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 Durnford was he capable.6

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sas1

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.6   Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:26 pm

LC was 12 Miles away. Why would they attack a column 12 Miles aways. If they had been after LC they could have attaked as LC was perpairing to leave or just after.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:29 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Frederic
Sorry I don't believe Chelmsford was expecting Durnford to arrive at Mangeni

Cheers

Frank, i am agree. It's the reason of my riddle, to show that his hypothesis is not plausible.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:05 pm

Frank
It seems to me that Mr Whybra did not say a temporary camp at thé Batshe valley but like the camp at the Batshe valley
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:36 pm

Morning Martin
No problem my friend. Would you disagree with the map I posted?
Frederic
Not to sure of where that's heading, suffice to say that the concept of a supply camp from my perspective would have been iSandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:50 pm

Hi Frank

I can't recall where I picked up this hand drawn map but I think it is particularly clear. Question is, is it a fair representation of Chelmsford's movements? If so Durnford wasn't so far removed from Chelmsford's breakfasting area when he ventured into the Quabe valley. Chelmsford then went south reaching the Mangeni campsite What do you think?

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:52 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Morning Martin

Frederic
(...) the concept of a supply camp from my perspective would have been iSandlwana.

Frank,
I really enjoy this hypothethis (it is also an argument for my hypothesis about the "secret thoughts" of Durnford about Hamer Very Happy )... if in Chelmsford's mind, Durnford was not at Isandhlwana the 22 January.
I have made in the past some objection on this point (I.E: Durnford stay at Isandhlwana and wait order in Chelmsford's mind).
I have some doubt on your argument ("I doubt if he [Chelmsford] gave Durnford a second thought until he got back to iSandlwana") to justify Chelsmford's disinterest about Durnford during all the day after the famous Crealock's order.
At (about) 10:00 am, Chelmsford knew that the Cetewayo's army was not in Mangeni: He was not "stressed" or totally absorbed by the situation in front of him
Cheers.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:57 pm

Frank
I meant the idea that he was purposefully moving away from Isandhlwana/LC with a view to continuing in that direction to place a camp, etc.
He can only ever have intended returning at some point.
That was the silly myth.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:16 pm

Hi Frank.

No mate, I am not disagreeing with your map, as it shows that both LC and AD left the camp heading in a South Easterly direction, and that AD did not go in the 'opposite direction' at all, because if he had, he would have been heading in a North Westerly direction, but he did not do that. He headed in a South Easterly direction then gradually veered to the East to get between LC and the reported zulu's heading in LC's direction. To my mind this shows that he was attempting to intercept them and prevent them from attacking LC's flank or rear, and try to stop them reinforcing the zulu's that everyone thought LC was attacking.

Hope all is well with you Springy mate.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:21 pm

rusteze wrote:

I don't think that means he expected Durnford to turn up at Mangeni first, but to be acting as a scouting force out from Isandhlwana in co-operation with the other scouting resources Chelmsford had. Perhaps that is what Durnford sent Hamer to find out more about.

Of course, once it became clear to Durnford that the main Zulu force was before the camp he had to adapt accordingly. Likewise, once Chelmsford realised that (somewhat later) he too was faced with a different set of problems.

Steve

Plausible on the 2 points!
I enjoy particulary your first point: it's an argument to explain:
-Why chelmsford did not expect Durnford in the Mangeni;
-Why Durnford was not at Isandhlwana in Chelsmford's mind.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:24 am

Hi Steve
I have that map in the files some where, I will dig out later today. It is out of scale, the Google map is on the other hand  measurable.
A point I made  last time this was discussed was that we tend to look at Chelmsfords position 'at the time of battle' and then compare it with Durnfords position. That shouldn't be the comparison at all. Durnford knew that Chelmsford was heading for Mangeni, that's the only position he expected Chelmsford to be in therefore the relative juxtaposition of the two forces have to be judged on that point, what Durnford knew/supposed as opposed to reality.
Therefore the routes plotted on the shown map are accurate. As you advised John at one point, zoom in its easy to recognise the Mangeni falls and therefore the camp site and valley, from there the ridge leading down to the falls and the place Chelmsford watched the camp and from where he elected to return.

The question that continually pops up in my mind on that Durnford ride is: He had differing reports of the numbers of Zulu that were active. The last being 400. Surely that number of the enemy were not enough to threaten Chelmsfords forces? Therefore the reason for riding of to protect Chelmsfords rear becomes suspect. If however Durnford thought he was persuing a laaarge enough force to threaten Chelmsfords rear it must be regarded as foolhardy. He did run into a force of that size and it forced a re think of his plans. The only conclusion is that Durnford did exactly what he said to Pulleine. I don't recall the exact phrase and Im sitting in front of the TV watching the Cricket FInal so cant look, but it was to the effect of "Its my idea that we should chase the Zulu where ever we see them." And that to my mind is the reason he launched of up the Quabe valley.
To repeat an argument I made some time ago, the plateau wasn't/isn't visible from the summit of iSandlwana and it was from the summit that the sighting, 'they are withdrawing' was relayed down through Higginson. Therefore that sighting had to have been viewed at a diferent place other than the plateau. Two points are made, the fact that Durnford rode of up the Quabe shows a potential direction of travel of the 400 and second they were visible from the top of iSandlwana. That leads me to suppose the 400 were on the plain heading towards the camp then turned up the Quabe ' withdrawing'.
Its a signicant set of issues and cant be just washed away by the wish to see Durnford as trying to protect Chelmsford.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:36 am

Frank
The report didn't say where the 400 were seen.  In view of the fact that Raw etc had been sent on to the plateau to 'drive' the Zulus eastwards, might it not be safer to assume that Durnford planned to place himself at a point where he imagined they might either be driven off the east end of the plateau or be intending a descent to effect an eventual surprise attack on the rear of LC's forces?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:53 am

Hi Julian
Yes I understand the position of the 400 wasn't reported. What I have done is try to position them. Considering Raw etc were already on the plateau when Durnford left, and had started their sweep the '400' could possibly have been driven of onto the plateau and then seen by the mountain lookouts. What is very definite is that they were visible from the mountain therefore not actually on the plateau. Considering the comment that they were withdrawing I would therefore assume they were moving away from the camp, ergo they were on the plain. A possible scenario then comes to life of them being seen on the plain moving away and potentially into the Quabe valley and so being followed by Durnford.
Ive never bought into the idea of Durnford protecting Chelmsfords tail consequently tried to build a hypothesis that does fit the known facts. I don't recall any sighting from Scott at this time so again an area, not on the plateau ( covered by Raw et al) visible from the mountain, and invisible to Scott puts a pretty firm position in mind. I will dig out the photo I took of that estimated location. I spent quite a bit of time wandering around that area looking at the sight lines its illuminating.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:02 am

Frank
But might they not have been seen by the picquet at the top of the spur? Moving eastwards. Withdrawing. And thereby supplying the very impetus to the notion of sending Raw etc on to the plateau in the first place.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:25 am

Julian
The report of the withdrawl came about as a result of Higginson sending a further man up the mountain I believe and was the sighting that gave Durnford the impetus to ride out. At that point the Mounted men on the plateau had proceeded for some distance. Higginson does mention a sighting on the 'plain' that was being watched by Vereker and Barry. Ive always thought that this refered to a sighting on the plateau but Higginson seperates the sighting on the plateau : 'we ALSO saw etc'
The key issue is the chronology of Higginson,
Sighting on the plain
Patrols go onto the plateau
Men sent to top of iSandlwana
After half an hour sent another man up
Second man returns with news of Zulu retiring
Durnford rides out.
So long winded answer to your question, I wouldn't attribute the sighting to the spur piquets. Raw etc were already well into their plateau patrol.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:13 pm

Interesting line of thought. I'll check what I've got. won't be for a week as I'm about to be working in the Midlands for a week.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:18 pm

Thanks Frank. Look forward to your further comments about the map. A few more points and queries.

1. I agree that Durnford is always conflicted, on the one hand to provide a defensive screen for Chelmsford, and on the other to attack whenever the enemy is discovered. I'm not sure that judging the size of a force that can safely be tackled is quite so straightforward for a body of horsemen who can retire pretty quickly if numbers look overwhelming.

2. We should allow for the possibility that other sightings were made and people did not survive to report them.

3. Is it not interesting that Chelmsford initially goes north of the wagon track, towards Silutshane and towards the location of the main Impi's traverse during the night? Durnford seems to take the same general direction some time later, before turning up the Quabe.

4. As Chelmsford swings around west of Silutshane is he potentially visible from the camp or piquets?

5. Could Durnford have seen his dust at any point?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:31 pm

Frank, I was under the impression that the reports coming in were very confusing, ie, "the zulu's were retiring", "the zulu's were withdrawing", "the zulu's had split into three groups and one large group of these was heading in LC's direction", and it was this that promted Durnford to say, "if they heading towards the general we must stop them at all hazards", and he set off to try to do that.

