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 TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyWed Jan 28, 2015 8:31 pm

AN ESSEX MAN IN ZULULAND
The following letter from the seat of war in Zululand will be interesting to our readers as coming from the son of Mr Stevens, solicitor, of Witham:-
Natal Mounted Police Camp, Helmekaar, Feb. 15, 1879.
My dear _____,
You will see by the heading of my letter that we have been driven back to our starting place by the Zulus, and to tell [indistinct: you the] truth, I feel ashamed to own it. I have written home [indistinct: twice] since the awful day, 22nd January, but I will give you an account all to yourself. I will commence from the start, from the first camp the other side of the river. We left Rorke’s Drift camp, that is the name of the drift wh[indiscinct: where we] crossed over the Buffalo river, which divides Natal from Zululand, on the 19th January to advance about twelve miles into the country. It was a pretty sight to see the column going along, the waggons stretching over five miles, besides the troops. My little horse was sick that day, so I had to walk and lead him all the way. I was very tired when I came to the end of the journey; it was a broiling hot day. Well, we got to the place for camping, right in the centre of two hills, a very bad place indeed, and we pitched camp, and had a good sleep that night. The next morning , most of our men went out patrolling, and were to return the same evening, but about tea-time an order came in that they had seen the enemy out a good distance from the camp, and that they were going to stay out all night, so we sent out their food and great coats. Early the next morning the General took out most of the column with him, leaving in camp about 800 white men and several native contingents, and two big guns. This was the morning of the 22nd. Well, about 9 o’clock the men of our corps who were out on out-post duty, came in and reported the enemy in sight. We all turned out ready for action. We saw a few of them come [Indistinct] to the top of a big hill to our left, but they went away again. Then they sent some mounted niggers up the hill to see w[indistinct] presently we heard heavy firing over in that direction, [indistinct] these mounted men retiring slowly, closely follow[indistinct] of Zulus. Then they came down in heaps, you could not see the grass for them. The fight began then properly. I and a few more of us were sent out to skirmish in front of the [indistinct]p, we kept them at bay for some time, then we had the order [indistinct] retir[indistinct]g camp, and then they came on in thousands. I got into camp and went all over the place trying to get a rifle; my only weapon (a revolver) was broken, so I had no arms. I could not get any in the camp, so I had to stop there without any. I was in the camp until the Zulus were in as well, stabbing men right and left, and ripping the tents up with their assegais. They were destroying the second or third tent up the row, when I looked around , and saw a lot of men making their escape, so I thought that as I was of no use in the camp without arms I would go too, so I went. The sight in camp was something awful. They were not content with killing the men, but they ripped them up, and mutilated them horribly. They were so disfigured that when the remainder of the column came back they could hardly recognise one of them. The way we escaped was something marvellous. I was on a very small grey pony; there was no road, simply the rough ground covered with tremendous stones. I just got through the enemy as they were surrounding us, by the skin of my teeth; another few minutes and I should not have been able to have got through at all. After that there was a most awful hill to go up, then (worst of all) a precipice to go down – how we got down is a wonder to everybody. Then we came to the River – no end of poor fellows were drowned there. I went at it; my horse was taken away from under me. I managed to get my feet out of the stirrups somehow and swam for it. I was just being carried away by the current, when I saw a horse swimming in front of me all right, so I caught hold of his tail, and he pulled me through safely. When I got out I saw my pony further down the River standing high and dry, so I got on him and rode on to this place. We made what they call a laarger of the waggons – that is, the waggons are put so they form a square, and I spent two nights watching for the enemy, and I had no sleep; then the remainder of the column came up, and I can tell you we felt greatly relieved. We have been stationed up here ever since – it is most unhealthy. It is a small laarger, with about 11,000 men in it bad water and weather, and you can imagine the amount of sickness there is – there is an average daily of about 500 men who see the doctor with dysentery and rheumatism. I am happy to say I have been pretty well up to the present, but I can feel rheumatism coming on in all my joints. The Zulus have taken every thing away from us. I have only what I stand up in. When I go to wash my short or socks, I have to sit on the bank and smoke until they get dry – there is one thing to be said, when the sun is out it does not take long. Our winter months are just beginning to come on, and we shall have it awfully cold up here, 7,000 feet above the level of the sea. Our waggons have just come up with our outfits, so we shall jog along a little better now. My poor little horse was killed, poor boy – I regret that as much as anything, he was such a pet and so affectionate. I should have been on him and got away with him if he had been well; but he had a sickness on him; he was so weak he could not bear the weight of the saddle on him, and he was stabbed going along the road trying to escape. Fancy, there were 16 officers of the 24th Regt. , and 3 companies of men cut up, and it was just one day later than the battle of Chilianwallah in 1849 was fought, when 23 officers and 500 rank-and-file of the same Regt. were cut up, as you will see in the paper I send you. It is dreadful to think of, and you can imagine how sick of talking and writing about it I am. This is the third letter I have written. My watch, I am sorry to say, was spoilt whilst I was swimming across the river, but I have sent it down to be repaired. I must say good-bye, so with love to all, and hoping this dry epistle won’t tire you,
I remain,
Yours ever affectionately,
R. W. Stevens

