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 Durnford was he capable.5

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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:32 am

krish wrote:
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.  

Bonjour Krish,

Did you read my "conclusion" about A. DURNFORD?
In reality, i don't think that my hypothesis, my personal thoughts about A. DURNFORD are the problem...
My comments were written on a forum about the AZW and Anthony DURNFORD is a key figure of the battle of Isandhlwana.
I can understand your emotion but i have no regret about my comments.
Sorry.

Cheers.

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:48 am

Frank Allewell wrote:

Ymob
WOW, thinking out of the box indeed, if I could spell machiavelian I probably would. Very Happy

Bonjour Frank,
It seems thaht the study of the philosophers is not good for me...
I wonder if i need to meet a psychiatrist.... Very Happy
Cheers.
Frédéric

I.E: i found nothing in my "archives"(!) about FROWEN. I think the "source" about him is in a post in the "old forum" of the "Rorke's drift" website.
But since one month, i can't access to it.
Sorry.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:02 am

John
Assuming S-D named the man correctly...and if he had, and you were Hamer, would you mention it?

Rusteze
Hamer was available with no immediate troop responsibility.

Frederic
Yes, but as I've said to you privately, that does point to something in his character, a certain recklessness where others are concerned, and much more, which would have to be justified, never mind proven.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:56 am

Bonjour Mr Whybra / all,

You are right, i can't prove  "my hypothesis".

About your first comment (to justify"a certain recklessness where others are concerned"), i am not sure that it is the real point to justify.

Like all the senior Officers before the disaster of Isandhlwana, he was not aware of the real danger of the Zulus:
. At Middle's Drift, the 13/14 January, he didn't check that the crossing of the stream was yet possible despite the severe thunderstorms when he could be facing three Zulu regiments.(Bishop Schreuder / Natal Witness from memory),
. Its camp at Rorke's Drift, in territory ennemy, was not fortified,
. He abandoned his wagons on the road to Isandhlwana the 22 January (contrary to the regulations on this subject),
. The abondonment of the rocket's battery while fresh reports indicated the presence of ennemies close,
.His answer to the 2 Natal Carbineers in vedette duty,
. There is also the strange "incident" with Johnson (rocket's battery): Maybe an argument for the assumption that there is a certain recklessness in his character where others are concerned"?

And i don't forget that he took really the first opportunity to attack the Zulus.
An argument for my hypothesis?

To be totally honest, i think my hypothesis is implausible but i am looking for arguments by forum members to dismiss it definitively.

Cheers.

Frédéric
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:05 am

Bien a toi!
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:25 am

Julian Whybra wrote:
Bien a toi!

Mr Whybra,
I don't understand in the context, your comment.
What do you mean?
Cheers
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:30 am

Good morning Frederic

I do not have a problem with you spelling out the areas of doubt about Durnford. While I do not agree with many of the conclusions about him, others plainly think that way. If those views about his character can be shown to be false that can only help future discussion.

I don't like your hypothesis about why he sent Hamer (I know you don't either!). I would say it was not in Durnford's character to cover his back by the subterfuge of apparently seeking further orders from Chelmsford while knowing full well Hamer was not going to reach Isandhlwana in time. Now, perhaps some dastardly gallic Marechal could come up with such a ruse, but dear old Durnford, no Very Happy .

On the specifics.

I think, in their actions, all of the Commanders were following Chelmsford's key strategy which was to bring the Zulu Impis to battle at the first opportunity and the more the merrier. The fire power available would win the day. There needed to be a quick and decisive action. I agree that also suited Durnford's demeanor.

Julian's description of the urgency in Durnford's mind, engendered by Chelmsford's orders to come up to the camp at once, might have been enough to persuade him to leave behind his slow moving wagons.

The Rocket Battery had the protection allocated to it - but they appear to have bolted at first contact. The fact that the Zulu force was overwhelming at all points meant all bets were off. I don't see that as a failing of Durnford alone.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:43 pm

Bonjour Steve / all

First point
Thank you for your understanding of my motivations, i hope that Krish will read your post.

2nd point
I have the same thoughts about your two points (the Marechal Very Happy and Durnford's character).
But , as you know, the belief that Durnford was a man with high principles, a man of honour (a gentleman?) is not enough for me to dismiss definitively my hypothesis.

