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 Where was Durnford

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Frank Allewell

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyTue Dec 17, 2013 9:00 am

Where was Durnford?
In trying to track Col Durnfords movements across the battlefield after the retreat from the Donga it is necessary to establish some corroborating times.

Arrival in camp from Rorkes Drift.
It would be self defeating to try and redo the work done on this timing by Keith Smith so I’m prepared to accept that Durnford arrived at 10.30 in the morning ( there are some 12 separate referrals to his arrival time that stretch from 9 until 12)

Curling
In his Statement presented to the Enquiry  states that the guns were turned out at 7.30 and moved to the left of the camp. In a letter written home he then confirms that they were stood down at 11 o’clock and were ordered to remain in harness. This indicates that being ‘stood down’ they returned to the camp but remaining under harness, ergo after they had deployed to the front they again harnessed the teams to the guns and returned but ‘stayed under harness.’ This is a critical point in showing Col Durnfords movements, we shall return to this point later.

Harry Davis
Davis records that he rode from Rorkes Drift to Isandlwana with Durnford, they dismounted ‘just beyond the ambulances’ i.e. adjacent to the road slightly behind the Carbineer’s tents. They then moved to the left of the Camp towards the NNC area. When they were moving he saw the Guns near the Carabineers tents. That would put their stand down at around 11 o’clock and ties in with the Curling statement. And more to the point positions and confirms that positioning.

Nyanda
Nyanda also confirms that he saw the guns retiring as the line started to break down. Nyandas troop had been fighting on the ridge and retired to the left of the line on the Western side of Younghusband.

Gardner
Alan Gardner had, when arriving back in the camp, attached himself to Pulleine. It was he who suggested to Pulleine that he send Bradstreet down to the Donga to assist Durnfords forces retreating across the plain.

Essex
Essex corroborates the stand down time of 11 o’clock in his statement to the Court of Enquiry.
And again the stand to time of 12 o’clock. We can therefore assume the accuracy of harry Davis Nyanda and Curling.
Subsequently he was involved in arranging an ammunition supply to the line. This positions him with the 2 nd Battalion wagons, above the tent line and to the North of the Generals tent. He then moved forward to the firing line, he says to the 1st Battalion area, North East of the Line.

Durnford.
When the retreat from the Donga occurred Durnford is positioned as giving the order to retire by Molife, Henderson and Bradstreet.

Durnford then went looking for Pulleine towards the Generals tent, behind the 2/24th against the mountain, Molife.
Gardner was with Pulleine, saw and spoke to Durnford. In order to do this Gardner would have had to have been in line of sight with the Donga or its approaches. That could only be on a higher level and more central to the camp, close to or at the general’s tent. As Gardner was one of the escapees it would also put him in a convenient escape position. Durnford told Gardner that he wanted to gather the men together.
Melvill rode across the back of the tented area past Glyns tent on two occasions, both witnessed by 139 Private Williams. This would again suggest Pulleines position as being top of the camp near or at the Generals tent and therefore Durnfords destination.
Essex
Was on the line and saw the beginning of the collapse with the NNC flight, he rode across to Durnford who was on the right and pointed this out.
Harry Davies confirms that he saw Durnford. At the same position he saw the guns in the morning.
This position we have confirmed above as being in front of the Carabineers tent areas, adjacent to the RA lines. This sighting was when Davies had taken up position on the side of the kopie and so before the collapsed line had reached the neck, Davies had left the camp by then.
Nyanda had retreated when the line collapsed and after the guns retreated, he states he saw Durnford in the middle of the camp.

As the guns retreated Lt Higginson says I was passed by a carbineer who said Col Durnford was shot.

To put these sightings on a time line:

The retreat from the Donga.
Durnford rides to the Generals tent area.
On the way he is intercepted by Gardner.
Durnford carries on to the back of the camp. Possibly in company with Gardner.
He can’t find Pulleine, or does find him and takes command then moves along the back of the camp and speaks to Essex.
Sees the beginning of a collapse and orders the recall.
Rides back along the front of the camp.
Is seen then by Nyanda
A Carbineer reports Durnford as being shot.
The line retreats.
Durnford, possibly wounded and accompanied by his orderly Durnford retreats back along the lines of the RA to the Carabineers lines.
He is seen by Davies at the front of the camp.
The Zulu circle closes in, Davies escapes as does Molife but not before Molifi sees Durnford encircled.
Durnford gets caught up in the retreat by the frontline troops and joins the Carabineers and mounted volunteers with Quarter Master Pullen in his last stand.

