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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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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:46 am

Yes indeed!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:04 pm

Given his many years experience in Zululand and his fluency in the language I suspect that Schreuder knew rather more about the Zulu's intentions than Chelmsford did. I understand that Wolseley tried to recruit him as a spy for the English (which rather indicates that his information was seen as valuable). You should not make assumptions about the abilities of bishops!

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:36 pm

Bishop SCHREUDER was indeed a Chelsmford's spy with the help of Fannin a border agent. (Knight : "Zulu Rising" p.223-224)
SCHREUDER was at the Cetewayo's coronation in 1873 (as Durnford)
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:44 pm

See also the "Natal Witness", 10 January 1879: 3 zulu's impi near Middle's drift...
Maybe Durnford has read it?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:50 pm

Unfortunately LC plans didn't accomodate a loose cannon.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:11 pm

Durnford was prepaired to attack the Zulu' s based on information received from a Bishop Schreuder. He had no idea the size of the force he was attacking, he had no intelligence what so ever. Therefore Placing all those under him command in danger.  His action could have caused complications for LC plans for the invasion of Zululand. 
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 5    Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:28 pm

John your spiel could also be applied to Lord Chelmsford , he did the very same thing dont you think ? . He had no idea of the size of the force he was to confront , when he decided to leave the camp , in HIS haste to attack ! . Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:02 am

90th
Didn't Wood do the same at Hlobane? And im sure we could come up with numerous other examples to support your contention.
Regarding the admonishment of Durnford by Chelmsford it leaves itself in the air when he comments that:
"Should you consider that a counter-move across the Buffalo river will be efficacious in preventing an inroad of zulus into Natal, you are a perfect liberty to make it, but with the understanding that it is made with a pure defensive purpose, and that the force making it returns to its former position on completion of the duty entrusted to it »

As Durnford was on the way to the border at the time, why would Chelmsford assume that Durnford wasn't going to return? Secondly the foray to the border could be argued as being a defensive action.
In view of the above then why didn't Chelmsford carry his indignation on to other examples of the same thought process by an 'Independent Column commander', Wood again strikes a chord of doing exactly what Durnford attempted to do and did so with out any recriminations. Possibly a lack of even handedness?
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:39 am

Hi Frank
I was replying to John's statement who said Durnford rode off without any intelligence to attack the zulu's , isnt that exactly what LC did ? , and more so later in the day , when he had all his forces , spread to all points of the compass, in an effort to corner the zulu , he thought , were in his force's immediate area ?. . Wood's is a different scenario altogether , he had been keeping an eye on the Holbane / Zunguin area , as early as either Jan or Feb , they had launched a probing reconnaissance to the zunguin area , and they even noted that they watched the zulus doing their drills , they were well aware of the number of zulus who would oppose any incursion onto the mountain . Wood was a bit stiff , as he wasn't expecting the zulu army to come across his attack on Hlobane , as it was making its way to take on Wood in the Khambula area , the zulu army was no more surprised than Wood himself , when they , the zulus , realised there was an action taking place on top of Hlobane ! .
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:47 pm

Hi 90th
Fully agree with the point you made on Chelmsford. My contention on Wood still stands though in that he made the run at Zunguin, what was the difference with Durnfords attempt though? They were both made under the auspices of a column command decision. Wood wasn't chastised Durnford was. The outcome to Durnfords patrol we will never know as it was curtailed. Woods we do know the result. The point being there was no difference at the outset, Woods was a patrol to establish the enemies position and presence and so would Durnfords have been.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:48 pm

