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 Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM

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nthornton1979

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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:34 am

Hi all,

Reading Rorke's Drift by Adrian Greaves and on page 256 he mentions that 1459 Pte Robert Cole was rescued from the Zulus by Cpl Michael McMahon who received the DCM for the act.


Does anyone have any more info on this?

I am not aware of any source that describes this happening..

What am I missing?

Cheers
Neil
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:30 am

Hi Neil
Corp McMahon did indeed receive the DCM but it was withdrawn because of his desertion. Robert Cole was a patient in the Hospital at RD. Michael McMahon was Army Hospital Corps All thanks to Norman Holmes and the 'Silver Wreath'.

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:51 am

Thanks Springbok,

Sorry, I should have mentioned - I'm aware of McMahon and the DCM but not of what he did in the battle to be put in for it.

I thought I'd covered just about every source and account of the battle but Adrian Greaves actually states the act of bravery for which he was recommended for the DCM - 'Rescuing Robert Cole from the zulus'


If possible I am looking for a source which states that McMahon's DCM was for rescuing Cole as I can't find anything apart from Adrian Greaves' book which doesn't note the source.



Neil


Last edited by nthornton1979 on Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:32 pm

Hi Neil
Ive only looked through Holmes, I don't for a number of reasons buy or read Greaves so cant comment on his assertions. Possibly Lee may pop up and give chapter and verse.
McMahons first mention is on the Chard Roll, as a private, and then also on the Bourne Roll as being mentioned in dispatches.
Snook includes him in his book as 'having grabbed a rifle' and assisted in the defence of the North wall until the rifle barrel was grabbed by a Zulu, Dalton witnessed the incident and shot the Zulu dead. But that would have been after the hospital was abandoned.
Holmes says of Cole 'Presumably he was a patient'. Unfortunatly I don't have Sons of England, that may shed some more light on the issue.

Cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: Rorke's Drift -McMahon DCM   Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:02 pm

From Englands' Sons by Julian Whybra Page 96
'' A submission was also made for Private Michael McMahon , AHC , 15th Jan , 1880 , but was cancelled for Absence without Leave and Theft , 29th Jan , 1880 '' . It doesnt state his actions at RD as to why there was a Submission for him to be awarded the DCM . Not that I found with a quick look .
90th You need to study mo

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:09 pm

I reckon the only place to look would be in RD by those that were there. I know Les has it.
Cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves RD - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:34 pm

Springy
I checked Lee's book , the following from page 166 .
The Queens Submission Book for the Dist Con Med ( WO 103 /13 ) The Nat Archives ( P.R.O. ) London
Most humbly etc , That a Silver Medal for Dist conduct in the field granted without annuity or gratuity to 2nd Corp Michael McMahon of the Army Hosp Corps , as a reward for his gallant conduct in rescuing Private Cole 2 / 24th from the Zulus during the attack on Rorke's Drift post on the night of 22nd Jan 1879 .
90th You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:45 pm

Well done 90th, top man.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:13 pm

Good stuff mate.
And then he screws it up by doing a bit of stealing and runs away.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:27 pm

A bit extra on McMahon...

Born Rathkeale Ireland c. 1856
Attested Lanark H.Q., Scotland, 27th April 1874, age 18 years
Posted to 64th Foot, (Regtl. No. 20B/362)
Joined the Regiment in Limerick, Ireland
Posted to Glasgow, Scotland
Posted to Portsmouth & Aldershot c. 1st April 1875
Promoted Lance Corporal, Portsmouth, 19th April 1876
In Guard Room from 24th June 1876 to 30th June 1876
Court Martial & Military Prison 49 days
Forfeited 59 days Pay for Imprisonment
Fined £1.00 for “Drunkenness” from 4th July 1876
Reduced to Private 1st July 1876
In Guard Room from 1st July 1876 to 6th July 1876
In Military Prison from 7th July 1876 to 2nd August 1876
“Prisoner on the march” 3rd August 1876
Posted to Aldershot
In Guard Room from 4th August 1876 to 5th August 1876
In Military Prison 6th August 1876 to 27th August 1876
In Guard Room 28th August 1876
Transferred to the Army Hospital Corps as a Probationer, Aldershot 15th February 1877, (Regtl. No. 3359) Fined 5s for “Drunkenness” 22nd March 1877
In cells from 7th March 1878 to 10th March 1878 - Forfeited 7 days pay
Posted to South Africa c. 1st July 1878
Received a Pay advance from 1st August 1878 to 19th September 1878
DCM Approved 15th January 1880
Later entry confirms cancellation of the medal due to repeated acts of theft & absence, 29th January 1880 - [File ref. 4846/778 & 4846/790]
Promoted 2nd Corporal 1st March 1879, (vice Drinkwater)
Award of the DCM Mentioned in the London Gazette 15th January 1880
The award of the D.C.M. was cancelled for being “Absent without leave & theft” 29th January 1880

