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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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 S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?

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90th

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PostSubject: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:33 am

From page 114 ' Blood On The Painted Mountain - Zulu Victory And Defeat Hlobane And Kambula , 1879 ' by Ron Lock
Speaking of the S.S.Clyde ; '' All her cargo , consisting entirely of Government stores for the troops in Natal , would be lost ,
including 150 Tons of Ammunition , Rifles and Gatling Guns ''. My question is, does anyone have any information if the cargo was salvaged ? , if yes , when and what was saved .
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:19 am


Hi 90th,
All i have on the SS Clyde is that she sank in fine weather on the 3rd April 1879 NW of Dyer Island . No mention is made in my records of recovery efforts. He cargo would however been a bit late for Isandlwana.
Perhaps PO Tom will have more.

regrads,

barry
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PostSubject: SS Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:43 am

Hi Barry .
Hope all is well mate ? , Yes I'm aware it couldnt have helped at Isandlwana Very Happy , I think I've read that the ship didnt sink in deep water , what I'm wanting to know is , did the Government , much later let's say 1890 or 1900 for arguement sake , or nearer the 1930's etc after the invention of the Aqualung ( Skindivers ) send a team or teams of divers to recover the equipment , or is it still sitting on the bottom ?.
If I'm right about it not sinking in very deep water, there maybe many diving enthusiasts over the years that have taken it upon themselves to souvenir the Rounds , Rifles and Gatlings etc . Think I also read it was an area where the Great White Sharks like to inhabit ! , that may have put paid to diving to the wreck ! . Shocked Shocked
90th.
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:47 am

90th
Greetings, 56 all out, ouch thats gotta hurt. :p;:

The SS Clyde wreck is a registered dive site and yes its in Great White territory.

Cheers
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PostSubject: S.S. Clyde   Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:51 am

Hi 90th and Barry, hope you are both well.

What an interesting topic, I hope that PO Tom can throw some light on this.

Just think of all the M.H's down there, and if they were packed pretty well, then maybe some of them would be ok, or at least for display. The Gat's would be great to salvage, might take a bit of 'cleaning up' but what an ideal piece of kit to have on show in a museum. I bet Neil would be interested in some of the M.H's and ammo, and even the Gat's.

With it being a shark area, that might have put off folk trying to recover anything, but there are anti shark cages for divers, so maybe something could be arranged to try to salvage some of this stuff and rescue it from rotting away in the deep.

Martin. Salute
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PostSubject: SS Clyde what happened to the cargo ?    Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:00 pm

Ease up Springy it was 65 ! . Dont short change us No No . I'm more worried what'll happen in July than this Mickey Mouse
Tournament . :p;:
90th.
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PostSubject: S.S. Clyde   Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:04 pm

Sorry springy, posts crossed, hope you are ok mate.

Ouch indeed, it was 65 by the way not 56, you stinker springy :p;: I wasn't going to mention it to Gary, he must be well sick at that. Sad

I wonder if a lot of this stuff has been removed already if it's only in shallowish water, some folk will risk anything to make some money.

Salute

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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:47 pm

The Birkenhead. it was rumoured that she was carrying a military payroll of £240,000 in gold coins (about 3 tons in weight and around £30 million at today’s prices.

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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:56 pm

A navy ship bound for the China Station, HMS Encounter, was directed by the Admiralty to proceed by way of the Cape and Durban, and make his ship available to Commodore Richards.

On April 8, 1879 HMS Encounter, left Simon’s Bay and stopped at the sight of the wreck of the S.S. Clyde. Divers were sent down to examine the ship and a report was prepared and turned over to Commodore Richards when “Encounter” reached Durban. The report was then forwarded to the Admiralty. (I have not been able to find a copy.) The “Encounter,” not need for the Zulu war, continued on to her original destination.

I remember reading about a salvage ship, later that year, sending divers down to the wreck, where they saw at least one of the Gatling guns, but were unable to get it out of the ship. I will try to find that information and post it later. Other than I have not read anything about any salvage of the ship’s cargo.


