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 Who knew what at Rorkes Drift

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90th

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PostSubject: Who Knew What At RD    Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:41 am

Hi Springy
I checked the maps in Snook's ' How can die better ' and the only road shown is the Wagon Road .
90th Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:48 am

Morning 90th
As I pointed out in my post above, the photo from Snook is the original crossing on the original military road. The road marked on the Anstey map, and the top road indicated on the map I posted is the military road, that road went north of Ncepene. The new road, the one you have travelled, is the centre one, approximate, on the map Ive posted, going south of Ncepene. The third is the one postulated as the bridal track.
Regarding SDs arrival back at isandlwana you've yet to prove how he could have done it AND arrived at the same time as Durnfords forces and seen Durnford chatting to Pullein in the tent. In his memoirs SD is very clear on the point that he had 'several' duties to perform at RD indicating a certain amount of time was spent there.
The conclusion is either that SD got his time wrong, or he didn't see Durnford and Pulleine in the tent, or he didn't arrive as Durnfords force did, or even yet you've managed to re write the entire battlefield timeline?
I wont be back at the books till next week but Im sure there is an estimation by David Jackson on horse traveling times at the gallop and also one by Wolseley of cantering and walking speeds. Will need to check. Of this afternoon to the battlefields, chat when I get back.

Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:22 am

Hi Springy
Thought I may as well have a go at timelines everyone else has done so . I dont doubt SD saw Pulleine & Durnford talking , he may have just remembered it incorrectly with him arriving and seeing it straight away , 48 yrs is a long time , if he did get there at 8am ! , he may not have . I'm only saying if he arrived at RD just after 5.30 am he could have got back to Isandlwana by 8 ish if he took the ' Shorter time trail ' that you mention . I've checked several books and all I can find is the wagon track , nothing else is mentioned I'm afraid , happy to be corrected with some hard evidence mentioning another 1 or 2 tracks .
Cheers 90th

Envious , very bloody envious ! Shocked Shocked Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:54 am

90th wrote:
Hi Ray
Last week or so I posted a link for the Lock & Quantrill DVD , which , as Les has mentioned .... '' It's all over EBAY UK ''
As I've said several times over the years it's well worth having , and it's not expensive , I'm sure you could find the 10 quid or so to get one agree , if not straight away , save for it . I doubt you'll be disappointed Salute
90th

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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:32 pm

Sorry about the condition of the above scan, but its
readable, i would not risk damaging the book.
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:56 pm

Hi Les
Thanks for posting it puts a couple of issues at ease. SD was called around midnight? Really I understood the message only arrived around 1.30. So potential his timing was out. Assuming he left shortly after the message was delivered he could only have left around, say 2 oclock? Then arrived at RD at 5.30. 3 1/2 hour ride.
He mentions pretty specifically the amount of work he had to get through and then get back to isandlwana by 8? Not in anyones wildest imagination could it be accompliched unless at a flat out gallop and no horse is going to do that over that terrain for that length of time.
Durnford only left RD at 7.30 and arrived at isandlwana  around 10.30/10.45. If SD was to arrive at the same time he would have left around 8.
That issues needs to be put to bed. Unless there is a very cogent argument against it.

90th
The existence of the Bridal trail is beyond question, its there. If it was used by SD I don't know I merely proffered it as a potential reason for him not seeing Chard on the road, not as a guaranteed issue. If you read SD carefully he describes his ride along a road that was no better than a track. Consider that some thing like two hundred wagons had used that road, it was hardly likely to be a track, more like a really wide freeway. There is a description some where, I think by Clery that says each wagon driver made his own way so widening the road. Is this then a possible reference to him using the Bridal track? No wagons had used that, just horsemen and possibly E company as a late arrival.
The fact that you haven't heard of it or seen it in a book is neither here nor there to its existence. As a means of affirming that I would ask the question: How did Gardner Essex etc get to Helpmakaar? The road to the Mzinyathi ran west of RD down to the Drift, the Knostrope pass, to get to it they would have had to go past/through RD. But they didn't, have you heard or seen or read any thing at all that mentions a road or track from Fugitives to Helpmakaar? I would suggest you haven't, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. History affirms that it is. Its also the route taken up and down by men on foot or horsemen, Spalding used it and met a couple of the fugitives coming the opposite way. But its not named and its not suggested that it was any other than Nostrope but that particular route was impossible to get to by the fugitives. The bridal trail is in a similar historical situation.  Its a matter of logic really why would they take a massive loop around the country from RD to isandlwana when they didn't have to, the waggons had to but not mounted men or men on foot. And potentially some of the fugitives could have used it, as an illustration of that, if Adendorff and his co riders had used the waggon road they would have all arrived at the Drift opposite the ponts because that's where the military road was worn to. But they didn't they arrived further down stream and Adendorff rode up stream to the ponts to cross. Question therefore is how did that occur? Why did the the rest of the mounted men arrive much lower down? Is it a coincidence that they arrived at the river where the Bridal trail crosses? Theres so many unknowns around that time and the fun is trying to tie them together, we will never ever prove any of the points but we do need an open mind.