The 400 or 600 were just estimates at what the lookouts thought they saw, it became quite obvious that there were a lot more up there than these 400/600 estimates.

I know you are not taken with the idea, but with Raw already being up there and these confusing reports coming in, do you think that AD could have thought that Raw had disturbed them and that they were now moving off in LC's direction, and that if he could get round to block them, then he and Raw between them could form a sort of pincer and stop them in their tracks?

It's just an idea mate, please don't come out of port with all guns blazing Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:42 pm

Hi Martin
like everything on that day yes the messages are confusing. Cochrane and Higginson have differing accounts.
The accounts that have particular baring are"
Cochran.....................'The enemy are retiring in every direction.' Upon this latter report Col Durnford said he would go out and prevent the one column joining with the Impi which was supposed at that time engaging the General.................Col Durnford now sent two troops under Capt Barton onto the hill........

So Cochrans recollection is that the message that prompted Durnford to act was the message that the impi had split into three columns. And it was only at that time that Durnford sent the men onto the plateau. That doesn't tie up with other time frames though.

Davis.........................A native spy came in and reported in my hearing to Col Durnford that he had seen a great many of the enemy on the left of the camp.............Col Durnford immediately ordered Capt Shepstone with Lt Raw to take 1 troop Sikalis horse and skirmish the ridge............about half an hour after Raw and Barton left Col Durnford rode up telling us to mount up and follow him.

Davis doesn't say what prompted Durnford to want to ride out, except the telling phrase "The enemy are retiring." Davis does however put a time gap of 30 minutes between Raw leaving and Durnford leaving.

Jabez Molife seems to confirm some aspects of Davis when he says the Col sent out Barton and Raw then had breakfast before riding out.

Higginson again puts a 30 minute time gap between raw and Barton leaving and Durnford leaving.

Hamer and Raw confirm the troops where sent onto the hill at an early stage.

I would therefore suggest that Davies is the more credible.

Returning to Higginson. He was ordered to send men up onto iSandlwana by Durnford and after 30 minutes without any news sent up a second man. This man came down with the news that the enemy were retiring, the second mention of that phrase. It was then Durnford decided to ride out.

All in all the various statements do tend to corroborate certain parts, sufficient to be able to say that that Raw and Barton were sent at an early point, and at least 30 minutes afterwards he himself started out.

From their position on the extreme North of the camp it would not have taken long to get onto the plateau and split up ( Nyanda) the start to sweep across the plateau. Once clear of the ridge the plateau is an open book. The only reports of enemy on the plateau, Nyanda says a handful, Raw small clumps. No great numbers were reported by any of the suvivors from the plateau. I think therefore we may discount the plateau as being a source of the 400 /600 reported Zulu.

Having eliminated the plateau as a starting point for the 'Zulu contingent' the only other two possible sources are the Plain or the Quabe valley. The plain is mostly visible from Amatutshane and Lt Scotts piquet, there is no mention by him of that grouping approaching. The only other approach road invisible to Amatutshane but visible from the mountain top is the mouth of the Quabe.

These are the major sources Ive used to try and answer the question of who where the small impi. Having now managed to conjecturally positioned them the question would be where did the come from. Theres three answers, the plateau, the plain or Quabe. The various early sightings, Vereker, Barrie Higginson place them on the plain, well over half and hour later they were reported to be retiring. I don't know if in the meantime they were standing still, sitting down or advancing, any one of those would be apt. I would however think that they were advancing at possibly a slow pace. And once they started to retreat Durnford pursued them, they weren't visible from the camp area by the way, it needed the height of the mountain to look over the bottom of iThusi into the dead ground.

Theres no way anything can ever be proved but I would venture a guess that those 400/600 men were on there way from Mangeni to join the main impi and ventured to far South around the Quabe knoll rather than going North to the Ngwebini valley, but that's really only a theory.

So in answer to your question, I would think they had come from Mangeni rather than heading there. And seeing the direction they had come from it wasn't from Raw. As far as what Durnford believed I don't know but that nasty little question does remain throbbing away like a hangover: Why chase so little men if they weren't a threat to Chelmsford.

"Its my thought that wherever we see the Zulu we should chase them."

See mate no Guns just my mind firing blanks I suppose Very Happy Very Happy Salute

Steve
The map was produced by Gerrard Fox and its really very good in showing what he believes was the various routes taken by the Zulu regiments plus all the participants. It does however compress everything in order to get it onto an A4 page.
Point 1. Surely any commander would know the limitations of his force, attack 400, OK, 6000 not a chance.
Point 2. Fully agree.
Point 3. Yes it is, the wagon track forks under the Blue mountain, Chelmsford initially went straight and met up with Dartnell and then moved North, Possibly with Russell. Durnford only turned North ish around Ithusi into the Quabe.
Point 4. I would doubt it, if you have the 'big Silver Book' have a look at the picture Ian Knight took with a telephoto lens to mimic a telescope, impossible to make out detail and that photo was taken from the ridge whereas Chelmsford trail was at a lower altitude on the plain.
Point 5. Again I doubt it.

I understand your point but looking from the camp on a clear day the foot of Silutshane is lost in the blue haze. Let me see what I can post to show that.

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:52 pm

Steve
Taken from the Pulleine mess tent area looking across the plain. This is approximately where Durnford had breakfast.
On the horizon, the big block is Isiphesi, to the right is Silutshane.
As you can see difficult to see at that distance.
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PS Congrats Gary well deserved Aussie win, the Kiwis had no chance at all so you got your wish of a one sided game.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:27 pm

Thanks Frank. Interesting.

Just my point on how many to tackle if you are cavalry (I know they were not quite cavalry), 400 and you might charge towards them, 6000 and you charge away from them even quicker!

On your three alternatives for the source of the small impi, if they came from the Plain they would have arrived there from somewhere else wouldn't they?( by which I mean the Plateau, or Mangeni).

If the small impi came from Mangeni, and Chelmsford had continued North rather than being fixated on going to the Mangeni camp site, he might have been in quite a good position in relation to the left horn and formed a good old pincer movement with Durnford - now theres a thought.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:57 pm

Hi Steve
Russell of course did travel North then backed away at the foot of iSiphesi.
Problem with a pincer movement therethough would have been the main impi being outside the trap. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:43 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Hi Martin
like everything on that day yes the messages are confusing. Cochrane and Higginson have differing accounts.
The accounts that have particular baring are"
Cochran.....................'The enemy are retiring in every direction.' Upon this latter report Col Durnford said he would go out and prevent the one column joining with the Impi which was supposed at that time engaging the General.................Col Durnford now sent two troops under Capt Barton onto the hill........

So Cochrans recollection is that the message that prompted Durnford to act was the message that the impi had split into three columns. And it was only at that time that Durnford sent the men onto the plateau. That doesn't tie up with other time frames though.

Davis.........................A native spy came in and reported in my hearing to Col Durnford that he had seen a great many of the enemy on the left of the camp.............Col Durnford immediately ordered Capt Shepstone with Lt Raw to take 1 troop Sikalis horse and skirmish the ridge............about half an hour after Raw and Barton left Col Durnford rode up telling us to mount up and follow him.

Davis doesn't say what prompted  Durnford to want to ride out, except the telling phrase "The enemy are retiring." Davis does however put a time gap of 30 minutes between Raw leaving and Durnford leaving.

Jabez Molife seems to confirm some aspects of Davis when he says the Col sent out Barton and Raw then had breakfast before riding out.

Higginson again puts a 30 minute time gap between raw and Barton leaving and Durnford leaving.

Hamer and Raw confirm the troops where sent onto the hill at an early stage.

I would therefore suggest that Davies is the more credible.

Returning to Higginson. He was ordered to send men up onto iSandlwana by Durnford and after 30 minutes without any news sent up a second man. This man came down with the news that the enemy were retiring, the second mention of that phrase. It was then Durnford decided to ride out.

All in all the various statements do tend to corroborate certain parts, sufficient to be able to say that that Raw and Barton were sent at an early point, and at least 30 minutes afterwards he himself started out.

From their position on the extreme North of the camp it would not have taken long to get onto the plateau and split up ( Nyanda) the start to sweep across the plateau. Once clear of the ridge the plateau is an open book. The only reports of enemy on the plateau, Nyanda says a handful, Raw small clumps. No great numbers were reported by any of the suvivors from the plateau. I think therefore we may discount the plateau as being a source of the 400 /600 reported Zulu.

Having eliminated the plateau as a starting point for the 'Zulu contingent' the only other two possible sources are the Plain or the Quabe valley. The plain is mostly visible from Amatutshane and Lt Scotts piquet, there is no mention by him of that grouping approaching. The only other approach road invisible to Amatutshane but visible from the mountain top is the mouth of the Quabe.