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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:07 pm

Petty Officer Tom wrote:
A navy ship bound for the China Station, HMS Encounter, was directed by the Admiralty to proceed by way of the Cape and Durban, and make his ship available to Commodore Richards.

On April 8, 1879 HMS Encounter, left Simon’s Bay and stopped at the sight of the wreck of the S.S. Clyde. Divers were sent down to examine the ship and a report was prepared and turned over to Commodore Richards when “Encounter” reached Durban. The report was then forwarded to the Admiralty. (I have not been able to find a copy.) The “Encounter,” not need for the Zulu war, continued on to her original destination.

I remember reading about a salvage ship, later that year, sending divers down to the wreck, where they saw at least one of the Gatling guns, but were unable to get it out of the ship. I will try to find that information and post it later. Other than I have not read anything about any salvage of the ship’s cargo.


Petty Officer Tom


Hope you can find this Tom. Sooner rather than later...
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:08 pm

I hope this was soon enough. Very Happy

It is the first recorded attempt of salvaging operation that I could find.

From “The Dundee Courier and Argus” 24 May 1879

“Intelligence from Cape Town, dated April 29th, reports that the Wild Flower, schooner, had recovered a quantity of Government and ship’s stores from the wreck of the Clyde. The divers saw a Gatling gun, but could not lift it then.”

As soon as I can come up with a list of the Government stores, I will post them.


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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:32 pm

List of Government stores lost in the wreck of the “Clyde”

One and a half million rounds of Martini-Henry ammunition
4 Gatling guns
36,000 rounds of cartridges for the Gatling guns
A number of pistols and other arms
12,000 lb of biscuits
250 gallons of rum
10,000 lb of sugar
3,000 lb of salt beef
800 lb of salt pork
5,000 lb of flour
700 lb of suet
1,200 lb of raisins
160 lb of mustard
50 lb of pepper
118 gallons of vinegar
3,000 lb of preserved potatoes
6,000 lb of preserved beef
2,000 lb of essence of beef
1,760 lb of rice
4,500 of porter
Some thousands of spades, shovels, pickaxes, and tools of many kinds
camp-kettles
filters
tents
bedding
sword blades
loose iron in bars
brushes
brooms
buckets
baskets
200 tons of gunpowder

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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:28 pm

Hi PO Tom,
Thanks for the ships manifest..
A question though, if the rum wasn't recovered first, ....would it still be ok? Very Happy

Regards,
barry
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:06 pm

Quote :
A question though, if the rum wasn't recovered first, ....would it still be ok

Who gives a monkey's. If its still available get it shipped out here!, Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:22 pm

What no Gold!!!!

I didn't know they had divers back then. Wonder what kind of diving suits they wore?
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:39 pm

Dave,

I am assuming that the salvage vessel divers wore similar diving suits as the Royal Navy. (They were most likely former navy divers.) The Royal Navy diving suit looked a lot like what you would see in World War One. A boat would be lowered from the ship, and would have a hand pump to supply air to the diver who would be helped over the side. His suit was of a flexible material, looks like a waterproof canvas from what I have seen, and boots. The diver wore a hard helmet with a viewing port in the front and maybe one on each side. A hose was attached from the pump to the helmet to supply him with air.

The first military divers were Royal Engineers who would clear wrecks from the harbors. The Royal Navy Diving School was opened in 1843 at Portsmouth on HMS Excellent which was the Gunnery School. There were two classifications of divers – Seaman Diver which only those with the rating Seaman Gunner could apply, the other was Artificer Diver which only those qualified and holding the rating of Engine Room Artificer, Carpenter’s Mate, Shipwright, Carpenter’s Crew or Stoker Mechanic could apply. One of their routine duties was to examine the cooper or metal sheathing of the Ship once every six months.

