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 Who knew what at Rorkes Drift

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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:27 pm

What, thats amazing, you had one too..
c'mon how did you do that..clever man.  Very Happy
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:27 pm

Unless of course, being the senior officer, he felt he would have had more weight to hurry things up, than a lower rank messenger !!
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:34 pm

24th I could be wrong, but acts of bravery were rewarded by the Zulus in that, the brave were not disembowelled, not many were left untouched.
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:43 pm

Back on topic!
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:17 pm


Hi guys,

Regarding this point :-

"6) Despite seeing Durnford ride of to ‘reinforce’ the camp and I would assume having also heard the sounds of gunfire that Bromhead and Smith Dorrien heard, why would Major Spalding want to leave his command and spend an uncomfortable couple of hours in the saddle to conduct a mission that any messenger could have undertaken? He wasn’t to know if he would be required also to pack up his command and ride of to Isandlwana!"


From Chard's account (after he informed Spalding of the matter) - "Major Spalding told me he was going over to Helpmakaar, and would see about getting it down at once."

Chard's account states that Spalding 'was going over to Helpmaaker' and said he would hurry Rainforth along.

I guess it's open to interpretation but it could be construed that Spalding was going to Helpmaaker on other business and agreed to chase up Rainforth whilst there. Chard's account states that Spalding 'was going' so this could be construed either way. If Chard had said "I told Spalding about the matter and he said he would go as opposed to was going to Helpmaaker...", then there would be no doubt, but this isn't the case.


'Like wolves on the fold', Mike Snook, Page 22:-

"Spalding was already committed to making a trip to Helpmaaker after lunch and said that he would make it is business to hurry Rainforth down to the drift by last light."

No source is given for this so I don't know if this was gleaned from interpreting Chard's report in the manner I have mentioned above, or if there is another source.


With regard to Spalding turning back to Helpmaaker - I looked a this afew months ago and weighing it up I personally believe he was fully justified in doing so.


Neil
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90th

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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:03 am

Hi Neil
I've posted a few times on this thread from memory , Spalding had left RD before the shooting had started ! . He was probably another , along with the Headquarters staff , who never thought for an instant the camp ( Isandlwana ) would be attacked , let alone massacred ! . In my eyes Spalding doesnt have anything to answer for , and those in command , thought the same back at that time .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:35 am

And yet we tend to pillory Durnford for leaving iSandlwana ( they weren't under threat either at the time, or at least that was the perception ) and again Chelmsford gets the similar approach. I think the one thing that tends to push me towards exonerating Spalding is the actions of Chard when he returned from iSandlwana.
He seems to have been pretty cool and not worried, having a leisurely lunch, writing letters home etc. So even having witnessed the activities of the camp and ostensibly returned because he was worried about a potential attack on RD it wasn't enough for him to take concerted action. Therefore did he actually convey any sort of urgency to Spalding? It would appear not, therefore why would Spalding be concerned enough to put of his ride?
Still there is the niggle of why he would want to take that ride in the first place, I don't buy the argument that he needed to have a senior officer to chivvy up Rainforth, a strongly worded written order would have sufficed. But Snook hints that there were other reasons for him to take the ride and that he had decided to do so earlier. Anyone shed any light on that?

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:39 am



Cheers 90th,

I was aware of what you had written in the thread as I read it in its entirety before posting my comments to make sure what I wasn't repeating anything.

I fully agree that Spalding has nothing to answer for.

I just thought the possibility of him already going to Helpmaaker before speaking with Chard was worthy of a mention.


Neil
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:20 am

springbok9 wrote:
And yet we tend to pillory Durnford for leaving iSandlwana ( they weren't under threat either at the time, or at least that was the perception ) and again Chelmsford gets the similar approach. I think the one thing that tends to push me towards exonerating Spalding is the actions of Chard when he returned from iSandlwana.
He seems to have been pretty cool and not worried, having a leisurely lunch, writing letters home etc. So even having witnessed the activities of the camp and ostensibly returned because he was worried about a potential attack on RD it wasn't enough for him to take concerted action. Therefore did he actually convey any sort of urgency to Spalding? It would appear not, therefore why would Spalding be concerned enough to put of his ride?
Still there is the niggle of why he would want to take that ride in the first place, I don't buy the argument that he needed to have a senior officer to chivvy up Rainforth, a strongly worded written order would have sufficed. But Snook hints that there were other reasons for him to take the ride and that he had decided to do so earlier. Anyone shed any light on that?

Cheers

Extract for Chards report.