These are the major sources Ive used to try and answer the question of who where the small impi. Having now managed to conjecturally positioned them the question would be where did the come from. Theres three answers, the plateau, the plain or Quabe. The various early sightings, Vereker, Barrie Higginson place them on the plain, well over half and hour later they were reported to be retiring. I don't know if in the meantime they were standing still, sitting down or advancing, any one of those would be apt. I would however think that they were advancing at possibly a slow pace. And once they started to retreat Durnford pursued them, they weren't visible from the camp area by the way, it needed the height of the mountain to look over the bottom of iThusi into the dead ground.

Theres no way anything can ever be proved but I would venture a guess that those 400/600 men were on there way from Mangeni to join the main impi and ventured to far South around the Quabe knoll rather than going North to the Ngwebini valley, but that's really only a theory.

So in answer to your question, I would think they had come from Mangeni rather than heading there. And seeing the direction they had come from it wasn't from Raw. As far as what Durnford believed I don't know but that nasty little question does remain throbbing away like a hangover: Why chase so little men if they weren't a threat to Chelmsford.

"Its my thought that wherever we see the Zulu we should chase them."

See mate no Guns just my mind firing blanks I suppose  Very Happy  Very Happy  Salute

Steve
The map was produced by Gerrard Fox and its really very good in showing what he believes was the various routes taken by the Zulu regiments plus all the participants. It does however compress everything in order to get it onto an A4 page.
Point 1. Surely any commander would know the limitations of his force, attack 400, OK, 6000 not a chance.
Point 2. Fully agree.
Point 3. Yes it is, the wagon track forks under the Blue mountain, Chelmsford initially went straight and met up with Dartnell and then moved North, Possibly with Russell. Durnford only turned North ish around Ithusi into the Quabe.
Point 4. I would doubt it, if you have the 'big Silver Book' have a look at the picture Ian Knight took with a telephoto lens to mimic a telescope, impossible to make out detail and that photo was taken from the ridge whereas Chelmsford trail was at a lower altitude on the plain.
Point 5. Again I doubt it.

I understand your point but looking from the camp on a clear day the foot of Silutshane is lost in the blue haze. Let me see what I can post to show that.

Cheers



But of course, Durnford being credited with the knowledge of how the Zulu's work, would have known, that the Zulu's were forming up into their traditional military formation. Horns of the buffalo.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:38 am

Why do you say that John?

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:25 am

Hi Frank. It seems to me that some members are under the illusion that part of the horn was going to engage LC or a least cut him off, the fact LC was 11 miles away, would suggest, the Zulus at Isandlwana were only interested in those British forces at Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:43 am

John, what makes you think that anyone at the camp knew that the zulu's were the left horn? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:13 pm

The distance from Isandhlwana to where Chelmsford was operating is not the point. When the left horn comes down the Quabe Valley it is about the same distance away from Isandhlwana as it is from Chelmsford. Who knew, at that point, that it was the left horn, who knew what size it was and who knew in which direction it was going? Don't forget that everyone believed Chelmsford was already confronting a substantial force. It is not illusory to imagine another force was trying to join them.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:31 pm

rusteze wrote:
Don't forget that everyone believed Chelmsford was already confronting a substantial force. It is not illusory to imagine another force was trying to join them.

Steve

None of the senior Officers thought one minute that the camp could be attacked (Clery's letter to Harman 17 february 1879).

At the first view of the Zulus the 22 January, some Officers in the camp hoped the attack of the Zulus, without believing it (Curling / Pulleine).
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:50 pm

Frederic
Wasn't Pulleine over heard to say something to the effect of "What a fool a man is, if we had stayed quiet and let them come on we could have given them a sound thrashing." ?

A touch over confident perhaps?

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:52 pm

Hi Frank.

According to Cochrane, "Constant reports came in from the scouts on the hills, some of the reports were, the enemy are in force behind the hills to the left, the enemy are in three columns, the enemy are retiring in every direction, the colimns are separating, one moving to the left rear, and one towards the general"....... 'And One Towards The General'....... This is what prompted AD to investigate.

The 400/600 is just guesswork, the zulu's were very good at concealment, there could well have been a lot more than the 400/600 estimate (as was later proved), so could AD really take a chance and let these 400/600 zulu's go off to either attack LC's flank or rear or join up with the supposed impi that LC was thought to be attacking. LC had the men strung out in pockets searching for these illusive zulu's, so 400/600 zulu's could well have mopped up these strung out pockets one by one or even surprised LC while he was dining, so could AD really take a chance and let them head off towards LC?

I think AD did the right thing in trying to find out what these zulu's were up to, can you imagine the consequences if those 400/600 estimated zulu's had actually been a darn sight more and AD had allowed them to roam off towards LC without trying to find out what they were up to and where they were going, can you imagine all the outrage if he had allowed these zulu's to carry on and they had attacked LC's part column and massacred them and LC had got chopped up, I think AD would have been put through the mill, hung drawn and quartered and banished from the realm for not trying to find out what the zulu's were up to, the man would have been castigated (mind you, that is just what some folk seem to enjoy doing anyway).

Standing by for a broadside mate. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:10 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Frederic
Wasn't Pulleine over heard to say something to the effect of  "What a fool a man is, if we had stayed quiet and let them come on we could have given them a sound thrashing." ?

A touch over confident perhaps?

Cheers

Bonjour Frank
Yes, it's Pulleine (Mainwaring account's (or Bannister?) i have read somewhere that the "source" is certainly Essex)
Curling said also that the British didn'nt believe in their "luck" (to be attacked by the Zulus).

A tuch over confident?
It was also the case for Durnford (see his comment after the meet with the two Carbineers).
On this subject, see also the comment of Lt Bannister (2/24th) who was with Chelsmford the 22 January when he heard the "big guns" (letter to his father 27 january 1879 / Saul David "Zulus" p.114/ pocket edition)
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:40 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:



The 400/600 is just guesswork (...) there could well have been a lot more than the 400/600 estimate

It seems to me that Durnford thought that the number of the Zulus could be much higher than 400/600. It's the reason (for me) why he asked Pulleine to give him 2 British's "coy".
Somewhere, he has been cautious...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:08 pm

Mr M. Cooper wrote:
Hi Frank.


I think AD did the right thing in trying to find out what these zulu's were up to, can you imagine the consequences if those 400/600 estimated zulu's had actually been a darn sight more and AD had allowed them to roam off towards LC without trying to find out what they were up to and where they were going, can you imagine all the outrage if he had allowed these zulu's to carry on and they had attacked LC's part column and massacred them and LC had got chopped up, I think AD would have been put through the mill, hung drawn and quartered and banished from the realm for not trying to find out what the zulu's were up to, the man would have been castigated (mind you, that is just what some folk seem to enjoy doing anyway).

Standing by for a broadside mate. Salute

Bonjour Martin,
I see one objection:
Why Durnford didn't send a junior officer (Henderson for example) to estimate the number of the Zulus?
Why Durnford didn't stay in the camp the return of the information from Raw, Shepstone, Barton and others (to get overall view of the situation)?
I think, it's too easy to answer because "it was not the Chelsmford's orders".
See the Chelsmford's letter (to Durnford) of the 14 January and the Chelsmford's order of the 8 January.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:19 pm

Hi Martin
In my last post I tried to outline the various statements where they concerned the messages and the reason I considered Higginson as the most reliable rather than Cochrane. It was on that statement along with its corroboration from the others I quoted that I believe the final report was the one that Durnford acted on. Cochran doesn't stand up to scrutiny when looking for a decent weighted comparison.
We do have to be careful about using the knowledge that we have about Chelmsfords movements and using that to justify others movements. Durnford didn't know that Chelmsford had split/fragmented his forces. Durnford didn't have a clue what was going on in the Mangeni valley, nobody did. All they knew back at the camp was that gunfire had been heard. For all anyone knew Chelmsford could have totally defeated the Zulu army and was busy celebrating waiting for his tents to arrive.
The 400 to 600 isn't guess work those are two figures that were reported by scouts/piquets and its on that intelligence that Durnford made his move. The fact that he was prepared to do so without the requested two companies does indicate that he felt sufficiently strong enough to handle the force he expected to face.
If we are going to look in hindsight then try to get inside Durnfords mind and think if he would have left the camp knowing he was going to walk into the impi of 6000 reported earlier? I doubt it very much, when he did come up against an impi of that size he did exactly what anyone would have done, retreated. So in a nutshell he knew he couldn't face a large force with his limited force, he therefore went out looking for the smaller reported impi, between 400 and 600 he could handle.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:17 pm

Maybe another argument about the hypothesis in Chelmsford's mind of the Durnford's mission (I.E:not to go the Mangeni).
According to HB (during the "famous picinic around" 10 am the 22 january).
HB was sent back to Isandhlwana by CREALOCK/CHELMSFORD:
-to help Pulleine (for the move of the camp)
-to control the line of communication between Isandhlwana and the Mangeni.
If the Durnford's order in Chelmsford's mind was to go to the Mangeni (and to control the line of communication), why did Chelmsford give to HB the same order?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:49 pm

rusteze wrote:
The distance from Isandhlwana to where Chelmsford was operating is not the point. When the left horn comes down the Quabe Valley it is about the same distance away from Isandhlwana as it is from Chelmsford. Who knew, at that point, that it was the left horn, who knew what size it was and who knew in which direction it was going? Don't forget that everyone believed Chelmsford was already confronting a substantial force. It is not illusory to imagine another force was trying to join them.

