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 Durnford was he capable. 3

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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:51 am

Springbok,

You say, "he [DURNFORD] lost it".

See the answer on this subject by Ian Knight on this forum ( 3 October 2013)

Question to Ian Knight

What do you think of the Durnford’s behaviour at Isandlwana - did he, as Lt Henderson suggested in his letter to his father, ‘lose his head’?

I think Durnford was a typical man of his age, class and profession - he was accustomed to keeping his personal feelings under check - but that on 22 January he was wrestling with some powerful emotions, and that these sometimes broke through his controlled exterior. As I tried to explore in Zulu Rising, he had suffered a good deal of physical and emotional pain since 1873, and I think this was seething within him. In his early behaviour during the war - notably his premature move down to Middle Drift, which Chelmsford had reprimanded him for - he had revealed the extent to which he was determined to prove himself energetic and useful, and to wipe out the legacy of Bushman’s Pass. To me there is a touch of desperation in the way he pushed his column on the march from Middle Drift to Rorke’s Drift, and even in the way he pressed on to iSandlwana on the 22nd leaving his baggage wagons, including his reserve ammunition, trailing in his wake. Chelmsford’s order to him to move his column to iSandlwana had suggested to him that he was needed to play an active changing situation at iSandlwana on the morning of the 22nd, and the absence of specific orders to the contrary from Chelmsford had allowed him the flexibility to act on his own initiative. He might have remained at iSandlwana that morning and sent out scouts to investigate the reports of Zulu movements - but with his personality and history I can’t think that was ever going to happen. I think the battle highlighted his conflicting emotions - which come out in the snappy comments he was heard to make about his scouts, and to the Carbineer vedettes. For me, it’s difficult to avoid the impression that he was exhilarated by the fight for the Nyogane, and in deliberately exposing himself to Zulu fire he was demonstrating not only his personal bravery but addressing the failures of Bushman’s Pass. I think his African troops responded well to this sort of conspicuous leadership - hence Jabez Molife’s glowing description of him at that point - but his white officers may have felt rather differently. All of them would have known the story of Bushman’s Pass, and I think his stand in the donga made Henderson, at least, think Durnford was gung-ho and foolhardy, and leading them into another disaster. It is interesting to note that all of his white officers - including the regular, Cochrane - found reasons to leave him whilst that stand was going on, whether to look for ammunition, carry orders or whatever, and Simeon Nkambule makes the point that by the time the Mounted Native Contingent finally left the Nyogane, all of their white officers had disappeared. I don’t think Durnford ‘lost his head’ - but I do think he was showing the strain. I’ve always thought it interesting that Nourse says he saw Durnford later in the camp, as everything collapsed, and Durnford spoke not of the desperate military situation, of trying to shore up the defence or organise a proper withdrawal, but of ’the disgrace’. 

 Personally, I do not believe that DURNFORD "lost his head" 
I discussed this subject with a British historian.
I think that Henderson had other reasons for writing DURNFORD "lost his head , but they are speculations.... Wink 

regard
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:05 pm

Hi Frederic
Always good that people have differing opinions, but what Ian didn't mention is the comments by Shepstone. There are therefore two contemporary accounts then that do not hold Durnford in good light and the report from one of his keenest supporters doesn't tell a story of focus and professionalism. Again as pointed out look at his treatment of the carbineers that warned him, very pompous and an 'im in charge' attitude, the survivor from the Rocket Battery being told to go back for Russell. His grumpiness in talking of his own scouts. That's a man with problems Im afraid.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:21 pm

Sorry Frederic, missed your comments about Durnfords experience. He was a serving officer for 31 years had commanded various detachments in a variety of circumstances. He had very successfully raised the Mounted Contingent virtually single handed, so yes a highly experience officer.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:29 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Hi Frederic
Always good that people have differing opinions, but what Ian didn't mention is the comments by Shepstone. There are therefore two contemporary accounts then that do not hold Durnford in good light and the report from one of his keenest supporters doesn't tell a story of focus and professionalism. Again as pointed out look at his treatment of the carbineers that warned him, very pompous and an 'im in charge' attitude, the survivor from the Rocket Battery being told to go back for Russell. His grumpiness in talking of his own scouts. That's a man with problems Im afraid.