During the Zulu War, HMS Tenedos sent divers down to examine the damage to the ship’s keel and hull after she grounded on a reef off the Zulu coast. Later, after “Tenedos” had
been sent back to Simon’s Bay, divers were sent down to nail lead sheathing to her hull. A diver from “Tenedos” also examined the damage to the “City of Paris” which had run up on the rocks while entering Simon’s Bay, and “Tenedos” divers helped to raise a sunken coal barge from the harbor.

Most ship’s had divers, and re-qualification was required to hold the rating.

There were some officers who qualified as divers. Sub-Lieutenant Stanley T. D. Pitt, who served on HMS Active during the Zulu war, next served on HMS Garnet on the South East Coast of America station. After the explosion and sinking of HMS Doteral in April 1881 Lieutenant Pitt supervised and conducted diving operations of the wreck. While examining the “Doterel” for a cause of its sinking Pitt became stuck in a hole, but with the assistance of Artificer Diver, George Hunt, he was able to free himself. As well as examining the ship, they were able to salvage the ship’s guns and other of its equipment.


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PostSubject: SS Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:06 am

Thanks POT much appreciated , I was going to ask for the manifest but thought better of it , thinking there wouldnt be a record of it !
A lot more information than I expected to see . Salute
90th. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:26 am

90th,

The list I gave is not an official manifest, but rather a list put together from different newspaper accounts, namely “The Western Daily Press, Bristol” February 28, 1879 and “Aberdeen Evening Express” May 1, 1879.

Petty Officer Tom
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PostSubject: S.S. Clyde   Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:56 am

Great work as usual POT, many thanks and much appreciated.

Salute
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:21 pm

Hi All,
I managed to find further bio on SS Clyde, ref Ian Turners work "Shipwreck and Salvage", p 170..
Quote;
SS Clyde ( ex City of Poonah) . Iron screw steamer of 1480 tons , built in 1870 by Connell, Glasgow, owned
by the Temperly Line, used for transporting troops and commanded by Capt A.H. Lackhurst. Wrecked on a reef 1km N E of Dyer island ( grid co-ords, 38 deg 40' 25.48"S / 19deg 25' 39.50"E) on 3rd april 1879 in fine weather, whilst on a voyage from England to Natal with troops and and a cargo of Govt mail, stores and munitions for use in the Zulu War.
No lives were lost , but the mail and cargo were. Unquote.

Now this wreck site well within the littoral zone ,132kms SE of Cape Town does not look too formidable a place to work on, as it is in relatively shallow waters and air lift bags could easily be used to bring up the hardware, BUT,..... it is the home of the Great White shark, an encounter with which is enough to put one off diving for life.

regards

barry
Ps;
The well matured rum aboard would be very useful for cleaning out used nitrocellulose propellants in gun barrels.


Last edited by barry on Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: S.S. Clyde   Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:35 pm

Hi Barry.

You will have to get one of those diving cages to get at the rum, and while you are down there, can you get me one of the Gat's mate. :p;: :p;: :p;:

Hope all is well Barry.

Martin. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:13 pm

barry wrote:

Hi All,
I managed to find further bio on SS Clyde, ref Ian Turners work "Shipwreck and Salvage", p 170..
Quote;
SS Clyde ( ex City of Poonah) . Iron screw steamer of 1480 tons , built in 1870 by Connell, Glasgow, owned
by the Temperly Line, used for transporting troops and commanded by Capt A.H. Lackhurst. Wrecked on a reef 1km N E of Dyer island ( grid co-ords, 38 deg 40' 25.48"S / 19deg 25' 39.50"E) on 3rd april 1879 in fine weather, whilst on a voyage from England to Natal with troops and and a cargo of Govt mail, stores and munitions for use in the Zulu War. No lives were lost , but the mail and cargo were. Unquote.

Now this wreck site ,132kms SE of Cape Town does not look too formidable a place to work on, it is in relatively shallow waters and air lift bags could easily be used to bring up the hardware, BUT,..... it is the home of the Great White shark, an encounter with which is enough to put one off diving for life.

regards

barry
Ps;
The well matured rum aboard would be very useful for cleaning out used nitopropellants in gun barrels.