Steve

Steve the amount of sightings reported prior to Dumfords arrival, must have been a reasonable indication, that there were quite a few Zulus in the vincinty. Did no one put 2 & 2 together Exspecally relating to Chards report to Dunford large masses of Zulus disappearing behind the hill.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:24 pm

You have to put yourself in their shoes. What were the sightings a reasonable indication of?  What did putting 2 and 2 together add up to?  

Large numbers of Zulus disappearing behind the hills, some moving in the direction of Chelmsford. Chelmsford already thought to be engaging the main force. No one expresses any concern for the camp. They have over a 1000 men with the latest weapons and cannon and a thorough underestimation of the enemy.

For them the important thing is to ensure the Zulus do not disperse and they must prevent some of them outflanking Chelmsford. Whatever comes at the camp they can cope with. Thats what it added up to for them at the time.

We now know what happened and think we would have read the signs differently. We can't understand why they didn't. But I'm not sure it was so obvious.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:05 pm

Okay to simplify.

If no one knew the Zulus were hidden near Isandlwana, why would LC have wanted Durnford to protect his rear?

Why did the Zulus attack Isandlwana?

Did they not use their traditional fighting formation?  

Why did they not go after LC after taking the camp?

Who instigated the attack?

Why did Durnford assume, he was required to do something else, other than the order he was issued?

Why would he take command of the 24th if he was an independant commander?

IF Durnford thought LC meant for him to protect his rear, why didn't Durnford do just that, why send out patrols to see what the Zulus were up to?

Crealock stated, he order Durnford to take command of the camp ( We know the order didn't say that) However although he wasn't  ordered to, he did, so in hindsight he must have known that's what Crealock meant being the senior officer.

We don't know what the conversation was between Pulleine and Durnford, we have snipets, but whatever was said, switched Durnford back into an independant commarder mode.

Durnfords,officer Lt Raw, stumbled across the Zulu's hidden in a valley, he engaged them, the Zulu's retaliated. The camp was the intended target, they knew LC would not have be able to get back on time to make any difference to the survival of the camp. And the Zulu victory, delayed the invasion.

Look at primary source evidence, from TMFH the times & locations. If no one precived any threats, then something was very wrong, with the basic british military Regime?

"Trooper Barker, Natal Carbineers.

“ ……[we] arrived on the hill [assessed to be Qwabe] about sunrise [0522 hrs] After being posted about a quarter of an hour we noticed a lot of mounted men in the distance and on their coming nearer we saw that they were trying to surround us….. we discovered they were Zulus. We retired to Lieut. Scott about two miles nearer the camp [assessed to be Conical Hill] and informed him of what we had seen, and he decided to come back with us but before we had gone far we saw Zulus on the hill we had just left and others advancing from the left flank  [an area including iThusi Valley] where two other videttes (sic), Whitelaw and another had been obliged to retire from. Whitelaw reported, a large army advancing ‘thousands’ I remember him distinctly saying ….this would be about eight a.m.”
…….. shortly afterwards numbers of Zulus being seen on all the hills to the left front.”  1

This report calls into question how thorough and vigilant these videttes had been at the earliest stages of daylight. The words ‘large’ and ‘thousands’ within the context of the source and allowing for exaggeration, show that by first light more than a Zulu reconnaissance patrol was sighted, and was viewed as having aggressive intent by the vedettes expressly sited to detect such manoeuvre that could continue until virtually unobserved.

 In Barker quoting ‘A large army’ and ‘thousands,’ the vedettes positioned across a frontage of a mile or so were compelled to abandon their posts and in doing so, large tracts of dead ground were exposed for the commencement of Zulu manoeuvre. Indeed this dead ground remained out of sight of the British until contact with the two troops of NNH at midday or thereabouts, as will be evidenced later. Here it would be prudent to add how extensive the shallow areas and ‘dead ground’ exist along the full length of the Ngwebeni streams on the tablelands. 

J.A.Brickhill, Interpreter.

On the morning of 22nd January between 6 & 7 O’clock in the morning the Zulus showed in considerable force at the southern end of Ingutu Mountain.  

Again, referring to Raw and Roberts, he records:
At about eleven a.m. a party of them were sent back round the way they came, round Isandhlawana, & from there round the Northernmost point of Ingutu. 

Brickhill went on to add:
Shortly afterwards another force came into sight about the middle of the hill and intervening space was speedily filled in. 

The intervening space may be interpreted as the vast space between iThusi Hill and Barry’s picquet situated on Magaga, namely the Nyoni Ridge. This is indicative of the arrival in strength of regiments, or major elements, having exited the area near the Ngwebeni Valley area and advanced to position themselves on the escarpment overlooking the Isandlwana camp within an hour or thereabouts of first light. Brickhill, as interpreter, was located centrally to a fairly commanding position in front of the Columns Office.  2

Captain Edward Essex.
75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment, serving as the Director of Transport for No 3 Column. 

“…… until about eight A.M., when a report arrived from a picquet stationed at a point about 1,500 yards distant, on a hill, to the north of the camp, that a    body of enemy’s troops could be seen approaching from northeast.”  3

 Essex possibly confused a picquet with a vedette. The distance described by Essex makes it probable that the hill described was iThusi on which a vedette was positioned. The significance of the report lies in its timing, and its coincidence with movements referred to by Barker. All l well before the arrival of Durnford.

Lieutenant J.R.M.Chard, RE.
Time approximately 0930 hrs by estimation.

  I also looked with my own, [field glass] and could see the enemy moving on the distant hills, and apparently in great force. Large numbers of them moving to my left, until the lion hill of Isandhlwana, on my left as I looked at them, hid them from my view. The idea struck me that they may be moving in the direction between the camp and Rorke’s Drift. 4

Further prime source corroboration of substantial Zulu deployment prior to Durnford’s arrival. Chard clearly made the point of the possible commencement of the deployment of the Zulu right horn. The ‘far distant hills’ may indicate the iThusi area.

Western Area

Lieutenant W. Higginson, 1/3rd Natal Native Contingent (NNC.)
The first intimation we received about the Zulus was at 6 a.m when. Lt. Honourable Standish Vereker came into camp and said that the Zulus were appearing on the extreme left, and nearly opposite his outlying picket [Assessed as being somewhere north of Magaga Knoll and south of the Nqutu Range of hills.] …… Soon afterwards Colonel Pulleine sent me and Sergt Maj Williams came with me. We found Captain Barry [Comment: Commanding the picquet] and Lt Vereker watching a large body of Zulus on the extreme left of the camp, and they informed me that a large force of about 5,000 had gone round behind the Isandula Hill.  5

This report, made shortly after first light, indicates substantial Zulu deployment sighted within view of Magaga Knoll, together with an approximate’5, 000’ moving westward, therefore well clear of the Ngwebeni Valley with the possible intent to envelop Isandlwana. This occurred before Durnford’s arrival thus indicating Zulu aggressive movement, not only to deploy, but to do battle on the 22nd, confirmed by the actions observed both on the eastern and western areas. The estimated size of the Zulu force estimated by Higginson also indicates a deployment of a major functional part of the Zulu army. It follows therefore, that a deliberate plan by the Zulu High Command was already in place with the right horn located out of the Ngwebeni valley and in position north of Magaga Knoll (Barry’s picquet) at first light 22nd January    

Lieutenant Hillier, Lonsdale’s Natal Native Contingent. (NNC)
 At half past seven a.m. Lt. Veriker [sic] of the NNC who was on picquet duty with Captain Barry rode into camp and reported to Colonel Pulleine that the Zulus were advancing on the camp in large numbers.  6

This report corroborates that of Lt. Higginson, in that Zulu deployment was taking place in the open and in view of the camp’s outposts.
The words advancing on the camp are unambiguous and show aggressive intent to attack. Note the time: 0730 hrs 22nd January. 

Lieutenant C. Pope’s Diary. 2/24 Regiment, portion of which read:
“ Alarm- 3 Columns Zulus and mounted men on hill E. Turn Out 7,000(!!!) more E.N.E., 4000 of whom went around Lion’s Kop.[Isandlwana Hill] Durnford’s Basutos, arrive and pursue.”  7

 Pope, by direct personal observation, provided confirmatory evidence that a large Zulu force was sighted. Furthermore, the deployment was taking place prior to Durnford’s arrival. This is a valuable, and completely uncorrupted, collateral source report.  