Lets face it, LC did not care for Durnford, so after the massacre at iSandlwana it is more than obvious that Thesiger is going to want to dump the blame onto the dead Durnford to avoid the blame falling on himself, hence the web of lies and deceit and the rigged enquiry. LC along with the cretin Crealock, set up a plan to put the blame on Durnford in an attept to save their own backsides, Crealock even tried to drag Glyn into the blame game, which shows how far he would go to avoid Thesiger and himself being lumbered with the blame. They must have had 'a few words' (threats, bribes, etc), with others who also then went along with the web of lies and deciet in order to clear LC of the blame. However, there were those that could smell a rat, and they didn't fall for the cover up, in fact the DoC put together a set of questions that Thesiger found very awkward to try to answer, and he never commanded in the field again. So no matter how many of you still try to blame Durnford, history shows us who the real culpret was, and that was none other than the arrogant Thesiger himself. He knew he had made all the mistakes, and then tried to throw the blame onto the brave but dead Durnford and have his name dragged through the mud, this just shows how low he would stoop, and it is not the behaviour of a gentleman, if he had been a gentleman he would have owned up to his culpability and taken his medicine like a man, but instead he hides behind lies and deceit, which makes him nothing more than an arrogant cad and a liar.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:54 pm

You talk as though LC wasn't held accountable. scratch
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:08 am

Hi Frank
I'm not sure what you are asking ? , John was having a go at Durnford for riding off , as he said , with no intelligence , and in a hurry to attack . I'm basically saying that's what LC did , and then LC decides to split is own force into several small groups in his attempt to find the supposed zulu army . Wood is different , in the fact that he had scouted the Zunguin area in Jan , and or feb , so he knew , or had a very good idea , of the force that would oppose him if he attacked the Hlobane . Wood was unlucky in the fact , that the zulu army sent to attack him at Kambula , just happened to be passing the Hlobane when he had launched his own attack on the mountain . So I dont see how Wood could be admonished , if this is what you mean ? .
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:12 am

Morning 90th.
"Hi Frank
I'm not sure what you are asking ? , John was having a go at Durnford for riding off , as he said , with no intelligence , and in a hurry to attack . I'm basically saying that's what LC did , and then LC decides to split is own force into several small groups in his attempt to find the supposed zulu army

Ive agreed with you on this, no question.
Wood is different , in the fact that he had scouted the Zunguin area in Jan , and or feb , so he knew , or had a very good idea , of the force that would oppose him if he attacked the Hlobane . Wood was unlucky in the fact , that the zulu army sent to attack him at Kambula , just happened to be passing the Hlobane when he had launched his own attack on the mountain . So I dont see how Wood could be admonished , if this is what you mean ? .
90th scratch

It doesn't really matter what WOOD did, or the outcome really. My point is he made a Column Commanders decision to pursue a course of action. To my mind he was fully within his rights to do so because of his position. Durnford made exactly the same Column Commanders decision to pursue a course oc action and was severely chastised.
Both Wood and Durnford were Column Commanders and had equal rights over their Columns. Both made decisions ( the results are immaterial,) the actions are the key issue, and the reaction/non action from Chelmsford.
Hope that clarifies my view point.

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:20 am

Yes ,...... excellently Frank ( Think of LC - Frere in zulu dawn ) lol. . I agree 100% they were both Column Commanders , and therefore were entitled to make their own decisions. Which they did , and yes , the outcome is immaterial . Also , let's not forget , Wood was asked by Chelmesford , to launch a diversionary action , in an effort to keep the Zulu Army occupied , as he was in the midst of preparing to send a force to relieve Eshowe . Which would account for LC not chastising Wood , in any shape , or form .
Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:44 am

Chelmsford was biased, had an Irish Nanny. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Had an advert today from Pen and Sword Publications: CHELMSFORD IN THE GREAT WAR. Nearly choked on my coffee till I saw it was the story of the English Towns contribution to the army.
Just got back from safari with the grandkids.....awesum time. Must post a couple of 'Of topic pics'

Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:00 pm

Hi Frank
I received the same email and it had similar effect on me as well ! . Yes , post away in the ' off ' topics . Kiwis had a slight scare against the Bangers ! .
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:06 pm

I will leave it to Pete to admonish me then re post this lot.
Anyway there I was sitting in the middle of the bush when this lot showed up
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Included was this little chap, hardly a couple od days old the way they were protecting him.
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This ugly sod obviously looking for an easy meal then arrived
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So the family surrounded the little one
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And a couple of bigger ladies broke of drinking to stand guard.