Hi Barry .
'' It is the home of the great white shark , an encounter with which is enough to put one off diving for life '' . I would go as far to say it would remove one from life on this planet very quickly and easily if it so desired ! Shocked Shocked
Cheers 90th
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PostSubject: SS.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?    Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:54 pm

Hi Springy .
Do you fancy a dip in the Atlantic ? , Martin and I will supply the cage if your keen , we are more than happy to go thirds in a Gatling
if you feel up to it ? . This little jaunt will get you out of the house for a while ! . You can keep the rum , you may need it ! :p;:
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: S.S. Clyde   Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:34 pm

Howzat springy agree

We will let you keep the rum mate Very Happy

Salute
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:25 pm

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"Clyde SS was a British Cargo Steamer of 2,256 tons built in 1870 by Charles Connell & Company, Scotstoun as the CITY OF POONA for George Smith & Co, Glasgow. City of Poonah, was in the Ellerman fleet from 1870, until she was sold to the Temperley Line, and renamed CLYDE. This ship was wrecked at Dyers Island, South Africa on the 7th April, 1879"
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:54 pm

LH,

I'm sorry but there's no way that the ship in that photograph is the same 'Clyde' that wrecked off of the Cape in 1879.

'Jimu
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:04 am

Whys that Jim.

It's not that much difference to the one in the topic.

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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:09 am

I take it this is LH source.

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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:10 am

24th,

Thanks for the link.

I think the website there has confused 'The Clyde' with the more famous 'The River Clyde' which took part in the Dardenelles landings in World War 1, and it is the latter in that photograph.

Cheers,

'Jimu
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PostSubject: SS Clyde what happened to the cargo ?    Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:52 am

:p;: :p;: . 24th there is a big difference in the ships ! , Jimu has hit the nail on the head , the photo is very possibly the ' River Clyde '
which was used during the Gallipoli campaign , it was run aground on purpose and the troops used it basically as a landing craft and suffered many casualties when disembarking . I have ' Zululand At War ' by Sonia Clarke and there is a sketch of the Clyde going down
and it looks nothing like the one in the photo ! . If anyone has the book the skeych is on page 168 . Sorry , I dont know how to scan it to post it . :p;:
90th.
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:46 am

Hi 90th,
I tend to agree. The picture posted appears to be of a much later design than the original built in Scotland in 1870. It is also not a 1000 tonner, but a much bigger vessel.
I would like to see your picture however, so , connect you computer to the printer and right click instructing "scan to email" and send the scanned attachment to Peter.

regards,

barry
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:39 am

Barry,

You can't see too much in the engraving which was published in 'The Illustrated London News', apart from the masts much of it is below the waterline, but they are masts rather than derricks as in the photograph on the shipwreck site.

I did find the original engraving on a antique print site last night but didn't save the link in my history.

Regards,

'Jimu

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PostSubject: SS Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:56 am

Hi Barry .
I tried to scan etc etc , but didnt work out , will get one of the kids tomorrow to do it . Jimu is correct you can only see the masts sticking out the water, but you can clearly see , it's nothing like the photo of the ship which was posted by either 24th or Littlehand .
90th Salute
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:47 am

Jim, 90th this is the one you speak of.

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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:45 am

Littlehand,

That's the one. A derrick fore and aft.

Note the awning on the stern, just like the one on the shipwreck site.

From a photographic point on view a camera circa 1879, would not have captured the water being pumped from the bilge in the same way as it appears in the photograph above.

Cheers,

'Jimu
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PostSubject: ss Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:54 am

Yes Littlehand as Jimu has posted earlier that is the ' River Clyde ' which is not the ' Clyde ' obviously from 1879 .
90th.
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:00 pm

I have been looking, and there are not the same ship. Look at the Bridge and Masts.
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PostSubject: ss Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:07 pm

Correct Oh2 !!
90th.
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:10 pm

I'm lost. So the image LH posted is the correct one that sank in 1879?
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PostSubject: ss Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:22 pm