cheers for now

Cheers
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:21 am

Hi Springy
I dont know why people took the routes they did , I assume they were wanting to get from A - B in a short space of time , if it meant using a track so be it ! , I'm sure there were times on the way from A-B there was no track ! , there was a large area between Isandlwana and RD that was boggy , which would dictate if the road needed to be a larger loop , I doubt very much if logic would come into it due to the conditions , we know logic and roads / tracks dont always work together ! . As for me not knowing of it , or read of it , '' being neither here nor there '' , I tend to agree , I dont profess to know all the tracks etc which may have been around at the time , I was merely saying I'd never come across it in any of the books I've read , and I've read a lot on the subject , an open mind is the way to approach it , I guess from all points. I find it strange if there were different tracks why are they not mentioned , especially if SD used '' another '' track , wouldnt one think he'd have said so ??????. It is a bit of fun trying to tie them all together and it should be treated as such , as Les said the times are all over the place , so it's basically guesswork attempting to find a proper timeline , reading Keith Smith's book not sure which one but he has at at least 6 times from memory which mention a different time of arrival for Durnford . It's all still very much a game of conjecture Salute Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy .
Cheers 90th
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:15 pm

Brickhill's statement says Durnford was at the camp between 8-9
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:58 pm

Is interesting to see SD makes reference to the time again, when back at the the camp.
Do we know if Lt Cavaye was on picket duty and in the area mentioned around 8am.

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Source Smith. MOFYS
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:13 pm

I have been reading that wrist-watches were not readily available during 1879, they seem to have come in during the Boar war. Pocket watches on chains were all the rage prior to the boar war.
Can anyone show otherwise.

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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:18 pm

"The first wristwatch was made for a woman, Countess Koscowicz of Hungary, by Swiss watch manufacturer Patek Philippe in 1868. Although it was the first timekeeping device to be designed specifically for use on the wrist, it was intended primarily as a piece of decorative jewellery.

It has been claimed that pocket watches were adapted to be worn on wrist bracelets prior to 1868, perhaps as early as the 1570s. However, there is no concrete evidence to support this, and Patek Philippe’s design for Countess Koscowicz was the first true wristwatch in the modern sense of the word. Wristwatches were a natural progression from pocket watches, but men did not initially take to the idea, preferring to rely on the larger, more traditional (and masculine) timepiece. However, the practicalities of the wristwatch, which could be operated with one hand rather than two, eventually won over popular opinion, appealing especially to those in the military, who needed to be able to monitor the time while also operating machinery and weaponry. Consequently, the first wristwatches to be produced in large quantities were those manufactured specifically for the German military in the 1880s by Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux."

Source: Guinness book of records
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:28 pm

Thanks Chard, but disregard Wrist Watch posts, they didn't have them, I was sure i read somewhere that Coghill's Wrist watch was found. It was his pocket watch Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:32 pm

Littlehand
It was Cavaye and Mostyn's companies sent to the hills on the left of the camp , Cavaye's company was sent before Mostyn who was sent later . Dyson was a 2nd Lt and was part of Cavaye's company , once they arrived at their position on top of the ridge , Dyson and a platoon were sent 500 yds or so further to the left of Cavaye's company on a hill overlooking the zulu right horn as it went toward Isandlwana , when Mostyn arrived at the top of the ridge he took up a position between Cavaye's men and Dyson's detatchment , this from Zulu Rising , quoted by Essex who was with these men on the ridge .
90th You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:38 pm

Littlehand you are correct no wrist watches were worn during the AZW from what I recall , they still had the old pocket watches on chains etc etc , some were found at Isandlwana from memory , either sent back to the owners families , or found their way to Museums .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:12 pm

This is interesting on wrist watches in the military. Looks like the earliest identified so far is 1888.

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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:46 am

HI all
I asked Ian Knight about his view on Springy's thoughts of other roads or tracks being in existance in 1879
Here is his reply .

