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Film Zulu Dawn:Lt. Col. Pulleine: His Lordship is of the cetain opinion that it's far too difficult an approach to be chosen by the Zulu command.Col. Durnford: Yes, well... difficulty never deterred a Zulu commander.
 
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 Durnford was he capable. 4

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:12 pm

6pdr wrote:
Chelmsford may have intended to set up "entrenched" positions at each of the supply depots he established on the way to Ulundi
.

Based on nearly every member on here who believes Isandlwana was un-defendable as well as yourself. Entrenched positions would be out of the question. Gardner was mistaken in his wording.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:20 pm

I do think he was mistaken.  But while it was impossible to entrench the Isandlwana camp on short notice, it might have been possible to build one hardened supply store/depot...meaning hardened more against the elements than the Zulu.  So yes, grasping at straws here.

BTW, Brickhill recorded it as:

"It was an order to strike the camp and come on at full speed, leaving a sufficient guard behind to protect such portion as could not be moved without delay."

That colors the event entirely differently.

On page 174 of HOW CAN MAN DIE BETTER Snook says Gardner testified at an inquiry, "...strike that part of camp belonging to the troops with Lord Chelmsford and send it on with certain stores." Snook goes on to say he was asking for 7 days supply of stores and, like me, finds that a damning indictment.

But I guess the point is the message itself is lost to history so we have to rely on the memories of those who claim to have heard Pulleine read the order aloud.


Last edited by 6pdr on Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:25 pm

Okay, now lets look at Brickhill's take on the meeting with Pulleine and Gardner. Primary source!!!

Extract from Brickhill's Report

"Captain Gardener of the Generals staff rode up with a letter from the General which the Colonel read aloud, only four of us being present. It was an order to strike the camps and come with all speed leaving sufficient guard behind to protect such as could not be moved without delay"

No mentioned of Entrenchment, or Pulleine remaining behind. Rolling Eyes

So two accounts relating to the same message at the same meeting but different context. So who do we believe !!! Personal preference I suppose, the one which fits one's take on the matter!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:38 pm

That's put a new take on it Shocked Time for bed me thinks.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:39 pm

Cross post Exclamation
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:50 pm

6pdr wrote:
Cross post Exclamation

Hate it when that happens agree Later Gentlemen!!!
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:11 pm

[quote="springbok9"]
My point is that with an additional amount of time Durnford 'COULD' have done what he tried to do later. Get the men together. A cohesive firing platform could have been created with a retreat towards the koppie.

Maybe - but ONLY with insight- after the knowledge.... of a disaster as Isandhlwana!
I have in mind the arrogance of the high Officers: I don't think - at this time of the invasion- that any British Officer in command of the camp would abandoned the wagons and the stores.
This would mean the end of the invasion for a long, long time.

Cheers


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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:23 pm

I think it could be considered that Durnford took a risk when he rode ahead leaving his own ammuntion wagons to follow on, even though they were in enermy territory.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:57 pm


Frédéric -- I agree that Henderson had "an ax to grind" but even if we weigh his testimony heavily it doesn't really change much.  

Bonsoir 6Pdr,

For me, the honor of a man is important.
To "loose his head" or "to make errors" are not the same thing for the honour of an Officer.
But i am agree, it's changes nothing on the disaster!!!

I.E: For the "Reine Margot", iam fallen in love when i was young of Isabelle Adjani! Very Happy


Cheers
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:07 pm

Chard1879 wrote:
I think it could be considered that Durnford took a risk when he rode ahead leaving his own ammuntion wagons to follow on, even though they were in enermy territory.

The "Field force Regualtions", issue by CHELMSFORD on the 23 December 1879 stipuled, amongst other things:
"The leadind troops must not be allowed to out march the baggage wagons. The latter must be kept together as much as possible, and should one break down, or stick fasr, those in front must not to be allowed to leave it behind".
Had Nsthingwayo continued with his plan to descend the Mangeni valley and get behind the British, Durnford's unguarded convoy would have been strung out across the Zulu line of advance.
(Zulu Victory" by Lock and Quantrill p.162)
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:27 pm

[quote="6pdr"][


To me Chelmsford has to take the lion's share of blame primarily because he allowed a hugely superior force to appear hard by his flank virtually undetected...and secondarily because he exacerbated the situation by splitting his column twice in the shadow of that superior force.