Don't warn to be a bore so a rather long story of elephants chasing away hyena over a 1 hour period ended in a little warthog arriving for a drink and he met up with the brothers.
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Surprisingly enough after a fight/standoff/defensive action lasting well over an hour the warthog was the victor. Oh yes a big adult male arrived on the scene and with much bellowing he charge the hyena and drove them of.

Cheers mate......................Sorry Pete.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:57 pm

I suppose we could look at this, as Durnford being the small elephant. And tha larger one's being Pulleine, British Troops and Colonials protecting him. The Warthog the rocket battery.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:39 pm

And the three hyenas - now let me think?

Nice photos Frank.

Steve
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:49 pm

Very Happy I walked into that one!
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 5   Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:25 pm

Hi Frank
Excellent photo's mate , thanks for sharing them .
90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:34 pm

I Read that officers had maps. did Durnford have a map, if so what happened to it. Question
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:43 am

I would image in one of his wagons. Do we know how many wagons Durnford had with him at Isandlwana.?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:35 am

From memory, six.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:51 pm

Not only did Durnford have a map, he was the surveyor who produced it in September 1878 for the Boundary Commission.

The original is in the National Archives and is reproduced in Huw Jones book "The Boiling Cauldron".

The Intelligence Branch of the Quartermaster General's Department produced this map in quantity by lithography and it was quickly issued by Chelmsford to all officers, together with Bernard Fynney's booklet on the Zulu army and their tactics. I don't think Durnford's field copy was ever found.

Although the Intelligence Branch went on to produce about 40 maps and versions of maps for the Zulu War as a whole, only Durnford's was available before Isandhlwana.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:36 pm

What difference does a map make to Durnford’s Misguided actions. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:38 pm

Bonsoir à tous,

Hamer’s letter to his mother after the battle of Isandhlwana:
"I dined the night before in his tent with Colonel DURNFORD and (poor?) Captain Geo SHEPSTONE. We were then at Rorke’s Drift about 10 miles from the Isandlwana camp. The next morning Wed Jan 22, we had a dispatch from General Lord CHELMSFORD and Colonel DURNFORD sent for me to his tent. I had some breakfast with him, & he gave me a verbal message to Lord CHELMSFORD at camp. When I got there found the General had left the camp to attack the Zulus. About and hour after my arrival in camp, Col. DURNFORD arrived with his mounted native horse, the rest of the native contingency being some miles behind. The Zulus were then seen on the distant hills in small numbers (for an officer lent me his glass and I saw them myself). Colonel DURNFORD being superior officer took over command and orders from Colonel PULLEINE and of course has all the (....)".

The reference to Lord Chelsmford is strange.

Frank wrote in a previous post: “Colonel Durnford sent Hamer to the camp for further instructions. This despite knowing full well that the General had left the camp in the early hours of the morning!. If there were instructions left for him then he would get them when he arrived at the camp and if there were so urgent as to affect his march to the camp then surely they would have been attached to the orders delivred by Smith-Dorrien! So why was Hamer sent?”.(15/09/2014)

In reality, we only know from Hamer that DURNFORD gave him “verbal instruction to Lord Chelsmford at camp”. That’s all.
We thought that “at camp” is the camp of Isandhlwana, but it does not make sense as pointed by Frank.