Cheers

Springbok,
I know the comment made by Theophilus.
As you know, Henderson had family relations with  Shepstone family.
George Shepstone the son of Theophilus was a former member of the Natal Carbineers.
If George thought that Durnford was "incapable" why he joined his staff?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:30 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Sorry Frederic, missed your comments about Durnfords experience. He was a serving officer for 31 years had commanded various detachments in a variety of circumstances. He had very successfully raised the Mounted Contingent virtually single handed, so yes a highly experience officer.

Cheers

As Pulleine!
 Less than some other officers of 24th (Centane).
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:32 pm

And was the knowledge gained at Centane put to use?

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:41 pm

springbok9 wrote:
And was the knowledge gained at Centane put to use?

Cheers

Mate,
It's you who had said DURNFORD had experience, not me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So please answer to your question! Very Happy 
His various detachments were "engineers detachments" not "fighting detachments".
He was not an "infantry" officer!
Personnaly, i think that  in all the wars, the experience of the fight is always useful...
Amitiés
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:47 pm

I said that and stand by it, 31 years of leading men is a vast amount of experience no matter which way you look at it. Your quite right combat is a valued experience no doubt, but that length of time leading men? QBE.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:56 pm

springbok9 wrote:
I said that and stand by it, 31 years of leading men is a vast amount of experience no matter which way you look at it. Your quite right combat is a valued experience no doubt, but that length of time leading men? QBE.

Cheers

Yes, i look at it, but (for me) nothing replace the experience of the fight.
I think that you are voluntarily provocative about DURNFORD. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
I am curious to know your point of view for George SHEPSTONE...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:00 pm

Provocative? Moi?  Very Happy 
You don't think Durnfords actions after Langalibalele were of any consequence? the Phutile and Hlubi actions for instance?
 agree 
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:03 pm

Parfois il est bon de remuer le pot, non?  Surprised 

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:10 pm

Meanwhile...what was Saintly Pulleine and Melvill Doing?...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:11 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Parfois il est bon de remuer le pot, non?  Surprised 

Cheers

Mate,
Totally agree!
"Chelsmfordtheescapgoat" is the specialist of this forum!!! Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy 
I am also curious to know your point of view on this question:
Before the arrival of DURNFORD at Isandhlwana, PULLEINE made nothing to know the intention of the Zulus.
If DURNFORD had only in mind to scout the area (not to fight), do you think that the result would be the same, the discover of the Zulu army and the attack of the camp?
Amitiés.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:12 pm

Ah, who was it said " Therein lays the rub."

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:15 pm

and your forgetting BRP Durnford was magnificient and brave in the extreme!
if anybody reads the full account Honestly!!.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:24 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Ah, who was it said " Therein lays the rub."

Cheers
Springbok
I think that there lives the weakness of "your attack" against DURNFORD. Wink 

Sad tale for the the Hlubi and Phutile people...
But, one more, he was not the only responsable (PINE, Natal Carbineers, SHEPSTONE...).

Xhosa mon ami,
" Durnford was magnificient and brave in the extreme!".
Nobody had said that DURNFORD wasn't brave in the extreme.
It's not the subject of the questions from Springbok. Wink 
A bientôt.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:35 pm

hey Frederic, good afternoon, yes i understand that! it is you and springbok!
my comments are in general.  Very Happy 
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:47 pm

springbok9 wrote:
look at his treatment of the carbineers that warned him, very pompous and an 'im in charge' attitude,Cheers
The Carbineers ("troopers") didn't respect the military protocol (senior officer)!
A sacrilège in the Imperial Army!
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:53 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
hey Frederic, good afternoon, yes i understand that! it is you and springbok!
my comments are in general.  Very Happy 

Mon ami,
It's not Springbok and me !?!?!
It's the subject of the last analysis made by Springbok (againt DURNFORD)!!!!!
The questions from Springbok about DURNFORD (first post 14/08/2014)
Amitiés.