Bonsoir 6Pdr,
For Ian Knight, there was nothing unusual in CHELMSFORD's plan.
"It had been common commonplace for troops to leave their camp to make sweeps through the bush on the Eastern Cape frontier. Even at that moment CoL Evelyn WOOD, commanding the Left Flank Column 50 kilometres away to the north, was marching acros country to attack abaQulusi concentrations around the Zungwani and Hlobane mountains, leaving considerably fewer men to guard his camp at Fort Thinta than Chelmsford would leave at iSandlwana" (Zulu rising p.288)
The problem is that British army had never fought the Zulus before...

Cheers
Frédéric
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:15 am



Quote :
I.E: For the "Reine Margot", iam fallen in love when i was young of Isabelle Adjani! Very Happy Cheers

THen I hope you saw it at a movie theater. As for me, I will have to replace my television because she burned a hole through the screen. Mon Dieu!
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:17 am

Chard1879 wrote:
I think it could be considered that Durnford took a risk when he rode ahead leaving his own ammuntion wagons to follow on, even though they were in enermy territory.

Actually though, Chelmsford did the same thing on the way to the Mangeni.
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:34 am

Quote :

For Ian Knight, there was nothing unusual in CHELMSFORD's plan...The problem is that British army had never fought the Zulus before...

Frédéric,

They hadn't fought the Zulu before but it is also true the British Army never let an opponent show up undetected on their flank with over 20,000 fighters.

So Knight has a point about the aggressive nature of the Zulu fighting culture but there were a number of factors that contributed to this debacle.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:43 am

Impi

Not new information at all. Just using primary source material.

Statement by Captain Alan Gardner, 14th Hussars. Camp, Rorke's Drift, January 26, 1879.

I LEFT the force with the General about 10.30 A.M., and rode back to Isandlana Camp, with the order to Lieutenant-Colonel. Pulleine to send on the camp equipage and supplies of the troops camping out, and to remain himself at his present camp, and entrench it. Between twelve and, one o'clock I reached Isandlana, and met Captain G: Shepstone, who told me he had been sent by Colonel Durnford for reinforcements


The underlined section doesn't exist in the court records. So there was no request that the camp be entrenched.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:56 am

Frederic
Ive never quite understood L and Qs theory about a plan to descend the Mangeni valley. It is a hell of a long way around to get to the RD/iSandlwana rd.and would mean crossing the river at, probably, Elands Kraal to get round the gorge. That would put an impi into Natal. It would have been a shorter and easier route to carry on the way he was going from Ngwebini that would have put him squarely across the road. Second point I wonder where L and Q got that info from, certainly not Ntshingwayo, he never made a statement.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:46 am

Ymob wrote:
To me Chelmsford has to take the lion's share of blame primarily because he allowed a hugely superior force to appear hard by his flank virtually undetected...and secondarily because he exacerbated the situation by splitting his column twice in the shadow of that superior force.

1) LC can't be blamed for what he didn't know. If that is the case then everyone who was in Zululand with LC is to blame.
2) Durford also exacerbated the situation by splitting the force yet again. Even though he was well aware of the enermy sightings.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:56 am

Chard
point 1
1) LC is blamed for what he didn't DO, also seeing he didn't scout the area correctly, yes for what he didn't know.
2) Durnford didn't split any force, his was an independent command column number 2. And again your overlooking the fact that even after Chelmsford left the camp he continued to split his force, 5 times in all.

Cheers
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:07 am

springbok9 wrote:
Frederic
Ive never quite understood L and Qs theory about a plan to descend the Mangeni valley. It is a hell of a long way around to get to the RD/iSandlwana rd.and would mean crossing the river at, probably, Elands Kraal to get round the gorge. That would put an impi into Natal. It would have been a shorter and easier route to carry on the way he was going from Ngwebini that would have put him squarely across the road. Second point I wonder where L and Q got that info from, certainly not Ntshingwayo, he never made a statement.