So, I wonder if Mr Whybra and Mr Jackson did not give us a logical explanation in their remarkable article: “Isandhlwana and the Durnford papers” (“Studies in the Zulu war 1879: I” / 2012)

About the famous order to Durnford given by Crealock the 22 January, the authors wrote:
“By “this camp” Crealock (apparently) intended to refer to Isandhlwana camp” p.37
(…) “The use of the phrases “to this camp” and to move up here” in the same order may have given rise to some confusion. Did the former, in Durnford’s mind indicate Isandhlwana camp or the new camp on the Mangeni?” p.39
(…) “Crealock’s use of “Nangwane” [Mangeni] may have confused matter still further”. P.41

For further explanations and reflections, please study the essay, the Durnford’s map, and the explanation of Steve about it.
The subject of this post is about Durnford's mind (not Chelsmfor's mind) with the question "Why was Hamer sent?"
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Frédéric
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:40 am

Bonsoir Frederic

Will give that some thought and post something later.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:54 am

rusteze wrote:
Bonsoir Frederic

Will give that some thought and post something later.

Steve

Bonsoir Steve,
I look forward to seeing your point of view. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:04 am

A good post Ymob!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:18 am

Yes, a very good post which should lead to some interesting discussion, I hope.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:38 am

Hamer seems to remember quite a lot, he doesn’t say what the verbal message was.

And to be fair to Col Durnford, in the order he received from SD it never actually gave a time regarding LC departure.

Do we know at what point Dunford became aware of why LC had left the camp, in that he was going to the assistance of Dartnell.

Durnford would not have known about the new camp being setup by LC because it hadn't been found at the time in-question. So it must be Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:51 am

John
To answer your four points in order:

Hamer does not say what the message was in this particular letter.  Unfortunately there WERE other letters which have been lost/destroyed over the years and at least one which apparently vanished from the NAM many years ago (which Morris claimed to have seen).  The search will continue...

The Crealock/Chelmsford order gives no time of departure but it does say "at once" and the original message would have had a time of sending on it.  Durnford would have been able to work out at the time of receipt that time was tight and he must have hoped that Hamer would catch LC before he left or at least be able to bring back any further instructions left for him at Isandhlwana.

Of course Durnford knew why LC had left the camp!  It's in the Crealock/Chelmsford order: "...move off at once to attack a Zulu force about 10 miles distant".  The details he would have received from Pulleine on arrival at Isandhlwana.

Durnford WOULD have known about the new camp's (approximate) location on the Mangeni.  The whole plan had been discussed and been in correspondence for some time and Durnford had been a party to that.  For example, read LC's despatch to Frere of 21st January 1879.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:43 am

A few points to consider:
Hamers statement is that Durnford gave him 'a verbal message', not a request or order. A minor point I know but much of what we discuss is based on those minor points.
Julians point: "The Crealock/Chelmsford order gives no time of departure but it does say "at once" and the original message would have had a time of sending on it. Durnford would have been able to work out at the time of receipt that time was tight and he must have hoped that Hamer would catch LC before he left or at least be able to bring back any further instructions left for him at Isandhlwana.
Assuming the order was time initialled, and it should have been by rights, it would have been sometime between 2 and 4 in the morning. Crealock specifically mentions that the General moves out at once. Allowing then the time for Smith Dorrien to ride to RD, Durnford to be recalled, sit down and have breakfast and then chat with Hamer we are looking at a time period after that 'at once' posted on the time initialled order of somewhere in the region of 4 to 5 hours. I wouldn't agree that Durnford entertained a hope that Hamer would catch up with Chelmsford. That said I would say the direction of our search for a reason should be directed else where.

As Durnford was responsible for drawing up the map on which the invasion plan was based I feel sure that he would know exactly what was meant by Crealock in saying the 'Nangwane' and would therefore know of the travel distance from 'the Camp' to that valley. Its somewhere in there that I have a niggle and I really don't know what it is. I don't believe that Durnford intended to head of to Mangeni, surely that would have been mentioned to at least one of his aids or been overheard in conversation.

Brings us back full circle really: What was the message conveyed by Hamer? He does say it was for Lord Chelmsford, so Im leaning towards the conclusion that it could well have been a simple confirmation that Durnford had received the order to move.