The Zulu War Diary of Lieutenant Richard Wyatt Vause, NNH, recorded:
Durnford ordered me to ride back to meet our wagons as the Zulus were seen in our rear and he expected they would try to cut them off.  8
The time was between 1015hrs and 1045 hrs, with Vause expressing the opinion that the right horn was perceived to be a threat and well deployed at that time.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:39 pm

John

To be honest I think your quotes from TMFH serve to make my point.

It is not that no one perceived the threat, it is that they thought they could cope with it. Look at when the sightings were first made - first light at about 05.30 - and then for most of the early morning. Pulleine had the best part of five hours, in sole command before Durnford's arrival, to react to all of those sightings. What did he do? He called a "stand to" in front of the tents and, in due course stood it down again, he made some deployments and did some more scouting. Was any senior officer really concerned or were they looking forward to the prospect of an engagement?

You say there must have been something very wrong with the basic British military regime. Yes, exactly right, arrogant and over confident in their own abilities, and totally disdainful of the enemy, sounds about right to me.

As for Durnford's actions when he arrived, Lock and Quantrill express an opinion in TMFH and include a quote from the War Office that throws some light on the thinking in London (as opposed to the machinations of the Court of Inquiry). They say:

Here it may be argued that Colonel Pulleine was simply obeying his instructions supposedly issued to him by Major Clery relating to the defence of the camp. This was not the impression of Horse Guards who, in an undated letter bearing the letterhead stamp of the War Office, specifically addressed the issue by stating:
Doubtless finding himself Senior Officer on the spot [Durnford] when action had already commenced he according to the custom of the service took Command, but this was now all too late a period to remedy the fatal error of position selected before his arrival.
This may be construed as either criticism of the position selected for the camp or for Pulleine’s conjectured inability to assess that he was, at an early hour, opposed by the main Zulu force. There is seemingly a case to be argued that the fate of the camp was already settled before Durnford’s arrival.


I think that last sentence is particularly telling.

So the sequence is this, Chelmsford departs with half the column in the early hours, he leaves no instructions whatever for Pulleine (and neither does Glyn, who you might expect to have said something to his second in command). Clery makes something up himself.

In the camp, first sightings of significant numbers of Zulus begin to be made about 2 hours later and continue to be made for the next 5 hours, before Durnford arrives.

On Durnford's arrival, according to Cochrane, Pulleine reports that " The enemy are in force behind the hills on the left. The enemy are in three columns, The columns are separating, one moving to the left rear and one towards the General. The enemy are retiring in every direction."

Durnford takes some action to try and clarify the situation. He sends a small force to try and do something about the 4000 Zulus that have gone around the back of Isandhlwana (as reported much earlier to Pulleine and which he did nothing about). He sends people up onto the plateau to see what the Zulus retiring to the left rear are doing. He goes himself to try and ensure that the Zulu right column does not descend onto Chelmsford.

Not much wrong with that in my view and rather more than Pulleine had done. But it was all too late.

Did Durnford precipitate the attack? Not according to Lock and Quantrill he didn't, and not according to Mehlokazulu either. The Zulu were poised to attack.

And finally from TMFH, L&Q quote from Holt's book on the Natal Mounted Police.

"It is a wonder that the whole force was not exterminated, for what Mehlogazulu [sic] a son of Sirayo, afterwards told General Wood, it appeared that the chiefs of the neighbouring impi decided to postpone such an easy task until they had first ‘eaten up’ the main camp."

So, Chelmsford was next rather than first. But Durnford was right to be concerned.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:15 pm


Rusteze wrote:
It is not that no one perceived the threat, it is that they thought they could cope with it. Look at when the sightings were first made - first light at about 05.30 - and then for most of the early morning. Pulleine had the best part of five hours, in sole command before Durnford's arrival, to react to all of those sightings. What did he do? He called a "stand to" in front of the tents and, in due course stood it down again, he made some deployments and did some more scouting. Was any senior officer really concerned or were they looking forward to the prospect of an engagement?

Was it not Pulleine who had the men stand to in front of the tents. Durnford Stood them down and sent then to their private parade grounds. 

Steve where is it mentioned they thought they could cope it.    

Essex.
The impression in camp was that the enemy had no intention of advancing during the daytime, but might possibly-be expected to attack during the night.

According to Brickhill, Pulleine was at  a lost of what do to do.

And there are another accounts along the same lines. 


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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:43 pm

Impi

In Zulu Rising Ian Knight says "Altogether Pulleine had about 1,200 black and white troops to guard the camp - more than enough, it was felt, for anything the Zulus might throw at it."

He says later "The appearance of the Zulus at the eastern end of the ridge would have been clear enough to Pulleine and the other officers in the camp."

and,

"Even the notoriously jittery NNC pickets did not seem unduly alarmed, so whatever the Zulus were doing they did not appear to be offering any immediate threat. Nevertheless Pulleine reacted sensibly enough. The Fall In was sounded and the 24th companies lined up in front of the tents........ clearly there was no alarm in the camp at this stage.............Lt Curling, the senior RA officer left in camp heard about the Zulu presence but did not think anything of it "as none of us had the least idea that the Zulus contemplated attacking the camp, and having in the last war often seen equally large bodies of the enemy never dreamed they would come on."

Later,  Gardner has arrived with orders for Pulleine from Chelmsford to pack up some of the wagons and Shepstone rides in with news of large numbers of Zulus descending on the camp. Knight says, "It was a crucial moment of decision for Pulleine and in effect his first under major combat conditions....He scribbles a reply to Chelmsford saying he could not move the camp at present.... It was a report that conveyed little sense of urgency, largely because at that stage Pulleine felt none."

Remember too that when Durnford arrived Pulleine said to him "I wish you had not come for you will be in command", hardly the words of someone who was desperate to relinquish command in the face of overwhelming odds.

I say again, they felt they could cope.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:06 pm

"I wish you had not come for you will be in command",

I have looked for references to this, who actually witnessed this. If it's true, was Pulleine not aware that Durnford would at some stage be arriving at the camp?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:47 am

Bonjour

To answer to Frank (post: 25 March 2015) and bring on the table some thoughts about Durnford

After receiving contradictory reports about the presence of Zulus in the vicinity of the camp, “DURNFORD took some action to try and clarify the situation”. (Steve / 31 mars 2014)

Colonel DURNFORD (…) sent two troops of Mounted natives onto the hills at the left (3) and advanced himself with the two others troops and the rocket battery to the front. (Notes by Chelsmford on the findings of the COI / F. Allewell 05 January 2015 1.10pm)

Durnford was intending [personally] to place himself in a position such that his force could intercept any forward movement in the direction of Chelsmford’s force by the small force of Zulus he envisaged were on the plateau [ between the Ngebini valley and the Quabe valley]. (JW 10/01/1879)

In doing so, he respected (in his mind) the Chelsmford’s orders of the 19 January, 21 January (memorandum) and 22 January.

His mission meant to chase any enemy force between Isandhlwana and the General.
-To protect the Chelmsford's line of communication during its progress in ennemy territory, maybe in the perspective of the move of the camp that CHELSMFORD had in mind (1);
-To protect the rear of the General.

In doing so, he respected also the limits to the freedom given by Chelmsford to his Commandant of columns (2).( Letter from Chelmsford to Durnford 14 January / order of the 8 January)

Durnford was responding to the changing circumstances. After his sortie, he would have returned to his original orders. (JW: 28/03/2015)

However, I suspect that DURNFORD had another intent in mind : to fight the Zulus at the first opportunity BUT in compliance with the Chelmsford's orders.
He was anxious to face the Zulus after the fiasco of the Bushman’s pass and was depressed to stay in reserve (letter to his mother 21 january)
It's the reason why he didn't send a junior Officer in its place (as Henderson) to estimate exactly the numbers of the “retiring Zulus”.
He could have stayed at the camp and wait the return of the information from his Junior Officers (Shepstone, Barton, Raw and others) to get « the whole picture » of the situation around Isandhlwana.
About the number of the « retiring enemy », DURNFORD took consciously a « calculated risk ».
He has really thought that the number of the Zulus could be much higher than 400/600.
It's the reason why he asked Pulleine to give him two British « Coys », why he answered to him after his refusal : « I will go alone, but remember, if i get into difficulties I shall rely on you to support me ».
However, DURNFORD “felt that he could cope”. (Steve Wink out of the context!)
Like all the seniors Officers before the disaster of Isandhlwana, he was not aware of the real danger of the Zulus.
He behavied in the same way the only time he could have been in the presence of Zulus at Middle drift the 13/14 january: he didn’t control that the crossing of the stream was yet possible despite the severe thunderstorms when he could facing three Zulus regiments. (Bishop SCHREUDER / Natal Witness 10 January 1879)


(1)”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 despactch to FRERE of 21 January 1879”. (JW 24/03/2015)

(2)“At the time Durnford was called to Isandhlwana his column had been split quite significantly to appoint where referring to its as a column was stretching the truth. However the fact remains thaht it was still an independent column as demonstrated on the [first hours] on the 22nd by CREALOCK being designated as being the staff officer with sufficient rank to give orders to an independent column commander and not CLERY. It’s also demonstrated by DURNFORD’s action on arrival at the camp and on leaving it”. (JW 04 january 2015)

(3) These were shortly afterwards reinforced by a third one which had been sent to assist the baggage into camp

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:23 am

Ymob, who sent that to you?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:33 am

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
Ymob, who sent that to you?

