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 Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:21 pm

90th
No  Nothing to add from me mate............... cept of course those bloody Kiwis had the cheek to beat us. Greta game though. agree  Did you get your framing done?
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at iSandlwana?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:22 pm

Hi Gary.

You know mate, I am sure that some of the members on here do it deliberately to wind others up, or maybe they are just trying to be trolls, which they seem to be rather good at.

The more that you try to explain things to them, the more they seem to find fault or contradict what you are telling them, and end up making their own guesses about how they assume events should be.

It is so obvious to those who read and digest what they read that Col Durnford was in command of his own independent No2 Column, and that Pulleine was in temp command of the camp whilst LC and Glyn were away chasing rainbows.

With Durnford being a brevet Colonel, it is also obvious that he outranked Pulleine who was a brevet Lt Colonel, and that when he arrived at the camp he would be the senior officer there, and would therefor have been deemed by many to have taken command, HOWEVER, Pulleine said that he was sorry that Durnford had arrived as he was the senior officer and would take command, but Durnford replied that he would not be taking command as he was not staying at the camp. But with Durnford being the senior officer while he was at the camp, any suggestions that he made may well have been taken as being orders.

Ian Knight has already explained that LC had wanted Durnford to co-operate in an action against the Matyana's, and that the orders of the 19th had NOT been countermanded by Chelmsford, and therefor when he was instructed to move up to the camp he would have been expecting fresh orders if there was any change to those earlier orders, but there were none, so as far as Durnford is concerned the earlier orders are still in force. But things have changed since LC left, and Pulleine has done little about it all, so with Durnford having his own independent No2 Column, which are mostly mounted men, he is in the best position to find out what is going on in the area by using his mounted men to gather information.

I would suggest that those that don't seem to understand all this should read Ian's replies again and try to fully digest it all and get it in your heads that it wasn't Col Durnford's fault, even Ian has explained where he believes the blame lies, read his replies and you will see for yourselves.
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at Isandlwana ?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:37 pm

Hi Springy .
I sure did and I'm extremely happy with it . Will attempt to send you a pic during the week . It's very similar to yours .
Cheers 90th. Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:42 pm

Springbok wrote:
He had intelligence that Pulleine didnt, the zulu army had split into its traditional components,
I would have said, Pulleine did have the intelligence, with the amount of reports coming in. But just didn't act on it? 

Em! "Durnford getting back to the camp". So he took command, gave it back, and took it back again. ?
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:44 pm

Martin wrote:
You know mate, I am sure that some of the members on here do it deliberately to wind others up, or maybe they are just trying to be trolls, which they seem to be rather good at.
Martin you do this all the time, if you can't move a discussion forward. Or members don't see it from your point of view, you refer to the rubbish above!
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:46 pm

Martin
A little known fact is that the only member of the two columns that outranked Durnford was Glyn himself. Sorry before anyone else jumps in, I exclude Lord C.
Ians a great historian, BUT not always right. He has his opinions based on his research, but there are others equally as good. David Jackson disagrees with him on a couple of the questions answered, as does Julian Whybra. That doesnt diminish him in any way or promote the other two. It does say that every single thing about the 22nd of January is open to interpretation.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:47 pm

LH
Yep quite a bit of sleight of hand in there. But think about it, it does make sense.

Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:52 pm

LH
Sorry didnt see your other post. Did Pulleine know that the left horn was coming down the Quabe? Scott had sent Barker back with a message that a sighting had taken place on the plateau, but the whole impi was on the plateau. The left horn moved of the plateau North East of ithusi then down the Quabe. Pulleine didnt have a clue the trouble he was in................." Oh what a fool a fellow is, if we had kept quite and let them come we could have given them a sound thrashing. " Words to that effect.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:02 pm

Springbok, you know the lay out of Isandlwana better than most. Am I right in saying, that the Zulus seen moving behind the hill early stages, we're those that formed the left horn? later on in the day?
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at iSandlwana?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:24 pm

Hi LH.