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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:44 pm

I think the responses to Frederic's post show how difficult it is to unpick this.

We do not know what message Durnford sent to Chelmsford via Hamer. Neither are there any clear grounds for making an assumption about what that message was. It may be that Frank is right that it was simply to say "I have your order and I am coming". Or, more likely, it may be that Durnford was keen to know, at the earliest opportunity, what Chelmsford wanted him to do next after the ambiguous order in the early hours.

A few things are perhaps a little clearer.

1. Cochrane reports later that when Durnford read Crealock's order, he said "We are to go to Isandhlwana". So it does not seem as though Durnford thought Crealock was referring to the camp at Mangeni. It also seems quite likely to me that the original order would have noted the location from which it had been sent, hence it would have been clear which camp was being referred to.

2. The fact that Chelmsford had ordered Durnford to take Bengough's wagons with him to cross at Rork'es Drift clearly indicates that Durnford was going to come together with Bengough and Chelmsford later at Mangeni. Julian makes this point in his paper.

3. So everyone was going to Mangeni over the space of a couple of days - but we return to the same question. Was Durnford to proceed with all haste to operate with Chelmsford and Bengough against the Impi discovered by Dartnell? Was he entitled to think that is what Chelmsford still intended? Or was the message he sent to Chelmsford via Hamer seeking reassurance?

Steve

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:44 pm

Martins going to be the next.............. Anyway good luck against India for Thursday. Could go either way that one, in fact the top 4 are so equal.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:54 pm

Steve I started at one time to speculate that possibly the message was for someone else but Hamer is very definite that it was for Chelmsford. And yet his chances of getting to Chelmsford, even before he left RD, were non existant and they had to have known that. How does one tie those two pieces of information together sensibly? That is the crux for me, or are we looking to deeply into a very simple explanation? Possibly as Julian said earlier, he thought he may just catch Chelmsford ! In that case the note could have easily been a plea for order clarity, certainly not more orders, the ones from Crealock were pretty clear in context, even if in hindsight they did get mangled. So why would Durnford, not on the best of terms with his CO, nag for more orders and risk a tetchy Chelmsfords anger?
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:43 pm

Personally, i wonder if sending Hamer to Chelsmford was not a "pretext" for Durnford...
I will develop this "wacky" hypothesis that night after my return at home.
This hypothesis for me is plausible... but i don't like it!
Cheers
Frédéric
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:00 pm

For what it's worth I think Hamer was sent to get clarification of the Crealock/Chelmsford (i.e. exactly where was Durnford to go) or to get in advance LC's further instructions. Durnford hoped that either he might get these from LC himself if he was still at Isandhlwana or in the form of orders left for him there in the care of Pulleine.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:03 pm

Hi Julian
I still need to return to the time lapse of around 4 hours, in his wildest delirium Durnford could not have expected Chelmsford to be still in the camp after reading Crealocks note! My second issue is that assuming your hypothesis is correct and Hamer was sent for order amplification then why did Hamer stay at iSandlawana instead of returning to Durnford with the news that Chelmsford had left. Don't forget Durnford was only an hour behind Hamer. I cant quite see the point of sending h
Hamer on a fools errand and then following that closely behind him?
Third point would be, placing ourselves at the scene and time, what was wrong with Chelmsford/Crealocks order that would require explanation. I do emphasise that Im looking at the order in its time frame and context. Durnford was ordered to the camp, nothing more and nothing less. IF he expected to have further orders awaiting him and it was for these Hamer was sent of then again what was the point, he knew he was going to be there in a very short space of time himself.
so why send of an emissary?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:27 pm

Frank
Yes, all good points.
My thinking honestly was rather more on the picking up any orders left for him side rather than expecting to run into LC himself.  Just hedging my bets.
So, to answer your question...