It's the politically correct version.
Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:41 am

It's interesting speculation and well thought out. But still speculation.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:47 am

Ymob, in one of the post above John, asks why was the camp at Isandlwana attacked. What do you think! Bearing in mind, there was no intention on the Zulu part to attack that day. So why did they?
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:48 am

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
It's interesting speculation and well thought out. But still speculation.

Thank you for your kind word.
I agree, only speculation!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:02 am

"An Epic of Zululand (From the Zululand Times January, 17th, 1952).

On Tuesday of next week January 22 falls the 73rd anniversary of one of the saddest epics in the annals of Zululand. It was on that day in 1879 that the disastrous. Battle of Isandlwana was fought - a battle in which the defenders of that outpost of the British Empire were slaughtered almost to a man by the triumphant Zulus who were sweeping down towards Natal.
In the article on this page, published by kind permission or the Rev. F. E. Osbourn is a detailed, account of the battle loaned by Sgt. F.E. Little. Formerly of The Natal Police.
Until 1881 the South Wales Borderers, the regiment so vitally concerned in the action, was designated the 24th Regiment (2nd Warwick's), but after that date it became the South Wales Borderers (24th Regiment). Lieut. Melville's son passed away in England during October. 1951.Two years previously he had donated to the Regimental Museum his father's Victoria Cross that had been awarded for the part Lieut. Melville had played in he battle. Also housed in the Museum are the Victoria Crosses won by. Williams Jones, Allen and Hook. At an exhibition held during 1951, no fewer than five Victoria Crosses were on show at the same time - all awarded on the same date, January 22, 1879.
Prologue
11th Jan. The 3rd Column crossed the Buffalo River at daybreak covered by the guns of Harners's battery. When the crossing was completed the mounted men with Lord Chelmsford preceded 12 miles northward to meet Colonel Wood. After a consultation Lord Chelmsford returned to Rorkes Drift, where in the evening, he had an interview with Colonel Durnford, commanding No. 2 Column, who had arrived from Middle Drift, Durnford returned next day.
Arrival of Troops
20th Jan. The troops arrived at Isandhlwana, and took up their positions. There were no entrenchments. In front of the camp, facing east, there is a plain extending about 8 miles with a width or about 4 miles much intersected by watercourses. The view from the camp looking east (front) was extensive, but the view on either flank was very limited.
The camp was guarded by a chain of vedettes from 2 to 3 miles distant with an infantry outpost line closer in. This line was composed of one Coy. From each of the 4 infantry battalions. At night the outpost line was brought in to about 500 yards of the tents and made continuous, i.e., it encircled the Isandhlwana Hill.
The Native battalions were posted On the left as it was thought there was less chance of an attack on that flank. The Native battalions also maintained a detached outpost by night to the north of the camp. Regimental transport was parked in the rear of the tents of each unit.
Lord Chelmsford and Staff arrived at the camp at noon, but started off again at 1 p.m. with an escort of M.D. on a reconnaissance of Matyane's stronghold some 10 miles south-east of camp. He returned at 6.30 p.m. Orders were issued for Major Dartnell with Mounted Police, Volunteers and best part of the 2 Native battalions under Commandant Lonsdale, to make a reconnaissance in force the following day.
21st Jan. left 4.30 a.m. Lonsdale, accompanied by Capt. Huller (Staff). Dartnell left 5.30 a.m., accompanied by Major Gossett (Staff). One day's rations were carried. Later in the morning a small party of M.I. under Lieut. Browne were sent to make an independent reconnaissance towards Isipenyi Hill. Browne returned at noon and reported he had had a skirmish with the Zulus.

At 4 p.m., whilst Lord Chelmsford and Colonel Glynn were on Hill " B," they met Buller and Gossett returning to camp. They reported that a considerable Zulu force had been seen and that Dartnell requested reinforcements be sent to him. Lord. Chelmsford, however, declined to accede to this request.