Third point
For me Durnford was right to attack the Zulus if his order (in his mind) was to control the Chelmsford's line of communication, the rear of the Chelmsford's column to his advance to the Mangeni (despite the Frank's thesis on this specific subject / Frank please see no offense Wink )

Fourth point
It's for me a indication of the understimation of the danger of the enemy.

Fifth point
Again, an indication of the understimation of the danger of the enemy

In conclusion, i see only one argument against my thesis, the Durnford's character
I know that it's necessary for me to bring "on the table" a decisive argument to support my hypothesis and not the contrary!
Actually, i can't, only assumptions...

Cheers.

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:11 pm

Frederic
I meant very well done. Especially so in a foreign language. I doubt I could be so nuanced and with such finesse in French.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:58 pm

Frederic
'Third point
For me Durnford was right to attack the Zulus if his order (in his mind) was to control the Chelmsford's line of communication, the rear of the Chelmsford's column to his advance to the Mangeni (despite the Frank's thesis on this specific subject / Frank please see no offense Wink )

None taken mate. Salute

However ( you knew that was coming didn't you Very Happy ) to make that statement you need to 'prove the two points:
1)control the Chelmsford's line of communication
2)the rear of the Chelmsford's column to his advance to the Mangeni

Look forward to that.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:07 pm

Well Frank(s)
At least logic is on your (plural) side.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:10 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Frederic
'Third point
For me Durnford was right to attack the Zulus if his order (in his mind) was to control the Chelmsford's line of communication, the rear of the Chelmsford's column to his advance to the Mangeni (despite the Frank's thesis on this specific subject / Frank please see no offense Wink )

None taken mate.  Salute

However ( you knew that was coming didn't you Very Happy ) to make that statement you need to 'prove the two points:
1)control the Chelmsford's line of communication
2)the rear of the Chelmsford's column to his advance to the Mangeni

Look forward to that.


Cheers
A new hypothesis comes to my mind,, Machiavel is ...south african!
I will come back to answer to yours questions
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:11 pm

And has a Doppelgaenger!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:45 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Frederic
'Third point
For me Durnford was right to attack the Zulus if his order (in his mind) was to control the Chelmsford's line of communication, the rear of the Chelmsford's column to his advance to the Mangeni (despite the Frank's thesis on this specific subject / Frank please see no offense Wink )

None taken mate.  Salute

However ( you knew that was coming didn't you Very Happy ) to make that statement you need to 'prove the two points:
1)control the Chelmsford's line of communication
2)the rear of the Chelmsford's column to his advance to the Mangeni

Look forward to that.


Cheers


Impossible to prove the two points.

I'm sorry, but there is absolutely nothing in the order that states Durnford should do either.
Concentrate on the order he received. Turning the order into a work fiction, will not give us the true meaning of the original order.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:22 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Frederic
I meant very well done.  Especially so in a foreign language.  I doubt I could be so nuanced and with such finesse in French.

Mr Whybra,
Your encouragement bring me much joy. Thank you.
You are too modest, I suspect you are.... not French! Very Happy
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:36 pm

No, I don't want to just concentrate on the order received for the folowing reasons.

We have been discussing that for years, everyone knows what everyone else thinks and the discussion has dried up. it seems to me that the forum is in danger of just quietly slipping away. Despite a growing membership very few actively post.

It is useful to speculate about Chelmsford's intentions. When he issued the order to Durnford the camp was not being atacked and defending it was not uppermost in Chelmsford's mind - so how did he intend to use Durnford as part of his plans to bring the impis to battle?

Some of the ideas that come up seem far fetched, others prompt discussion and that keeps the forum alive.

Keep the ideas coming I say.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:26 pm

LC stated after the event, he wanted Durnford at Isandlwana as his Engineering skills would have been useful in the fortifying of the camp.  To me LC had absolutely no confidence in Durnford. The further away from the intended action the better. I would imagine when moving to engage the enemy the commander would want every officer singing from the same hymn sheet, perhaps LC thought Durnford didn't have the ability to do that, and for all concerned better to leave him at Isandlwana where he would be more useful reinforcing the camp, until such times fresh orders could be sent.  
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:44 pm

I can see why you say that John but I have some problems with it. Chelmsford could easily have appointed Durnford to command RE, but he made him independant commander of a largely mounted column. He had also said he wanted him to act with him against the Matyanas, not at all an enginering role. Even if he wanted him to use his skills to build defences at Isandhlwana, that was very temporary - Chelmsford was not expecting it to be attacked and it was only a staging post. So what would those further orders you mention have said?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:00 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
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.