In the Crealock/Chelmsford message it says:

"You are to march to this Camp at once"
The "at once" is underlined in the original according to Crealock.  This implies an urgency, a sudden emergency, to which LC expects Durnford to respond immediately (and yet he doesn't say what AD is to do when he arrives).  Remember, AD never met Smith-Dorrien who delivered the message; it had been forwarded to him while S-D cleared off to Rorke's Drift.

"with all the force you have with you of No. 2 column"
In AD's mind this would imply something major happening such that it necessitated the presence of his entire force to be required at LC's disposal (without making any specification as to its role).

"2/24th [etc] with the General & Colonel Glyn move off at once to attack a Zulu force about 10 miles distant."
The message DOES say what LC will be doing but in such a way (given its proximity to the urgent necessity of AD's force hastening to the front) as to imply a connection between the two (at least in AD's mind).  An attack is happening.  A major British force is advancing towards an impi.  The two biggest ranking guns are accompanying it.  They are doing it AT ONCE - there's an urgency.  It's just 10 miles away.  No time at all for an impi to travel...and the General needs AD's men (at last) "AT ONCE" underlined.

Even the post script requires the other half of Durnford's column to move to the front (banners waving).

Durnford leaves immediately with all his force and hares off to the camp expecting...
Expecting what?  
Something to have developed?
An attack to be in progress?
A requirement that his men should proceed to a certain part of the field or location?
He doesn't know.

So, Hamer is sent, just in case, to spy the lie of the land, to obtain fresh instructions, to forestall any possible indecision, to supplement LC's men exactly as required, should it have become necessary, to ride into hell for a heavenly cause.  Much better to obtain information in advance than make it up on the spot when he arrives.  Why, AD even gallops his mounted men ahead of his column to hasten with all speed to respond to LC's order, in case he is needed to save the day.  And so, Hamer is sent.  That is my thinking.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:41 pm

That is assuming that Hamer is telling the truth.

He neglects to mention Smith-Dorrien's actions in the letter to his father, unless S-D has morphed into a member of the rocket battery.

Just thinking out loud...

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:49 pm

I like that Julian.
But there were times, I'm sure you knew, when I bit-off more than I could chew, but through it all, when there was doubt I ate it up and spat it out, I faced it all and I stood tall and did it . (all join in!) .......................

No, it wasn't that one.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:19 pm

Another thought. Hamer was a civilian commissariat officer - would Durnford have used him to enquire about orders for the column? More likely some sort of message about supplies or transport perhaps - but then why Chelmsford?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:39 pm

Why didn't Hamer continue to track down LC. He gets to the camp, LC had left, why did he not continue to delivered the verbal instruction, as requested by Durnford. Surly Harmer would have had time to deliver the message and get back to Isandlwana with LC reply. Or as some have said, was it just to say, Durnford had received LC order and was moving to the camp. Either way it could not have been that important.

Would it not be the case, when Durnford arrived at Isandlwana to discover there were no fresh orders, he should have obeyed the one he received via SD.


On another note. Extract from Hamers letter.

"We four volunteered to go with Major Spaulding next morning to Rorke’s Drift. Where as I had lost everything I possessed, horse (and my cash went down the river in my saddle bags where I had another spill getting out), Lord Chelmsford with his extreme courtesy and kindness (he is beloved by every one, and we only think of him in this sad affair), I mean chiefly for poor Col. Durnford, Geo. Shepstone and the other brave fellows, it is too awful to think of (and I have escaped on mere luck) allowed me to accompany his staff to Helpmakaar and thence to Pietermaritzburg. I am to my deep disgust now today in Natal and am proceeding up country to Ladysmith."

What did he mean by this. What was he disgusted with?
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:43 am

Bonsoir à tous,

The answer to the question “Why was Hamer sent” is certainly in the posts of the day.
However, I wonder if the answer to this question is not elsewhere.