This scenario whilst offering an explanation for Durnfords movements does raise some other interesting possibilities.

1) Could Coghill when he said Pulleine was shot maybe have been referring to Durnford? After all both were Colonels, and IF Durnford had assumed control towards the end could have been the one referred to.

2) Pulleine is placed at the rear of the camp, which is the only area that he would have an overall view point of the battle field and would have been in a position to see the Donga retreat and send Gardner for information. It would be a position he could send Melvill to collect the colours (a sighting by Williams) and to send him from the field. It would be a position Coghill would be placed in to speak to Williams.

3) It also points firmly to Durnford as ordering the recall bugles.

4) It goes someway to explaining Pulleine position and where he dies. It would be on the line of travel for Hamilton Brown moving from his tent towards the neck on the morning of the 23rd.

5) It makes sense of the comings and goings of Melvill and Coghill both of whom were attached to Pulleines staff.

Just a few thoughts for discussion guys.

Cheers
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6pdr

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyTue Dec 17, 2013 10:55 pm

Quote :
To put these sightings on a time line:

[A] The retreat from the Donga.
["B"]Durnford rides to the Generals tent area.
[C] On the way he is intercepted by Gardner.
[D] Durnford carries on to the back of the camp. Possibly in company with Gardner.
[E] He can’t find Pulleine, or does find him and takes command then moves along the back of the camp and speaks to Essex.[/b]

I am not sure whether I have ever read Essex's full account but I am confused as to whether you think Essex moved to Durnford or vice versa...or both at different times during the battle.

Quote :
[F] Sees the beginning of a collapse and orders the recall.

So where exactly was Durnford when the bugle was blown?  It sounds like he was either at the firing line or up near the Generals tent but I'm not sure here.

Quote :

[G] Rides back along the front of the camp.
[H] Is seen then by Nyanda
[I] A Carbineer reports Durnford as being shot.
[J] The line retreats.
[K] Durnford, possibly wounded and accompanied by his orderly Durnford retreats back along the lines of the RA to the Carabineers lines.
[L] He is seen by Davies at the front of the camp.
[M] The Zulu circle closes in, Davies escapes as does Molife but not before Molifi sees Durnford encircled.
[N] Durnford gets caught up in the retreat by the frontline troops and joins the Carabineers and mounted volunteers with Quarter Master Pullen in his last stand.

============================================================================================

Essex
Quote :
"This positions him with the 2nd Battalion wagons, above the tent line and to the North of the Generals tent. He then moved forward to the firing line, he says to the 1st Battalion area, North East of the Line."

What part of the "the firing line" do you think he was likely to be?  His absence from Smith-Dorrien's recollections, except at the very outset of the battle is striking to me because Horace actively engaged himself in moving ammo and doesn't speak of him again.  I would have thought the two of them should have worked more closely or at least been aware of each other's activities during the battle.    

Durnford.
Quote :
[A] "When the retreat from the Donga occurred Durnford is positioned as giving the order to retire by Molife, Henderson and Bradstreet."

In other words he gave the order personally AT the donga.

Quote :
["B"]"Durnford then went looking for Pulleine towards the Generals tent, behind the 2/24th against the mountain, Molife.
Gardner was with Pulleine, saw and spoke to Durnford. In order to do this Gardner would have had to have been in line of sight with the Donga or its approaches. That could only be on a higher level and more central to the camp, close to or at the general’s tent. As Gardner was one of the escapees it would also put him in a convenient escape position. Durnford told Gardner that he wanted to gather the men together."

OK, but Durnford would have to cover a lot of ground so there would be a LONG time lapse between A and B.  So...

[C] Where along the way did Gardner intercept him?  
[D] It sounds like you favor Gardner returning with Durnford to the command tent...or at least they jointly returned to Pulliene. Makes sense to me.

Quote :
[D again] "Melvill rode across the back of the tented area past Glyns tent on two occasions, both witnessed by 139 Private Williams. This would again suggest Pulleines position as being top of the camp near or at the Generals tent and therefore Durnfords destination."