Extract from MOFYS Smith Dorrient.

"At about midnight I was sent for by General Lord Chelmsford and told to take a dispatch back to Rorke's Drift for Colonel Durnford, R.E., who was expected there with reinforcements consisting of native levies. I rode back, 10 miles, arriving at Rorke's Drift just before dawn on the 22nd, and delivered my dispatch. It ought to have been a very jumpy ride, for I was entirely alone and the country was wild and new to me, and the road little better than a track; but pride at being selected to carry an important dispatch and the valour of ignorance (for I only realised next day that the country was infested with hostile Zulus) carried me along without a thought of danger. Colonel Durnford was just moving off with his levies towards Sandspruit (away from Isandhlwana), but on reading the dispatch, which conveyed instructions to move up to reinforce the Isandhlwana camp (as Lord Chelmsford, with the main body of the force, leaving the camp standing, was moving out some miles to the east to attack the Zulu Army), he at once changed the direction of his march."

It seems SD had just caught him before he left.

Do we know what time SD arrived at Durnfords location?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:15 pm

rusteze wrote:
I can see why you say that John but I have some problems with it. Chelmsford could easily have appointed Durnford to command RE, but he made him independant commander of a largely mounted column. He had also said he wanted him to act with him against the Matyanas, not at all an enginering role. Even if he wanted him to use his skills to build defences at Isandhlwana, that was very temporary - Chelmsford was not expecting it to be attacked and it was only a staging post.  So what would those further orders you mention have said?

Steve

We know, that supplies had been ordered up via Gardner, and in the same order we also know that Pulleine had been order to entrench and remain.
So was it LC intention to return to Isandlwana. It's seems odd that if LC had wanted to push on, why would he leave Pulleine at Isandlwana and no doubt with the men under his command. If he was going to return then he would have met with Durnford.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:47 pm

Chelmsford had told Frere that he intended to move on from Isandhlwana as soon as possible, mop up or take the surrender of the Matyanas and proceed towards Ulundi. Wood and Pearson were to prevent the Impis dispersing across Zululand if they would not come to battle with Chelmsford. So I do not think Chelmsford intended to return to Isadhlwana, rather Pulleine would need to come and rejoin the column under Glyn. Isandhlwana would become a staging post along the supply line - Frederic's hypothesis about a roll for Durnford could fit that - but proving it is difficult.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:41 am

Morning John
You make some good points that are difficult to dismiss. On one I would go with Steve in that I don't think Chelmsford intended to return to iSandlwana. He was intent in pushing forward towards Ulundi and the next camp on the mangeni would have been the next stage.
Your point on Durnford being brought up to man the camp while the 24th moved forward is a real possibility. Chelmsford needed a string of supply bases and I agree that iSandlwana was intended to be one of those so why not use Durnfords column as a reserve force to man that camp, and probably move him forward a step behind the main force. He did it at middle drift and again at RD, why not further on.
It would also to a degree explain why Chelmsford addressed his note on packing up the camp to Pulleine.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:49 am

Frank Allewell wrote:
Morning John
You make some good points that are difficult to dismiss. On one I would go with Steve in that I don't think Chelmsford intended to return to iSandlwana. He was intent in pushing forward towards Ulundi and the next camp on the mangeni would have been the next stage.
Your point on Durnford being brought up to man the camp while the 24th moved forward is a real possibility. Chelmsford needed a string of supply bases and I agree that iSandlwana was intended to be one of those so why not use Durnfords column as a reserve force to man that camp, and probably move him forward a step behind the main force. He did it at middle drift and again at RD, why not further on.
It would also to a degree explain why Chelmsford addressed his note on packing up the camp to Pulleine.

Cheers

Bonjour Frank,
Agree to all yours points, except maybe your last comment. Can you elaborate, please?
Cheers
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:25 am

24th
You wrote: “there is absolutely nothing in the order that states Durnford should do either.”
Amend this to “orders” and the result will be very different.

