Lt. Melvill: Well done, Sir! Did you see that Noggs? Deceived him with the up and took him with the down. Norris-Newman: Well well, this one's a grandfather at least. If he'd been a Zulu in his prime I'd have given odds against your lancer, Mr.Melvill.
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Lt. (Brevet Major) J.R.M. Chard, 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers--Rorke's Drift and Ulundi
(Mac and Shad) Isandula Collection)
Rededication Rorke's Drift Defender William Wilcox. 8th May 2011 Dolton Devon.

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 The passing of the armies after Rorkes Drift

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Posts : 55
Join date : 2010-08-17
Location : Southampton

PostSubject: The passing of the armies after Rorkes Drift   Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:27 pm

There are several (almost passing mentions) of the event when Chelmsford, returning from Isandlwana passes the 'defeated' Zulus on their way back from Rorkes Drift.

Has there ever been any criticism that Chelmsford did not attempt to engage them - true both sides were in a state of exhaustion/shock  - but surely this was an opportunity to avenge the defeat at Isandlwana?
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Frank Allewell


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PostSubject: Re: The passing of the armies after Rorkes Drift   Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:40 pm

Welcome back its been a while, nice to see you posting again.
I think Chelmsford has been quoted as saying that he was concerned about his lack of a reserve ammunition and food supply and he didn't know if was going to have to fight a battle at Rorkes Drift. Fair point really. I think on top of which the troops where mentally exhausted. AS for the Zulus I think they had had that really long trip to the battle field and then a long haul to RD, a fight lasting many hours plus there was an account that they thought the British column was the ghosts of the men killed at iSandlwana.

Hope that helps.

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PostSubject: The passing armies   Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:52 am

Younghusband , Springbok9,
Correct, the only ammunition to hand was in the troopers pouches, all the reserves having being lost to the enemy the previous day and Chelmsford ordered "no firing" as he thought the ammunition would be needed to retake Rorke's  Drift which it was  thought, at that time, had fallen.
The Zulu's , for their part thought that they had destroyed all of Chelmsford's forces at Isandlwana and that they had now come back to life. Being a very superstious people they chose to not engage with the departed as  very bad things would come of it.


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PostSubject: Re: The passing of the armies after Rorkes Drift   Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:04 pm

Yet I believe there is an account. Where one excited young Zulu, thought it wise to attack LC column.
Only to to be met by a lump of lead. The others just walked on. Perhaps they didn't tell the excited Zulu, the red soldiers were just ghosts.
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PostSubject: Re: The passing of the armies after Rorkes Drift   Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:56 am

nice one ctsg, very succinct, Very Happy  agree  Les
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PostSubject: The passing of the Armies after RD.   Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:01 am

Yes it did happen , possibly mentioned in either of H-Brown or Harford's account . I've certainly read of it in several publications .
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