Cheers

Bonjour Springbok,
It seems to me that the source is Henry Francis FYNN (junior).
FYNN has a theory about a Zulu's plan to descend the Mangeni Valley and attack the British column in the rear.
Quoted for example in "Zulu Rising" by IK ( p.233-234)
The source is "My recollections of a famous campaign and a great disaster" by FYNN and the "Natal Witness" 22 January 1913.
Sorry, i can't currently write more on this subject, I have only my notes in French at hand..
Cheers.
Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:09 am

Chard1879 wrote:
Ymob wrote:
To me Chelmsford has to take the lion's share of blame primarily because he allowed a hugely superior force to appear hard by his flank virtually undetected...and secondarily because he exacerbated the situation by splitting his column twice in the shadow of that superior force.

1) LC can't be blamed for what he didn't know. If that is the case then everyone who was in Zululand with LC is to blame.
2) Durford also exacerbated the situation by splitting the force yet again. Even though he was well aware of the enermy sightings.

Sorry, it's 6 pdr the author of this sentence, not me.
Cheers.
Frédéric
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:38 am

Morning Frederic
I agree, it was Fynns theory not Ntshingwayo. Fynn did in fact warn Chelmsford about it and I believe is the reason that Bengough was sent to Elands Kraal.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:22 am

Springbok is quite right about the wording of Gardner's statement and ymob is quite right about the source being Fynn and therefore the author of column No. 2's 'pincer' movement to eventually team up with Chelmsford.
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 2    Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:43 am

Hi Springy / Others .
Springy going back to page 2 , I mentioned I took one of the reports of Durnford losing his head ( Alfred Henderson ) with a grain of salt , to which you replied by posting to Les , 4 names from who's accounts you thought didnt paint Durnford in a good frame of mind etc , these being Harry Davies , I read his account again and can find no mention he thinks , or thought ,Durnford was , or had lost his head , also William Johnson's account , doesnt give way to Durnford '' losing it '' . Henderson is the only one !.
Molife had / has nothing but praise for Durnfords Conduct during the action . So I dont think it's such a large grain of salt that I need to swallow on Durnfords actions Salute . Didnt have the Somtseu account handy , as he wasnt at Isandlwana fighting with Durnford on that day , I dont think what he thought of Durnford should reflect on Durnford's actions on the 22nd Jan . You need to study mo Salute
Cheers 90th

PS . Great inns by Warner till he lost concentration and was caught near the fence ! No No
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:23 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Springbok is quite right about the wording of Gardner's statement and ymob is quite right about the source being Fynn and therefore the author of column No. 2's 'pincer' movement to eventually team up with Chelmsford.

Yes, in ZULU RISING at least Knight seems to feel that Fynn had a disproportionate and even somewhat self-serving influence on Chelmsford's maneuvers. That's how I read him at least... If you look to him and some other strong "influencers" like the elder Shepstone for example you can concoct a version of events where the colonials lead the Army around by their noses a bit. Fair to say?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:30 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Springbok is quite right about the wording of Gardner's statement...

Shades of L&Q's cover up Exclamation   A word here...a phrase there...   The ghost hand of Crealock at work?  Suspect  Joker
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:37 pm

Saw some of Warners innings possibly 'Lost his Head' a touch? Very Happy He is so much like David Boone, not only the way he bats but with that bloody awful moustache as well. Very Happy
Davies.
Makes a number of comments that show Durnfords state of mind, he describes the incident of meeting the carbineers that I refered to. A very arrogant and dismissive attitude, almost bordering on the hysterical.
Johnson
Was very briskly instructed to go back in to the Zulus to look for Russell. And then abandoned to his fate, if it wasn't for Trainer and Gough he could have been another casualty. How can a senior officer treat a humble private like that if he was thinking straight. Johnson certainly wasn't a happy chappy and makes a point in his statement of saying that Durnford and his orderly had a spare horse. Again signs of hysteria
Molife
Talks of Durnfords attitude, joking and fixing rifles. he was the senior officer on the field and should have been more involved at a higher level. Definite hysteria.
And Henderson says it like it is. Why on earth would he want to crit an officer, and a dead one, without good reason, ( Letter to his father 28th January) and at a time long before it was in vogue to blame Durnford. In fact Henderson puts the blame squarely on Chelmsford.
Nope sorry all put together and adding in his comments of 'Never surviving the disgrace', he had lost the plot. A very brave man, but flawed.
And Shepstones thoughts, considering his status are very germain to the situation.