John
You wrote: “LC stated after the event, he wanted Durnford at Isandlwana as his Engineering skills would have been useful in the fortifying of the camp.”
This later remark is in direct contradiction to everything LC had written to Durnford (and to others) regarding Durnford’s intended role in the forward movement into Zululand. (Read Chelmsford’s despatches)

John
You are quite wrong. Durnford did not meet Smith-Dorrien. You have quoted from Smith-Dorrien’s memoirs written in old-age. He has summarized events so it is easy to say how you have misinferred. His other contemporary accounts make it clear he did not meet him:

Smith-Dorrien’s Statement to the Court of Inquiry 27th January 1879 appears in the Blue Books.34
A letter home written at Rorke’s Drift 25th-31st January 1879 published in The Brecon County Times, 15th March 1879. It was reprinted in the Illustrated London News, 29th March 1879.
A letter in The Times 7th March 1879.

Or this one from Cochrane (Hereford Times 29th March 1879) who was with Durnford:
“Lieutenant Smith-Dorrien rode to Isandhlwana camp and returned with a dispatch on the morning of the 22nd. Colonel Durnford was on the road to the Dutch farms on the Biggarsberg, for the purpose of… when the dispatch reached him.”

Smith-Dorrien handed the note to Shepstone who read it and handed it to Lieut. Henderson who rode off to deliver it to Durnford.

It's an important matter as Durnford set off with no first-hand eye-witness account of what was going on at Isandhlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:29 am

rusteze wrote:
Chelmsford had told Frere that he intended to move on from Isandhlwana as soon as possible, mop up or take the surrender of the Matyanas and proceed towards Ulundi. Wood and Pearson were to prevent the Impis dispersing across Zululand if they would not come to battle with Chelmsford. So I do not think Chelmsford intended to return to Isadhlwana, rather Pulleine would need to come and rejoin the column under Glyn. Isandhlwana would become a staging post along the supply line - Frederic's hypothesis about a roll for Durnford could fit that - but proving it is difficult.

Steve

Steve would make sense, and understandable in context of the invasion. But it was never in LC plans to go to Dartnells assisitence. Infact we know in the first instance LC had said he wouldn't go. LC change of mind was done on a second representation, unfortunately we are not party to what that second representaion was.
Maybe Pulliene at sometime would have been ordered up to LC position with the rest of the supplies, which meant Pulleine command would have been a column on the move, Durnford's mounted force would have been a good escort deterrent against attack.
I guess we could say LC invasion plan had to change to accomodate Dartnell and Durnfords orders changed to accomodate LC's absence from Insandwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:35 am

Julian Whybra wrote:
24th
You wrote: “there is absolutely nothing in the order that states Durnford should do either.”
Amend this to “orders” and the result will be very different.

John
You wrote: “LC stated after the event, he wanted Durnford at Isandlwana as his Engineering skills would have been useful in the fortifying of the camp.”
This later remark is in direct contradiction to everything LC had written to Durnford (and to others) regarding Durnford’s intended role in the forward movement into Zululand.  (Read Chelmsford’s despatches)

John
You are quite wrong.  Durnford did not meet Smith-Dorrien.  You have quoted from Smith-Dorrien’s memoirs written in old-age.  He has summarized events so it is easy to say how you have misinferred.  His other contemporary accounts make it clear he did not meet him:


Smith-Dorrien’s Statement to the Court of Inquiry 27th January 1879 appears in the Blue Books.34
A letter home written at Rorke’s Drift 25th-31st January 1879 published in The Brecon County Times, 15th March 1879. It was reprinted in the Illustrated London News, 29th March 1879.
A letter in The Times 7th March 1879.

Or this one from Cochrane (Hereford Times 29th March 1879) who was with Durnford:
“Lieutenant Smith-Dorrien rode to Isandhlwana camp and returned with a dispatch on the morning of the 22nd.  Colonel Durnford was on the road to the Dutch farms on the Biggarsberg, for the purpose of… when the dispatch reached him.”

Smith-Dorrien handed the note to Shepstone who read it and handed it to Lieut. Henderson who rode off to deliver it to Durnford.

It's an important matter as Durnford set off with no first-hand eye-witness account of what was going on at Isandhlwana.