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:08 pm

ymob wrote:
springbok9 wrote:
Hi Frederic
Always good that people have differing opinions, but what Ian didn't mention is the comments by Shepstone.
Springbok,
I know the comment made by Theophilus.
As you know, Henderson had family relations with  Shepstone family.
George Shepstone the son of Theophilus was a former member of the Natal Carbineers.
If George thought that Durnford was "incapable" why he joined his staff?
Cheers
Springbok,
Sorry, but you had missed my question about George SHEPSTONE.
Cheers.
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:30 pm

Hi Frederic
Sorry getting confused.
Firstly the two action areas I spoke of Phutile and Hlubi, Durnford was involved in both as a protagonist.
Second I did see your comment on George Shepstone but hadn't got around to responding, I shall a little later, but as you know George was involved with Durnford at Bushmans pass.
Third
"The Carbineers ("troopers") didn't respect the military protocol (senior officer)!" I don't understand your point, they were sent to warn Durnford who then in turn wanted them to get Scott to support him ( this after failing earlier to get Pulleine to give him troops ) The Carbineers quite rightly pointed out Scotts orders precluded his compliance and Durnford then berated them. I don't see the Carbineers being at fault, I do see Durnfords show of pique ( temper tantrum?).
You believe Durnford was in the right to do that? And later his treatment of Private Johnson? Sorry but that isn't the way of a a rational man.
Weakness in my argument????? Attack on Durnford???? Never an attack or argument, merely forwarding material for debate. And still haven't had a solid point raised.  No  Very Happy 
Les
Open debate my friend feel free to pitch in. My comment earlier of 'Therein lays the rub' was actually a reply to your comment on Pulleine and Melvill.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:44 pm

Sorry Frederic, i was not being so literal, k Frank i know that.  Very Happy  .
as an side i shopped twenty mins ago on a site new to me, studio,
its on this homepage already, for any parkers who really must know!
it was the navy quillted one. this net thing destroys any notion of
privacy. put a chip in our heads and be done with it!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:11 pm

Springbok,
Sorry, getting confused me too.
-Answer to your Point 1: DURNFORD did not participate with his troops in the "massacres" and gained later the respect of the natives.
-Answer to your point 3. The military protocol between "troopers" and "senior officers was not the same as today.
I have read somewhere (Mike SNOOK?) was the"contestation" of the two Carbineers was in these conditions, audacious, "rash".
The author supposed that the "troopers" belonged to the "upper-classes" of the Natal society.
So the question is not that i think today (I.E:You believe Durnford was in the right to do that?)...but which were the rules at this time.
I confess that I do not understand the treatment of JOHNSON by DURNFORD and I am polite...but i repeat, i am not an senior officier of the Victorian army.
The last point: ("Weakness in my argument?????").I am sorry. I have misunderstood your remark to Less [Therein lays the rub'].I believed wrongly that you agreed with my observation relative to the action of DURNFORD ("scout the area not to fight" with the same result: the discover and the attack of the zulu army]
Cheers Camarade
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:14 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
Sorry Frederic, i was not being so literal, k Frank i know that.  Very Happy  .
as an side i shopped twenty mins ago on a site new to me, studio,
its on this homepage already, for any parkers who really must know!
it was the navy quillted one. this net thing destroys any notion of
privacy. put a chip in our heads and be done with it!

Les,
I am relieved (I.E: for the first sentence  Very Happy )
Amitiés.

frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:44 pm

springbok9 wrote:
but as you know George was involved with Durnford at Bushmans pass.
Cheers

As Charles RAW, an officer as you know of DURNFORD...
Cheers.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:46 pm

Sorry Frederic
Johnson was the member of the Rocket Battery that Durnford found on the plain and told him to go back and help Russell and then, even though he had a spare horse rode of without him.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:53 pm

Shepstones an interesting man. He did take part in the Bushmans Pass incident and was the man that went back to collect the bodies. He must have thought enough of Durnford to volunteer to serve with him in the Zulu War. He was in fact pretty loyal to him, and when he got separated from Durnford still went to look for him.
In terms of his stand on the back of the mountain Im not to sure that he was holding back the right horn, I really think that by the time he got to the saddle the right horn was already there. Ive still got it in the back of my mind that he could have fought to the saddle with Younghusband and then carried on around the side of the mountain when younghusband decided to make a stand.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:55 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Sorry Frederic
Johnson was the member of the Rocket Battery that Durnford found on the plain and told him to go back and help Russell and then, even though he had a spare horse rode of without him.