Mate, I have been trying to move the discussion forward scores of times, but others keep going back to the same old stuff about Durnford.

I have posted in various threads the discussions and orders that Chelmsford had with Durnford, and have shown that the earlier orders from LC to Durnford were never countermanded by LC when he moved from the camp to Mangeni, and that therefor if LC had wanted Durnford to either stay at the camp or if he wanted him to do anything different to the orders of the 19th, then LC should have left further orders for Durnford with Pulleine at the camp, but he didn't. But everytime I have posted these things there has always been some members that refuse to believe this and stop things from moving forward, and even now after Ian has replied to members questions, and he has confirmed that the orders of the 19th were never countermanded by LC, there are still those who don't seem to accept this, and therefor won't let things move forward, that is why we are always going over the same thing over and over again. In other words mate, there are those who will always blame Durnford no matter how much evidence there is to show he wasn't, and that is why the discussion keeps going backwards rather than forwards.

I am not trying to get other members to see things from my point of view at all, I am trying to get them to read and understand what is there written in black and white in front of their eyes, and can be found in various books etc, by renowed authors.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:34 pm

Martin the orders Durnford received on the 22nd overruled any he received earlier, mainly because the advance into Zululand had changed, when it was thought Dartnelll had found the main Impi. Columns were spit and reinforcements were needed to plug the gaps. 

We have taken on board your comments, but this theory is yours and yours alone. If you can show something to substantiate your claim, it would be beneficial to the argument.
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at iSandlwana?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:50 pm

CTSG.

Please read Ian's answers again, you will find that what I have said many times is confirmed by Ian.

The earlier orders where never countermanded by LC, and that the order of the 22nd was an instruction to move up to the camp, there is NOTHING in there to over rule any earlier orders, it is simply an instruction to move up to the camp. There is NOTHING to tell Col Durnford what he is supposed to do when he arrives at the camp, there is NOTHING telling him to stay at the camp and take command.  

I have no need to 'substantiate my claim', I am not 'claiming' anything, all you need to do is read Ian's replies and you will see for yourself.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:55 pm

Ian is just stating what he thinks! He hasn't closed the case. You call it an Instruction ?. Look at the " Order " in-question in its entirety not just the part that involves Durnford.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:59 pm

CTSG
We really dont know for sure, it could have been. What I believe, and I stress its me, The right horn was dispatched much earlier, Chard saw them heading "behind the Lion hill". The reports that came in suggested three columns were moving. So One going right the other two could only have been centre and left, they retired.
The Quabe valley is a pretty long valley, climbs up of the plain then flattens out towards the Northenrmost end where it becomes the Ngwebini valley. The left horn, if it was coming from Ngwebini would have come straight down. Thats not what the scouts or Hlubi saw, the scouts came of the plateau to the left chased by the left horn. So the horn, to my mind must have come from some where close tp point X
So to answer your questions its highly possible the left horn advanced then retired, for whatever reason, and then later in the day moved along the valley.
Its all about making up your own mind really.
A couple of years back I walked from the Ngwebini valley, the traditional lay over point, climbed out over mabaso then across the plateau. last year I walked from point X over a slight rise down into the Quabe and along to the plain. I know which route I would take if I carried a nice sharp spear with some evil intent.Whatever happened you can bet bottom dollar that the Quabe valley was an intended route for the left horn, its a completly hidden route to the front of the camp area.
Just as much as the Right wings route. The attack was a piece of brilliant ground management.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:02 pm

All, how many times have i heard here and else where that this
' command thing ' has been done to death,but yet many scroll
down,look, and still feel compelled to post...

Durnford's return to camp was critical to its survival. it most
likely placed Pulleine in an awkward situation, for the former
would now assume overall command, but it appears that in the
excitement of the moment Durnford either failed or deliberately
avoided to clarify this issue with Pulleine. the vital decision to
draw in the line of defense was left when it was to late. it would
have been imprudent of Pulleine to act independently of Durnford
and order a move which at this stage would of isolated Durnford
on the right. it is possible that Durnford had considered such an
order,but,no doubt satisfied with the fact that his small force was
holding the Zulu left.gave no thought to the danger to the camp
as a whole.