Julian I take it your referring to letter SD sent to his father! The one where he says he was on the front line fighting which contradicts his first account. I don't go with the old age sarnario. Can't see how he would have been that confused he wouldn't remember giving the order to the intended target Durnford.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:57 am

John

Don't pick on one source from several I've quoted where you might find a criticism. I was not implying that old-age rendered the Memoirs obsolete. They are perfectly good. I was saying that events are summarized and it's easy to see from the wording how you made the misinference.

S-D did not meet Durnford.
Look at S-D's statement from the Ct of Inquiry
or
read Cochrane's accounts
or
read Davies's accounts (who was with Durnford when Henderson rode up with the message)
or
read Molife's account (also with Durnford when Henderson rode up with the message):
"When we had gone about 2 and a half miles, Mr. Henderson followed us at a gallop, bringing a letter to the Colonel, who immediately took us back to our Camp...the order having been read by the officer in charge of the camp at Rorke's Drift during the Colonel's short absence, before being sent after him".

What more proof do you want other than the accounts of the man who carried the message, the accounts of the men at RD when it was received, and the accounts of the men who were with AD when he received it?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:02 am

Frederic
IF it was Chelmsfords intention that Durnford stayed behind to man the 'base camp' it would infer that he was retaining Durnfords separate command status. Therefore when he wrote to Pulleine, knowing full well that he was not the senior officer, it confirms that he still believed that Pulleine was the senior man of number 3 column, ergo it destroys the theory that the two columns had amalgamated in CHELMSFORDS EYES, and that opens a whole new can of worms.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:06 am

Frank/Frederic
That is perfectly true. Otherwise it would have been addressed to Durnford. And by the by that seems to fit in with Durnford's casual remark about his not staying in camp...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:45 am

And that would bring up the haunting scenario that IF the battle had been won would Chelmsford have followed through on his promise to fire Durnford? ( Leaving his post without being authorised )

Mischeivous I know
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:12 am

Julian Whybra wrote:
John

Don't pick on one source from several I've quoted where you might find a criticism.  I was not implying that old-age rendered the Memoirs obsolete.  They are perfectly good.  I was saying that events are summarized and it's easy to see from the wording how you made the misinference.

S-D did not meet Durnford.  
Look at S-D's statement from the Ct of Inquiry
or
read Cochrane's accounts
or
read Davies's accounts (who was with Durnford when Henderson rode up with the message)
or
read Molife's account (also with Durnford when Henderson rode up with the message):
"When we had gone about 2 and a half miles, Mr. Henderson followed us at a gallop, bringing a letter to the Colonel, who immediately took us back to our Camp...the order having been read by the officer in charge of the camp at Rorke's Drift during the Colonel's short absence, before being sent after him".

What more proof do you want other than the accounts of the man who carried the message, the accounts of the men at RD when it was received, and the accounts of the men who were with AD when he received it?

SD Was ordered to take the message to Durnford, so why would he give the order to someone else. It seems quite a few orders were disobeyed that day..
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:21 am

Frank Allewell wrote:
Frederic
IF it was Chelmsfords intention that Durnford stayed behind to man the 'base camp' it would infer that he was retaining Durnfords separate command status. Therefore when he wrote to Pulleine, knowing full well that he was not the senior officer, it confirms that he still believed that Pulleine was the senior man of number 3 column, ergo it destroys the theory that the two columns had amalgamated in CHELMSFORDS EYES, and that opens a whole new can of worms.

Totally agree Springbok. That's why orders to the camp were addressed to Pulleine. The only "But" is Crealock must have told LC that he had written to Durnford ordering him to take command, LC did not dispute that, even though, that's not what LC had originally been intended for Durnford.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:34 am

Frank Allewell wrote:
Frederic
IF it was Chelmsfords intention that Durnford stayed behind to man the 'base camp' it would infer that he was retaining Durnfords separate command status. Therefore when he wrote to Pulleine, knowing full well that he was not the senior officer, it confirms that he still believed that Pulleine was the senior man of number 3 column, ergo it destroys the theory that the two columns had amalgamated in CHELMSFORDS EYES, and that opens a whole new can of worms.


Frank / Mr Whybra
I see your point of view on this specific point, an important point to understand Chelsmford's mind.
Thanks
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:48 am

I think LC mind was okay. Its Crealock's mind that's the problem!!!

Julian. You reply to John regarding SD.

Extract Court of enquiry.

