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 Durnford was he capable. 3

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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Fri May 17, 2013 4:58 pm

No John it's not my theory, it is fact.

You were posting in the Durnford's orders topic when it was being discussed, and many people, including Julian, provided much evidence to show what the orders meant. You must have read them when you were posting in the topic, maybe you have forgotten, so use the search box and read them again, as keep repeating what has already been written over and over again can get a little annoying if it's not being read at the time. Just use the search box, find the topic, and you can read all the evidence regarding these orders at your own leisure, and in the comfort of your armchair.
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 17, 2013 7:52 pm

John wrote:
Martin, if everyone had to keep going back over the previous posts. The discussion wouldn't move.

On the contrary, if people post without first having read and understood what has previously been written, discussed and answered, then the thread just keeps going round and round in an endless circle without ever progressing forward.
It is like a bug climbing up a blade of grass, only for the grass to colllapse and fall down as the bug nears the top, leaving the poor old bug to start the effort all over again, and again, and again.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 17, 2013 8:59 pm

Nearly every post your telling others to read posts. Its you who is not obviously reading the posts. FYI
I have read the posts and there is nothing that verifys what Martin is saying. All we are asking is that Martin shows where it states what ihe claims. If he can't that's fair enough!,, We can put it down to a theory of his.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Fri May 17, 2013 10:49 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
Dave.

The order brought by Smith-Dorrien did not countermand Durnford's earlier orders, the order from Chelmsford which was brought by Smith-Dorrien was part of them

Martin read your post with interest.. But like the rest failing to see what you mean.
Quote :
the order from Chelmsford which was brought by Smith-Dorrien was part of them
You say its been posted before but i can't find it.. Please elaborate or post link to posts in-question. Salute
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 12:21 am

OldH. The only answer we will get, will be referring to other post. Let it go, it's Martins theory. Which by the way doesn't make sense Don\'t agree
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Sat May 18, 2013 1:49 am

John, Old H.

As I have already said, this is not a theory of mine, it is fact.

Below are the orders from Chelmsford to Col Durnford (I have included the original spellings).


'Head Quarter camp near Rorke's Drift, zululand 19th January 1879.
No 3 column moves tomorrow to Insalwana Hill and from there, as soon as possible to a spot about 10 miles nearer to the Indeni Forest. From that point I intend to operate against the two Matyanas if they refuse to surrender. One is in the stronghold on or near the Mhlazakazi Mountain, the other is in the Indeni Forest. Bengough ought to be ready to cross the Buffalo R. at the gates of Natal in three days time, and ought to show himself there as soon as possible.
I have sent you an order to cross the river at Rorke's Drift tomorrow with the force you have at Vermaaks. I shall want you to operate against the Matyanas, but will send you fresh instructions on this subject. We shall be about 8 miles from Rorke's Drift tomorrow.
Chelmsford. L.G.


19/1/79
Lieut. Col Durnford RE
Camp
Helpmakaar
1. You are requested to move the troops under your immediate command viz: mounted men, rocket battery and Sikalis men to Rorke's Drift tomorrow the 20th inst; and to encamp on the left bank of the Buffalo (in zululand).
2. No 3 Column moves tomorrow to the Isandhlana Hill.
3. Major Bengough and his battalion Native Contingent at Sans Spruit is to hold himself in readiness to cross the Buffalo at the shortest possible notice to operate against the cheif Matyana &c. His waggons will cross at Rorke's Drift.
4. Information is requested as to the ford where the above battalion can cross, so as to co-operate with No 3 Column in clearing the country occupied by the cheif Matyana'.


These orders have been posted before on the forum, it's just a matter of using the search box and reading them.



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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 7:48 am

Quote :
Lieut. Col Durnford RE
Camp
Helpmakaar
1. You are requested to move the troops under your immediate command viz: mounted men, rocket battery and Sikalis men to Rorke's Drift tomorrow the 20th inst; and to encamp on the left bank of the Buffalo (in zululand).
2. No 3 Column moves tomorrow to the Isandhlana Hill.
3. Major Bengough and his battalion Native Contingent at Sans Spruit is to hold himself in readiness to cross the Buffalo at the shortest possible notice to operate against the cheif Matyana &c. His waggons will cross at Rorke's Drift.
4. Information is requested as to the ford where the above battalion can cross, so as to co-operate with No 3 Column in clearing the country occupied by the cheif Matyana'.