There seem to be an appalling lack of communication between the
two Colonel's, and no co-operation.it was Captain Gardner ,not
Pulleine, who saw the need to reinforce the right, and Durnford
himself came into the camp - not to assume overall command as was his
duty- but to gather more reinforcements and to return with them
to the Nyogane.
cheers

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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at iSandlwana?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:06 pm

Oh! so Ian is only guessing I suppose is he?

I have read and posted the order time and time again, there is NOTHING countermanding the earlier orders, there is NOTHING that explains to Col Durnford what is expected of him once he arrives at the camp, there is NOTHING telling him to stay at the camp, there is NOTHING telling him to take command of the camp.

If you can show where it says what Durnford is supposed to do, then please post it, don't just make a guess at what you think he should have done, show us where it says what Durnford is supposed to do once he arrives at the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:09 pm

Springbok wrote:
" I know which route I would take if I carried a nice sharp spear with some evil intent.Whatever happened you can bet bottom dollar that the Quabe valley was an intended route for the left horn, its a completly hidden route to the front of the camp area.
Just as much as the Right wings route. The attack was a piece of brilliant ground management. "
The fact it was hidden from the main camp, starts to put the jigsaw into place. So I take it this route would have been the longest route to take to engage the British. Would the movements have also been hidden from those observing from the top of Isandlwana hill.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:17 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
Oh! so Ian is only guessing I suppose is he?

I have read and posted the order time and time again, there is NOTHING countermanding the earlier orders, there is NOTHING that explains to Col Durnford what is expected of him once he arrives at the camp, there is NOTHING telling him to stay at the camp, there is NOTHING telling him to take command of the camp.

If you can show where it says what Durnford is supposed to do, then please post it, don't just make a guess at what you think he should have done, show us where it says what Durnford is supposed to do once he arrives at the camp.
What primary source did Ian use?

No one can tell you what Durnford was supposed to do! Because he didn't have to do anything apart from move to the camp. My thought is, he was there to plug the gap of the missing components that went  to assist Dartnell.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:20 pm

CTSG
Heres an interesting thought for you.
Chard saw a pretty big force moving along the ridge. They started at the extreme eastern side ( thats the closest way back to Mabaso ) that force moved along the plateau to the west then down in the valley to wait for the battle to start, the right horn.
Chard says he looked at them through binoculars. David Jackson says the same. Ive posted pictures taken from the camp area. Cast your mind back to those photos. You cant see the plateau from the camp.
This was where the other columns retired.
The only way those zulus could be seen ( Pope, Brickhill, Chard, Essex all saw them ) would be if they ran along the ridge line in front of the two hills on the ridge, in plain view. And if they did that why change the route for the main attack and run all the way around the hills?
Why have none of our historians researchers authors ever thought of that ? It aint barain surgery.
Once that thought gets firmy planted in your head ( stuck into mine like superglue ) you start to question the events surrounding that time period.

Cheers
Sorry was about to post when I saw your second post.
It is a bit longer, but a heck of a lot easier and yes its totally hidden from all the piquets/vedets until it comes out onto the plain. Its the PERFECT aproach route. So to extrapolate a bit, The right horn is hidden, the left horn is hidden, up comes the chest in full view, where is the Army going to concentrate? And thats what Pulleine did. If Durnford hadnt chosen to go for a ride up the Quabe they would never have know. Not saying Durnford knew, in fact he blundered into the Left horn.

Cheers 2
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:29 pm

And Companies were sent far from the camp to engage the chest! While the unseen horns took up position, or am I starting to go wrong?
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:32 pm

CTSG
Nope spot on.
I wouldnt go so far as to say that was planned by Tshingwayo, but it certainly made life easier for him.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:39 pm

Thanks Springbok. Perhaps it's time for me to get my head around the lay out of Isandlwana and routes taken ect. Must admit never really understood this element of Isandlwana, but starting to make sense. Anyway Sunday roast awaits back soon! agree
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at iSandlwana?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:51 pm

CTSG.