Now, the 'three roads' at Rorke's Drift. It's true that the Centre
Column CROSSED at three places - at a rocky drift upstream (where the
NNC went), at the pool where the pont was, and at the proper
pre-existing foot-drift (the real 'Rorke's Drift') below where the
hotel stands now. As Harford put it, 'the troops making their way over
at different points. The Artillery and the 24th Regiment went over by
degrees in the pontoon, a little above the main drift, known as Rorke's
Drift ...I was ordered to find a crossing for the 2nd/3rd Natal Native
Contingent, higher up the river'. Now the fact that he says he was
'ordered to find it' suggests to me that there was no pre-existing road
there, and later he says 'The drift at which we crossed was
subsequently known as Harford's Drift, but I don't suppose it has been
used since'. So that doesn't suggest to me that there was a road there
before or after the actual invasion. And there was no pont at the pool
(just above the modern road bridge) until the military built it - so
obviously there can't have been a pre-existing road there - which just
leaves the regular drift. All of these crossing points just served to
get the Column onto the Zulu bank, and in fact they pretty much
bracketed the first camp that was built there. But when they moved up
to iSandlwana, they went by the existing track - which in many ways was
'Rorke's Road', since he had pioneered it and exploited it
commercially, and other traders and hunters had followed after him. I
doubt very much if the course of this road was entirely fixed - it now
doubt shifted fifty meters this way or that over the years, and indeed
the Column didn't necessarily advance single file, if only because
putting so many heavy waggons down a single track after the rains soon
ruined the road. But - it remained essentially the one road. I have
spent quite a bit of time wandering across that ground over the years,
and I remember that back in 1987 there were still a lot of waggon-ruts
showing the line of the road, and whilst these probably post-dated the
invasion, they were a pretty good indication of where it ran. In my
view there was only ever one proper road because the geography is more
limiting than you think. For one thing, there were limited places where
you could cross the Batshe and Manzimnyama streams - so the road has to
join up the dots between them. There is certainly not a lot of room for
more than one track - and why would you need it? - over the nek between
the Ngedla heights and Ncepheni, or through the Manzimnyama valley, and
in fact even on the stretch from Rorke's Drift to the Batshe there are
a surprising number of limiting factors. Here and there you could go a
hundred meters either side, but quite often you are forced by rocky
outcrops or boggy ground back onto the same line again. We know that
the Batshe was quite difficult to cross - the drift had to be repaired
before getting the column across - and we know that the original drift
lay below the line of cliffs defended by Sihayo's men on 12 January.
Only this year I wandered up and down looking for it, and you can still
see traces of that drift - and the reason it's there is because steep
banks and dongas on the other side limit where else the road could run.
Coghill's sketch of the valley shows it clearly, and there are several
references to it being overlooked by the cliffs defended by Sihayo's
men (which of course is why the Zulus chose that spot to defend).
That's the whole point of the Dunbar/Crealock wrangle - an advanced
camp had been built to guard the drift on the far side, which put it
close to the cliffs (not far, presumably, from where the present road
through the valley from Nquthu runs across the line of the old track),
and which Dunbar therefore thought vulnerable. If there had been
another track through the valley, or even another possible drift on the
Batshe, they could have used that instead - but there wasn't. It's
worth remembering, too, that both the original traders and the military
were looking for practicality above anything else - they needed to know
you could get heavily-laden ox-wagons down it, and having found a line
that worked, there was no particular need to change it, nor did the
Centre Column particularly have the time to look for and cut out new
routes when a viable one already existed. Similarly, we know the drift
on the Manzimnyama was bad - the RE survey map shows the old drift
about 100 meters(ish) below the current bridge crossing, and again
traces of the old road can be seen on the banks, and some short
sections are visible on aerial survey photos. But they say it was a
difficult and steep drift to get across - which it certainly must have
been because it's a scramble now, even on foot. But any further
downsteam the banks are too steep, and there was no way through. In
fact, a later drift was made upstream, where the modern bridge is, but
I'm pretty sure this wasn't made until after the war - it's not marked
on the contemporary military maps, in which case it was probably made
for the missionaries building St. Vincent's at iSandlwana in 1880.
Certainly by the early 1880s the missionaries refer to an upper drift
and an old one, lower down (in fact, as I say, only a hundred meters or
so lower). The cairn of stones by the modern bridge, which everyone
thinks marks where an RE road party was over-run during the battle, in
fact has nothing to do with the battle at all - it seems to mark the
spot where a young volunteer at the mission was drowned in the 1880s;
accounts of that incident make it clear that the road had shifted since
1879, and that there was a 'new' and an 'old' drift. But! The point of
this long-winded reference is that the crossing points weren't easy,
and that there were only very few points you could get across them -
even when the missionaries were developing the road to St Vincent's,
without the pressure of being in the middle of a war, they could only
tweak the route very slightly. All of which suggests to me that, whilst
there was a limited amount of flexibility on the more open stretches,
these were very rare, that the river crossings were key fixed points,
so that making more than one road in between would have been an awful
lot of work for not much result - and that therefore there was really
only ever one road from Rorke's Drift to iSandlwana.
Cheers 90th
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:56 am