With you so far. This Order would place Col Dunford on the banks near RD, where he received his order to move to Isandlwana from Smith on the 22nd Jan
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 8:52 am

On the 21st Durnford sent Cochran to isandlwana for further instructions. His presence at isandlwana is noted. In a letter sent to friends ( see Lt Col E Durnfords Book) he commented that he had sent to Chelmsford requesting further instructions.
One of the key phrases in the orders from Chelmsford of the 19th is: "I shall want you to act against the matanyas."
There is a sequential string running through from the orders of the 19th to the 21st that outlines the roll Chelmsford had for Durnford.

There is a stamped document ( War Office stamped.) Ref 4901-31/10 that summarises the orders: " It could never have been intended and doubtless never was intended to put an officer in command of another column over Col P's head for a portion of a day.Col.D's move up to join the Generals "cooperate" is the Generals own word was entirely in accord with his prievious orders. Doubtless finding himself senior oficer on the spot when action had allready commenced he according to the custom of the service took command, but this was at too late a period to remedy the fatal errors of position selected before his arrival.'

That says a lot about what the war office thought.

Im pretty certain Durnford had some definite orders ( as above) and a knowledge of the roll Chelmsford expected from him.

One of my major problems with Durnford remains however that having those definative directions from Chelmsford he didnt obey them. To do so would have ment him leaving the camp on the 22nd and heading either due East or South East to attack the Matanyas. He didint he headed North east, thats away from his directed path and indicates that he sought combat with the 'retreating ' impi ( the last reports were that the impi was retreating).

So yes Durnford obeyed his orders up and till the time he elected to leave the camp but not afterwards.

Hope that helps to move the debate forward.

Cheers
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 10:00 am

Quote :
Im pretty certain Durnford had some definite orders ( as above) and a knowledge of the roll Chelmsford expected from him

Doesn't the orders dated the 19th posted by Martin cover this.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 11:03 am

Hi ray
Yes it is part of that sequence, and should be read in conjunction with the others. That really establishes exactly what Chelmsford expected from Durnford, its probably the reason that he, Chelmsford, wrote that letter giving Durnford a roasting for not following orders. Chelmsford knew exactly what he wanted to achieve and what he wanted his column commanders to do, hence again the directions to Bengough.
Over all he was trying to remove threats on his route to Ulundi and the 'matyanas' were part of that threat.

hope that helps.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Sat May 18, 2013 11:31 am

Hi springy.

Well, it looks like the war office could see through the web of lies and deceit that Chelmsford and his cronies set in motion to put the blame on Col Durnford, what a pity that some members on here can't see through it all.

Salute
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 11:53 am

springbok9 wrote:
Hi ray
Yes it is part of that sequence, and should be read in conjunction with the others. That really establishes exactly what Chelmsford expected from Durnford, its probably the reason that he, Chelmsford, wrote that letter giving Durnford a roasting for not following orders. Chelmsford knew exactly what he wanted to achieve and what he wanted his column commanders to do, hence again the directions to Bengough.
Over all he was trying to remove threats on his route to Ulundi and the 'matyanas' were part of that threat.

hope that helps. Cheers

Yes I can see that. But Chelmsfords would have been forced to change his plans, on receipt of message from Dartnell. That would make sense to me with regards to Durnford being ordered to the camp, to Strenthen or reinforce, the camp.

I understand Chelmsford's cover-up issue, but as far as I'm concerned that's a another issue.
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Sat May 18, 2013 12:10 pm

Ray.

You say that Chelmsford would have been forced to change his plans on the receipt of the message from Dartnell, and then go on to say; "Durnford being ordered to the camp, to strengthen or reinforce, the camp".

If Chelmsford was forced to change his plans, then why did he not inform Durnford of his intentions by leaving further orders for him with Pulleine?

Durnford was not ordered to strengthen or reinforce the camp.
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 12:18 pm

What further orders would have been needed?. Chelmsford would have been in a hurry to assist Dartnell.
Perhaps Chelmsford knew the camp would have been vunarible with only half of the 3 column present to protect thier supplies.
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Sat May 18, 2013 12:34 pm

Ray.

Are you really being serious?

Durnford already had his orders, if there was any change to these orders then Chelmsford should have left them with Pulleine to give to Durnford on his arrival at the camp.