Context / assumptions:
-Durnford drew himself the map of the Zululand which was distributed to the British Officers before the start of the invasion: Durnford was probably the British Officer present at Zululand in January who knew the best the country (topography), so Durnford could not have seriously expected Chelmsford to be still in the camp after reading Crealock's note,
-The Chelmsford’s admonition of the 14 January was unjustified (see the order from Chelmsford to Durnford  8 January 1879), so (after the rebuke) Durnford doesn’t know precisely his freedom [of movement] as Commander of a column,
-Durnford, a proud man, was humiliated by the admonition (account of Captain DYMES 1/1 NNC),
-Durnford knows that he can lose the command of his column with a new act of disobedience (Letter from Chelmsford to Durnford 14 January 1879),
-Durnford is revanchist after the fiasco of the Bushman’s pass in 1873,
-Its next mission (control the communication lines) is dull and unrewarding (“the memorandum”, letter from Chelmsford to Frere, 21 January / orders of the 19 January),
-Durnford depressed to stay in reserve (“I am down”) but remains hopeful of an opportunity (Letter to his mother 21 January),
-The Crealock’s order of the 22 January was not clear (I.E: see the debate on this forum about it / see the essay “Isandhlwana and the Durnford’s papers” by Mr Julian Whybra).


Hypothesis:
DURNFORD seeks action and glory but he must proceed with caution with Chelmsford.
In this context, sending Hamer to Chelmsford could be a pretext for Durnford “to cover his back (rear)”:
He intends in secret to take advantage of the lack of clarity of the Crealock’s order to attack the Zulus at the first opportunity.
If Chelmsford would be furious by the decisions taken , Dunrford could defend himself by claiming that he has sent Hamer to Isandhlwana to clarify the Crealock’s order, but him (Chelmsford) "unfortunately" was not here.

In conclusion, I do not like this hypothesis because it implies that Durnford was a cynical and calculating man… and I don’t think it was the case, he was a man of honor.
But I have somewhere a doubt: DURNFORD didn’t say to anyone that was his mission the 22 january…strange.

Just a thought.
Cheers.
Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:02 am

rusteze wrote:
Another thought. Hamer was a civilian commissariat officer - would Durnford have used him to enquire about orders for the column? More likely some sort of message about supplies or transport perhaps - but then why Chelmsford?

Steve

Bonsoir Steve,
I have the same astonishment with the role of Brickhill, a civilian, during the Battle of Isandhlwana.
Cheers
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:25 am

How can you make such wild and uniformed statements about the character of someone you do not know. You have nothing to base any of your theories, ie he was depressed, he wanted to cover his back, he was re vengeful, he drew a map, before the start of the invasion, he was humiliated, his mission was dull, plotting to cover his back, didn't tell anyone what his mission was, there must be some more that you could add while you are at it to what amounts to nothing more than a character assisination, and he has had plenty of those. You need to remember that the people who took part in past military events whether there or anywhere else in the world are not names written on a piece of paper, they are members of a real family, and such comments I am sure would not be tolerated if directed towards one of yours.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:49 am

Julian
Happy, for the time being to go with that. I will return to the sending of a commissariat assistant later.
Ymob
WOW, thinking out of the box indeed, if I could spell machiavelian I probably would. Very Happy
Steve
You've just articulated a doubt I have been kicking around ( see above to Julian). Most of Durnfords men were 'Part time' as was Brickhill and Hamer, my queerie to Julian would be that if Durnford was looking for somebody to gather intelligence would he have sent such a junior person as Hamer and possibly not a more 'fighting man'?
I still believe that we are over analysing in hindsight. The basic missive from Crealock is no real difference from most of the other orders sent out in the days prior, sure information is missing and no doubt Durnford was a bit perplexed. He did also have a history of sending of emmisaries to Chelmsford.
Krish
Unfortunatly Anthony Durnford is a historical figure with a huge amount of baggage and mystery so yes he will be discussed, often generating quite amount of heat, lots of different ideas are posted on the man, his actions and his state of mind. Being in the public domain one has to expect that.
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