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 Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail

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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:58 pm

I spent five hours yesterday with Rob Caskie exploring the fugitives trail, the grass being so low (and burned) way out on the plateau over the buffalo revealed six cairns previously unseen. These prove the flight was spread way beyond the normal accepted track line, which is over to the left on the tree line
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With the vegetation low, the cairn to Trooper McCilroy of the Natal Carbineers was also easier to find.
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Rob is soon going to be offering some bespoke 3-4 day guided packages at the Battlefields, pick up drop off, for those who can't afford Holts type trips.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Previously unseen cairns   Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:05 pm

Thanks for sharing the photo's Neil, much appreciated.

I wonder how many more cairns there are that have yet to be found, or indeed if there are any poor souls remains that have still to be discovered?

The trips sound very interesting, I would love to visit and pay my respects to the fallen, but alas, it's travelling all that way that is the problem.

Thanks again Neil.

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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:03 pm

Neil top photo, The hill in the distance just over the chaps left shoulder. Is that Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:29 pm

Neil bet you didn't think you would find that on your travels. Thanks for posting.


Impi. Certainly looks like it.
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Kenny



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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:46 pm

Impi

Chap = Rob Caskie

Isandlwana is over his left shoulder as you look at it - or Rob's right from his point of view.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:55 pm

Of course, this is interesting in respect, that it places Peter Shepherd near the same spot. It was Macleroy he was attending to when killed by an assegai, witness by A Muirhead. No Grave marker was ever found for Shepherd, chances are he may very well be in the same grave as Macleroy. Food for thought?

I always supposed Shepherd was in the camp when he died!
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90th

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PostSubject: Previously unseen cairns way out on fugiyives trail   Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:56 am

Thanks Neil , excellent work .
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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:35 am

Littlehand,

I doubt very much if Peter Shepherd is in the same grave as George MacLeroy. As George is buried in PMB, the marker at Isandlwana is where he was initially buried in May 1879, but the body was removed in September 1879 and buried in the Commercial Road Cemetery.

'Jimu
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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:42 am

Jim. Thanks for up-date.

I did read he was trying to get wounded men back to RD in a wagon. He certainly covered some distance before being over come. surly this shows that men were leaving the camp at the early stages or before the battle commenced.
Muirhead witness Shepherds death so must have been with him, or very nearby.
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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:33 pm

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kwajimu1879

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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:34 pm

Littlehand,

From what I can gather from the narratives and from both the MacLeroy and the Shepherd family archives - both families are known to me - George MacLeroy was initially wounded in or around Durnford's donga, he was sent to the rear for treatment accompanied by other Natal Carbineers. He slumped from his horse and Surgeon Major Peter Shepherd went to assistance, he examined MacLeroy only to find he was already dead. Shepherd was killed as he was remounting his horse.

In my opinion these were not men who were leaving battlefield earlier, quite the opposite these possibly some of the last to quit the field.

As to Shepherd, think it was an ambulance that he loaded up with battle casualties, the Red Cross of Geneva from that ambulance was in the collection of the former Local History Museum, in Durban, what an annotated note about it, where that is now I can't say.

'Jimu

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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:38 pm

I don't think the ambulance made it out of the camp, before it was swamped by Zulu's.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:48 pm

Jim thats not what Muirhead states. He is say that "Kelly" was hit while with him, not in the Donga with Durnford. Not sure he would have made it the distance, to where his monument is located if wounded earlier.That is some way from Isandlwana. Perhaps Neil could give us an approx distance from Isadlwana to monument! 



This is from Trooper Muirhead of the Carbineers

“As Kelly and I were riding for our lives, the Zulus pursuing us, my companion – almost a boy, Trooper Kelley – staggered in his saddle, evidently hit. I stopped my horse to see what was the matter, and I tried to support him, but I couldn’t , and had to lift him off on to the ground. At that moment, Dr. Shepherd came galloping past. I called out to him, and he dismounted to examine poor Kelly. After carefully examining him he called out, “Ah! Poor fellow, too late”. I had just mounted my horse and Dr Shepherd was in the act of putting his foot into the stirrup, when some instinct warned me to look round. As I did so I saw an assegai coming straight towards me. I turned to the left in my saddle: at the same moment it passed close to my head, and unfortunately, struck Dr. Shepherd in the side. He immediately fell, and I put spurs to my horse, and galloped off as fast as the horse could go”.
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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:20 pm

I did read somewhere there a Zulu War Historian was looking for Shepherds grave. Never had any luck. This area, is it the same route others leaving the camp would have taken. Ie Cogill and Melville. Or are we talking a new area discovered?
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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:55 pm

24th,

You have to appreciate the MacLeroy family are in possession of correspondence dating from 1879, which tells a slightly different tale from that reproduced in MacKinnon & Shadbolt. And you will note I did state he was initially wounded in or around Durnford's Donga, but the rest follows the Muirhead account.

There's some poetic licence in the piece, Trooper G. T. MacLeroy was in his twenties so hardly a boy. What is of interest is the family are in possession of a sketch he made days before Isandlwana, which unwittingly shows what was to become the Fugitives' Trial. The next time I see them I'll try and get a copy.

As to his so called nickname being 'Kelly', I can debunk that one as well he was more commonly known by the nickname of 'Geordie' by his friends in the Natal Carbineers.

'Jimu

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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:08 pm

Mcelroys grave is about 600 yards from the saddle, it quite high up Malhabamkhosi side and it took us some tome to locate it. In respect to the accepted modern trail its 150 yards to the left.

The cairns far out on the trail in the main photo had at some time been located by amaafa and painted (light blue) but not in the last ten years.
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Ulundi

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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:03 am

Bit confused chaps!

600 Yards fron the saddle? So is that not Isandlwana in the background?
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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:16 am

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Jamie's site 4th photo down.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:43 pm

saddle. Nek. All very confusing. Just how big was the Battlefield at Isandlwana.scratch
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PostSubject: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives trail    Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:03 am

24th , Surely you must have looked at Jamie's website over the years ???? , if you havent , you wont have any concept of the vast area involved in the Battle Of Isandlwana , it shows the amount of area involved !!. Look in the '' Our favourite web links '' on the left hand side .
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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:16 am

Hi 90th, yes I have seen Jamie's website. What throws me in the distances. Neil's photos above. Isandlwana looks miles away. So I was thinking the monument they found, was well away from the battlefield. The saddle, is this connect to Isandlwana, or is it in another area.
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90th

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PostSubject: Previously unseen cairns way out on the fugutives trail    Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:26 am

Hi24th .
The distances involved are massive , I've never been there ( yet ! ) , the saddle - nek basically the same area , from what I can gather it's the area between the mtn and Black's koppie , which is to the left if you are facing the mtn itself .
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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:06 pm

Images from Springbok’s Book, Copyright applies.
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Photo of the side of Mahlabamkhosi  looking down the Fugitives trail. Im assuming  the area on the extreme left is where Neil located Macleroys memorial.  I would be grateful if  Neil could pinpoint the cairn or even give a GPS location.
Text By Springbok.
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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:16 pm

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Trooper George Thompson MacLeroy, Natal Carbineers

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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:47 pm

The cairns way out on the fugivites trail are google earth 28.23.05 s x 30.37.12.40 e. If you zoom you will see circular kraals.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Previously unseen cairns way out on Fugitives Trail   Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:33 am

Thanks Neil, I do have their position, the one Ive never been able to find is the MacLeroy. Can you pinpoint that for me.

Cheers
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