Why would Chelmsford leave the camp if he knew that it was vulnerable? What sort of General does that? Don't forget that no one knew about the large impi hidden in the area. Chelmsford was under the impression that Dartnall had encountered the main impi, he did not know that it was hidden close by.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 12:42 pm

Ray63 wrote:
What further orders would have been needed?

Ray63, the army doesn't work by implication, or by hoping that more junior officers and ranks will know what to do. It works by the issuing of orders, if at all possible. If plans change, fresh orders are issued. If they are not, then junior officers may use their initiative based on the situation in front of them.
Chelmsford failed to leave fresh orders for Durnford. Not even a "carry on" as previously ordered. Hence Durnford was at liberty to use his initiative and take what action he thought most appropriate.
We know LC was in a hurry when he decided to leave the camp on Dartnell's information and as such he can be forgiven for failing to order the camp cook to heat up less food tonight.
But to fail to leave fresh orders for Durnford? This was negligent - this was a fighting column we are talking about!
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 12:52 pm

Martin. What do you suppose the consequences would have been, for Chelmsford if he hadn't gone to the assitance of Dartnell, and Dartnell's force had been wiped out ? If you look at the orders you posted, Chelmsford go into detail with what he expected from Durnford. The order received from Smith was short and to the point, Chelmsford wanted to move and no doubt had lots to arrange.

For me, it's not about what happened prior to Durnford arriving at Isandlwana, or what orders were issued to who. It's what happen at Isandlwana. Durford wasn't stupid and knew only two well the ways of the Zulu. He had received a report from Chard on his way to Isandlwana, so it must have seemed fairly obvious that large numbers of Zulus were around the area of Isandlwana. As it has been said many times by various members, it was army protocol, that Durnford would have assumed command anyway,being senior to Col Pulleine. So I a bit lost with regards to the " Taking of command issue" it's appears to be neither here or there. The camp should have been Durford priory, not what he believed to be happening regarding the Zulus attacking Chelmsford from the rear, but Springbok points out, that he was going in the wrong direction for that to be the case anyway..
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 12:58 pm

For me it is not whether or not Durnford made the right decisions or not after he had "moved to the camp" as ordered, that is a completely separate debate.
Durnford obeyed his orders to "move to the camp." He arrived at the camp. He arrived to find LC had left the camp. There were no fresh orders from LC in the light of the change of plan. Durnford was now free to command his column as he thought most appropriate.


Last edited by tasker224 on Sat May 18, 2013 12:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 12:59 pm

Tasker.
Quote :
If plans change, fresh orders are issued

They were, by Smith on the morning of the 22nd Jan

I'm failing to see what orders you think should have been left for Durford other that what he had received. "Move to the camp"
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 1:14 pm

Durnford did "move to the camp."

This is perhaps where the confusion begins. But this confusion is LC's making as he left no orders to tell D what to do on arrival.

I and many others are of the opinion that when D arrived at the camp, he would have been entitled to expect further orders...now what? He has just arrived at the camp with a bloody great column! Others such as yourself, seem to think that D should have somehow implied from the order "move to the camp" that he (an engineer) was expected to depose the camp commander, Pulleine (an infantry colonel in charge of the battalion that had been left to defend the camp), of command and reorganise and control the camp defence?!?! D lacked the training, knowledge, or experience to do this.

I think that is not at all what LC or any other responsible general in that position would have wanted. If he had, he would have made this crystal clear...via fresh orders.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 1:23 pm

But what did Durnford do when he arrived at the camp, exactly what Chelmsford and every officer knew he would do. As per army protocol of the day. He took command.

Chard was an officer of Engineers, he took over command from an infantry officer, defended his camp, he didn't leave.

Quote :
Others such as yourself, seem to think that D should have somehow implied from the order
Please don't dragg me into " You and the others arguments" really doesn't interest me. I'm just having a discussion, and giving my views. If we don't agree that's fine.
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Sat May 18, 2013 1:29 pm

Ray.

