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 Rorke's Drift men who never were

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Lee Stevenson



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PostSubject: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:39 pm

After nearly thirty years of researching the lives of the defenders of the Rorke's Drift I have also accumulated quite a list of men who were variously reported in the press as being present at the battle, but who do not appear on one of the infamous roll of defenders !

The following names have all appeared in either newspapers or regimental journals etc as being a 'Hero of Rorke's Drift,' or 'was at Rorke's Drift.'
Many of the newspaper reports were of the death of a 'Rorke's Drift Hero, but a significant number, mostly from the 1880-1890s were under the heading 'Rorke's Man in trouble.' or the similar.

TT Davies
John Taylor
William Edwards
Michael Morris
James O'Connor
Jonathon Smart
Francis Alcock
Henry Parker
Henry Buckingham
Joseph Veale
John Williams (aka Skipp - who impersonated the real Williams VC)
Frederick Sherwood
Albert Bridgeman
Robert Jones
Thomas Welch
William J Hoare
...Gilmour
Ashton Davies
Thomas Rothwell
James O'Gorman
Edward Humphrey Lyons
John McNulty
Harry Lang
Frank Grant (R. Art)
Griff Griffiths
Harry Goodall
William Avery
**Helen Milford **
George James Merchant
...Day
James Lane
RJ Gamble (Australia)
GW Smith (SA)
TB Melhuish (Aust)
James Page (Aust)
Joseph Chester (Aust)
William Patrick O'Brien (Aust)
John Wyndon Lyon (Aust)
Thomas O'Connor (Aust)
Henry Clare Haywood (Aust)
William Nelson
Thomas George North (17th L)
William A Douglas
William Jones (Aust - VC imposter)
John William Howdin (Aust)
...Jeffes (Aust)
Howard English (Aust)
James Phillis (13th LI)
Jack Gardner (24th)
Charles Moore
John Hughes
Philip Price
Joseph Davenport
Frederick Boisson
John Baldock (SA)
Hugh Ross (SA)
Arthur Atkins
George W Hudd
G. Comberton

I'm sure there will be lots more!

Lee Stevenson
www.militaryancestry.co.uk
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:44 pm

Hi Lee welcome to the forum Im pretty sure a few others will be added. I fully expect some twit to add David Jenkins to your list Suspect 

Salute 
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:10 pm

Welcome Mister STEVENSON,

An another researcher on the anglo zulu war with a well known book on the battle of Rork's Drift.
A good new for all the members!
Cheers

Frédéric Bomy
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:10 pm

Lee welcome. Excellent first post. Certainly adds weight to another issue! agree
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:26 pm

Welcome to the forum Lee, good first post.

Salute 


impi.

Ummm!

Can't see the person you are inferring to on the list, can you? scratch
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:38 pm

I wasn't referring to any particular person!
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DrummerBoy 16



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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:06 pm

impi wrote:
Certainly adds weight to another issue! agree
What issue ?


Cheers
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:53 pm

Well going by the topic title, I guess "impi" is referring to the amount of pretenders, who claimed to have been at RD. agree 
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:46 pm

Lee wrote:
After nearly thirty years of researching the lives of the defenders of the Rorke's Drift
That's a hell of a long time! Good to have you on the forum. You must know the defenders like the back of your hand, along with the roll calls. Who was there and who wasn't, officially that is!
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90th

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PostSubject: RD men who never were !   Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:50 am

Hi Lee .
Welcome aboard , I thoroughly enjoyed / enjoy your book ' Rorke's Drift By Those Who Were There ' , havent got around to reading your ' The Rorke's Drift Doctor ' as yet , one of several that I have banked up ! .
Cheers 90th.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:54 am

Ha Ha, Suspect Very Happy 

No, of course you weren't impi Rolling Eyes 
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Kenny



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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:43 am

Many of these soldiers listed by Lee were placed at RD by inaccurate reporting in newspapers at the time of their death. Remember that 2/24th were based at RD (Fort Bromhead or Fort Melvill) for 6 weeks following the battle but were not present at the time of the famous defence.

Also many men (based at Helpmakaar or with Lord Chelmsford) wrote home saying that they had survived the battles of Isandlwana and RD - to reassure their families that they were safe - even though they themselves were not involved in the actions.

I think it cheapens the whole episode if so called modern historians highlight or make play of these obvious inaccuracies which denigrates the achievements of the soldiers involved. I recognise there will continue be inaccurate reporting in newspapers.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:02 am

Kenny wrote:
Many of these soldiers listed by Lee were placed at RD by inaccurate reporting in newspapers at the time of their death.  Remember that 2/24th were based at RD (Fort Bromhead or Fort Melvill) for 6 weeks following the battle but were not present at the time of the famous defence.

Also many men (based at Helpmakaar or with Lord Chelmsford) wrote home saying that they had survived the battles of Isandlwana and RD - to reassure their families that they were safe - even though they themselves were not involved in the actions.

I think it cheapens the whole episode if so called modern historians highlight or make play of these obvious inaccuracies which denigrates the achievements of the soldiers involved.  I recognise there will continue be inaccurate reporting in newspapers.      
scratch
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:31 pm

Kenny is right.

Many men gave the false impression that they were at either or both battles, ie; iSandlwana and Rorke's Drift, and with research not being so thorough at the time, many reporters and authors of the day simply believed these men.