Cheers
Frank,
:scratch:Oh, no, no, no!!! I get you perfectly. I know who is JOHNSON, a survivor of isandhlwana.  
My answer on this subject wasn't clear????
On this point, i am agree with you....but i prefer to stay careful. I am not an officier of the Victorian army.
In others words, do you think that Durnford would have the same behavior with Fanny (and his wife) today? It is not the same time, the same values...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:11 pm

ymob wrote:
Hello Springbok,

You often say about DURNFORD" he had the experience".
The experience of fighting??? The "Langibele affairs" is his only experience... scratch 
Cheers

And he cocked that up!!!  Rolling Eyes 
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:11 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Shepstones an interesting man. He did take part in the Bushmans Pass incident and was the man that went back to collect the bodies. He must have thought enough of Durnford to volunteer to serve with him in the Zulu War. He was in fact pretty loyal to him, and when he got separated from Durnford still went to look for him.
Cheers

Springbok,
So, we have two men (RAW and SHEPSTONE) who served with him at Bushmans pass, and later agreed to become Officers under his commmand;
It is for me a valid point on the capacities of DURNFORD (for these men).
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:40 pm

ymob wrote:
Hello Springbok,

You often say about DURNFORD" he had the experience".
The experience of fighting??? The "Langibele affairs" is his only experience... scratch
Cheers

And he cocked that up!!! Rolling Eyes ...err, no impi..that would be ' the bent pine. '
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:59 pm

Whatever you say young Les, whatever you say  Salute

Les if you want to copy someone's post, just hit the quote button, add you message below.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:27 pm

Impi,

Who was responsible for the panic at Bushman's River Pass, it most certainly was not Anthony Durnford, let him answer in his own words:

Major Anthony William Durnford wrote:
Having reached the Bushman's Pass at 6.30 a.m., on the 4th November, with one officer, one sergeant, and thirty-three rank and file of the Carbineers, and a few Basutos, I at once formed them across the mouth of the pass, the natives in charge of cattle already in the mountain flying in every direction.  Possibly there may have been one hundred at the outside, about half of whom were armed with shooting weapons.  Having posted my party, I went with my interpreter to reassure the natives.  Calling for the chief man, I told him to assemble his people, and say that Government required their Chief, Langalibalele, to answer certain charges; that his people who submitted to Government should be safe, with their wives, children, and cattle; that all loyal people should go to Estcourt, where Mr. Shepstone, Minister for Native Affairs, was, and make submission, and they should be safe.  My interpreter was recognised as one of Mr. Shepstone's attendants, and the Induna thanked me in the name of the people, saying they would all go down and tell my words to the tribe, who were not aware of the good intentions of Government and were afraid.

I told them to take their cattle and go down.  The Chief said they would, but begged me to leave them, as he could not answer for the young men, who were excited, and might injure me.  I left him exerting himself, so far as I could judge, in carrying out my wishes.

Seeing that the natives were getting behind stones commanding the mouth of the pass, I turned their position by sending my small party of Basutos on the one side, I taking half the Carbineers to the other - the other half guarding the mouth of the pass.  All were then in such position, that had a shot been fired, I could have swept the natives down the pass.  Their gestures were menacing, but no open act of hostility was committed.

 About this time I was informed that many men were coming up the pass, and, on reaching the spot, found it was the case.  On ordering them back, they obeyed sullenly.  Matters now looked serious, and I was informed by the senior officer of volunteers present that the Carbineers, many of whom were young men, could not be depended upon.  They said they were surrounded, and would be massacred.  I have reason to believe that this panic was created by their drill instructor, an old soldier of the late Cape Corps, up to whom they naturally looked.  Upon this, as the only chance of safety, and in hopes of saving men's lives, although perfectly aware that it was a fatal line of policy, I drew in my outlaying party, and gave the order to retire.  There was nothing else to be done.  I had no support.  As I was about to retire by alternate divisions, the first shot was fired by the natives, followed by two or three, when, seized with panic, the Carbineers fled, followed by the Basutos.