The sum of the parts equals the whole. eat yer salt. Joker Joker Joker Joker Joker
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:48 pm

Frank, What? read all that back to yourself, judge, jury
and executioner... Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:51 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:03 pm

Sorry Les
Touch of Devils Advocat. Didn't mean to cause any offence.
Been reading to much Snook maybe Suspect Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:06 pm

springbok9 wrote:

And Henderson says it like it is. Why on earth would he want to crit an officer, and a dead one, without good reason, ( Letter to his father 28th January) and at a time long before it was in vogue to blame Durnford.

Come now Springbok. That's a BIT rich. It had been "in vogue" for some time to question Durnford; AT LEAST since the Boundary Commission decision came down...and as you well know actually long before. Politics are politics and something tells me that Henderson, and ESPECIALLY Shepstone would have had precious little good to say about the man had you met them over a drink long BEFORE the war.

I'm not saying you're entirely wrong about Durnford that day.  The weight of evidence does seem to tip towards him having what they might call a mania about him during the battle -- or what we might characterize as behavior bordering on hysteria -- but did he tip over into it?  I think that comes down to shading. Those that were predisposed to see him in that light characterized him as such. Molife found him not so much out of control as animated or maybe overexcited I think.  And let's not forget the disgraceful myth Durnford was trying to live down about his prior behavior on a battlefield. Surely that got under his skin, but one man's hysteria is another man's over compensation...  

They'll be no rubbing salt in his wounds from me!


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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:12 pm

Nothing like a bit of aggro to get the debate roaring. As I posted, Devils Advocate, but still can you really discount the others? Johnson in particular.
Very Happy Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:12 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Sorry Les
Touch of Devils Advocat. Didn't mean to cause any offence.
Been reading to much Snook maybe Suspect Salute

Mon Dieu! The man is actually saying he's been Snookered! Joker Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:12 pm

6pdr
Colonials leading the professionals round by their nose???
Not enough to get LC to laager every time he halted...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:17 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
6pdr
Colonials leading the professionals round by their nose???
Not enough to get LC to laager every time he halted...

Touche! My theory about that however was that it was like trying to get blood from a stone.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:18 pm

i never take offence, love to see minds active,
questioning, and more importantly, participating..
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:37 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Johnson
Was very briskly instructed to go back in to the Zulus to look for Russell. And then abandoned to his fate, if it wasn't for Trainer and Gough he could have been another casualty. How can a senior officer treat a humble private like that if he was thinking straight. Johnson certainly wasn't a happy chappy and makes a point in his statement of saying that Durnford and his orderly had a spare horse. Again signs of hysteria

I think the reason for Durnford's severe behavior was that something about Johnson's behavior or demeanor struck him as cowardly.  And I think Johnson paid him back for that severity by claiming he been wronged to the extent of maliciousness (not supplying a spare horse) on Durnford's part.

All of that is complete speculation of course, but much occurred out on that plateau we will never know that day.  Let's not jump to the conclusion however that a senior officer losing patience with a fleeing underling is a sign of hysteria. He may have been making an example of the man to tamp down incipient fear. At no other point did Durnford display a pattern of behavior that could be reasonably be characterized as abusive.  Rather, his men were NOTABLY loyal to him unto, and after, death.

ON THE OTHER HAND, Durnford's treatment of the rocket battery as a whole borders on negligence.  It's as if their very presence in his column was something of an affront to him.  To me he clearly wasn't treating them as "his men" which, again, possibly devolves into prior politics.  Unfortunately it is impossible to know the psychology of that situation at such a granular level in arrears.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:53 pm