This has unfortunately carried on into modern times by some so called modern historians and newspaper reporters, because they cannot be bothered to do their own research, and they just copy the inaccuracies from the past and assume it to be fact. However, there are thankfully some very good modern day researchers and historians that delve deeper into these things, and sort out the inaccuracies and put things right.

The problem is that these old and inaccurate reports etc are still believed to be correct by some people, and therefor keep being quoted as being 'true' or 'fact', when actually they should be binned.
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kopie



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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:24 pm

Kenny has hit the mark.
INACCURATE and SENSATIONALIST reporting by irresponsible journalists is nothing new as we are all aware.

I think the list posted by Lee could be divided into 2 categories straight away.

1. Those old soldiers who never said they were there, who never claimed to be at RD in the first place, but who have been sensationalised and placed there incorrectly by descendants and/or newspaper hacks looking to sex up their report.

2. Those old farts who claimed with their own mouths to have been at RD, in order to gain some kind of unwarranted recognition and undeserved respect down their local boozer, in order to earn a free pint!

Lee's list does not discriminate between these 2 categories.
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Lee Stevenson



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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:00 pm

Quite a few were former members of the 24th, so yes they could quite truthfully say that they had been at Rorke's Drift...but just not as 'defenders.'
Of the others, well quite a variety of reports in the press, the following is just a random selection;


...Gilmour received a prison sentence for assault in 1887 ~ "...received Victoria Cross at Rorke's Drift"
William Edwards was murdered in 1906 ~ "...fought at Rorke's Drift"
TT Davies ~ "...one of the last survivors of Rorke's Drift" died c. 1927
Howard English died 1930 ~ "...he had been wounded in the knee at Rorke's Drift" and had been complaining of his old wound just days before his death.
Arthur Atkins ~ claimed to have been a hospital patient at Rorke's Drift
...Jeffes was a police sergeant in NSW ~ killed in a road accident in 1911 - "Hero of Rorke's Drift"
James Phillis died 1934 ~ "one of the last survivors of Rorke's Drift"
Charles Moore died 1940 "Rorke's Drift veteran dead"
John Williams, alias Skipp...charged with theft in 1887 in Cardiff. He made a statement in court that he had been at Rorke's Drift and also held the Victoria Cross. On a previous occasion the real John Williams VC was asked to appear in court wearing his medal to give evidence.
John Taylor, Private in the 24th Regiment, "stated to be a survivor of the Rorke's Drift and Isandula disasters..." sentenced to 1 month in prison for theft. c. 1881
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:45 pm

Lee, you haven't got one on a Pte David Jenkins 1st/24th
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:02 pm

I think that after almost 30 years of study, Lee would have found out if Pte David Jenkins was a fake or not, and seeing that Pte David Jenkins is NOT on Lee's list of 'pretenders', I think that should be a good clue.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:10 pm

True, but Lee did state in his first post. "I'm sure there will be lots more!". No harm is asking about a particular individual.
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DrummerBoy 16



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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:38 pm

Chard1879 wrote:
on a Pte David Jenkins 1st/24th
Chard

What did you think of the essay ?


Cheers
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:42 pm

Of course not Chard, quite correct.

And there will no doubt be many more corrections to be made. But with the latest painstaking research done recently, I think it is obvious that Pte David Jenkins was one of the heroes of RD.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:46 pm

Very Happy Says a man who didn't even purchase Julian's essay! No 
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:01 pm

scratch 
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:08 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Subject: Re: Pte David Jenkins. 'Forgotten' Survivor of Rorke's Drift Returned to Official Records   [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:23 am[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Sorry CTSG, not getting drawn in. I think I posted enough about Pte David Jenkins being at RD before Julian's book was published, so everyone on the forum already knows my opinion, ie; He Was There.


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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:52 pm

CTSG.

What is your point? You don't know if I have purchased Julian's work or not. Are you just using guesswork, or have you taken up angling and started fishing for clues? scratch 
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:55 pm

Very Happy Very Happy  Why would you buy a book, if as you say, you had already made your mind up prior? 

Be honest! You don't have it, you didn't want to waste you money, on something that is not conclusive!
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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:24 pm

Dear Mr Stevenson, welcome, you and
Mr Baynham kindly signed your work
when i was searching for R.D. J. Lodge,
i hope you post as you feel to, i would
value your opinion's. my one regret on
RDBTWWT, that there was no hb. i'm
a book collector, so would say that.Very Happy 
cheers xhosa2000
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:30 pm

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:33 pm

He's on the list! Nice one Graves.
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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:43 pm

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There was a Smith, John. Private. 25B/1005, B Company at Rorke's Drift as a defender, if this is the same man, then I did not know he died this way.


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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:56 pm

Tried to cut his own throat, and for that, he was charged and bound over! No
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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:34 am

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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:56 pm

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Western Gazette - Friday 28 September 1934


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Kenny



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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:48 pm

Robbins = Jobbins

Lee Stevenson did have an idea (only joking) to produce a publication entitled 'Rorke's Drift by those who were not there'. See post about O'Brien.
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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift men who never were   Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:23 pm

Hi Kenny

Many thanks for the information "Robbins = Jobbins"

I bet we could find plenty for Lee to add to a book, it would need updating every year Joker

agree
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