"6th Evidence.—Lieutenant Smith-Dorrien, 95th Regiment, states : I am Transport Officer with No. 3 Column. On the morning of the 22nd I was sent with a Despatch from the General to Colonel Durnford, at Rorke's Drift, the Despatch was an order to join the camp at Isandlwana as soon as possible, as a large Zulu force was near it. I have no particulars to mention besides."

Can't see anywhere where SD says he didn't meet Durnford.

Can you post your account!!!


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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:55 am

John

First S-D did not disobey the order. Giving an order to the man occupying the position of the camp commander whilst that camp commander is temporarily out of camp is the same as giving that order to the camp commander himself. Shepstone did entirely the correct thing and forwarded it to AD who was 2 and a half miles away when he received it.

Secondly, you wrote:
"The only 'But' is Crealock must have told LC that he had written to Durnford ordering him to take command". This is not necessarily so. The only person who mentions (afterwards) that Durnford was to take command of the camp was Crealock, who, as we know, was trying to cover LC's and his own back. And even if he had so written, why would he repeat LC's own words back to LC?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:02 am

Frank

Your mischievous comment about what might have happened to Durnford had the day been won offers food for thought. I take an equally mischievous opposite view.

I have thought for a while that the point at which the tables just might have been turned was when Durnford's men retired to the Donga. There they had the only defensible position and, from reports, it seems they halted the Zulu attack which waivered under a withering fire (shades of Rorke's Drift).

What if, in addition to his colonials, he had the two companies of 24th with him that he had asked for, with a good supply of ammunition?
What if his earlier deployment  had succeeded in stopping the impi coming around the back of Isandhlwana?
What if he could have adequately protected his flanks?

I think there is a strong argument which says that, had the battle been won, it would have been Durnford's doing. Honours not the sack.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:18 am

Was it not the actions of Durnford that took the men away from the only defensible position (The Camp) Where there was a very good supply of ammunition. Are we going down the what if's again!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:27 am

Hi Steve
Its an interesting scenario indeed. My first thoughts are that by having those two companies the main front would have been severely depleted and the result would have depended more on their fate than any other factor. The horsemen plus two companies in the donga area would have been an awesum force to be reckoned with to be sure and could, well supplied have carried the day. If the other companies had joined them to create a solid defence at the bottom of both slopes I have a strong feeling that it would have been game set and match to the British forces.
Frankly Ive never considered a defence line based on the Donga with all forces, needs a bit of thought that. Nicely original mate well done.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:28 am

Chard
No
Yes
Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:32 am

chard

Apologies the remark was not in the S-D CoI account. But…

Lieut. Cochrane Hereford Times 29th March 1879:
“Lieutenant Smith-Dorrien rode to Isandhlwana camp and returned with a dispatch on the morning of the 22nd. Colonel Durnford was on the road to the Dutch farms on the Biggarsberg, for the purpose of… when the dispatch reached him.”

Lieut. Davies Natal Mercury 31st Jan
“Durnford’s camp was two miles on the Zulu side of Rorke’s Drift; but on that morning Durnford left his camp at 3 a.m. and recrossed into Natal with Lieut. Davis and 40 Edendale mounted troops on a foraging expedition…, and when he had got about three miles on the Natal side of the drift, A. Henderson brought him the note that had come from the General to durnford’s camp, which reached Durnford between 5 and 6 o’clock that morning…as Shepstone (in charge of the camp) had read the order, he had everything ready for the move to start off at a moment…”

Lieut. Vause Diary
“Colonel Durnford had just started with 50 of the Edendale men to see if he could procure waggons from the farmers….We at once sent a messenger after him and set to work with a will to strike tents and get everything ready to move on his return.”

Smithy-Dorrien Memoirs
“I had several arrangements to make for Transport at RD, amongst others the erection of a gallows…After starting the gallows, I went up to see…Bromhead”

Trpr. Molife REMuseum 4901-44/2
“…about 3 am, while it was still dark, Colonel durnford took 30 of us mounted men, & we crossed the river back into Natal…When we had gone about 2 and a half miles, Mr Henderson followed us at a gallop, bringing a letter to the Colonel, who immediately took us back to our camp…the order had been read by the officer in charge of the camp…during the colonel’s short absence”

Smith-Dorrien does not mention hanging around on the Zulu side of the river. He says AD had just gone but came back and went off after receiving the message. S-D does mention pfaffing around with trek tows and gallows for stretching hides and all sorts of other nonsense, going to see Gonny, borrowing eleven cartridges, and other minutiae but he does not mention meeting AD (pretty important omission if he did!). No-one else mentions S-D waiting about to confer with AD.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:40 am

Thanks Julian.