Let me play Devil's advocate and attempt a little defence of Durnford: it was a group of skirmishers well in advance of the main impi who fired on the Rocket Battery - how many should we say - thirty?? The sudden arrival of Durnford's NNH prevented the skirmishers finishing off the job (which they surely would have done) and the skirmishers skedaddled back up The Notch in the plateau's edge. The danger has passed momentarily. Then Durnford spoke to the then fleeing Johnson telling him to go back and get his officer's body.
A tall order for Johnson I admit, because he couldn't be sure where those skirmishers had gone and he may even have seen the Zulus way in the distance who were following up the NNH. May be Durnford believed the Rocket Battery still had mules or Russell's horse knocking about on to which the body could be loaded. May be Durnford ordered a trooper to assist Johnson. May be Durnford spoke to Johnson in a conciliatory manner and asked him to 'try' to get Russell's body before withdrawing any further. We can't after all tell from Johnson's account the tone in which he spoke. We only know with the benefit of hindsight that it would be the last thing on earth you or I would have ordered Johnson to attempt, and that's how Johnson must have viewed it - it was so surprising a thing that he recorded Durnford's words for posterity.
I don't necessarily believe any of this but I am trying to make sense of what happened in the context of the situation and to account for it plausibly. There isn't just ONE way to skin a cat and it certainly isn't always the most obvious.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:28 pm

A more potent example of this is of course Wood!
risking all's life and limb while he played vicar
for Campbell and Lloyd, sending Walkinshaw
back for his common prayer book, i would have
dearly loved to have heard Walkinshaw's  un-
derbreath mutterings as he scrambled back up!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:38 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
We can't after all tell from Johnson's account the tone in which he spoke.  We only know with the benefit of hindsight that it would be the last thing on earth you or I would have ordered Johnson to attempt, and that's how Johnson must have viewed it - it was so surprising a thing that he recorded Durnford's words for posterity.

And I think Anthony Durnford ordered it because in Johnson's place, that is EXACTLY what he would have expected from himself.  Throughout the two fights he was engaged in Durnford consistently exhibited extreme physical perseverance and courage. I think he lost track of what Olympian heights he was asking of others.

I don't blame Johnson for saying, "Better you than me, sir" but I also don't believe that Durnford callously left him to die.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:10 pm

6pdr
Perhaps when Johnson wrote "At this time he [Durnford] was mounted as well as his orderly who had a spare horse..." he meant that Durnford had implied Johnson could use the spare horse?
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:24 pm

Springy.

You say he might have gained about 25 min's if he had dashed back to the camp, but don't forget that the whole zulu attack was now under way after Raw etc, had discovered them, and they had already been getting themselves into position for an attack before they were discovered. Col Durnford would not have had much of a chance in just 25 min's to do anything about holding back the whole hoard of zulu's once they had started their attack, however, he did hold back the left horn for quite some time with his fighting retreat and stand in the donga, and therefor he gave Pulleine and the senior officers the time (over 25 min's), and the opportunity to try to organise things back at the camp, however, Pulleine and the other senior officers did not see nor take this opportunity. Col Durnford must have realised that he was running out of ammo and that he was also being outflanked and that he had to get back to the camp before he was overwhelmed by the zulu's, he also must have realised that neither Pulleine or the other officers had seen the chance he was giving them by holding back the left horn.

Julian.

I thought that I had read somewhere that Johnson survived, I may be wrong, but I am sure I have read it somewhere. I might have to trawl through by books to see if I can find it.
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90th

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PostSubject: DURNFORD WAS HE CAPABLE 2   Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:53 pm

Hi Springy
It seems me , and several others , agree to disagree with you on what you have loosely coined as Durnford's possible Hysteria ! Shocked
I , for the life of me , cant find anything , that has Davies , and others ( except Henderson ) , being critical of Durnford and his actions on the 22nd ( except those attempting to blame shift ) , I think its a bit rich Joker to site the Molife account with Durnford suffering from '' Hysteria '' because he was laughing and joking walking up and down the line , I'm thinking more to the point he was attempting to instill confidence into his small force , and quite probably knew he had to do so to keep the force intact Salute Salute . You have certainly generated some active responses with your proposed theories Joker Very Happy .
In regard to the Cairns on the path to where M & C are interred , they are quite close , easily within 100 metres , and possibly closer , one , which from memory is a large Cairn is no more than 30 or 40 metres away ? , there would be no record of who these may have been , because there were no survivors , they may possibly have been NNC , who , of course never really rated a mention on the reports after the battle ? . M & C's bodies certainly identifiable , the others obviously not , or of no importance , therefore not warranting a mention ? . I'll check my photos later today or tomorrow , and if I have something of use will send them to Les , who may kindly post them as he has done for me on many occasions agree Very Happy .
Cheers mate 90th Salute You need to study mo
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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:23 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
6pdr
Perhaps when Johnson wrote "At this time he [Durnford] was mounted as well as his orderly who had a spare horse..." he meant that Durnford had implied Johnson could use the spare horse?

