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 Rocket crew who played dead..?

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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:28 pm

Hi

The rocket crew who played dead - are there any accounts from these folk, seems an amazingly close escape.

cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: Rocket Crew who played dead ...?    Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:06 am

Hi Cisco .
The 3 soldiers who survived the attack on the Rocket Battery , Privates Grant , Trainer or Trainor and Johnston were very lucky to survive , Russell and 6 others were killed . I'm fairly certain they all left an account , these accounts are in ' The Noble 24th ' by Norman Holme . It's frequently for sale on ebay at the bargain basement price of 12.50 GBPD'S .
Cheers 90th You need to study mo 
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90th

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PostSubject: Rocket Crew who played dead ...?    Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:44 am

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Hi Ciscokid.
Here is the book , check the postage rates to where you live if you wish to buy it .
cheers 90th.


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PostSubject: Rocket Crew who played dead ....?    Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:11 am

Hi Cisco .
Not meaning to sound picky but Trainor , Grant and Johnston didnt actually '' play dead '' after the Rocket Battery was fired upon , I've been reliably informed of this fact and that their accounts are indeed in Norman Holme's ' The Noble 24th ' .
Cheers 90th.
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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:26 pm

90th wrote:
Hi Cisco .
Not meaning to sound picky but  Trainor , Grant and Johnston didnt actually '' play dead '' after the Rocket Battery was fired upon ,  I've been reliably informed of this fact and that their accounts are indeed in Norman Holme's  ' The Noble 24th ' .
Cheers 90th.
Hi

Thanks for the tips - i'm repeating what Caskie said when I saw him recently (great talk btw).

I'll look to buy the book.

cheers
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:55 pm

90th wrote:
Hi Cisco .
Not meaning to sound picky but  Trainor , Grant and Johnston didnt actually '' play dead '' after the Rocket Battery was fired upon ,  I've been reliably informed of this fact and that their accounts are indeed in Norman Holme's  ' The Noble 24th ' .
I have the book and it proved its worth, and then some. While causally browsing it I learned what REALLY happened to the rocket battery vs. what I had previously assumed/thought/been told. Their leader, Russell was the the victim of the opening Zulu volley. [That's always part of the telling.] The mules bolted and the unit disbursed. [This usually is too.] From memory, there was no playing dead -- or at least not in the Hollywood sense of smearing blood on their bodies and lying down -- but the Zulu advance did more or less bypass their immediate area. They (two together and the other two individually,) rejoined Durnford when his native cavalry were making their stand in the donga...and then retreated back on the camp with them by hook or by crook.

The ironic thing here is that the rate of survival in the rocket battery (a tiny unit) must have surpassed any other Regular formations on the battlefield that day. And overall I can only of "Durnford's Basutos" doing better because they were well mounted, armed, and trained...plus Sgt. Kambula and the rest of their leadership kept their heads remarkably well that day.

I can't remember how Rob Caskie narrated the destruction of the rocket battery, but a gifted storyteller is entitled (as long as (s)he's not addressing academics,) to a bit of poetic license...so you might want to ask follow on questions as to what "playing dead" entailed exactly.

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:17 am

6pdr wrote:
so you might want to ask follow on questions as to what "playing dead" entailed exactly.
agree 
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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:28 pm

Thanks all - I bought it, 20 quid well spent (IMO)

cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: Rocket Crew Who Played Dead ....?    Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:42 pm

Hi Cisco .
I suppose you are talking about Norman Holme's ' The Noble 24th ' , Did you get it from ebay it's always on there for 12.50 Quid ? . Yes, it's certainly worth it .
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo 
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:32 pm

You will find that they didn't 'play dead' in any sense of the words. Durnford turned up in time to save them basically.
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PostSubject: Rocket Crew who played dead ?    Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:43 pm

In the nick of time to be honest . Salute 
90th
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:44 pm

Not forgetting Goff!
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90th

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PostSubject: Rocket Crew who played dead ?    Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:03 pm

Hi Julian .
Funny how Trainer & Grant dont mention Bmdr Goff but Johnson states he met the three of them just below the camp and they gave him a horse . Also Goff never left an account , I find that strange , but, then again others also didnt leave an account . Must admit , I've found it puzzling as to why those who didnt leave accounts , never left one later in life . I know there was an inquiry of sorts , but , surely , all who survived should have been made to come forward and give their own accounts , the more accounts the more information one would think ! . The more holes may have been filled so to speak .
Cheers 90th.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:10 pm

Maybe he did but nothing he wrote had any bearing on the subsequent Court of Inquiry. Much evidence was heard and discounted as repetition. Maybe it was binned, maybe sent to London and binned later.
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:22 pm

Like Barton and Bromhead maybe?
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:52 pm

All, my best bit of the account's
tell that at the first volley,the
Mule carrying the rockets promp-
tly hopped on a nearby boulder
and nothing would induce it to
hop off again. cheers xhosa
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:07 pm

90th wrote:
Funny how Trainer & Grant dont mention Bmdr Goff...
Is that why there is just a question mark next to his name in THE NOBLE 24TH? It's almost as if he stayed behind when they went out after Durnford.
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:29 pm

Did anyone apart from the Zulu see the demise of the RB, could it have been observed from areas in the camp.