[E & F]] Essex was on the line and saw the beginning of the collapse with the NNC flight, he rode across to Durnford who was on the right and pointed this out. Harry Davies confirms that he saw Durnford at the same position he saw the guns in the morning.
This position we have confirmed above as being in front of the Carabineers tent areas, adjacent to the RA lines. This sighting was when Davies had taken up position on the side of the kopie and so before the collapsed line had reached the neck, Davies had left the camp by then.


According to your ordering of events the bugle would have to be blown during F...but I'm confused as to where Durnford was when that happened. I assume you are positioning him where he could not see what was happening to the north which is why you have Essex coming to inform him...but how/why was he there and not with Pulleine near the command tent?

Quote :
[G & H] Nyanda had retreated when the line collapsed and after the guns retreated, he states he saw Durnford in the middle of the camp.

[I] As the guns retreated Lt Higginson says I was passed by a carbineer who said Col Durnford was shot.
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littlehand

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyTue Dec 17, 2013 11:13 pm

Springbok wrote:
As the guns retreated Lt Higginson says I was passed by a carbineer who said Col Durnford was shot.

I'm sure there would have been more eyewitness accounts, if Durford had been shot. Durnford all ready had a disable arm, there is an account that states he was clearing blockages from rifles. Don't think he could have done that if he had been shot. Don't like the idea of using Lt Higginson's statement.

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6pdr

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyTue Dec 17, 2013 11:26 pm

Quote :
Don't like the idea of using Lt Higginson's statement.

 agree 
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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyTue Dec 17, 2013 11:59 pm

Who reported that Durnford was shot? in such
a ( at the time were talking about! ) fast and
fluid phase of the battle of all the acounts, we
seem to know more about Durnfords movements
than most! what times are we talking about?..
and over what amount of ground?.
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90th

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Where was Durnford    Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 2:10 am

Durnford was reported as unjamming the firearms in their initial position which was the Donga , I dont think there are any reports he was doing so at a later stage during the battle .
90th
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6pdr

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 4:02 am

90th wrote:
Durnford was reported as unjamming the firearms in their initial position which was the Donga , I dont think there are any reports he was doing so at a  later stage during the battle .
90th

True, but after the donga I don't believe he was with troops that could stand their ground again either. He and his men were pretty much constantly backpeddling after the donga...sometimes together but mostly apart. Also, if he WAS shot in the arm...whose to say it wasn't the crippled one?
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Frank Allewell

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 7:11 am

Good to see such a wide view of events.

Answers:
The Gun unjamming incident happened much earlier

LH
Unfortunatly we have very few accounts coming of the line, snippets really. Just fleeting glimpses recorded by a bunch of guys running for their lives. Higginson lied his backside of to try and justify the abandonment of M and C at the end of the Fugitives trail but I don't believe we can dismiss his version of events in the camp on on the ridge. To much is corroborated by other testimony.

Xhosa
Higginson recorded that a Carbineer rode past and shouted out that Durnford was shot.

All the elements Ive mentioned are taken from original statements.
Gardner
Essex
Higginson
Molifi
Barker
Nyanda
Davis
Curling
Cochran
Mehlokazulu
Mhoti.

6pr

Ive left yours till last as theres more of it.  Salute 

Smith Dorrien mentions very few names, Bloomfield, Shepherd, and then nothing till he meets up with Curling on the trail.
Durnford gave the order to retreat from the Donga, that's corroborated by Molifi, Bradstreet, gardner.
The gap between A and b is not extensive, to ride from the Donga to The HQ tent probably 5 to 6 minutes. Molifi confirms he went there, Gardner conforms they met.
The bugle was blown I firmly believe at the command of Durnford.
We will never really know Durnfords exact movements, but clipping these small sightings and mentions together on the ground indicates that the path Ive indicated is pretty damned close. I have followed his path from the donga to the HQ tent. The next mention is from Essex on the line. The closest point to the HQ tent would be the Northern facing line ( the Younghusband Mostyn Cavaye defence area ) Essex says he rode over to Durnford on the right. So yes Essex sought out Durnford, so indicating that Pulleine wasn't around and Durnford was issuing orders. If Im correct then Pulleine must have been at the HQ tent ( I will come back to that later )

Curling specifically states: :'when we got the order to retire'. So confirming orders were given

Essex was close enough to witness the route of the NNC, as he says " I noticed a number of Native Infantry retreating in haste towards the camp. their officers endeavouring to prevent them, but without effect, on looking round to that portion of the field to our right and rear I saw the enemy was surrounding us. I rode up to Lt Col Durnford who was near the right and pointed this out to him. "
While this conversation was going on the NNC broke and ran. Essex then refers to the 1/24th not having time to fix bayonets. This places him to the South of the guns but not with the 2/24th so within 100 metres or so of the guns. Possibly, probably behind Porteous The fact that it places him also places Durnford.
It also puts Durnford on a heading to the position indicated by Davis.