22nd Jan. 1.30a.m. Note received by Major Clery, S.O. to Colonel Glynn, from Dartnell, stating that he and Lonsdale did not consider force at their disposal sufficient to attack and requested that 2 or 3 Coys. of the 24th Regt. be sent as reinforcement. Lord Chelmsford immediately gave orders for the Mounted Infantry4 guns R.A., 6 Coys. 2/24th and some Native pioneers to be sent out in support of Dartnell.
Note: 7 Coys. 2/24th would have been detailed, but "B." Coy. Was on outpost duty.
4 a.m. Inc troops marched off at 4 a.m. accompanied by Lord Chelmsford and Colonel Glynn. The men in light marching order without great coats or blankets. Each man carried one day's cooked rations and 70 rounds of ammunition. The tents were left standing. A convoy of 50 wagons was to have left for Rorkes Drift, but this was countermanded, as, owing to the shortage of troops, no escort was available. These wagons were parked between the road and the south end of Isandhlwana Hill.
The troops left in camp were: 30 M.I., 80 Police and Volunteers, 2 Guns and 70 men R.A., 5 Coys. 1/24th, 1 Coy. 2/24th, 2 Coys. 1/3rd N.N.C., 2 Coys. 2/3rd N.N.C., and 10 Native Pioneers.
Before leaving, Lord Chelmsford sent orders to Colonel Durnford at Rorkes Drift to bring all his mounted men and rocket battery to Isandhlwana, and assume command of the camp. Until his arrival, Colonel Pulleine was to be in command. Pulleine's orders, in writing, were to keep the vedettes far advanced; but the line of outposts was to be drawn in closer, and, if attacked, to remain on the defensive.
22nd Jan. 6 a.m. Lieut. Smith-Dorrien arrived at Rorkes Drift and delivered Lord Chelmsford's order to Colonel Durnford to move to Isandhlwana. Colonel Durnford left Rorkes Drift with 5 troops mounted Basutos, a rocket battery2 Coys. 1/1 N.N.C. and 10 wagons;
8.00 a.m. Vedettes on. Hill "A" reported body of enemy in sight approaching from north-east. All troops were got. Under arms and drawn up in front of camp. A mounted messenger was sent with brief despatch to acquaint Lord Chelmsford (see later).
9.00 a.m. No Zulus were visible from the camp until 9 a.m., when a small number were seen on Hill "B" It would appear the vedettes on this hill had been withdrawn. Enemy almost immediately withdrew, and vedettes on Hill "A" reported enemy in 3 columns, of which 2 were returning and the third had passed out of sight, moving northwest.
10 a.m. Colonel Durnford arrived in camp, where he found the troops still drawn up under arms. He took over from Colonel Pulleine and sent back one troop of his Basutos to guard his wagons, which were still on the. Road. He also sent 2 troops (1 Lieut. Raw, 2 Capt. Barton) of Basutos to the heights on the left flank of the camp to reconnoiter. Durnford then advanced into the plain in front of the camp with 2 troops Basutos, the Rocket Battery. And 1 Coy; 1/1 N.N.C. His object was to prevent the enemy, reported to be in retreat, from joining the force believed to be engaged with Lord Chelmsford. He wanted to take 2 Coys. of the 24th, but Colonel Pulleine strongly represented that it would be contrary to Lord Chelmsford's orders. Durnford insisted, however, that one Coy. 24th should be sent to the heights 1,500 yards north of the camp, so Lieut. Cavaye's Coy. Of 1/24th was moved accordingly. The remainder of the troops was then dismissed.
12 Noon The Mounted Police, Volunteers and M.1., except those on vedette -duty, remained in camp.
The troop of Lieut. Raw's Basutos, sent to reconnoiter north of the camp, after advancing 3 miles observed the Zulu army a mile off advancing in line and extending to the west, i.e., to their left. Capt. Shepstone, Political Officer, and a Mr. Hamer, who had accompanied Raw, returned to camp with this information. The Basutos fell back before the enemy, whose right wing was rapidly extending. They soon came under the fire of Lieut. Cavaye's Coy. but did not turn aside to attack it streamed past in loose formation about 800 yards distant.
Capt. Mostyn's Coy. 1/24th was now ordered out to support Cavaye. On reaching the heights. Mostyn extended his men along the crest between the main portions of Cavaye's Coy. And a section commanded by Lieut. Dyson. On Cavaye's right was a Coy. Of 2/3 N.N.C. while still farther right the Basutos were descending from the range.
12.10 p.m. The 2 guns RA. Came into action about 400 yards of the left flank at a range of 3,400 yards. The enemy were reported to be on the right flank of the camp, so one gun was sent to that flank, but very soon returned.
12.20 p.m. Orders given for Cavaye and Mostyn to retire from the heights and a fresh line facing north was formed about 400 yards from the heights. Dyson rejoined Cavaye and a third Coy. 1/24th (Capt. Younghusband) was drawn up on Mostyn's left. All were in extended order. The Native Coy. Fell back in accordance with this move and was joined by the other Native Coy. (1/3rd N.N.C).
12.25 p.m. The remaining 2 Coys. 1/24th were moved to the left front of the camp and formed up in extended order, facing east, near the guns. The Coy. 2/24th (Lieut. Pope) was also formed up in extended order facing east. The right of this Coy. Was near the road. One of the Coys. Near the guns was now moved and extended until it touched Pope's left,
11.30 p.m. - The Zulu advance on the right front was held by the M.I., Police and Volunteers, but on the left the pressure was great and the 3 Coys. On that face were forced to make a further withdrawal. They lined up in a fresh position about 300 yards from the camp.
12.45 p.m. Colonel Durnford , who outstripped the rocket battery and Native infantry escort, and had advanced some 4 miles to the front, was informed by 2 Carbineers that a large force of the enemy was trying to surround him. He immediately commenced to retire and carried on a running fight.. The Rocket Battery had in the meantime got 3 miles from camp when. a Carbineer met them and offered to point out a. short cut whereby they could get into action and help the returning Basutos. This turned out to be a trap; the battery was cutoff and they were nearly all killed. The arrival of Colonel Durnford saved the survivors. Durnford continued to fall back, closely pursued, until they came under covering fire from the M.I., Police and Volunteers, with whom the remnants of his force now merged.
1 p.m. The position was now as follows: 3 coy s. 1/24th. 300 yards from camp facing north, 2 Coys. 1/24th, 1 Coy. 2/24th and 2 guns R.A. facing east. -The infantry were lining a watercourse. Colonel Durnford,. with the mounted men on the right front, slightly in advance, where pressure was up to now slight as compared with the left. The 2 Coys. N.N.C.- occupied the north-east salient, where 1 Coy. faced north and the other east.
The camp was in no respect prepared for defence, The tents were standing and the camp was occupied by servants, bandsmen, clerks and non-combatants who, at this hour, were entirely unconscious of danger. The 50 wagons due to return to Rorkes Drift were still drawn up in three lines on the neck between the road and the south end of Isandhlwana Hill. The remainder of the transport was in rear of the tents. The oxen were collected when the enemy were first seen near the camp and. owing to a mistake on the part of the drivers, were inspanned instead of being tethered to the trek chains.
Meanwhile the; advance of the Zulus continued steadily and the attack had greatly developed on the left and left front. Moving from the north-east, their left horn was directed towards the British right, whilst the right horn was sweeping down the valley at the back (west) of the Isandhlwana Hill. The enormous strength of the enemy could now be realised by the troops, who were extended some 2,000 yards, and they saw themselves hopelessly outnumbered. They were, however Inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.
1.30 p.m. The Zulus were within 200 yards of the salient when the N.N.C. broke and fled. A gap in the line was thus caused into which a mass of Zulus poured. Mostyn's and Cavaye's Coys., which were extended, had time to rally, or even fix bayonets, the Zulus were among them and they were slaughtered to a man. Younghusband's Coy., on the left of the north face, succeeded in retreating and eventually gained a terrace on the southern side of the Isandhlwana Hill.
The two guns, after discharging a few rounds of grape into the dense mass of the enemy, limbered up and returned towards the camp. The camp was now In the hands of the enemy and before it was traversed nearly every gunner was assegied. The road to Rorkes Drift was blocked by the enemy, so an attempt was made to take the guns to the southward, where there was yet a space unoccupied. by the enemy. This was the route all fugitives were taking, but the great majority were overtaken and killed. it was not even a track and men on foot- had no chance whatever of escape. The guns did not get far. About 800 yards from the neck a deep watercourse was reached which proved impassable for vehicles and here the drivers and horses were assegied. Two officers and a sergeant alone escaped, but one of the officers was killed at the Buffalo.
For a short time after the defensive line was broken, men fought hand-to-hand among the tents. The only infantry which made any organised resistance were Capt. Younghusband's Coy., which maintained itself for a while on the. South side of the hill, and the 2 Coys. on the extreme right (1 1/24th, 1 2/24th), which held together in. front of the 1/24th camp. When their ammunition gave out they were overpowered and died where they stood.
Colonel Durnford and the mounted men were holding a watercourse on the extreme right before the rest of the defensive line broke, but the enemy made no impression on them by frontal attacks. The Zulus, however, extended farther to there left and, crossing the watercourse lower down, took the troopers in flank. Colonel Durnford ordered the "Retire" to be sounded. The troopers, whose horses were in the donga under cover, rode back 1,500 yards and took up a fresh position on the eastern slope of the neck which connects Isandhlwana Hill with the kopje to the south. Whilst this movement was being carried out the Zulus effected their break through on the left of the camp. The stony kopjie to the south of Isandhlwana hill was now in the hands of the enemy and their right horn was closing in to unite with the left horn. Here, Colonel Durnford and his men and a few of the 24th who had joined them, made their final stand. They were attacked on all sides and like the infantry; were overwhelmed only when the last cartridge had been fired.
1.30 p.m. The last European survivor to escape from the camp was Capt. Essex, 75th Regt., S.O. for Transport duties. He stated it was 1.30 p.m. when he left the camp, and all resistance had by them practically ceased. Commandant Lonsdale arrived at the camp from Matyana's stronghold at .2 p.m.; all firing had then ceased and the Zulus were looting the camp. Lonsdale turned about and galloped off to warn Lord Chelmsford.
Fifty-two officers, 866 European N.C.O.'s and men, and between 200 and 300 Native infantry were killed. In addition, there were a large number of camp followers killed. The entire transport of the 3rd Column, tents, stores and equipment, 800 M.H. rifles, 400,000 cartridges, 2 seven-pounders R.A. the records of R.Q. and both battalions, and both Colours of the 2/24th Regt. were lost. During the battle the Queen's Colour of the 1/24th Regt. was carried off by Capt. and Adjt. Melvill, assisted by Lieut. Coghill. Both officers were killed after crossing the Buffalo, but the Colour was subsequently recovered. Melvill's watch was found to have stopped at 2.10 p.m., presumably when he entered the river. The "Regimental " Colour of the 1/24th had been left at Helpmekaar.
The Zulu's army was commanded by Tshingwayo, and Dabulamanzi was second in command. Their 1osses were estimated to be not less than 1,000 killed. The Zulus had a plentiful supply of M.H. rifles purchased from gun-runners, but ammunition was scarce. . This deficiency was' remedied by the capture of 400,000 rounds at Isandhlwana.
Operations Near Matyana's Stronghold
22nd Jan. Lord Chelmsford and Staff joined Major Dartnell, having pushed on ahead of the troops. Colonel
6 a.m. Russell was sent with the M.I. in the direction of the Isipesi Hill. The Police, Volunteers and N.N.C. were sent to carry out a movement against the enemy at "gg" The 6 Coys. 2/24th and the artillery under Colonel Glynn were still on the march from Isandhlwana.
7.30 a.m. The track was so rough after leaving the Qudeni road and progress so slow, that Glynn left the guns with an escort of 2 Coys, whilst he went on ahead with the other 4 Coys.
9 a.m.Far in advance, the Police and Volunteers under Dartnell and the Native regiments under Lonsdale had carried out a series of operations which resulted in a few skirmishes. The country traversed was exceedingly rough and the enemy plainly showed he had no intention of being brought to a decisive action.
9.30 a.m.Whilst Lord Chelmsford and Staff halted on Ridge d" for. breakfast, a messenger arrived from the camp with a note which read as follows: "Staff Officer - Report just come in that Zulus are advancing in force from left front of camp. (Sgt.) H. B. Pulleine, Lieut,-Colonel. 8 a.m. Regd. 9.30 a.m. (Sgd.) H.P." (Initials of Capt. H. P., S.O.)
Lord Chelmsford received this note from Major Clery and sent Lieut. Milne, R.N.. to a hill from which the camp was visible with orders to examine it with a telescope and report.
1.10 a.m. Milne was unable to detect any signs of Zulus advancing on the camp, but noticed that the cattle had been driven in close to the tents. He notified Lord Chelmsford by flag signal. After remaining 1½ hours on the hill, Milne descended, having nothing further to report.
Orders were now sent to Colonel Harness, who was still some way off with the guns, that he was to advance no farther, but make his way to the Mangeni Valley, where it was intended to fix a new camp.
The 1/3rd N.N.C. (Commandant Browne) now arrived from Dartnell's advanced position and was ordered to proceed to Isandhlwana and search en route the dongas intersecting the plain in front of that camp.