Brickhill makes a comment with regards to Dunford riding out, but can't say if the RB went with him?
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:45 pm

24th wrote:
Did anyone apart from the Zulu see the demise of the RB, could it have been observed from areas in the camp.

Brickhill makes a comment with regards to Dunford riding out, but can't say if the RB went with him?
It was estimated at different distances from the camp by different participants* but all guessed it in terms of multiple miles.  I think you would have needed good field glasses of some sort to see individuals from the camp, but the explosion of the single rocket fired seems to have registered with more than one witness.

*Pvt. Johnson said they met the Carbineers vidette about two miles out, Pvt. Trainer estimated 2-3 miles and Pvt. Grant judged it to be 3-4 miles, for example.
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:03 am

Good point. Infact that was Brickhills problem, he states he had no field glasses! So could say.
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:17 am

Pretty difficult to see the RB demise from the camp as its 'round the corner' so to speak into the notch. Dont forget as well that the chest was making its appearance around the same time on the ridge plus the two companies on the spur were engaged so lots and lots of noise and activity to mask the sounds of battle 2 miles away 'round the corner'.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:23 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Pretty difficult to see the RB demise from the camp as its 'round the corner' so to speak into the notch. Dont forget as well that the chest was making its appearance around the same time on the ridge plus the two companies on the spur were engaged so lots and lots of noise and activity to mask the sounds of battle 2 miles away 'round the corner'.Cheers
Impressive that you can do this, Springbok. You know what would be invaluable? If somebody could publish a book or pamphlet divided into three columns like that (right, chest, left) with a running chronology. I bet that would create a lot of disputes but put to bed some others. More than once I have been completely surprised by the relative movements. Even here, I would have thought the RB took the hit before things got hot around Talahane...but I'm not sure why I would have thought so, really.
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:30 pm

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:35 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm
If you like that idea, can I trade it for yours concerning Durnford's ride to nowhere (Pulleine) and back?
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:40 pm

6pd
Watch this space Wink 
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:41 pm

springbok9 wrote:
6pd
Watch this space Wink 
Will do. For you and Julian too.
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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:25 pm

90th wrote:
Hi Cisco .
I suppose you are talking about Norman Holme's ' The Noble 24th ' , Did you get it from ebay it's always on there for 12.50 Quid ? . Yes, it's certainly worth it .
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo 
Yes (based on you reccomendation)

cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Rocket crew who played dead..?   Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:15 pm

The following is the statement of 299 Private William Johnson, 1/24th Regiment:

‘I was one of the Rocket Battery under command of the late Captain Russell, R.A., which was attached to Colonel Durnford’s Column. We got to Isandhlwana Camp about 11 a.m. on the 22nd January 1879. We halted there about 10 minutes when Colonel Durnford came down from the Campof the 1/24th Regiment and gave orders that, as the Zulus were retiring fast, the mounted men should advance up a hill about two and a half miles from Camp, and that the Rocket Battery supported by the Infantry of the Native Contingent should follow in rear of the Mounted Basutos. About two miles out we met a ‘vidette’ of the Natal Carbineers who reported that the Mounted Basutos were heavily engaged on the opposite side of a hill on our left, at the same time offering to show us a short cut to the place where the engagement was going on. The Captain galloped up the hill and before he returned to us shouted ‘Action front’.

While we were getting into action the Zulus kept coming out of a kloof on our left, which the big guns had been shelling from the Camp. We had time to fire our rocket when they came over the hill in masses, and commenced to fire on us. As soon as they opened fire the mules carrying the rockets broke away. The Native Contingent, who were in the rear of us, after firing a few shots ran away. I observed that a great number of them were unable to extract the empty cartridge cases after firing, and offered to do so for some of them but they would not give me their rifles. Before this the horses had broken away and I tried to help Captain Russel from the field, but he was shot before we had gone many paces. I made my escape to a donga held by some of the Police, Mounted Infantry and Carbineers. On my way to this place I met Colonel Durnford and he asked me where my battery was; I told him that the battery was cut up and the Captain shot, when he said you had better go back and fetch him. I then pointed out to him that the enemy had already nearly surrounded us. At this time he was mounted as well as his orderly who had a spare horse, and he retired with a few Basutos towards the left of the Camp. Just below the Camp I met Privates Trainer and Grant with Bombardier Gough, they gave me a horse. We then went up to the Camp and found the Police extended in front of it and they were shortly afterwards driven in. The Camp was now almost completely surrounded and I made for the Buffalo following some of the Police and other mounted men, and crossed it below Rorke’s Drift. I afterwards met Major Spalding on the road to Helpmakaar, and turned back and joined the Companies 1/24th under Major Upcher. We met a lot of natives on the left of the road to the Drift but could not make out what they were for certain.’
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