DESERTED: Natal, South Africa 14th November 1879 (in company of Pte. S. Joyce, A.H.C.),

Medal: South African War Medal with clasp ‘1879’
Medal rolls states;- “No Medal - Deserted”
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:50 pm

Lee
How about getting a reprint on your book, existing copies are getting just to expensive Very Happy

Cheers
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Lee Stevenson



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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:05 pm

Unfortunately no plans for a reprint I'm afraid.
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:11 pm

Excellent! Thank you all for the info, it's very much appreciated.


I recently started this thread - http://www.1879zuluwar.com/t8159-reynolds-retrieving-supplies-from-hospital-during-defence


Lee, I found the exert in your book about Reynold's and his men manning the verandah and saving the supplies very interesting as this isn't mentioned anywhere else apart from a vague mention in one of James Bancroft's book but this isn't backed up by a source.

What I also find very interesting is the part of the Lancet article (your source) which states, "Reynolds dropped his bags on the steps of the Storehouse and turned back hoping he might evacuate just a few more patients from the front room of the Hospital , but there was no time.."

Here we have an account of patients being evacuated from the front of the hospital just prior to giving up the hospital compound. We know from the article that McMahon was with Reynold's in rescuing the supplies so it is clear that McMahon was also involved in evacuating some of the sick from the front of the hospital as this occurred at the same time.

Btw, I also have been searching for a copy of your book. Please let us know if you find any odd copies under your bed Very Happy

Thanks again everyone.
Neil


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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:06 pm

Neil
Good piece of reasoning, looking forward to you taking it further.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:50 pm

"Recipients 0f The Distinguished Conduct Medal
Second Corporal Francis ATTWOOD
Army Service Corps
For outstanding coolness and courage
Colour Sergeant Frank BOURNE
2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment*
Colour Sergeant Bourne's ‘behaviour during the battle was one of, the greatest coolness and gallantry, which earned him the DCM. His career in the army continued, finally attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. For his devotion to duty he was also awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Gunner John CANTWELL
N Battery, 5th Brigade, Royal Artillery.
For outstanding coolness and courage in the face of the enemy.
Private Michael McMAHON
Army Hospital Corps
For outstanding coolness and gallantry in the face of the enemy.. Unfortunately, the medal was forfeited when he later deserted the army.

Private William ROY
1st Battalion 24th Regiment*
For his coolness and gallantry in the face of the enemy"
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:03 pm

Thanks again for all posts.



In looking for every little snippet of information I have been buying up pretty much every book I can find that I don't already have. Some are poor but every now and again I'll find a small mention of a certain aspect of the battle that can be noted and looked into further.


Neil


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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:43 pm

Hiya, iv'e noted the ' above average ( even for nerds like us  Very Happy )
interest in the Defense, can you give us a hint as to your future
plans going forward, or is it hush hush at the mo!. cheers xhosa.
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90th

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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves RD - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:30 am

Hi Lee
Thanks for the heads up with M. McMahon , he certainly had form ( poor ) didnt he ? No . I wonder what sort of person he was ?. You need to study mo
Cheers 90th Salute
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:42 am

90th
. I wonder what sort of person he was ?

Could have been a founding father of Australia?

Sorry mate started P*****G with giggles and had to get it out.

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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90th

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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves RD - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:00 am

Hi Springy .
No , not enough Mongrel in him to be a founding father of this Colony ! Hhahhahahahahahahaha . Salute Salute . This is no slight on Captain James Cook . Salute Salute Salute
90th Joker
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:53 am

Just out of |Interest does anyone know the whereabouts of the Cantwell DCM - is it in the RA museum?
Thanks

Sergio
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PostSubject: Adrian Greaves RD - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:39 am

Hi Sergio
Sorry Mate I dont know it's whereabouts Salute
Cheers 90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:00 pm

His Long Service Good Conduct medal sold in 2002. No sign of his DCM or Zulu War medals according to DNW.

www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/catalogue-archive/lot.php?auction_id=40&lot_id=28276

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:31 pm

Thanks Steve

Thats great. It saves me some work,

Sergio
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:02 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
Hiya, iv'e noted the ' above average ( even for nerds like us  Very Happy )
interest in the Defense, can you give us a hint as to your future
plans going forward, or is it hush hush at the mo!. cheers xhosa.


Hi Les,

When it comes to RD I guess I'm above and beyond the average nerd. It really is just for my own intrigue and enjoyment in unravelling the battle as opposed to reading a book and believing everything in it.