Doubtful, but I wouldn't rule it out.

Johnson notes, "Before this the horses had broken away..." so it's a fair bet bet he was on foot when Durnford came across him. That's why he's at pains to point out the Colonel and his orderly are mounted...and also, they had a spare horse. Under the circumstances that CERTAINLY would have been of interest. He later says, "Just below the camp I met Privates Trainer and Grant with Bombardier Gough, they game me a horse," which, at first glance, sounds like he was on foot all the time before that. But it's JUST possible he means I was allowed temporarily to ride with Durnford's orderly until I met my mates and they gave me one of the (3) battery horses to keep for the remainder of the retreat. In any case 90th is right to say there is no imputation of hysteria in his Statement 299...or any sign of anger either.  But maybe all that gets edited out on purpose.

In Statement 196 Trainer makes a point of noting, "...the horses and mules got so frightened by this and the Native Infantry running away through them that they broke away." He also says he got a horse from Grant in camp after spending time with the Basutos. To me it's a question of how much ambiguity an argument can stand. Trainer says, "On the way I saw some of the Basutos, two of whom came along with me." On first reading I assume he is on foot with them. But on second thought there is a strong temptation while reading these testimonies to regard infantry as NNC and cavalrymen as Basutos. So MIGHT he have been mounted with the Basutos?  For me that's possible...but not really very plausible.

Grant and Trainer never mention Durnford's name although the latter clearly spent time in the the donga with "the Basutos."  To me it's clear that the tiny rocket battery was completely shattered by a single volley so I can hardly blame Johnson for regarding everything thereafter "as catch as catch can."  And I can hardly blame Durnford for not knowing that Johnson felt he had already done all he could for the (twice?) shot Captain Russell. IMO it was an almost random meeting of two men who had no time for one another under the circumstances.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:51 pm

Martin

Two points re Durnford's potential dash back to the camp instead of his timed withdrawal:

1. Would Durnford have recognized the Zulus in front of him as the horn of the main impi - remember he had just left Isandhlwana where he had been told that LC was facing the impi on the Mangeni. So, why WOULD he dash back?
2. Why would Pulleine start to prepare a defence of the camp while Durnford was carrying out his withdrawal. How would Pulleine know what Durnford had found until Basuto messengers had delivered correctly any message from Durnford? The amount of time Durnford gave the camp would be negligible.

and re Johnson:

Johnson certainly survived and left an account.

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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:15 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:


I thought that I had read somewhere that Johnson survived, I may be wrong, but I am sure I have read it somewhere. I might have to trawl through by books to see if I can find it.

Bonsoir Martin,
I think you have a copy of "England's sons"?
See p.37 n°25 Private William Johnson
Cheers

Frédéric
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:44 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Impi

Not new information at all. Just using primary source material.

Statement by Captain Alan Gardner, 14th Hussars. Camp, Rorke's Drift, January 26, 1879.

I LEFT the force with the General about 10.30 A.M., and rode back to Isandlana Camp, with the order to Lieutenant-Colonel. Pulleine to send on the camp equipage and supplies of the troops camping out, and to remain himself at his present camp, and entrench it. Between twelve and, one o'clock I reached Isandlana, and met Captain G: Shepstone, who told me he had been sent by Colonel Durnford for reinforcements


The underlined section doesn't exist in the court records. So there was no request that the camp be entrenched.

Cheers

So are we saying the Northeast Medal website is incorrect. They have published the statements from the COE which clearly shows the underlined as being part of it. Where are the other records that don't show the underlined.
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90th

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PostSubject: DURNFORD WAS HE CAPABLE 2    Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:40 am

I certainly think Northeast Medals are incorrect ! , I have not seen Gardner's report ever state that LC told him to tell Pulleine to entrench the camp ! , for instance, why would he ? , when he canned the idea 2 days or so earlier when Glynn asked him about entrenching ???. I think those that are relying on a Medal site as the panacea of the AZW are certainly kidding themselves ! , there are a few books and several authors who have seen these reports in the Archive , I'm more convinced to go with these historians than anyone else ! . as usual happy to be corrected You need to study mo .
90th scratch
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:22 am

This is cut directly from North East Medals, no mention at all of entrenchment.