Oh2 it isnt that hard really , the image posted by Littlehand appears to be the S.S River Clyde used in the Gallipoli campaign so therefore it isnt the S.S Clyde which sank during the war of 1879 , it isnt rocket science ! , if people are having difficulty trying to identify two different ships which dont have the same name , how can they possibly have any idea on the '' Two '' Jenkins ! . If you still dont get it , hopefully tomorrow , I can send Pete the scanned image of the SS Clyde which is sunk with its masts pointing out the water , and Pete hopefully will post it asap . :p;:
90th. agree
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barry

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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:03 am

Hi Gary,
Thanks for the pic of The Clyde. What this tells me is that she was a actually a steel hulled Barque ( square sail rigging on main and foremast with fore/ aft rigging on the aft mast) .She was fitted with an auxiliary steam engine. As a 1470 tonner I would estimate her length to be about 80-95m, ( ie much smaller than the picture of another Clyde shown on the forum earlier) with a draft of approx 5m. Now, the way the ship is sitting on the bottom in the picture indicates she is resting on the reef in only 7-9 meters of water.
So, the Captain must have run her aground on to the reef at low water.,,...oops. A common occurence on the South African coast in that era becuase of the absence of accurate sea charts and coastal signalling ( ie occulting lights etc) Dense coastal fog may have been another contributing factor in the foundering of the vessel.

Thanks again see , my email.

Regards

barry
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:07 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Posted on behal fof 90th

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The other image posted by Littlehand.
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90th

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PostSubject: SS.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:17 pm

Thanks Pete for posting the image .
Cheers 90th Salute
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:47 am

agree
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: S.S. Clyde   Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:24 pm

Thanks Gary for the piccy and thanks Pete for posting.

You can see that these ships are both different, so the site LH got the image from must have mistakenly posted the wrong photo, but that is no fault of LH's, he wasn't to know they had posted the wrong picture.

P.S. I wonder if springy is setting off on his quest for the Gattling Gun? :p;:

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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:37 pm

Hi All,,
A further check on the available records seems to indicate that the primary cause of the SS Clyde sinking was that she was rammed. Further details have not been given.
However, the incident gives rise to further questions. Did Chelmsford, knowing full well that his munitions supply ship SS Clyde was a least a month away, with vital ammunition and food, impetuously start his campaign on 22/01/1879 with "a devil may care" attitude. Or, was he so arrogantly confident of a pushover, that he went ahead anyway ?
As we all know both ammunition and food for the forces were at crtical low levels post Isandlwana and each caused its owm problems negatively impacting on force readiness.

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barry
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:13 pm

Barry,

The 'Clyde' was only sent out after the disaster at Isandlwana, and was carrying replacements for the 1st/24th, so I think we can dismiss that suggestion.

As to how it was lost I check the newspaper reports I have, hopefully that should shed some light on the incident.

Regards,

'Jimu
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PostSubject: Re: S.S.Clyde what happened to the cargo ?   Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:30 pm

The “Clyde” was hired by the Admiralty after the news of the defeat at Isandlwana, so Chelmsford could not have anticipated her arrival. The Hired Transport “Clyde,” designated #9 by the Admiralty didn’t leave England until March 1, 1879 for South Africa. On April the 3rd around 4:30 am She ran around on submerged rocks (or reef) near Dyer Island.

“Clyde” was not rammed. The damage to the ship was immediately evident and evacuation preparations were started immediately. Water began rushing in and by 7:00 am there was 2 – 3 feet in the ship’s hold, and rising. By 7:30 am the water level had gotten to 8 feet and by noon there was 12 feet of water in the hold. The tide was rising and the ship started to slip off of the rocks. The last of the crew had to signal for a for the life boats to be sent back to the as the ship began sinking. At 12:30 pm there was now 20 feet of water in the ship and the last of the crew safely abandoned the ship. By the next morning only part of the ships masts and her funnel were all that remained visible of the ship. Luckily for Chelmsford, and more especially the troops, there were several of the other ships already on the way with food supplies. The biggest loss was the ammunition and the Gatlings.


Petty Officer Tom
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