Coming back to the Pulleine position.
There is only one casual mention of Pulleine on the line and that's second hand from early in the battle when the Zulus were being decimated. Otherwise nothing at all. If you compare that with the small but fairly frequent mentions of Durnford, it has to say something. To me it says Pulleine and his entourage were in a position of prominence, Gardners spotting of the donga situation is a clue to that. But Brickhill searched for him earlier at the instigation of QM Pullen, so we know he wasn't anywhere near the 1/24th camp. That puts him on the slopes of the mountain itself, the logical place then is the HQ tent area. that's a commanding view. And its in that vicinity that Hamilton Browne says he saw his body.

Again all just theory, but for me it works. looking forward to your comments.

Cheers
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littlehand

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 8:30 am

Did Browne give a location of Pulleine's body. Did he not say he couldn't remember where he saw it?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 8:49 am

Browne had ridden across to his tent from the saddle, considering the various positions the direct and fastest route would be behind the tent lines passing the hospital area, the Generals tent and the HQ area and then the 2/24th Officers tents before getting to his own. It was on the way back that he saw Pulleins body. But your right he doesn't say where.

Cheers
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Ulundi

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 10:51 am

In Battle terms Pulleine would have place him self in the command area.

On another issue is it fact that Durnford took command again when he returned to the camp?
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90th

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Where was Durnford    Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 11:00 am

Hi Ulundi .
A good point ! , but at that stage I doubt if anyone knew who was in command ????. Not sure what you mean by
command area , do you mean where the headquarters tents were ? , if so I doubt he'd be giving orders from there , as I doubt he could see very much of
what was transpiring up ahead as the tents werent struck , he wouldnt have been able to see much from the back of the camp I'd expect ?.
90th
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Frank Allewell

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 11:50 am

Ulundi
I would say yes Durnford took control when he had returned from the Donga. But there is absolutely no proof of that, just my thoughts.
Command area?
There wasn't a designated area apart from the HQ facility tent. Its that tent that I believe Pulleine was at or close to and again where his body was located by Browne.
The tent was on a rising scree slope above the tents of the 2/24th and is one of a very few areas that commanded a good view of the whole battle field.

Cheers
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Frank Allewell

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 12:00 pm

This will give an indication of the view from the HQ area.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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6pdr

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 5:50 pm

springbok9 wrote:
There wasn't a designated area apart from the HQ facility tent. Its that tent that I believe Pulleine was at or close to and again where his body was located by Browne. The tent was on a rising scree slope above the tents of the 2/24th and is one of a very few areas that commanded a good view of the whole battle field.


Right, I think you need to state that explicitly for others who are not quite as conversant with the geography of the camp as you. (And NOBODY is more conversant than you!) What you're saying is that Pulleine (and his command group) seems to have spent the majority of the battle on the slope where Chelmsford's HQ tent was located. (This is where the flagstaff was...so in my mind it's the epicenter of the camp.) He did NOT spend the battle in front of his personal tent or riding about on horseback (as Snook imagines.)

The reason he was there, according to your hypothesis, is because he could take in more of the battlefield there at a glance than anywhere else.

Now this is me editorializing...but the objection that "he really couldn't have commanded from up there" answers itself in my mind. He approved orders by his staff, perhaps, but for all intents and purposes Pulleine himself did very little to impact the battle after it started. The survivors from the firing line -- and there were damned few -- would have regarded the ranking officer they could see as "directing the battle."

To me, after the initial deployments which were executed in accordance with Chelmsford's plan, regardless of whether he was technically "in command," Durnford made most of the big decisions on the Brit/Colonial side. 1) Picking the donga to defend. 2) Ordering the retreat from the donga. 3) And in your account POTENTIALLY sounding the retreat back on the camp.