It's be asked before, but do we know what time SD arrived a RD
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:44 am

ymob wrote:
Frank Allewell wrote:
Frederic
IF it was Chelmsfords intention that Durnford stayed behind to man the 'base camp' it would infer that he was retaining Durnfords separate command status. Therefore when he wrote to Pulleine, knowing full well that he was not the senior officer, it confirms that he still believed that Pulleine was the senior man of number 3 column, ergo it destroys the theory that the two columns had amalgamated in CHELMSFORDS EYES, and that opens a whole new can of worms.


Frank / Mr Whybra
I see your point of view on this specific point, an important point to understand Chelsmford's mind.
Thanks
Frédéric

This point of view seems accurate.
But if the mission of Durnford (in Chelsmfor's mind) was to go to the Mangeni, a doubt arises for me.
As i wrote in a previous post:
Where was Durnford in the spirit of Chelsmford the 22 January?
On the road to the Mangeni?
"In this hypthesis (go to the Mangeni), Chelsmford waited his arrival on the area of the Mangeni.
Or, there are no testimonies by Chelsmford or others senior Officers (Crealock / Glyn / Clery) or staff officer "junior ( Milne, Buller, Gosset) about "their surprise" not to see him in the Mangeni during the day.
Chelmsford learnt that Durnford was stayed at Isandhlwana only about 3h00 PM the 22 January with the receipt of the Gardner's message (from memory)".

This argument against your assumption can be bypassed by the same reasonning with Bengough.
If Bengough in the spirit of Chelsmford the 22 January was on the road to the Mangeni, (it seems to me) there are also no testimonies by Chelsmford or others officers "about their surprise" not to see him in the area of the Mangeni the 22 january.

It's for me strange (the lack of reaction by the members of Chelsmford's force) but the hypothesis becomes totally plausible.

Cheers.

Frédéric


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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:52 am

rusteze wrote:
Frank

Your mischievous comment about what might have happened to Durnford had the day been won offers food for thought. I take an equally mischievous opposite view.

I have thought for a while that the point at which the tables just might have been turned was when Durnford's men retired to the Donga. There they had the only defensible position and, from reports, it seems they halted the Zulu attack which waivered under a withering fire (shades of Rorke's Drift).

What if, in addition to his colonials, he had the two companies of 24th with him that he had asked for, with a good supply of ammunition?
What if his earlier deployment  had succeeded in stopping the impi coming around the back of Isandhlwana?
What if he could have adequately protected his flanks?

I think there is a strong argument which says that, had the battle been won, it would have been Durnford's doing. Honours not the sack.

Bonjour Steve,
Good, very good.
Machiavel is definitively not a latin. Wink
Cheers
frédéric

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:58 am

Chard
According to eye-witness testimony
AD left his camp at 3 am
He received the message between 5 and 6 and returns immediately.
He left his camp for Isandhlwana (according to Vause - I didn't post this text) at 7.30.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:01 pm

Frank / Mr Whybra,

You never say in yours posts of this morning, where was Durnford in Chelmsford's mind...
Cheers.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:04 pm

Frederic
Durnford, in Chelmsford's mind, was obeying his orders...and his orders were...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:06 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Frederic
Durnford, in Chelmsford's mind, was obeying his orders...and his orders were...


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
And Chelmsford's orders were?????
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:11 pm

Mr Whybra,
I think it's now the time to "dig" your point of view drafted in your essay "Isandhlwana and the Durnford's papers".... Very Happy Wink
Amitiés.
frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:16 pm

But I don't have my entrenching tools with me!!
And I don't believe in digging myself into a hole unless I'm sure I can climb out again.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:17 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Chard
According to eye-witness testimony
AD left his camp at 3 am
He received the message between 5 and 6 and returns immediately.
He left his camp for Isandhlwana (according to Vause - I didn't post this text) at 7.30.

But what time did Smith Dorrient arrive at RD to deliver message?
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