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 How many soldiers died at Potspruit? (Anglo-Zulu War 1879 )

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Paulus76



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Join date : 2014-01-27

PostSubject: How many soldiers died at Potspruit? (Anglo-Zulu War 1879 )   Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:47 pm

I have a long-distant relative who was a member of the Isipingo Mounted Rifles. His name was Gustavius Morton Green. 18 Years old when killed in action at 'Potts Spruit' (actually Potspruit) - near the then Zulu Border ( between Kranskop and Greytown) on the 2nd June 1879. He was awarded the Queen's medal. Buried at Hermannsburg Mission Station (German Community), which is situated close to Greytown.

Some questions  that I need answering please:

1) How many troops were killed at Potspruit?

2) Who would have been the Commanding Officer of the Isipingo Mounted Rifles at the location and time that he was killed?

3) Were they permanently stationed at Potspruit, or was there a larger camp nearby?

4) Were they moving to another area to reinforce other troops or simply 'scouting the area.'

Thank you in advance for your feedback.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: How many soldiers died at Potspruit? (Anglo-Zulu War 1879 )   Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:09 pm

I have a quick look, on the web can't find a lot on this action. As far as I know the Isipingo Mounted and other mounted regiments, were tasked with protecting the communication lines. The one person, I think would know more on this would be forum member Ken Gillings tour guild / Historian. I will PM Admin to see if he can send Ken an email asking the question. Thanks for bringing this to the forum, as I said I had never heard of this before. Hopefully Ken with give us the information required!
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: How many soldiers died at Potspruit? (Anglo-Zulu War 1879 )   Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:17 pm

Paulus76,

According to the information I have your relative died as a result of a fall from his horse, rather than in action.

The area was obviously on the lines-of-communication from PMB through to the Zulu border.

After the defeat at iSandlwana, the units of Natal volunteer corps only served in the defence of the colony. Those who wanted to engage the Zulu on his home soil joined the Natal Volunteer Guides. To my knowledge only the commanding officer Captain D.W. Steinbank, together with Troopers John "Galloping Jack" Royston Charles Madone elected to serve in the Natal Volunteer Guides from the Isipingo Mounted Rifles.

Sorry if contradicts any family history.

Regards,

John Y.
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Paulus76



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PostSubject: Re: How many soldiers died at Potspruit? (Anglo-Zulu War 1879 )   Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:32 pm

Hi John,

Many thanks for your feedback regarding Potspruit.

I was perhaps mistaken regarding Gustavius Green and the manner in which he was killed. I have a copy of the original letter written by his dad, Morton Green (who incidentally also received a Queen's Zulu War Medal and was appointed by the Natal Administrator and Commander-in-Chief to be the Quartermaster of the "Natal Frontier Guard" on the 26th October 1866) stating that he was "killed on Zulu Border." I guess in times of war, one assumes they were "killed in action", but I needed some clarification on this point. Is there any particular literature /documentation that I can refer to regarding the fall from his horse?

Thanks once again for your feedback.

Paulus
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barry

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PostSubject: Isipingo Mounted Rifles   Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:21 pm

Hi Paulos76,
Try Platt or Tremearne. Both these influential families were into the sugar industry with other business interests in the Isipingo area as well, in fact as recently as until the mid '60's, to my knowledge.

regards,

barry
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Paulus76



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PostSubject: Re: How many soldiers died at Potspruit? (Anglo-Zulu War 1879 )   Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:54 pm

Many Thanks Barry

Will continue to research.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: How many soldiers died at Potspruit? (Anglo-Zulu War 1879 )   Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:10 pm

Paulus76,

There is a return of the Natal Volunteer Force who served during the Anglo-Zulu War, it is a contemporary printed document entitled Claimants for the South African Medal. Page 15 of the document lists those from the Weenen Yeomanry and Isipingo Mounted Rifles who served. Listed there is Trooper Green with the comment 'killed by fall from his horse.' There is a National Archives reference - which may have changed - of W(ar) O(ffice) 100/49 and the page reference is 263.

Lieutenant & Quartermaster Morton Green, appears in the same document serving with the Durban Mounted Reserve.

I noticed that the National Archives of South Africa has some references to Morton Green and his appointment to London in 1880. The documents for those are held in PMB.

Regards,

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: How many soldiers died at Potspruit? (Anglo-Zulu War 1879 )   Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:06 am

Hi John,

This is really useful information that you have forwarded.

Many thanks.

Regards,

Paulus76
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