The only big one I see besides that it dispatching Bradstreet and the colonial cavalry to reinforce Durnford at the donga. That originated from the staff with Pulleine (Gardner, I guess.)
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Pulleine did actually visit the front line, there is a quote, I cant get to it at present, it goes to the effect of "what a fool a fellow is, if we had stayed quite we could have brought them on and given a sound thrashing." I do believe though that after that visit he would have realised he needed to see more of the surroundings so went to higher ground that he could see over the tented areas. Not to strange for a commander to operate remote, Tshingwayo did it. It is in fact SOP, that's why the Victorian commanders had lots of mounted runners to send of with instructions, hence as you say Gardner as a prime example.
His personal tent incidentally was very close to Durnfords last stand, hows that for irony.
There were a few decisions I should imagine that were made, the contraction of the right flank, Porteous and Pope etc. And the hinging of the line plus the withdrawls. Don't give to much credit/blame to Durnford. I do maintain that he took a more active part in the battle than is normally accepted. Its interesting if you accept this minor thesis as a starting point then plot other events around it, theres so much falls into place. Popes retreat, H companys demise, how Essex got away, theres so much fun to be had playing with the key elements. Im going up to iSandlwana in a couple of weeks, got to test drive the second app, so Im going to test out a couple of these premises.

Cheers

PS look at the last photo I posted, shows the view from the HQ area.
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6pdr

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Where was Durnford Empty
PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 6:41 pm

Springbok:
Quote :
The gap between A and b is not extensive, to ride from the Donga to The HQ tent probably 5 to 6 minutes. Molifi confirms he went there, Gardner conforms they met.

[left]I believe Molifi/Garner.  I have not spent much time around horses so I have trouble guesstimating how long it would take them to cover ground...but it would take a LOT longer than 5-6 minutes for a man on foot. And it would be hard work over that ground under a strong sun.  I'm emphasizing this because the scope of the battlefield surprised me when I visited.  I guess if Gardner were coming the opposite direction however, the two of them could have met not too long after Durnford scooted from the donga.

Related question:  How long for Cochrane to get from the donga to the cannon?  

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The bugle was blown I firmly believe at the command of Durnford.

To me, that's the most significant element of your account.  That's why I am belaboring his location at the moment it happened.  He would have been able to see most of the battlefield anyway...and Essex would have carried news about the situation on the left (north,) so presumably Essex's arrival would have triggered his decision to blow the recall.

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We will never really know Durnfords exact movements, but clipping these small sightings and mentions together on the ground indicates that the path Ive indicated is pretty damned close. I have followed his path from the donga to the HQ tent. The next mention is from Essex on the line.

Yes, and I appreciate the amount of sifting and measuring it must have required.  We will never KNOW, but I am impressed with how well you have meshed the little bit that is known about this topic. I like the way you have traced Durnford's movement BEHIND the tents, which is logical if he was going to Chelmsford's HQ tent.  My main question here is what would have motivated (and this is also obviously speculative) Durnford to then LEAVE the HQ tent area and move down to the right side of the camp instead of to somewhere closer to the 7 pounders?  I think that's what I feel is still missing.  I believe it because I guess we (more or less) "know" from Cochrane's account that Durnford wasn't near the artillery but my question is whether he was merely returning to find his troops in the tented area or assuming command of the Regulars et. al. at that point.

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The closest point to the HQ tent would be the Northern facing line ( the Younghusband Mostyn Cavaye defence area ) Essex says he rode over to Durnford on the right. So yes Essex sought out Durnford, so indicating that Pulleine wasn't around and Durnford was issuing orders. If Im correct then Pulleine must have been at the HQ tent ( I will come back to that later )

Essex was pretty much a free agent during the battle (especially after telling SD -- "go do my job for me so I can lark about the battlefield" -- not a literal quote ;-)  so he would have been free to do so...but again...what motivated him to take that initiative in your opinion?

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Curling specifically states: :'when we got the order to retire'. So confirming orders were given

Yes, but isn't it possible that the orders he specifies might have come by way of the bugle?

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Essex was close enough to witness the route of the NNC, as he says " I noticed a number of Native Infantry retreating in haste towards the camp. their officers endeavouring to prevent them, but without effect, on looking round to that portion of the field to our right and rear I saw the enemy was surrounding us. I rode up to Lt Col Durnford who was near the right and pointed this out to him. "

While this conversation was going on the NNC broke and ran. Essex then refers to the 1/24th not having time to fix bayonets. This places him to the South of the guns but not with the 2/24th so within 100 metres or so of the guns. Possibly, probably behind Porteous The fact that it places him also places Durnford. It also puts Durnford on a heading to the position indicated by Davis.