"My thought is, he was there to plug the gap of the missing components that went to assist Dartnell".

Yes, that is what a lot of people assume, however, don't forget that LC had personally told Durnford, and later by written order, that he would be required to co-operate in the attack on the Matyana's. To all intents and purposes this was to have been a three pronged attack with LC in the centre with Durnford and Bengough acting as a pincer to drive out the Zulus towards LC where it was hoped that they could be defeated or surrender. So with the order of the 22nd instructing him to move up to the camp, Durnford would have been under the impression that this attack on the Matyana's was about to begin, and that Bengough was also getting ready to get into position by crossing at Eland's Kraal (as per order 22nd).

LC didn't mention any change to the earlier orders in those of the 22nd, so as far as Durnford is concerned, the earlier orders are still the ones to go by, and to him it must have seemed that the attack on the Matyana's was getting under way, and that is why he told Pulleine that he would not be staying at the camp, he was wanted elsewhere to co-operate with LC and Bengough in the attack on the Matyana's.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:53 pm

Martin
Its possible that the orders of the 21st ( long lost) are the key.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:59 pm

Martin, why would Chelmsford order Durnford to Isandlwana, if he wanted him to act against the Matyana's. And if he took it upon himself to follow previous orders, why attemp to ride to LC assistance in the opposite direction?
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at iSandlwana?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:05 pm

Hi springy mate.

You could well be right on that, but I wonder if they had anything to do with a fresh approach regarding the attack on the Matyana's?

welshman indeed Shocked ,  tut tut you bad lad.Very Happy 

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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at iSandlwana?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:23 pm

Chard.

He would have been moved up to the camp to be closer to LC in readiness for any attack on the Matyana's. However, while he was at the camp there was a report came in about a body of zulus heading in the direction of LC, so Durnford would have to try to find out what these zulus were up to, he is quoted as saying, "if they are heading towards the general we must stop the at all hazards". He would have to try to find out if they were trying to cut LC off or attack him, so he went in the direction he did to try to find out just what they were doing, little did he know that this body of zulus was the left horn, and when they made contact he halted them for quite some time before running low on ammo and being outflanked on both sides, and had no other option other than to abandon the donga and fall back towards the camp.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:30 pm

agree  Martin tut tut you good lad Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:34 pm

Durnford...

The issues of his leadership and the clarity of Chelmsford's
orders were to be an integral part of the investigation
ordered by Chelmsford into the fall of the camp, and this,
together with these issues, will be critically examined in
the next chapter. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:35 pm

As I posted a bit earlier, Shepstone went to isandlwana to get orders from Chelmsford. The next Morning Durnford left the Drift to go hunting for transport wagons on the Biggarsberg Heights.
Is it possible therefore that there were fresh orders from Chelmsford? After all Durnford had been hauled over the coals for going of and doing his own thing once before?
The orders issued on the 19th were before the events of early morning on the 22nd, so the situation had changed.
We will never know, pity Durnford never told Cochran what orders Shepstone brought back, and thats rather strange to say the least.
Durnford was of course in charge of a column and was therefore to a degree master of his own destiny, provided he operated within the framework laid down by the General. And the General thought that he shouldnt confuse the Colonel by issuing more precise orders, touch of sarcasm there Im afraid.

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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:39 pm

Ah, seems like Les is taking the correct route, start at the beginning. If any one has the order to Durnford in question could you post. Martin I'm sure you would be able to lay your hands on it!
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at iSandlwana?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:51 pm

22nd, Wednesday, 2 a.m.

You are to march to this camp at once with all the force you have with you of No2 column.