You are failing to understand that Chelmsford had already made his intentions clear to Durnford by the orders of the 19th. He is telling Durnford what he wants him to do, ie, (the Matyanas). He also says that he will send fresh instructions on the subject, however, he fails to do this. So when Smith-Dorrien arrives, he only has the order to move up to the camp, there is no order to support or reinforce the camp, and there are no fresh instructions about the Matyanas, so as far as Durnford is concerned, the orders of the 19th are still in force and the move up to the camp is in readiness to carry out those orders along with Bengough and Chelmsford. On his arrival at the camp there are still no fresh orders from Chelmsford, however, he has been informed by Chard that there are Zulu's in the area, and Pulleine also informs him of this. He can see that Pulleine has done next to nothing about finding out what these Zulu's are up to, so he uses his initiative and gets his own men to recce the area, and he posts men on iSandlwana Hill to watch for any Zulu movements, this is when he gets the reports of Zulu's retiring in all directions, one saying that a large body of Zulu's are retriring in the direction of Chelmsford. He now has no other option but to try to find our where these Zulu's are going, just in case they are trying to cut Chelmsford off and attack him.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 1:40 pm

Quote :
You are failing to understand that Chelmsford had already made his intentions clear to Durnford by the orders of the 19th. He is telling Durnford what he wants him to do, ie, (the Matyanas). He also says that he will send fresh instructions on the subject, however, he fails to do this. So when Smith-Dorrien arrives, he only has the order to move up to the camp, there is no order to support or reinforce the camp, and there are no fresh instructions about the Matyanas,

What ever orders were issued regarding the Matyanas were put on the back burner, when the call from Dartnell came in.

The fresh order was delivered. " move to the camp" and a fresh order was binding when Durnford took command. " Defend the camp"

If Chelmsford had intended to issue fresh orders to Durnford he would have done via Gardner, who brought fresh orders to Pulleine. Even Gardner saw the situation for what it was, and advised Pulleine to disobay the Generals standing orders. Due to the situation that had transpired at Isandlwana, Durnford was at liberty to stay.
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Sat May 18, 2013 2:48 pm

impi.

Who put these orders on the 'back burner'?

If they were put on the 'back burner' then why did no one know this?

You are making your own mind up about what the orders meant, read what the war office had to say about it.

You are also making your own mind up about who should have done what, when, where, how and why.

Read the orders properly, and try to understand them rather than make wild guesses at what they meant.

With some of the replies on here, I think it is blatantly obvious that some of the members on the forum have no idea about orders, protocol or chain of command, and have never been officers in the British Army, or if they ever have been, then I am so very, very glad that I never had to serve with them.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 3:39 pm

Hi Ray
Yes, I generally agree with your comments. There are two seperate issues at stake, unfortunatly they cross over and obscure reasoning.
Firstly I dont think there was a change of plan by Chelmsford. He had made it clear to Durnford in his communique of the 19th that he intended to move forward to the Mangeni as soon as possible. Dartnells messages really gave him the motivation to do just that.So for him it was a continuation of his plans, ergo bring up Durnford and the other forces.
Second issue is the taking of command. Think on it maybe slightly differently, looking at all the accounts, Puleine was insistant on formally handing over control, including his written orders and giving Durnford a situation report. To my mind Durnford was trying to fight that of, he made it clear that he wasnt staying and wasnt going to interfere. Even when Durnford suggested taking two companies with him, Pulleine demured to Durnfords rank. That contention is suported by a few of the accounts, Stafford etc.
I would think that Pulleine being the stolid professional soldier, mainly having operated in an admin roll, he was trying to do what he had been trained to do, give way to a superior officer. Subsequently when Durnford had left the camp and the attack developed Pullein showed exactly the same traits by following the standing orders on the formation to defend the camp. That format is outlined, with a drawing in Chelmsfords instructions to column commanders.

So my contention for discussion would be that no Durnford didnt take command and yes Pulleine gave it.

Does that make sense? Because the difference is pretty huge and would answer some of the questions from the other forum members.


Cheers
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 3:42 pm

Quote :
"With some of the replies on here, I think it is blatantly obvious that some of the members on the forum have no idea about orders, protocol or chain of command, and have never been officers in the British Army, or if they ever have been, then I am so very, very glad that I never had to serve with them."

Possibly the army has changed a lot since 1879 and perhaps we all see this is different ways.

To make it clear from my point of view, whatever plans Chelmsford had for Durnford, changed on the morning of the 22nd when it was thought Dartnell have found the main Impi.

It seems a sensible move on Chelmsford part to move Durnford to Isandlwana. If things had been different perhaps Durnford would have sent a message to Chelmsford enquiring as to what he wanted him to do.