"On the morning of the 22nd, I sent off the 4 men, in the mule wagon attached to 5th company R. E., with arms & field kit complete. They were driven to the foot of the hill below the Isandhlwana camp from where they marched up, the wagon returning here. I saw the men get out of the wagon and walk up the hill, on my return from the camp to which I had ridden on ahead of them. Finding none of the staff in camp I did not remain at more than a few minutes in the camp. Shortly before leaving my own men at about 10.30 a.m., and about ½ a mile from the camp, I met Colonel Durnford R. E. at the head of his mounted men. I told him of the movements of the enemy that I had seen from the camp and by his order rode back to Captain Russell, who was about a mile behind, and gave him the message to hurry up at once with his rocket battery, and detach a company of Sikali’s men to protect the baggage which was following, and I passed the word all along the line to look out to the left. On my return to Rorke's Drift, I reported to Major Spalding the movement to our left of the enemy that I had noticed, and the impossibility of protecting the punts with a guard of only 7 men in the event of an attack. He told me that he had already intended going to Helpmakaar to hurry on the company ordered to be brought here as a guard for the punts, that he should be back before dark, leaving me in command during his absence."



It may just have been a simple case, of wanting a change of scenery. And why not !!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:39 am

Copy of Major Spalding D.A.A.G's Report.


1. "At 2 p.m. on the 22nd inst. I left Rorke's Drift for Helpmakaar, leaving a second horse at Varmaaks. My intention was to bring up Captain
Rainforth's Company 1st Battalion 24th Regiment to protect the ponts. Lieutenant Chard, R.E., on returning from the camp Isandlwana, had observed Zulus on the neighbouring heights. I thought they might make a dash for the ponts during the night.
2. Between Varmaaks and Helpmakaar, where I arrived 3.45 p.m., I met two Companies 1st Battalion 24th Regiment under Major Upcher; on returning from Helpmakaar, I met Major Upcher, who informed me of the disaster at Isandlwana.
3. We advanced as far as Varmaaks with the troops. I then pushed on to the foot of the Berg, accompanied by Mr. Dickson, of the Buffalo Border Guard. The road was covered with fugitives, chiefly Basutos and people in civilians' clothes, but there were one or two mounted Infantry. Several of these I ordered to accompany me, but all, except two, slipped away when my back was turned.
My-object was to ascertain whether the post at Rorke's Drift still held out. In this case I should have sent word to Major Upcher to advance and endeavour to throw myself into it.
4. But every single white fugitive asserted that the Mission-house was captured; and at about 3 miles from the same I came across a body of Zulus in extended order across the road. They were 50 yards off— a deep (ravine) donga was behind them, capable of concealing a large force. They threw out flankers as if to surround the party.
Mr. Dickson agreed with me that they were Zulu, an opinion soon borne out by the " horns " which they threw out. So we trotted back to the troops some two miles in rear.
5. On reaching the summit of a hill from which the Mission-house is visible, it was observed to be in flames. This confirmed the statement. of the fugitives that the post had been captured. This being the case it was determined to save, if possible, Helpmakaar and its depot of stores.
6. It was growing dusk: the oxen had already had a long trek; the hill had to be re-ascended, and the heights were said to be lined with Zulus. I examined them with my glass, but could not observe the enemy. There may have been a few detached parties, however, as these were observed by competent witnesses. No attack was made by them: and the column reached Helpmakaar by 9 p.m., when wagon laager was formed around the Commissariat stores. Colonel Hassard, R.E., met us half way up the Berg and took over command from me.
7. The following morning a dense fog prevailed. About 9 a.m. a note arrived from Lieutenant Chard, R.E., stating that Rorke's Drift still held out and begging for assistance. It was considered imprudent to risk the safety of Helpmakaar by denuding it of its garrison, and probable that Rorke's Drift had already been relieved by the column under the General. It was determined to push down to the Drift some mounted men to gather intelligence. I was in command.
A short distance from Helpmakaar Mr. Fynn was met, who communicated the fact that the General's column had relieved Rorke's Drift. At the top of the Berg I met Lieut.-Colonel Russell, who confirmed the news. At about noon I reached Rorke's Drift and reported myself to the General." (Signed) E. S. SPALDING,
Major, D.A.A.G."
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:45 am

And just a bit more!!

" Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:13 am Reply with quote




Umbike wrote:
Umbiki wrote:Hi Admin/Chard1879


I quote Mike Snook, "Given the circumstances, it is impossible to criticise Spalding for his decision to turn back. To push on in the dark would have been nothing short of foolhardy. This did not stop one modern writer recently describing Spalding's conduct as 'craven', but this is nothing less than an outrageous and wholly unwarranted slur. Spalding had left Rorke's Drift an hour and a half before anybody began building barricades, and his decision to turn back now for Helpmekaar was nothing more than a militarily prudent one. Nor was the decison his alone; he was no more senior in rank than Russell Upcher". The author then goes on to describe how Spalding, Rainforth and Upcher conferred on the road and agreed the sensible thing to do was to return to Helpmekaar and make ready for the defence there.
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:31 pm

Above. Sun Oct 12th..21.14. Spalding's  full report.
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