Good morning from the balcony of the RD hotel, looking over the Mzinyathi on a warm morning. The temperature is set to be around 30 degress today, yesterday was a bit cooler and ideal for walking around.
Nice to see the comments from Ian, even though he does contradict himself on a number of points. I would tend to agree overall his views on the Bashe crossing, there are/were a limited number of crossing points. These occasioned more by the equipment available to the troops and traders of the time, compared with modern equipment that is.
In terms of the roads crossing the Mzinyathi there were at least three. The military road crossing at the drift and wondering over the rise, later passing the old fort and well point. The Harford crossing, lost in the sands of time, and the road ian refers to as the 'foot crossing' of the old drift. Here we tend to disagree, the 'foot crosing' was hardly that it was a genuine waggon crossing forged by the old traders. Even though a lot of trade goods would be carried by hand or by horse there were still waggons bound for Zulu land. The distance between these crossings is a tad more than 50 metres, more like 800 really. But that's beside the point.
What is being ignored here is history itself. In the Intelligence unit map of 1879 the old trader route is clearly marked and labelled as the 'Bridal path'. It doesn't follow the line of the current road, or indeed the old military road, for its entire length.
On the MI map prepared by Anstey in November of 1879 the Military road is very clearly marked and crosses as Ian says higher up than the current modern crossing. This crossing areas has been identified by him and many others. The map I posted much earlier in this string shows that old military road, the map is in fact a copy of the Anstey map, overlaid on that is the path of the current modern road. There is a significant difference with the modern bridge much lower down than the old 'Dunbar' Crossing. My map indicates that the various routes intersect at a bend just west of Ncepheni and then follow a 'common' path to the old Manzimyama crossing. around 100 metres below the present modern road.
We therefore have a number of roads starting at differing points, meandering towards Sihayos territory and then diverging to different crossing points before merging again above the Mzinyathi. All as indicated on the map posted.
When traveling from Isandlwana up the hill past Ncepheni the bulk of Shiyane becomes highly visible. Its at that point the bridal trail departs from the road and cuts of the whole corner of the route. Standing at that point as I did yesterday it makes a lot of sense that a short cut by travellers not encumbered with heavy loads would take place.
So in short we have a map printed in 1879 with the route indicated and demarked as Bridal Track, we have another map printed in 1879 showing the military road, and any modern map will indicate the new road.
There is a horse trail that is there and has been investigated by the Talana Museum research staff that's follows the path of the 1879 map.
We have the grand old man Smith Dorrien ( the man with appaling sense of timing ) referring to it as little more than a track.
Oh yes I walked it yesterday, and it makes a mountain of sense.

Yet again iSandlwana throws up its different aspects so again its a 'lets agree to disagree' scenario.

Cheers all.
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PostSubject: Who Knew What ar RD   Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:13 am

Hi Springy
You lucky bugger , it was 26 here today , cloudless blue sky a real corker , 28 is tipped for Sunday ! . I think we certainly agree to disagree . Can you post these maps that you mention , hopefully , we can then see what , or where , the roads you speak of are on these maps , as opposed to the one track that is obviously on most maps of the time . Hope this makes sense , I have an Anstey map , as I mentioned in an earlier post , which he and Lt Porter prepared on the 11 / 11 / 1879 , from what I can see he doesn't name or show any roads on that map , it's the map in ' Narrative Of The Field Operations Connected With The Zulu War Of 1879 ' prepared by the Intelligence Department .
Cheers 90th
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:58 am

I echo the 90th, it was nice to picture
you chillin on the balcony, enjoy your
trip Frank..and 90th you get to bed
and stop fenagerling all the best ones lol.. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:33 pm

Greetings all
A fun day walking from the Ngwebini valley along the plateau to isandlwana, twice actually. First time on the western edge to try and replicate the so called right horn And secondly around the eastern edge along the itusi ridge.
Couple of things have become more obvious than ever, I don't believe that the right horn took the traditional route and im more than ever convinced that Cavaye and Mostyn were nowhere near the traditional placing. But those are arguments for another day. I also came to one other conclusion, Im far to bloody old to do this to often. Pleasant to sit back, cold beer in hand after a hard days work.
Roasted Venison for supper.
90th
Read the thread more carefully. The first map ( copy of Ansteys ) was posted with three routes in colour. One the Military road going passed Sihayos Kraal. That's the route chartered by the engineers and the one used in 1879 by the wagons. The second one on the same map is the current modern day road. As you see in a different location from the first. Neither of those routes can be doubted. The first Engineer charted and the second taken from the modern day maps.
The third is the route I walked yesterday, that is the Bridal Trail. Its also the road on the map from 1879 posted by Steve a few posts back shown as 'Bridal Trail'.
So all the original maps are already posted.
So three separate routes all verified. And to a degree confirmed by Ians comments. Although how on earth he can point out the different Bashee river crossings and then say there was only one road is way beyond me Im afraid. A further comment on Ians reading of the situation is that he has concentrated very hard on explaining how difficult for the wagons to cross the Bashee at any other points than those he has indicated. To that I fully agree but my point, as well as a lot of other learned people , is that the bridal Trail was used by men on foot and horsemen, and they can cross the river any where they wanted. Hell they crossed the Manzimyama and the Mzinyathi at will why not the Bashee.
Les
Best place on Earth to be right now, cold beer, bowl of biltong and feet up on the rail listening to the river run across the old drift itself.