Reference
ESSEX MAN IN ZULULAND.
The Essex Standard, West Suffolk Gazette, and Eastern Counties' Advertiser(Colchester, England),Saturday, April 19, 1879; pg. 5; Issue 2523.
Category: News
Sourced from the British Library
Gale Document Number:R3208618474
Source: RDVC


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90th

90th

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Trumpeter Richard Stevens    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyWed Jan 28, 2015 9:41 pm

One of his relatives is a member on here , not sure if he still comes on , but I remember there was a thread on Trptr Stevens a while back , possibly 3 yrs or so ago ? .
90th
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Taff price



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PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyWed Dec 16, 2015 7:50 pm

Trptr Stevens mentions his column crossed the Buffalo River on the 19th, is this right?
I was under the assumption that the main column crossed on the 11th and Durnford crossed on the morning of the 22nd. Can anyone shed some light on this for me.
Thanks

Geraint
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barry

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Crossing the Buffalo   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyFri Dec 18, 2015 9:41 am

Hi Taff,

Holt's  "History Of The NMP" states that the NMP column of some  118 + men , under Insp Mansel, with their supply wagons  finally arrived at Isandlwana on 20/01/1879. They had travelled up independently, on a journey taking serveral days, from central Natal  and were not part of Chelmsford's main column . They had however spent a few days at Helpmekaar, en route . Maj Dartnelll and another group of +- 20 NMP troopers who had been called up from northern Natal outstations met the main NMP column on site.
On arrival at the battlefield,  many of the NMP were posted out at as vedettes on surrounding high points, which  included a nearby ridge.

regards

barry
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John Young

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyThu Feb 15, 2018 2:15 pm

From page 22 of The Natal Mercury 15th July 1929.

Apologies for the condition, but the original is poor.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Richard Stevens is seated on the left this photograph, seated in the centre
is Charles Montagu Fitzroy Sparks, both survivors of iSandlwana.
Seated alongside them is Benjamin Cooper also of the N.M.P.

Standing left to right:
Harold Cooper, N.M.P.; R. Wiggins, 2nd/21st; Lieut. G. W. Symons, 1st N.N.C. & W. Cotterell 58th.

JY
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90th

90th

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Trumpeter Stevens NMP   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyFri Feb 16, 2018 1:26 am

Nice find JY .
90th Salute
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Frank Allewell

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyFri Feb 16, 2018 4:08 am

John Ive e mailed you another copy, possibly slightly better copy.
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John Young

John Young

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyFri Feb 16, 2018 8:59 am

Thanks Frank,

Here’s your one back at you.

Less folds in your one, than mine!

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

JY
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90th

90th

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Trumpeter Stevens NMP   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyFri Feb 16, 2018 10:11 am

Great Pic
90th Very Happy
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Julian Whybra



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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySat Mar 16, 2019 1:03 pm

I've come across a reference from another Isandhlwana survivor to a chance meeting with R W B Stevens in Cape town in 1901. He mentions nothing more than having met him unexpectedly and does not mention him in connection with Isandhlwana.
I have no way of knowing whether this man was indeed Richard Walford Stevens (I have never come across him with another middle initial B), if the writer included the B in error, or if this was just pure coincidence.
Has anyone ever come across a record of Trumpeter Stevens having another middle name?
Grateful for any info received.
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SRB1965

SRB1965

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySat Mar 16, 2019 6:36 pm

Hi Julian,

This does not answer your question but 'a' Richard Walford Stevens was born in Surrey in 1858 - which I believe is the same man as the Trumpeter but I can find no 'B' anywhere in his records.

Thanks

Simon
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SRB1965

SRB1965

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySat Mar 16, 2019 6:53 pm

But of course having just read the posts on the RDVC website, you already knew that..... Surprised
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Trumpeter Stevens NMP   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 2:36 am

Hi Sime
Just thought you'd like to know that another of those American Eagle buttons was found at Kambula last Thurs from memory . Very Happy
90th Salute Salute You need to study mo
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SRB1965

SRB1965

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 8:30 am

Gary - you and your bloody Yankee buttons....... Mad

I am wondering, if any other buttons have been found in the past few months, apart from the 5 or so American ones.....

After all the searching/detecting done over the years, why are they coming to the surface now.....