3rd Evidence.—Captain Alan Gardner, 14th Hussars, states: I accompanied the main body of the 3rd Column as Acting Staff Officer to Officer commanding 3rd Column when it left the camp at Isandlwana on the 22nd January, 1879. I was sent back with an order from the General between ten and eleven A.M. that day into camp, which order was addressed to Colonel Pulleine, and was that the camp of the force out was to be struck and sent on immediately, also rations and forage for about seven days. On arriving in camp I met Captain George Shepstone, who was also seeking Colonel Pulleine, having a message from Colonel Durnford, that his men were falling back, and asking for reinforcements. We both went to Colonel Pulleine, to whom I delivered the order. Colonel Pulleine at first hesitated about carrying out the order, and eventually decided that the enemy being already on the hill on our left in large numbers, it was impossible to do so. The men of the 24th Regiment were all fallen in, and the Artillery also, and Colonel Pulleine sent two companies to support Colonel Durnford, to the hill on the left, and formed up the remaining companies in line, the guns in action on the extreme left flank of the camp, facing the hill on our left. I remained with Colonel Pulleine by his order. Shortly after, I took the mounted men, by Colonel Pulleine's direction, about a quarter of a mile to the front of the camp, and loft them there under the direction of Captain Bradstreet, with orders to hold the spruit. I went back to Colonel Pulleine, but soon after, observing the mounted men retiring, I went back to them, and, in reply to my question as to why they were retiring, was told they were ordered by Colonel Durnford to retire, as the position taken up was too extended This same remark was made to me by Colonel Durnford himself immediately afterwards. By this time the Zulus had surrounded the camp, "the whole force engaged in hand to hand combat, the guns mobbed by Zulus, and there became a general massacre. From the time of the first infantry force leaving the camp to the end of the fight about one hour elapsed. I estimated the number of the enemy at about 12,000 men. I may mention that a few minutes after my arrival in camp, I sent a message directed to the Staff Officer 3rd Column, saying that our left was attacked by about 10,000 of the enemy; a message was also sent by Colonel Pulleine. The Native Infantry Contingent fled as soon as the fighting began, and caused great confusion in our ranks. I sent messages to Rorke's Drift and Helpmakaar Camp that the Zulus had sacked the camp and telling them to fortify themselves.

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable. 4   Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:35 am

90th
George Smith carried out a burial service at M and Cs grave. From all the people present at that ceremony, and the time the bodies were found there is no mention at all of other imperial force members bodies being intered. That area was covered extensively by search parties and so any other soldiers bodies would certainly have been discovered. There is no historical mention of other soldiers/colonials been buried close to that site. There are however comments of Zulus being there, Higginson springs to mind. Again its more than probable that there were people killed down on the flood plain, not the present banks but the flooded area or just above, there are also reports of bodies swirling in the whirlpool, is it not just feasible that those bodies were collected and carried to a place where they could safely be buried?
To the best of my knowledge no one from the Rattray farm has ever claimed those cairns cover British bodies. 40 years ago on my first visit there, half of those cairns didn't exist. Please look at your photos, theres possibly two of the cairns built up against the side of boulders, does that make sense?
The spot where the monument is located is the place where M and C were intered, possibly not the place they died, one theory is that the large cairn towards the bottom was the actual spot.
Ken Gillings I know has very strong views on those cairns/isivane.
Personaly I don't know, but I did get told at one visit many moons ago that when the path was cleared for visitors the rocks were piled to one side........................... maybe some energetic soul decided to paint them?

Cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: DURNFORD WAS HE CAPABLE 2   Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:01 am

Hi Springy
M & C are interred not where they died , but a couple of yards away from reports I've read over the years . I think Ian Knight and someone else touch on the Cairns on the way up to M & C'S in their books , not sure who the modern day historians mention as leaving a report , but I do remember reading something about it . As I said it may well have been Zulu's or NNC , I thought today I read a report of a soldier being buried near M & C while looking for something else scratch . If I get a chance I'll do some digging . agree I'll check the my photo's when I get a chance .
90th Joker Joker
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