Cheers all
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PostSubject: who knew what at RD    Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:53 pm

Hi Springy
Well it must be me ! , the map you speak of , is it the one posted by Steve ? , there are no other maps on this thread ? . I cant see the 3 different coloured routes . I'm not doubting the modern day road , as you say it's in a different place now , how can you be sure it was there in 1879 ? . As for the bridle trail , it seems to me anyway , that it goes from Helpmekaar to RD , I cant see a continuation ?? . It must be us thick colonials down here , but I dont see how the three roads are verified , sorry , but as you said , we agree to diasgree . scratch Hope you had an enjoyable day which I know you did ! Salute
Cheers 90th
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:02 pm

I can't see the routes either scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:34 pm

I think I can see what Frank is getting at. His map (Ansty's with the three routes marked) is in his post of Fri 19 Sept at 8.02 (on page 2 of the thread).

He has coloured the routes Violet at the top, Blue in the middle and yellow at the bottom (all of those routes join just east of Isandlwna).

My map shows the "Bridle Path", as a dotted line from Helpakaar to RD, and as a double line from RD to Isandlwana (but not marked as Bridle Path).

Frank says that the double line section on my map coincides with the yellow route on his map, not the Violet route used by Chelmsford. So two routes existed in 1879.

The blue route on his map is the current road.

Beyond that I cannot comment. You two guys have walked the ground (as has IK of course).

Steve
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PostSubject: Who Knew What At RD    Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:59 am

Hi Steve .
It seems Ian Knight , Myself and Springy will certainly agree to disagree , no doubt others will as well ! Very Happy . It is a Forum after all , I suppose that's what Forums are for ?? scratch scratch Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:11 am

Hi Steve / Springy
I dont wish to appear a '' Colonial '' upstart , but seriously , I see the coloured lines but I dont see them as highlighting any tracks that were already on the map ! . I could add something to a map the same way ! . Sorry , I dont buy it . Now , if we had several primary sources mentioning such tracks being traversed then I think the 3 road theory may have some basis , but till then , Sorry , we again agree to disagree . Salute . Dont hold it against me Springy Very Happy Very Happy , it's just that I'm not sold on the evidence you've produced at this point . Also I dont profess to be an expert on the surrounds of RD- Isand I've only been once as you are aware , will be twice come March ! Salute Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:05 am

Morning all, early morning at RD and Im awake for an early breakfast and extra early start for a walk up the Biggarsberg to Helpmakaar, the route that doesn't exist. Yeah can see that Im not going to sway you, but that was never the point anyway. The routes ive shown, glad you've managed to find them by the way are all historical routes. Much as Ive pointed out.
I cant see though how you are able to deny the existence of the route shown on the Anstey map, its there and its in plain view. Secondly the modern road is available to see on any modern map or even Google Earth, ergo that's fact and is not in the same position as the 1879 road shown by Anstey, also fact.
The so called military road is not shown on the MI map produced by Steve, do we assume by your reason that it didn't exist? If so how did they get to Isandlwana?
I would leave this discussion with one more point though. Knostrop and the secondary road to Helpmakaar used by the fugitives are not indicated on any of the maps so Im assuming that by the same equitable reasoning that they didn't exist consequently the ride from Fugitives drift to Helpmakaar is what? a work of fiction. It has to be for not one fugitive mentions the track by name, at least this seems to be the proof required for its existence?
Nope Im aftraid there is a culture that regards Ian as being omnipotent and even when his errors are pointed out they are ignored.
Lovely old North country saying: 'Theres them that's blind that will not see.'
Sorry guys but you wont see the light by looking for the darkness

Cheers all.
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD .   Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:38 am