The old/ex archaeologist in me, is beginning to see something dodgy in this......

Fact: you have been to Isandlwana lately(January)
Fact: you have a 'thing' about American greatcoats
Fact: you know it winds me up
Deduction: you are scattering American buttons willy nilly around the place.....

This may sound a daft question (probably one for Frank) and I know there will be a lot of 'relic' selling from the locals (for economic reasons), which will go unrecorded but in SA do you have to declare stuff found on battlefields and is there a data base of such finds anywhere.

Cheers

Sime
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Trumpeter Stevens NMP   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 9:56 am

Hi Sime
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA , no mate nothing as simple as me scattering them around , they were scattered around back in time ! . Several other buttons are appearing but not just at Isandlwana , these are the Gen Service buttons which always crop up . Let's not forget I didn't find the button in Jan nor did anyone in our group , this was a guy that had been fossicking around Isandlwana who I'd never met before , and as I said back then he was in no hurry to tell me where he found it , I asked if it was in the Headquarters area and he said no , not sure why I asked that question to be honest , I just blurted it out , I was surprised that another U.S.A button had surfaced . The latest one was found at Kambula , yes there are pieces offered but it's illegal to buy and take them , certainly in my mind not worth being done at the airport ! . There isn't as far as I'm aware a way to catalog where these pieces are found , they are generally found by locals ( kids ) at Kambula , they , I don't think even have electricity or running water , hardly going to have a provision to chart relics that's found by kids etc , they certainly wouldn't , and couldn't , be bothered to keep notes or a log etc , this is full on third world , not a ' dig ' . Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy .
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Frank Allewell

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 10:07 am

Visiting in January with Cam was an eye opener. Being the expert he is on the colonials in the area and having him explain the various manoevres in 1879 and subsequent it isnt suprising the odd buttons that are being found. As Cam pointed out the American greatcoats were very popular.
So for once we cant blame the Aussies Sime. Very Happy Very Happy Salute
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90th

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PostSubject: Trumpeter Stevens NMP   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 10:10 am

Hi Frank
How have you been mate , when you heading East again ? .
90th
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Frank Allewell

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 10:13 am

Next week Gary. Was going to go this weekend but its birthday time today so put it of for a couple of days. Are you still doing May?
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Trumpeter Stevens NMP   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 10:18 am

Your Birthday ? . if so Happy Birthday Mate . Yes I'll be there in May , just waiting for the ' Major ' and Brandyne to piece my wish list together , not sure when and where I'm staying , with the exception of Isandlwana Lodge which is my last 3 nights .
90th Salute Very Happy Very Happy Salute Very Happy
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SRB1965

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 11:05 am

90th wrote:
Yes I'll be there in May

No doubt a batch of yankee buttons will be found in your wake........ Wink

Happy birthday Frank.....
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Trumpeter Stevens NMP   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 11:40 am

I doubt it Sime , I've never FOUND one yet !
90th Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 2:39 pm

Thanks Guys.
Gary whats on the schedule for this trip?
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Trumpeter Stevens NMP   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 9:56 pm

Hi Frank
Ina nutshell ...Kambula , Intombe , Several Forts , Isandlwana , Climb Shiyane , Well known Zulu Graves , British Graves including Barton & Pool which are near Hlobane . Maritzburg Cemetery , Dick King stuff in Durbs , the rock where Shaka's warriors are said to have sharpened their spears , a couple of book shops , Alexander Nixon's Farm and Gravesite , will also call back to see Lt Robert D'Ombrain NNC and Fort Cherry , Kranscop and plenty of other things I've put on my wish list . Brandy has got me for the first 3 days , then the ' Major ' for the last 11 days ...Phase 2 as he likes to call it !! Salute Salute . What are you doing when you get back East ?
90th Very Happy
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Frank Allewell

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyMon Mar 18, 2019 3:55 am

Morning Gary
Lots of walkabouts, looking at distances and timings, mainly technical stuff and spending a few days chilling at RD.
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Trumpeter Stevens NMP   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyMon Mar 18, 2019 5:32 am

Hi Frank
Sounds good , Please pass on my regards to Charles . Do you and Cam have any plans of heading out East together at some stage in the future for a couple of weeks ?
90th Salute Salute
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyMon Mar 18, 2019 12:35 pm

Not at present but we didnt get to do everything we wanted, bloody malaria is a bitch when it hits, so its possible.
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90th

90th

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Trumpeter Stevens NMP   TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  EmptyWed Mar 20, 2019 12:58 am

Cheers Frank Cam told me he spent an entertaining day in the Cape Archives the other day ! , I'm sure he's found some more interesting stuff for the book .
90th Salute Salute
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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty
PostSubject: Re: TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .    TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .  Empty

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TRUMPETER Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police .
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