Chelmsford seems to have been quite content, having Durnford at Isandlwana, if he had other plans, he would have sent word with Gardner. As Impi points out.

Martin perhaps you have answer, the point Springbok made a while back. If Durnford was trying to prevent the Zulu's engaging Chelmsford from the rear, why did he go in the opposite direction? I cannot think of a reason why...
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 3:48 pm

Springbok, I see your point for Chelmsford not changing plan, but it's this army protocol of senior rank. Chelmsford must have been aware that Durnford was senior to Pulleine, and therefore would have taken command on arrival, and that the orders left for Pulliene were binding on Durnford.

And in reality that's exactly what happened..

Anyway will leave you that, off shopping with Missus. Forced to go, she's always in command No
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Sat May 18, 2013 4:24 pm

Ray.

I think you might have misunderstood what springy meant.

Chelmsford wanted Durnford and Bengough to be part of a planned pincer movement against the Matyanas, and in order for Durnford to co-operate in this, he was ordered up to the camp (the order brought by Smith-Dorrien), so that he could be closer to Chelmsford to take part in the operation against the Matyanas. After exchanging pleasantries and discussing things with Pulleine, Durnford would then have moved off from the camp in the direction of the planned attack against the Matyanas. However, after getting the report that Zulu's were heading in the direction of Chelmsford, Durnford then had no other option really but to act on this, and moved off in that direction to find out what they were doing, just in case they were trying to cut Chelmsford off and attack him, so this is what springy meant by going in the other direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 5:01 pm

springbok9 wrote:


So my contention for discussion would be that no Durnford didnt take command and yes Pulleine gave it.


This is a very key statement which sums up the lack of decisiveness and disorganisation on Pulleine's part and the lack of direction on Chelmsford's. When it was becoming obvious that the camp was drifting off downstrean without a paddle, Pulleine didn't want the reponsibility and was desperate to give it away. In the absence of any orders as to what to do once he'd made it to camp, Durnford rejected Pulleine's offer to take command as he had his own plans for how he would deploy his column.
The lack of clarity as to who was actually in command (Durnford assumed Pulleine was in command and Pulleine HOPED Durnford was in command) could only have added to the disorgnised state of the camp's defences and lack of vigour and action in the run up to the Zulu attack.
All of this stemmed from a complacency and a lack of care, clarity or deciveness in Chelmsford's orders.
It is exactly this vagueness which allows us lot, 134 years later, plenty of room for a whole range of differing opinions and interpretations on something that should really have been unequivocal.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 5:42 pm

Quote :
I think you might have misunderstood what springy meant.

Martin you must stop thinking others have misunderstood whats been said, I fully understand what springbok is saying, he is among some that as a good understand of ths subject.

I believe orders prior to the ones received on the 22nd were preceded. Based on the information received from Major Dartnell. Even if Durnford had his own agenda, it should not have taken him out of the situation the camp was in. It was going to be attacked. It was men under his control that found the main Impi, they engaged the main Impi causing the Zulu's to swam the camp. No matter how this is debated it still comes down to the fact that Durnford was the senior officer in the camp.

And I still maintain that if Chelmsford had wanted Durnford to leave the camp for whatever reason he would have sent direction with Gardner.


Martin.
Quote :
However, after getting the report that Zulu's were heading in the direction of Chelmsford, Durnford then had no other option really but to act on this, and moved off in that direction to find out what they were doing, just in case they were trying to cut Chelmsford off and attack him,

Springbok please confirm, am I right in saying, that you stated Durnford went in the opposite direct to Chelmsford.

Martin. Durnford did have a choice, he took it upon himself to leave the camp. It went down from there.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 5:49 pm

Ray, the reason you have one viewpoint and that Martin has another, is because there is room for debate.
Two viewpoints over one set of orders.
The orders should have been clear and unequivocal, leaving no room for debate.
Sadly they were not.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 5:53 pm

Springbok
Quote :
So my contention for discussion would be that no Durnford didnt take command and yes Pulleine gave it.