Hi Springy .
You are indeed up very early half your luck . In my closing remarks on this 3 road subject . Unless I have it wrong please correct me if so , the 3 roads you have been mentioning are those which you stated are running from RD - Isandlwana . I'm not worried about , or disputing roads from RD to Helpmekaar . I can see the Bridle path on the map posted by Steve , but , to me it ceases at RD !. The modern road is a moot point , as you say yourself it's in a different spot , is it in existence in 1879 ? . Is the wagon road of 1879 the '' old '' modern road which is now used ? . Roads were made more readily post 1880 due to the influx of missionaries etc , I've read that somewhere and I think Ian mentions it as well ? . I will concede a track may be classed as a road in some eyes , these tracks may go for a few yards then disappear due to the surrounding countryside , then magically reappear further on ? . As for a road being at Fugitives Drift why didnt Melvill and Coghill use it instead of trying to climb the very steep hill where they were killed , I also believe others were with Melvill & Coghill as there are several Cairns you pass going up to M & C's final resting place , so why didnt those others use the road if it was as you claim in existence ? . ( I dont want to sound like a smart arse You need to study mo ) . I realise you to cant be swayed from what you think , I also dont believe it's a Cultural thing where as you say '' Ian Knight is seen as being Omnipotent '' , if some view him that way , I suppose it might be fair enough , he has been going and living there , in the area , on and off for 40 years , and spoken to all those who had the first hand knowledge of being born or at least raised in the general area , if other roads existed at the time I'd think Chadwick or Bourquin would surely have passed on this information , they in turn , spoke to many of the old zulu's who had lived in the area all their lives . I'm sorry , the map you posted with what seems to have been highlighted with a light blue highlighter , which doesnt have any other black lines beneath it is hardly what I'd call solid existence of the wherabouts of a road . Again , I dont want to sound like a '' P---K ! , hey , my ears are burning ! Shocked Enjoy the Trek .
90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:12 am

Morning Mate
Im of in half an hour or so. Sorry Ive lost complete track of where your going. Go back to the start of this thread Ive never said the modern road was around in 1879. The coloured routes idrew were drawn to illustrate the various roads/tracks under discussion. Again I will repeat, the Anstey map indicates a wide looping road that hits the Bashee opposite the Sihayo kraal. That is extremely obvious and is supported by history. Dunbars position etc. Its marked very clearly on the Anstey map.
The object of showing the modern road on that Anstey map was not to state it was there is 1879 but merely to illustrate the relevant positions. At no time did I intimate that road was there in 1879.
The third road/track is a representation of the Bridal track that is 'reputed' to have existed and been used in 1879. I published that map in order to provide an explanation for SD nor being seen by Chard on there respective trips on the early morning of 22nd January.
On your latest post you have somehow managed to drag in Melvill and Coghill???? I don't understand why? The point I made in that regards, and I made it much earlier in the thread is that Gardner Essex etc etc made there way from Fugitives Drift to Helpmakaar. SD also along with most of the fugitives took the same route. Yet that track is not marked on the maps and is not mentioned by any one of the fugitives except for saying they covered the distance. So by current reasoning the fact that its not shown on the maps, not mentioned by name or not mentioned by Knight Borquin, Chadwick et al proves that it doesn't exist ? We have to be consistant in reasoning, if the concept of the Bridal path from RD to isandlwana is disguarded for those reasons then other roads/tracks have to be discounted for the same reasons.
The fugitives did not go passed RD, to get to the Nostrop they would have had to, so my question would be how did they get to Helpmakaar? It wasn't across virgin country because Spalding met some of them on the 'track'.
All Ians comments have been made relative to a wagon road. His comments are centered on wagons crossing the Bashee. And that's a misnomer, the concept of a bridal trail is not a major road to take wagons but a minor track to take foot ot horse travel, and that's an entirely different kettle of fish. Day before yesterday I walked to the Mzinyathi and crossed the Bashee, all without touching the main road. Didn't even get my feet wet. I could have crossed that stream any place over a 2 kilometer
point.
And that is my point, because Ian had commented on ONE issue his views been extrapolated onto another.

Anyway time to walk, Must be bloody mad doing this.

Cheers for now.
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PostSubject: Who Knew What At RD    Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:21 am

Wish I was doing the walk ! Very Happy Very Happy Shocked Shocked . So looking forward to March , I'm just hoping the Tour goes ahead ! Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes . Watch out for Snakes ! LOL . Although I did only see one when I was climbing Hlobane , it being a Juvenile puff adder , hope I havent jinxed myself for next year ! Salute Salute .
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:07 am

Hi Steve
Illuminating !
The lower map is reproduced in the file I sent to you except with the addition of the various fugitives routes and Zulu attacks. The foot drift is the same position as the beginning of the 'short cut' (90th doesn't like the Bridal trail name. Very Happy )
Its also the place where the crossing of the Mzinyathi was filmed for Zulu Dawn ( but in reverse ). The footpath on the lower map fades out below Ncepheni but picks up again to the west of Msezene. that's the route I wandered down the other day.
The walk up the back route to Helpmakaar was a real sod, better than Nostrop but not much. It is however much much shorter, incapable of taking a wagon but more than enough for foot or mounted men. This was the direct route used to get from Helpmakaar to RD, much the same as the direct route from RD to Isandlwana. Its also the route that Spalding used on the afternoon/evening of the 22nd when he met up with some of the retiring fugitives. Funny its not mentioned by Knight Chadwick etc? Or shown on any map. Weird huh Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Of to the Mangeni area today for a stroll down to the Chelmsford breakfast valley. Then back to Cape Town tomorrow.