Major Bengough's battalion is to move to Rorke's Drift as ordered yesterday. 2/24th, Artillery and mounted men with the General and Colonel Glyn move off at once to attack a Zulu force about 10 miles distant.
J.N.C.
If Bengough's battalion has crossed the river at Eland's Kraal it is to move up here (Nangwane Valley).
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:03 pm

Thanks Martin.
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PostSubject: Did Durnford assume command at iSandlwana?   Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:09 pm

You are welcome mate.

Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:20 pm

First part of the order involves Durnford. No mention of following Yesterdays orders. 

"You are to march to this camp at once with all the force you have with you of No2 column."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Second part involves Bengough. Note it says " As ordered Yesterday"  if certain events had been carried out Bengough was to join Chelmsford! 
Clear and coincise! 

"Major Bengough's battalion is to move to Rorke's Drift as ordered yesterday. 2/24th, Artillery and mounted men with the General and Colonel Glyn move off at once to attack a Zulu force about 10 miles distant.
J.N.C.
If Bengough's battalion has crossed the river at Eland's Kraal it is to move up here (Nangwane Valley)."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Durnford has received an order. And being kept in the loop with regards to Bengough's movements. That's it end of!
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:49 pm

This is my attempt to plot events as they unfolded and locations onto Google Earth, including Ngwebeni Valley, Mabaso, Quabe Valley and Point X etc. Titles get a bit crowded at this magnification when you get up to Isandlwana but it is reasonably clear. I am no expert on the topography and would welcome any comments/corrections from those who know the ground much better than i do!

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Steve
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:54 pm

Rusteze. As I have said. I'm no expert on topography. But that looks amazing, I'm sure springbok will be the best in to comment. Excellent work! agree
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:55 pm

The General had forgotten to order Pulleine to defend the camp so Clery did
so in his name. even the message to Durnford that he was to come to the
camp to re-enforce it was left to Crealock who missed the early ( and vital)
part of the General's conversation with Clery, and was therefore not so well
acquainted with the General's plans.

The result of this was that Crealock made a number of errors. he ordered up
the whole of Durnford'd force, when only the Mounted men were required,he
did not tell Durnford that he was going to take command.furthermore he made
no reference to a previous order..

Chelmsford, in explaining to the War Office why no further orders were sent to
Durnford, later declared that he.." Refrained from sending any fresh instructions
(because they) might only have caused confusion".

There were no further orders. his 19th and more were lifted off his dead body.
see S in the ZW 1. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:58 pm

rusteze,excellent.. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:03 pm

Spot on Les, people don't seem to realise the orders were sent by others and not LC. But they cast blame because they say LC should have checked the messages prior to delivery. However when you consider he was busy with other issues, he probably was even aware of what was written!
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:19 pm

Yeah, mon ami Les, you did not know this, there are even orders that were sent without LC knows - LOL-
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:21 pm

ctsg,your right he was'nt even aware.
cheers xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:22 pm

Steve
All pretty much there, cant read the small print at the top but I can take a good guess.
Directly above the C in Conical Koppie is Ithusi just to the right you can see a thin line/road leading round in a curve then vertically. Thats the road going up the Quabe Valley. At the top you name the Quabe. Durnfords turn about point is about ( in full size) half an inch higher diagonaly to the left.
I think you have point X in Red to the right ( East ) of the road. If you look at that position, to the left is a donga/watercourse. Thats the Upper Ngwebini, slightly to the LEFT is point X.
I have a major difficulty with the positions of Cavaye etc, not with your map but with history. But thats a future thread.

Nice one.

CTSG
Your dead right Chelmsford didnt issue those orders, Crealock and Clery did, Crealock should have confirmed what the order actually was. Clery exceeded his authority issuing an order to a superior authority without consulting with the column commander, Glyn.
However you cant then transfer the blame onto Puleine and Durnford because the Staff officers couldnt do their job properly, this time you can shoot the messenger.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:22 pm

lol,hiya pascal:D 
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:33 pm

Crealock..