We have eyewitness accounts that Durnford took over command, some say there was an argument of sort, but Pulleine gave in and handed over. Doesn't sound to me that Pulleine was happy to hand over command. Let's not forget Durnford wanted to take two Compaines of the 24th. Pulliene reminded him of his orders to defend the camp. but agreed to assist Durnford if he got into trouble.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 6:04 pm

Quote :
Pulliene reminded him of his orders to defend the camp. but agreed to assist Durnford if he got into trouble.
impi. Is this an eyewitness account?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 6:07 pm

"5th Evidence.—Lieutenant Cochrane, 32nd Regiment, states: I am employed as transport officer with No 2 Column, then under Colonel Durnford, R.E., on the 22nd January, 1879, the column marched on that morning from Rorke's Drift to Isandlwana in consequence of an order received from the Lieutenant General. I do not know the particulars of the order received. I entered the Isandlwana camp with Colonel Durnford about 10 A.M., and remained with him as Acting Staff Officer. On arrival he took over command from Colonel Pulleine, 24th Regiment. Colonel Pulleine gave over to Colonel Durnford a verbal state of the troops in camp at the time, and stated the orders he had received, viz., to defend the camp, these words were repeated two or three times in the conversation. Several messages were delivered, the last one to the effect that the Zulus were retiring in all directions—the bearer of this was not dressed in any uniform. On this message Colonel Durnford sent two troops Mounted Natives to the top of the hills to the left, and took with him two troops of Rocket Battery, with escort of one company Native Contingent, on to the front of the camp about four or five miles off. Before leaving, he asked Colonel Pulleine to give him. two companies 24th Regiment. Colonel Pulleine said that with the orders he had received he could not do it, but agreed with Colonel Durnford to send him help if he got into difficulties. Colonel Durnford, with two troops, went on ahead and met the enemy some four or five miles off in great force, and, as they showed also on our left, we retired in good order to the Drift, about a quarterof a mile in front of the camp, where the mounted men reinforced us, about two miles from the camp. On our retreat we came upon the remains of the Rocket Battery which had been destroyed"
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 6:08 pm

Thank you!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 6:20 pm

Ray, This is well known...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 6:26 pm

Ray, here is part of Captain Essex's statement. It tells us of Durnford's intentions on leaving the camp and a bit about the situation they were in and what they were thinking. The camp defenders were under the impression they were not about to be attacked.

"At about ten A.M. a party of about 250 mounted natives, followed by a rocket. battery, arrived with Lieu tenant-Colonel Durnford, R.E., who now assumed command of the camp. The main body of this mounted force, divided into two portions, and the rocket battery were about 10.30 A.M., sent out to ascertain the enemy's movements, and a company of 1st Battalion 24th Regiment, under command of Lieutenant Cavaye was directed to take up a position as a piquet on the hill to the north of the camp at about 1200 yards distant, the remainder of the troops were ordered to march to their private parades when the men were to be down in readiness, at this time, about eleven A.M., the impression in camp was that the enemy had no intention of advancing during the daytime, but might possibly-be expected to attack during the night."
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 7:16 pm

Thanks Tasker. To me that confirms Durnford assumed command. I'm now failing to see, Martins statement where he states Durnford went off to prevent the Zulu attacking Chelmsford. It looks to me that he was trying to prevent the Zulu's attacking the camp. His only mistake being leaving he camp to meet the enermy in the field.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 7:39 pm

There are of course statements to say that D assumed command, but there is also a statement somewhere, I will post it if i can relocate it, that states Durnford said to Pulleine, " I have no wish to interfere with your plans for the defence of the camp" or words to tht effect. Of course, this would not have been included in the initial court of inquiry, because it did not chime with the story that Chelmsford wanted to tell.
The only surprising thing about that initial court of inquiry (when we are talking about a disaster on the scale of iSandlwana) is how few statements there were included in it. Chelmsford gave very definite guidelines to the members of the enquiry on their line of enquiry, hence the very truncated statements from the eye witnesses and also the reason that Essex was curtailed in his statement. Only those that Chelmsford passed were included and this court of enquiry is where the great "cover up" by Chelmsford began. Therefore, the few statements in it should be regarded with a little pinch of suspicion.
As such, no one will ever know for sure whether Durnford took command or not, but to me it is not the main issue. The main issue is, who was responsible for the loss of the camp and in this, it is more telling to look at the opinions of the men in power who mattered at the time, those men who knew about what really happened and could see through the charm offensive and cover up that LC had initiated for public consumption and to save his skin..
Chelmsford was questioned on his return to England by Parliament and Horse Guards. His answers were rubbished publicly by the Duke of Wellington and he was exposed by Lord Strathcona, after which Chelmsford was put out to grass, his career as a soldier finished.
Sir Garnet Wolseley stated, "I put up with dear old Wood, both he and Buller say Chelmsford is not fit to be a corporal."
The thoughts of these gentlemen, who were there at the time, should are worth mulling over and do tell us something.