Cheers all
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:23 am

Hi All
One thing for sure is at least in the posts from Steve the Bridle path does seem to continue to the other side of the Buffalo . Although Path , and not a road I'm more inclined to go with . Did you come across any Snakes Springy ? Shocked Shocked
Been a few sightings in my neck of the woods with the higher than usual temps we are currently having , although I've only seen 2 live snakes in my suburb in 58 yrs ! , although this area was a Snake haven up to the 1980's . I'm not discounting Native walk ways and the like , I'm sure there were possibly a few of them around , I think the term '' road '' was what I couldnt get a handle on ! Shocked .
Cheers 90th You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:02 am

It would be great to get Google to take its backpack cameras down the trails and around the sites for Streetview. If you havn't seen them, take a look at the Bright Angel Trail down into the Grand Canyon or the  paths around all the Venice Canals, or the streets of Pompei. 360 degree views of every metre of the way - fantastic.

Steve
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:24 am

Hi Steve
I was actually in Pompeii in May this year Sad Sad . Can't believe how fast the time has gone . ( wonderful place it is to ) .
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:51 am

Hi Steve
Excellent pic , we also did Venice ( 4 days ) we were very disappointed in the food and it's price . We enjoyed Venice itself , didnt like the Casino ( we lost ! ) , I did enjoy the Ice cream , possibly the best I tasted in Europe ! . We won't go there again , we thought once was enough . I know a few people who have gone there several times as they enjoy it so much .
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:01 am

springbok9 wrote:
SD was called around midnight? Really I understood the message only arrived around 1.30. So potential his timing was out. Assuming he left shortly after the message was delivered he could only have left around, say 2 oclock? Then arrived at RD at 5.30. 3 1/2 hour ride.
He mentions pretty specifically the amount of work he had to get through and then get back to isandlwana by 8? Not in anyones wildest imagination could it be accompliched unless at a flat out gallop and no horse is going to do that over that terrain for that length of time.
Durnford only left RD at 7.30 and arrived at isandlwana  around 10.30/10.45. If SD was to arrive at the same time he would have left around 8.
That issues needs to be put to bed. Unless there is a very cogent argument against it.

Keith Smith's essay, "A Question of Time" on page 11 of DEAD WAS EVERYTHING really sheds an interesting light on this discussion.  Quite apart from the specifics of Smith-Dorrien's round trip from Isandlwana it points out that there were no standard time zones in 1879 and so all time was determined locally.  He also points out that pocket watches were not common, except maybe among officers, and varied widely in quality such that time stamps could easily differ by an hour or more depending upon which officer's watch was used.  We've argued about things like when Durnford arrived at Isandlwana.  He cites 13 people who give a time for that event. S-D is the earliest at 8AM.   Private Grant, from the Rocket Battery, was the latest at 11AM. The other 11 citations were in between with the median being 10AM.
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:22 am

Hi 6pdr .
Yes I may've mentioned that there were several times Durnford was quoted as arriving in the camp , they are also mentioned in Keith's earlier work , it may've been ' Source Documents Of the Zulu War ' , I know his latest is a revamped version of one of his earlier works , I have both his earlier book , I ordered my  ' Dead Was Everything ' on the 22nd of this month . I'm waiting patiently for it's arrival .
Cheers 90th  You need to study mo


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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:50 pm

90th wrote:
Hi 6pdr .
Yes I may've mentioned that there were several times Durnford was quoted as arriving in the camp , they are also mentioned in Keith's earlier work , it may've been ' Source Documents Of the Zulu War ' , I know his latest is a revamped version of one of his earlier works , I have both his earlier books which I purchased from DP & G publishing , I ordered my  ' Dead Was Everything ' on the 22nd of this month . I'm waiting patiently for it's arrival.

90th,

Yes, much to my surprise Smith calls this book a 2nd edition with a new publisher (Frontline, who he has worked with before as well.) In other words he updated the content of the prior papers and books he wrote (some of which have apparently appeared here for better or worse!) to incorporate subsequent scholarship. In most cases however he seems not to have been persuaded that his prior work was very wide of the mark.