Well, of course there are many different maps of the battlefield to support or inspire the different versions of the battle told.  But I guess you are fairly specific that he wasn't as far right as Pope's command (where ever they were.)  The major question I then have here is, "If Durnford was within a hundred yards of the guns wouldn't Cochrane have been able to find him after riding to N Battery?"

(Of course, a battlefield is a chaotic environment so he might have been EASY to miss.)

All in all though Frank, I think this is a quite believable speculation.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyWed Dec 18, 2013 6:53 pm

springbok9 wrote:
It is in fact SOP, that's why the Victorian commanders had lots of mounted runners to send of with instructions, hence as you say Gardner as a prime example.

Oh, I don't doubt that a stronger commander, like Chelmsford, could have projected his authority from the command area. I just think Pulleine couldn't because he wasn't able to think proactively. That's why we constantly hear of his subordinates making important suggestions. At least Henry had the sense to say 'yes' to most of them...but it was all moot from the word go, really.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyThu Dec 19, 2013 6:58 am

6pd
A horse canters at around 15 K's and hour so the journey from the Donga to the HQ area wasn't that onerous. Likewise Cochranes journey across to the artillery, probably again 5 minutes at the most.

Essex and Durnford where in conversation when the line broke, I think that was the trigger for the recall being sounded. But don't forget when Gardner and Durnford met earlier Durnford had quite clearly staed his intentions: "he considered our position to extended and wished to collect the all the troops together."

So at that point he had a plan of action. Imagine then the 'high words' that could have passed when Durnford and Pulleine did meet !

Durnford was a man of action, impulsive yes, but none the less he lead from the front. Hence I believe why he would have left the HQ staff and rode down to the frontline to arrange the forces himself.

Again with Essex, he had taken the initiative to start a supply chain going for the ammunition, he had a subaltern arranging from the the waggons so its highly likely that he rode down to the front line to see to the delivery end. Also of course to see the fun. This was at the height of the 'thrashing' the Zulus were getting. Confidence was high and the mighty mighty England was doing what it did best, knock the natives back into their place.

Curling says quite specifically that they got the orders to move. Ive pondered over this for a while, still cant get it clear in my mind though.
The noise and concussion from two guns blasting away must have been really loud. They had fired of around 40 shells. It sounds in Curlings statement that he was taken by surprise when the troops ran passed him, followed very quickly by the Zulu.
I would imagine troops where a damn sight faster to move than artillery, so would it be feasible to say that the artillery were pre warned? They would have taken time to pack up and attaché the guns to the limbers and harness the horses, surely a lot longer than a bunch of squaddies running 100 yards or so. Its an exersize all on its own that vignette.

Im pretty convinced that Durnford wasn't over by Pope. Essex knew the companies well, and he specifically recalls the 1/24th. Again when the troops line up their company officers patrol behind them issuing orders to the CSM so they would have been visible to Essex.

Cochrane/Durnford meeting? They were at the Battery at different times, Cochrane had been sent across to direct fire onto the kralls, Smith took a gun over behind Pope and did just that, he then returned to the battery position. Cochran must have then returned to the Donga area because he states: " As far as I am personally concerned when I got back to the camp with the mounted men who had now been driven out of the Donga."
Putting that into any sort of context:
Cochran goes across to the guns.
While he is there/on the way back Durnford orders a retreat from the Donga
Durnford heads WEST to the HQ tent
Cochran meets up with the Mounted men after Durnford has left, missing each other by minutes.
And that. as the best dissertations say, is that.

Cheers
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Where was Durnford   Where was Durnford EmptyThu Dec 19, 2013 8:19 am

springbok9 wrote:

so would it be feasible to say that the artillery were pre warned? They would have taken time to pack up and attaché the guns to the limbers and harness the horses, surely a lot longer than a bunch of squaddies running 100 yards or so. Its an exersize all on its own that vignette.

Hmmm...well I'm not convinced we can ever figure out timings that close...but if we ASSUME that they were "pre warned" then the obvious questions are when and by whom?

Again, I don't see that Pulleine EVER displayed an iota of foresight during the battle. Who else would the gunners take orders from? As you say, compared to getting somebody to blow a bugle, it's a relatively big deal to limber a battery...even a half battery of mobile guns. Personally, I think the British were in react mode throughout the day...until they could react no more...and were moved to the head of the line.


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