 am

Curling states that Maj Smith was shot through thea rm whilst at the guns.
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PostSubject: What happened to the deserters Lt Avery & Holcroft NNC    Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:22 pm

Hi all .
In trying to find who witnessed Avery & Holcroft at Isandlwana , which I havent as yet ! . I found in Black Soldiers Of The Queen by P.S. Thompson on page 43 , '' Two Officers who were sick were permitted to return to camp '' . The footnotes say these were Avery & Holcroft ! .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:14 pm

90th
Well done. I'd never noticed that before. Does the footnote give a reference? I'd like to follow that up.
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PostSubject: What happened to the deserters Lts Avery & Holcroft NNC ?   Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:52 pm

Hi Julian .
It does , its from your favourite paper the NW ! . Hang on I'll get the book ! . Footnote 25 on page 46 of Thompson's Book
' Black Soldiers Of The Queen ' Lt's Avery and Holcroft . NW , Feb 18, 1879 , citing NC report . Cf ? ( question mark is mine )
NC , January 30 , 1879 , ' The Isandlwana Disaster , and Zulu war journal of Colonel Henry Harford , p26 ( which I checked it just said they left the bivouacc ) . Fynn , ' My Recollections Of A Famous Campaign , Hamiton - Browne , ' A Lost Legionary ' states page 121 That There Were Four but he doesnt name them . Looking forward to what you may get from the NW Salute
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:57 pm

90th,
Charlie Harford's own words are,
"there was some grumbling among the officers of the NC, who were tired out at having to bivouac without food, forage or blankets, and two young officers, Lieutenats Avery and Holcroft , went off without leave, evidently to ride back to the camp, but were never seen or heard of again."
As Lonsdale's Staff Officer in the 3rd NNC, I would tend to rely more on Harford's account.
Harford also took both Stevenson and Higginson into custody for desertion, immediately post RD.
(Higginson would appear to have the dubious honour of having deserted the 2 great battles of iSandlwana and RD on the same day)!
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:03 pm

cetewayo wrote:

Alternatively, could it be possible that the NCO’s in the two half companies of NNC under the commands of Avery and Holcraft also returned to the camp with these officers?

Cetewayo, welcome to the forum, and an excellent first post.
I think your thoughts on the above possibility are most plausible. After all, if the officers desert, why shouldnt the NCOs and soldiers? A quick thought - were the NCOs mounted? I know the NCOs in the NNC were armed with a rifle, but not sure about a mount.
If they were mounted, then they may well have accompanied A and H back to the camp.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:56 pm

Cetewayo

Most popular historians have ignored Murray's coy. But he, Lieut. Pritchard, all his NCOs and men did go back to Isandhlwana driving some captured cattle. Murray tells us they did and tells us all were killed. You've done some good research in your original post so I won't deprive you of the pleasure of the computations necessary to see how that affects the overall numbers of NCOs in terms of the excess. There were some men left behind to assist in the packing up of the NNC camps and there would have been some sick and the NNC commissariat Europeans. Yes, a good first post and an interesting one.

I don't believe any NCOs or natives from Avery and Holcroft's coys absconded. It might have sparked a desertion en masse which someone would have mentioned and no-one does.

England's Sons is a vast improvement on The Roll Call. The amount of work I put into the former far exceeded the latter.

Tasker
NNC NCOs were not mounted.
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cetewayo

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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:53 pm

Julian and Tasker,

Thank you for your responses and insights into this issue. I hadn't thought about the men being left behind to assist in the packing up of the NNC camps as accounting for the excess NCOs present during the battle, but that makes perfect sense. Also, thanks for the heads up about "England's Sons". I didn't realize that it was a more comprehensive book than "The Roll Call." I just order a copy.

Jason
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90th

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PostSubject: What happened to the deserters Lts Avery & Holcroft NNC    Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:31 pm

Hi Tasker .
P.S. Thompson's work does seem to be very detailed with my favourite things and yours Footnotes ! Lol. I must admit this was the first time I'd heard that they were allowed to return to camp because of sickness . Julian is now on their case so what he uncovers may be very interesting to say the least ! . I still dont believe they were deserters in the true sense of the word , merely very disgruntled , disappointed and most likely Pissed off ! ( Sorry Pete , but I think that is the word that was required to emphasise my point ! ) . They are also quoted as being young , but I dont know their ages ? . I know age is no excuse , but as I said previously Colonial Rankings didnt have the same merit to those , who had Imperial Rankings , not that this is an excuse for them either .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:57 pm

cetewayo
Your notional figures of 1 capt 2 lieuts 6 NCOs for each NNC coy are correct.
There was some swapping around so that men could go and have a crack at the Zulus rather than stay at the camp and as I said some would have neen sick and some designated for packing up.
The actuality was
1/3rd 2 coys
2 capts 4 lieuts 26 NCOs (excl. those with special staff duties), i.e. an excess of 14 NCOs for sickness/packing up for 8 absent coys
2/3rd 3 coys
3 capts 5 lieuts 27 NCOs (excl. those with special staff duties). Assuming one sergeant would assume the duties of the absent lieutenant that leaves an excess of 8 NCOs for sickness/packing up for 7 absent coys.
Let's allow one man for each absent coy and what do we get...
Food for thought!
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:22 pm

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
LH
Higginson didn't desert Isandlwana or RD, at isandlwana he left when everyone else did and he had no men or
didn't go past RD.
Cheers

Hi DB, this is not my opinion here, this is direct from HC Harford himself who himself took them into custody prior to their dismissal for desertion.
As colonial officers, they were not able to be court-martialled for desertion.

DB - read "Harford" you will love it.
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PostSubject: Re: What happened to the deserters Lieutenants Avery and Holcroft ?- NNC   Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:53 am

Frederic
Apologies for misunderstanding.
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