To give you one example the paper ULUNDI pointed out with a link in THE MISSING FIVE HOURS thread is virtually word for word what appears in Chapter 2 of the new(ish) book. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:15 pm

6pd
Yep its an updated issue. I have a gut feeling that theres a couple of behind the scenes activities that's resulted in this happening. Possibly something to do with getting rid of DP and G as publishers and appointing Frontline. One good thing to come out of it is that the references do now in fact refer to the correct pages, something the last two publications haven't done.

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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:28 pm

springbok9 wrote:
One good thing to come out of it is that the references do now in fact refer to the correct pages, something the last two publications haven't done.

Err...I have still found it bit awkward. They should have switched to chapter endnotes perhaps. Too voluminous for footnotes certainly...but I have occasionally gotten lost in the current format. Still, they're present which is what really counts.

I also appreciate that Smith is very direct about prior scholarship / historiography in the main text itself. He names names rather than making vague references like "some hold" or "it's been said etc..." When he means Snook or Ron Lock or Julian Whybra, he uses their names. That has helped me understand what's going on in the threads here better...although I suppose if historians change their stance it may render the text obsolete in the long run. Then again, how often do major historians change their stance on these things? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:55 am

Les
you've got a memory like a bloody elephant.
Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:49 am

Hey Frank, hope you are well chilled after your trip.
memory is key, it convinces me always that i'm nothing 
special..but i have decent recall which could appear like
intelligence.  i know as much as i think i do, simply owing
to the fact that i have a good memory!. all knowledge is
the ability to remember, its as simple as that.. cheers Les  Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:21 pm

Not sure if this is the right thread. Came across this site showing. Road from RD to Isandlwana. Maybe of no interest, but I do seem to recall the mention of a Road. Springbok might be able to make some sense of the map.

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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:20 pm

old historian2 wrote:
Not sure if this is the right thread. Came across this site showing. Road from RD to Isandlwana. Maybe of no interest, but I do seem to recall the mention of a Road. Springbok might be able to make some sense of the map.

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I may well be missing some subtlety but this post seems to turn on the semantics of the word, "road." Maybe that depends upon how much formal engineering (drainage?) is involved but whether it's called a path, track, or road there was definitely an area of egress around the Rorke's Drift crossing that was eroded or carved out of the nearby topology by human use. It does say in passing that these courses changed over time. Frank was making the point there may have been at least two paths in use during the time period of Isandlwana such that men riding from Rorke's Drift to Isandlwana at roughly the same time could entirely miss one another. Like you say, he may see something in the map that we can't about its course, but it seems to me this posting assumes only the one path in general use at that time, no?
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:21 pm

Im pretty sure hes trying very hard to reinvent the wheel. There was a traders route across the bashe to iSandlwana and beyond to Ulundi. Whats he is busy rediscovering is I would assume from his writing that track.
Thanks OH
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:51 pm

He really only needed to look at a map of the time to see there was a road. I don't suppose it was up to Mr McAdam's standard with graded surface (1820), and it certainly wasn't blessed with the wonder of "Tar McAdam" (1902). But it was a road nonetheless and probably as good as many back home. The RE laboured long and hard in places to stabilize the worst mud patches, which no doubt they would term "making a road".

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:49 am

Spalding left RD to hurry up G Company. Do we know what was holding G Company up? If G Company had got to RD on time, what resources did they have with them, and would the battle have been over quicker?
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PostSubject: Who knew what at RD    Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:40 pm

John
Off hand I'm not sure what held G Co back from their appointed time they were supposed to be at RD . It's possibly mentioned in one of the books . The extra resources were no doubt the number of extra troops that would've taken part in the RD defence , not sure of the G Co number , but , I'd expect a number between 60- 90 or so ? , so that means another 60 - 90 Martini's , there wasnt any artillery , rockets or Gatlings as far as I'm aware . The battle may have finished earlier , but who knows , it was the Zulu's in the end who called it off when they saw LC's column arriving from Isandlwana .
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:38 pm

Interesting re, Spalding, he marched his company down the road..
took a good look! and promptly marched them back again, there 
is a whole can of worms here if anybody would care to look!.
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PostSubject: Re: Who knew what at Rorkes Drift   Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:17 pm

Spalding had met some Basutos and people in civilian clothes, many of whom told him that the mission station had already fallen to a Zulu attack. Spalding rode closer to Rorke’s Drift , the first party of survivors were making a decision about where they should ride to. When Zulus were seen between them and the mission station. Helpmekaar was only one choice left open to them.
Spading was the last back to Helpmekaar, all those that had escaped Isandlwana were back before him. So can't see it being a can of worms, more preservation of life!
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