10.30 a.m. Capt. Alan Gardner and some other officers left for Isandhlwana Camp. Gardner carried an order for the requisite tents, etc., to. Be sent to the new camp site. Note: On reaching Isandh1wana Camp, Gardner sent the following note addressed to Major Clery: Heavy firing near left of camp. Shepstone has come. in for reinforcements and reports Basutos are falling back; the whole force at camp turned out and fighting about 1 mile to left flank. (Sgd.) Alan Gardner, Capt., S.O.)." (This note did not reach Major Clery, but. appears to have been received by Major Gosset about 3 p.m.) Colonel Pulleine also replied to the order: Staff -Officer - Heavy firing to the left of our camp; cannot move camp at present. (Sgd.) H. B. Pulleine, Lieut., Colonel." (This note appears to have been delivered to Lord Chelmsford, probably about the same time as the former.)
11.45 p.m. Lord Chelmsford and Staff proceeded to place where Major Dartnell had been in action, and at 12.30 p.m. left for the Mangeni Valley, taking the Volunteers with him.
12.30 p.m. Shortly after leaving Lord Chelmsford, Commandant Browne, N.N.C., captured a Zulu scout from whom it was ascertained an attack on Isandhlwana Camp was contemplated. Browne sent back an officer to inform Lord Chelmsford. He then moved forward and at 12 noon could see that the attack on the camp had commenced. A large number of the enemy were seen in front, so he retired to his left rear.
12.45 pan. Browne dispatched Capt. Develin with the following message to give to any Staff Officer he should meet:
"For God's sake come back; the camp is surrounded and will be taken unless helped,"
1.15 p.m. Develin was seen by the Artillery and escort, who were at the time on some high ground, and the message was intercepted. Major Gossett, who was with Colonel Harness, rode back to acquaint Lord Chelmsford whilst Harness decided to move towards Isandhlwana and take up a position where he could with his guns help the defenders of the camp.
Lord Chelmsford had reached the new camp site at 1 p.m. When he received Gossett's message he and his Staff galloped to the top of a hill and scanned the Isandhlwana Camp through field glasses. They could see the tents standing -and -no untoward movement;-everything was apparently quiet. They concluded that this and the previous report were unfounded Native rumours. At the same time, Lord Chelmsford issued instructions for Harness to adhere to his previous instructions and move to the new camp and-not towards Isandhlwana.
In the meantime, Colonel Russell, with the M.I. had retired from the Isipezi hill, which he found occupied in force by the enemy. Between 12 noon and 1 p.m,. his party was off saddled near the Isandhlwana Qudeni road. At 1.15 p.m. a mounted European of Browne's Native regiment rode in and informed Russell that he had been sent to tell the General that the camp was attacked. The guns at Isandhlwana could now be heard. Lord Chelmsford's whereabouts were unknown
1.45 p.m. to Russell. A second European bearing a similar message now arrived from Browne. Colonel Russell moved his men on to the road and, leaving them there, went off to look for the General. He first found Harness and shortly afterwards met Lord Chelmsford with the Volunteers proceeding leisurely toward Isandhlwana.
2.10 p.m. Lord Chelmsford, on receiving the reports, still felt no uneasiness as he was convinced by his last view of the camp at l.15 p.m. that nothing untoward had occurred. He issued no fresh orders, but, on coming up with the. M.I., he ordered them to join up with him.
2.30 p.m.Lord Chelmsford came up with Browne's battalion halted in front. They were now ordered to advance,
3.30 p.m. the mounted men leading the way. About 5 miles from Isandhlwana they met a solitary horseman who proved to be Commandant Lonsdale. Lonsdale had met with an accident earlier in the day, so had returned to camp to make arrangements about his men's rations. He had reached camp at 2 p.m. and found it entirely in the hands of-the enemy. He was fired on and had a very narrow escape. Orders were immediately given for the troops which were at the new camp- under Colonel Glynn and Major Dartnell, to join up without delay. Similar orders were sent to Harness, who was still on the road.
4.05 pm. Colonel Glynn received the order at 4.05 p.m. andgot his men started off without delay. At 6.10 pm. He caught up with Lord Chelmsford about two and a half miles from Isandhlwana.
6.30 pan. The advance was resumed "The mounted men were sent in front; the rest of the face marched in the following order: Guns in the centre with 3 Coys. 2/24th on either flank; the native battalions were on the extreme right and left, respectively
7 p.m.When the sun set at 7 p.m. the force was 2 miles distant from the camp. At 7.45 p.m. it was almost dark and they were about half a mile from the camp. Parties of Zulus could be seen against the skyline to the north. The column halted and the. Guns opened up with shrapnel on that part of road which crosses the neck. As there was no reply an advance was made to within 300 yards of the neck and the guns again opened fire. Three Coys. 2/24th under Major Black were sent to seize the kopje south of-the Isandhlwana Hill.
8.30 p.m. This was done without opposition so the column again moved forward. The troops halted and bivouacked on the neck. Black's party remained on the kopje.
Rorkes Drift and Helpmekaar
22nd Jan. When the 3rd Column crossed into Zululand on 11th January, Major Spalding D.A.M.G., was left in charge of Rorkes Drift and Helpmekaar. There 1 C. 2/24 Regt. At Rorkesdrift and 2 Coys. 1/24th Regt atHelpmekaar. Orders bad been issued for one of the companies at Helpmekaar to reinforce the Rorkes drift garrison; the. move was to take place on 20th January. As this Coy. had not arrived by 2 p.m. on the 22nd January, Major. Spalding left Rorkes Drift and rode off to Helpmekaar. He arrived at the latter place at 3.l5 p.m. After receiving the situation at Helpmekaar, he decided to move both Coys. 1/24th and shortly afterwards - they left for Rorkes Drift under Major Upcher: Major. Spalding rode on ahead. By sunset Spalding was 3 miles from the drift when he met a number of Native fugitives.. and also found his way barred by bodies of the enemy.; From this point the Mission House was seen to be on fire and the fugitives assertion that Rorkes Drift bad been captured appeared to be true. Realising that Helpmekaar must be saved, he counter-marched the infantry and returned to Helpmekaar. The troops arrived at 9 p.m. and were set to work to strengthen the defences of that place.

Epilogue
And so the battle ended and the battlefield became a centre for the Church in Archdeacon. Johnson's early days under Bishop McKenzie. In 1883, the St. Vincent Memorial Church was built in memory of those who fell on the Battlefield of Isandhlwana on January 22, 1879. Four windows were placed in the Church—one to Lieut. Jameson, one to Colonel Durnford, one to "Those of The Native Contingent" and one to the Natal Mounted Police (Nonqayi).
Later the Church was enlarged. two wings being added and a mausoleum to provide a resting place for the bones gathered from the dongas at various times, heavy storms having washed away the shallow graves.
In 1950 an article was published in "The Zululand Times" concerning the short memories of people in regard to the heroes of January 22. This coincided with our being transferred to the Station to re-open the Catechists Training School. After years of absence of a European, the Station had got very much under the weather. It was a colossal task that we faced, but in the 12 months of continual labour the Catechists gave their spare time to the task.
We have renovated the Church and one wing, and the stained glass windows have been repaired and refitted. After the 72 years they had begun disintegrating.
With regard to relics from the battlefield, badges and assegais, a rifle and a carbine are safely housed, as well as the Memorial Plate of the Natal Mounted Police and one found in the void to a Lieut Pope of the 24th.
The mausoleum now has a tomb over which is the Free Stone Altar with its light at the head of the tomb (made out of a spent shell used as a lamp) - The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers of Isandhlwana. The epitaph reads: "Beneath this Altar lie the bones gathered from the Dongas and re-interred under this Chapel"

And so ends the "Forgotten" phase


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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:20 am

Thanks OldH

"Sgt. F.E. Little. Formerly of The Natal Police." What do we know about this chap.. ?
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:59 am

Chelmsfordthescapegoat wrote:
Ymob, in one of the post above John, asks why was the camp at Isandlwana attacked. What do you think! Bearing in mind, there was no intention on the Zulu part to attack that day. So why did they?

Chelmsfordthescapegoat,
The answer is in your question. Wink
I am not a fan of the thesis of the FMFH.
But Durnford was right to scout the area...it was a necessary precaution despite the attack.
Cheers.
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