My interpreter and three Volunteers were killed.  There were probably two hundred natives present at the time the  first shot was fired.  The firing was never heavy, and their ammunition soon became exhausted.  The orders I received were "not to fire the first shot." I obeyed.              

A.W. DURNFORD,

Major Royal Engineers.

He obeyed his orders that those around did not should not reflect on him.

John Y.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:26 pm

Very Happy  His own words! Come on John it's not the 1st of April  Joker 
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:38 pm

What was it Durnford supposed to have shouted to his men near the end of the Battle of Isandlwana. ?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:56 pm

Duck!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:00 pm

Simeon Kambule, one of Durnford’s native soldiers, recalled that before he left the field he looked back, saw Durnford standing ‘ … in the center of his square with his long moustaches, and one good arm in the air.
He was shouting and laughing,

“Come round me, come round me.   There is no point in running from these people, I know them too well.”

Bushmans Pass.

"Capt Barter, reported to Durnford that he could no longer rely on his men. The apprehension of the Carbineers was aggravated by the vociferous expression of fear for their safety by one of their NCOs, Sergeant Clark. When Durnford sensed that his men were on the point of breaking, he called out dramatically: 'Will no one stand by me?' - whereupon three troopers rallied to his side. Then he gave the order for a slow withdrawal to higher ground."

The more I read about Durnford, the more I'm convinced he had lost the plot!?


Last edited by John on Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:11 pm

will post some audio with vid about that soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:16 pm

Les don't get me wrong, Dunford was a brave man, but I don't think it can be ruled out, he didn't have some sort of nervous break down, his life wasn't exactly great was it.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:26 pm

John wrote:
he didn't have some sort of nervous break down

John he had one of those while en route to China in 1865!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:33 pm

Impi Was it a nervous break down, or just a general break down in health. Both completely different.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:35 pm

How's it different a breakdown, a breakdown end of.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:37 pm

I'm talking nervious breakdown. Mental state of mind!

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:50 pm

It was in 1864 his marriage broke down, his health breakdown took place a year later. If you look back at his career prior, he really did have a bad time. He volunteered for the Crimean but was not accepted, much to his disappointment. The question is why was he rejected, even though he had volunteered.?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:01 pm

I'm am down because I'm left behind, but we shall see" Suspect 
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:02 pm

Not getting involved 
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:25 pm

Audio from the DOTDM. i would stand with him!.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:26 pm

At the Battle of Isandhlwana ‘H’ Company fought towards the centre-right of the line, facing north-east and towards the Zulu ‘head’,with Porteous’ ‘A’ Company to its left, and Pope’s ‘G’ Company (2nd /24th Foot) to the right. ‘H’ Company had a good firing position, but as has been well documented, the defence was over-extended. ‘H’ Company’s position became untenable, possibly accelerated byPope’s move to cover Durnford’s retreat. As the line retreated to the camp, the Zulu’s broke through and ‘H’ Company was cut to pieces.

Sad but true!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:34 pm

Dave wrote:
At the Battle of Isandhlwana ‘H’ Company fought towards the centre-right of the line, facing north-east and towards the Zulu ‘head’,with Porteous’ ‘A’ Company to its left, and Pope’s ‘G’ Company (2nd /24th Foot) to the right. ‘H’ Company had a good firing position, but as has been well documented, the defence was over-extended. ‘H’ Company’s position became untenable, possibly accelerated byPope’s move to cover Durnford’s retreat. As the line retreated to the camp, the Zulu’s broke through and ‘H’ Company was cut to pieces.

Sad but true!!!!!

A small price to pay for getting, credit for the holding open the so called escape gates,  No 
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 3   Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:56 pm

Trying telling "H Company" that!!! Rolling Eyes 
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