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Commander Crawford Caffin, R.N
H.M.S. Natal, aboard which the prisoner Cetshwayo was transported from Port Natal to Capetown. Caffin had joint charge of the King with Captain Ruscombe Poole, R.A. (Isandula Collection)
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 The Rev. T. Woolmer, junior

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PostSubject: The Rev. T. Woolmer, junior   Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:35 pm

"The Rev. T. Woolmer, junior, was the first to be sent. He went up to Rorke's Drift towards the end of February, was with Major Black's party when it paid its first visit to the battlefield of Isandhlwana, was in the fight at Kambula Camp on March 29, and remained with the troops until the final battle at Ulundi on July 4. As the result of communications with the War Office, three more chaplains were appointed. The War Office supplied them with tents, rations, and transport ; the Missionary Committee provided horses and equipment. The Rev. T. H. Wilkin arrived from Grahamstown, and was gazetted chaplain to the Wesleyan soldiers in the First Division on the Lower Tugela. He soon became a favourite both with officers and men, but in a few weeks was stricken down with fever, and never fully recovered from its effects. The Rev. T. W. Pocock took his place, and was one of the last chaplains to leave the field at the close of the war. The Rev. G. Weaver, of Queenstown, was employed on the lines of communication. The services of these chaplains were gratefully acknowledged by Sir H. Clifford from the local headquarters, and Sir Bartle Frere expressed his appreciation of the promptitude and zeal which the Methodist Church had shown in the time of need."
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PostSubject: Re: The Rev. T. Woolmer, junior   Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:58 am

Woolmer's short account for the Army and Navy Committee at home includes a description of the chaplain's duties before and during battle and is a reminder of the reality of a fight to the death in the middle of the veldt with no prospect of retreat, for the chaplain as for the rest. I preached twice every Sunday and had a class meeting in the week, visited the soldiers, gave them tracts and spoke to them about their souls whenever opportunity offered. I also visited the sick... Death was very busy. I buried five men in five days...

On Saturday, about 9 a.m. we saw the Zulus approaching in large bodies. They came steadily on in companies. Our bugles then sounded; the men took up their posts behind the waggons that had been formed into a large laager covering about two acres; the horses were harnessed to the mountain guns; the surgeon got ready his instruments and the black masses of twenty thousand Zulus drew nearer. At about 1 p.m. the order was give, "Cavalry advance"..., they drew the Zulu left wing on till they got them within 2600 yards of the laager, when the guns opened upon them with terrible effect... About 3.30 p.m. the Zulus got possession of the cattle kraal, but were driven back
by a company of the 13th at the point of the bayonet.... I of course was helping the doctors and ministering to the wants of the wounded and dying. And I am very thankful that I was there. We were under fire for the whole of the time, as we had to attend to the wounded outside the marquees. We could hear the Martini-Henry bullets whizzing over our heads... I did not expect to come out alive, but I left it all with God... Thank you all very much for your prayers."
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