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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 7:47 pm

There does seemed to be a few that's states he did take command. Look forward to the one you mentioned,

It will just confuse the issue inquestion if we discuss the in & outs of the court of enquiry, It has been recognised that the court was a fast.

We should consentrate on the camp at Isandlwana.


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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 7:50 pm

Yes there are. This was very important to LC.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 8:00 pm

Possibly, but then Durnford taking command was expected, back in 1879. Back to Army protocol. At the present time for me it was the root cause of the diaster was men being taken out to meet the enermy, instead of waiting for them.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 8:17 pm

Ray63 wrote:
Possibly, but then Durnford taking command was expected, back in 1879. Back to Army protocol. At the present time for me it was the root cause of the diaster was men being taken out to meet the enermy, instead of waiting for them.

I understand your view point Ray, but remember that no one in the camp had any idea of the size of the Zulu impi that was concealed in the hills so I can't see how Durnford can be criticised by launching an offensive patrol to gather intel. With hind-sight, yes, this was a tragic.
For me, the root cause of the disaster is LC failing to leave clear orders for Durnford at the camp. This subsequently resulted in lack of clarity as to who was actually responsible for arranging the defence of the camp and hence, hesitation in decision making at crucial moments in the lead up to and during the fight.
However, I have always maintained that a disaster as big as this can not be put down to one person or one mistake.
It was a whole catalogue of errors and complacency on the part of many officers from the start of campaign, to the finish.
Anyway, my presence is required in front of the box and a glass of wine.
Might have a bid on that walking stick! Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 8:30 pm

Again, for me Chelmsford should not be brought into this discussion, based on the fact he was not present at Isandlwana. We should consentrate on those in the camp at Isandlwana. What happen prior and after is of no consequence. It will not determine the actions of the two officers present.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 8:56 pm

Can anyone point me in the right direction, where it states Durnford told Pulleine he didnt intend on staying in the camp. Who witness this?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 9:06 pm

Ray63 wrote:
Can anyone point me in the right direction, where it states Durnford told Pulleine he didnt intend on staying in the camp. Who witness this?

Ray, Edward Durnford mentions it, in his letter to Sir Andrew Clarke, during his campaing to clear his brothers name.

Martins whole argument is based on this letter! The fact that Edward was Col Durnfords brother makes his whole argument bias.

For me the biggest Blunder made that day, was the ordering of Col Durnford to Isandlwana. he should have been left on the banks near Rorkes Drift.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 9:34 pm

Ray63 wrote:
Thanks Tasker. To me that confirms Durnford assumed command. I'm now failing to see, Martins statement where he states Durnford went off to prevent the Zulu attacking Chelmsford. It looks to me that he was trying to prevent the Zulu's attacking the camp. His only mistake being leaving he camp to meet the enermy in the field.

Agree!! agree Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 9:42 pm

tasker224 wrote:
Ray, the reason you have one viewpoint and that Martin has another, is because there is room for debate.
Two viewpoints over one set of orders.
The orders should have been clear and unequivocal, leaving no room for debate.
Sadly they were not.

Tasker, the order was simplistic and very clear..
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.   Sat May 18, 2013 9:48 pm

CTSG.

"Martins whole argument is based on this letter!" scratch scratch

Please show me where I have ever stated this? scratch

My argument is based on the interpretation of the instructions and orders that were sent to Col Durnford, and all the web of lies and deceit that Chelmsford and his cronies used to place the blame on Col Durnford, and the 'rigged' enquiry that was arranged by Chelmsford to get him off the hook and lay the blame at the dead Col Durnford's feet.

Gullible people, reporters, writers etc, believed all this garbage, and it has been used against Col Durnford ever since. And it does appear that some of the members on here still believe in all that these gullible people wrote, however, there were, and there still are, many people who can see through this web of deceit.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Sat May 18, 2013 10:12 pm

Martin, I was looking forward to your replies to Ray63
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