I've always had a massive interest in military history but have tended to focus on WW1. I collect medals and militaria for WW1 and enjoy researching the individuals. It's this aspect that I find the most interesting and I do this in depth.

I read all eras of military history (mainly WW1) but since I was a young lad I have found myself fascinated with RD. On reading different books on the battle I soon found numerous discrepencies and differences, depending on the author, and I found myself looking for the sources to form my own opinions. Some books get things blatantly wrong and this made me realise I cannot simply read a book and assume it's content is a true account of the battle.

I have recently finished a lengthy WW1 project and for the first time in several years I have time on my hands. I've kind of fell into this 'obsession' with rooting out every little detail that has previously been overlooked or brushed over without being put into conext before.

I realise I am showing 'above average' interest in this but it really is for my own interest and nothing more. I actually made sure I mentioned this in my previous posts as I realise I'm digging deep into it and I may raise a few eyebrows.

In the future I may get round to putting something together where published works are compared against the primary sources (and each other). I certainly have no plans to do this at the moment and if I did, the result would probably be a post on here in the shape of an article. Anyway, that's the limit on what I would go to with my findings. I'm not trying to set the world on fire with 'new findings' (although it may come across that way)

And I'm not secretly writing a book or suchlike. The world doesn't need another on Rorke's drift and even if there was need for one, I certainly am not capable of doing so!

Nope, I'm just your average nerd with an above average fascination/obsession on the battle who enjoys waffling on about minor, semmingly irrelevant details Very Happy

Neil

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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:23 pm

don't we all though?
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:34 pm

Yup, guess so Very Happy


Neil
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:26 pm

Thanks Neil for that fulsome response, its refreshing to hear
views set out so candidly, i guess its natural when one major
project has finished to wonder after the initial euphoria has
subsided ' what next ' well my friend has every thing been
written on the Defense of Rorkes Drift?.. i suspect not, and i'm
saying that as someone who has read more than some!.

I have been carping on about most modern authors for year's,
thinking as i buy each new offering, right i can see the 'angle'
that you have pitched it with but you have neglected the this,
that, or the other, be it the back round, the combatants or the
scope!. the minutiae of detail from beginning to end, not just
focusing on their selling point.. ( the Defense itself, has always
sold itself as a story of Derring do ) no i'm talking Magnum
Opus..there is enough now for an imaginative person to take
this on.

We have Laband's excellent Archive, but that i myself find a bit
cold and clinical..what is needed is a fresh pair of eyes..someone
who can paint the this story in vivid bright colours and bring it
roaring to life..an exact timeline from the moment the troops left
their barracks and Home steads. with as much Zulu testimony as
is possible. finally i would like it to be a limited edition of one bound
in snow white cow skin, and delivered to my armchair! not much to
ask. is it?. Very Happy 

I hope your
 endeavors bore fruit in this our Centenary of the Great War.
                                                                           cheers mate Les
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:22 pm


"not much to ask. is it?"


Not at all Very Happy


Neil
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:05 pm

I hate the word " Nerd " enthusiast " it's so much more British.
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:41 pm

The words Nerd and Geeks no longer have the
negative connotations that they maybe did have!
people especially the young take these terms as
a compliment! to show that a person is either very
intelligent or have an almost encyclopedic handle
on the subject/subjects that interests them.. i too
have looked down my nose at these terms.. but as
bobby zimmerman said several lifetimes ago..the
times...blah. saying that i do understand that every-
thing exported from over the pond is not ' awsum '.
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:49 pm

What is interesting to me, is the fact that despite his appalling service, he was able to transfer to the AHC in the first place. I wonder had he have known that he was to be awarded the DCM would he have gone AWOL in the first place. Didn't having a DCM entitle you to some sort of gratuity? Just out of interest is there a nominal roll for all the AHC chaps present at RD?
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PostSubject: Re: Adrian Greaves Rorke's Drift - McMahon DCM    Fri May 05, 2017 1:15 pm

All
For info, the last two and present editions of England's Sons has:
"A submission (The Queen’s Submission Book for the D.C.M., The National Archives, W.O. 103/13) to be granted without annuity or gratuity was also made for Private Michael McMahon, Army Hospital Corps, 15th January, 1880, as a reward for his gallant conduct in rescuing Private [Robert] Cole 2/24th but was cancelled for absence without leave and theft, 29th January, 1880."

Victorian dad
Also from England's Sons is the AHC list of RD participants:

Army Hospital Corps

3169 Corporal Rowland Herbert Miller
3037 Private Thomas Levi Luddington
3359 Private Michael McMahon
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