"The presence of an officer of Col Durnford's rank and corps
would prove of value in defence of a camp if it should be
attacked".
Drooglever..
If it were expected that the camp might be attacked why then
were no orders left with either Durnford or Pulleine to prepare
the defence's?.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:39 pm

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Hope this helps
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:45 pm

Les, Shepstone was sent to the camp on the 21st specifically to get orders for Durnford, hence the reference in the written order of the 22nd,"as ordered yesterday." Thats the order we know nothing about.

Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:15 pm

Who's orders was Shepstone under to delivered the message on the 21st.

If Crealock had sent the order that Clery was going to send to Durnford in the first instance, we wouldn't be discussing this now!
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:22 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
Crealock..

"The presence of an officer of Col Durnford's rank and corps
would prove of value in defence of a camp if it should be
attacked".
Drooglever..
If it were expected that the camp might be attacked why then
were no orders left with either Durnford or Pulleine to prepare
the defence's?.
There's one of the problems, they didn't think it was going to be attacked. Hard to believe I know, with all the messages coming in prior to Durnfords arrival.
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PostSubject: Re: Did Durnford Assume Command at Isandhlwana?.   Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:35 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
All, how many times have i heard here and else where that this 'command thing' has been done to death,but yet
many scroll down,look, and still feel compelled to post...
-
Fair enough, but I was referring to "who was senior."  There is no doubt about that.

xhosa2000 wrote:
Durnford's return to camp was critical to its survival. it most likely placed Pulleine in an awkward situation...
-
That is how you imagine it, but I think the game was up by this point. In my historical imagination no British decision could have mitigated
the disaster by the time Durnford rode in, let alone changed the outcome of the battle. However interesting this aspect of the discussion
may be to you, to me it is akin to debating how many angels can fit on the head of a pin...or in this case--given the odds--how long it
would take the British & allies to be completely annihilated. (Longer than a hungry man needs to eat lunch?)

xhosa2000 wrote:
There seem to be an appalling lack of communication between the two Colonel's, and no co-operation.
-
HERE IS WHERE I THINK YOU STRIKE GOLD.  I agree.  And who set that tone?  The Chelmsford/Crealock duo. Chelmsford communicated
with his staff primarily through Crealock (who seems to have been roundly detested,) often almost as an afterthought.

I believe this was because he believed his biggest problem was bringing the Zulu to battle not beating them. But whatever the case may
have been it is clear that Chelmsford was not conducting anything like a "council of war" where the current situation could be communicated
(let alone an optimal course of action be debated.) Before I am told that is not how "the command thing" was done "back in ye olden daeys"
I want to stress that a key facet of command has ALWAYS been the clear communication of orders.  

If debating his intentions 130+ years later with the benefit of hindsight is frustrating, imagine how confusing those orders must have been
to his reports at the time!  Why focus primarily on the (supposed) failings of Durnford -- the victim of those ambiguous orders -- instead of
Chelmsford, the man in overall command? However rash anyone finds his actions, Durnford did no more than follow his commander's example
of impetuously splitting his force and riding out in the middle of the night without so much as a brief conversation with Pulleine who was present.    

xhosa2000 wrote:
it was Captain Gardner ,not Pulleine, who saw the need to reinforce the right,
-
Yes. This is yet another indication the Pulleine was "commanding" the battle in name only. Time and again we see subordinates correcting or
amending him as if he's a nice guy but shouldn't be in charge. Ian Knight believes that the British would have been better with Durnford
dispatching his forces and staying in camp. If that is true it has less to do with "unity of command" than Durnford's experience/abilities. The
supposition is Pulleine was in over his head and Durnford might have grasped the situation sooner.  Impossible to prove of course...  

xhosa2000 wrote:
...and Durnford himself came into the camp - not to assume overall command as was his duty- but to gather more
reinforcements and to return with them to the Nyogane.
-
I would argue Durnford came into camp because he was ordered to.  He expected to find additional instructions but there were none. After all,
Chelmsford had neglected to issue orders to Pulleine...so why would we expect him to be thinking about a distant force of no-account native
and colonial soldiers?! -6pdr
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