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 Durnford was he capable.6

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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:39 am

The letter was probably written before the return of Shepstone (the 21 january)
DURNFORD wrote in the letter to his mother that he had sent Shepstone to Chelmsford to get fresh insruction.
It seems to me that the letter is in "A soldier's life and work in south africa" by E. DURNFORD.
Cheers.
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6    Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:52 pm

Hi Frederic
I think there is no doubt the letter is written before the 22nd Jan , I have that book and I've read it , will check it out tomorrow as I'm not home . I'm positive the letter is in the book , do you have the book Steve ? You need to study mo
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:39 pm

Hi Gary

No, I don't have that one so over to you!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:36 pm

90th wrote:
Hi Frederic
I think there is no doubt the letter is written before the 22nd Jan ,90th

Bonjour Gary
I am agree.
But certainly before the return of Shepstone (meeting with Chelmsford): an important point for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:51 pm

rusteze wrote:
We should be very careful about attributing someones actions to the possibility that they were suffering from depression.

First, you cannot possibly reach that diagnosis from an out of context line in a letter.

Second, even if it was a significant medical condition (and that's nowhere near proven), there is no reason at all to make assumptions about his ability to act rationally. You only have to look at Winston Churchill if you need an example of that!

PS Do we have a transcript of the full letter to his mother?

Steve

Steve There is a letter on here somewhere, where someone who served under Durnford, in a letter to his father said that Durnford was like a madman, didn't seemed to know what he was doing, and that he wished he had never served under him.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:31 pm

You've got to admit that's a bit vague John. "Somewhere on here there's a letter in which someone said"?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:14 am

I think John refers to the letter written by Lt Henderson to his father, 28th January 1879
"If I had known what sort of man Durnford was (when he got into action) I don't think I would have gone with him. He was close to me during most of the fight and he lost his head altogether, in fact he did not know what to do."
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6    Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:40 am

Frederick / Steve / Frank
The date of the letter from Anthony Durnford to his mother was 21st Jan , according to Edward , it's the last note he wrote to her . His comment about being down is actually the ' PS ' at the end of the letter , I quote .. '' I am down , because I'm left behind , but we shall see '' . No doubt he was excited early the next morning when he received his orders to proceed to Isandlwana .
90th You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:18 am

90th wrote:
Frederick / Steve / Frank
The date of the letter from Anthony Durnford to his mother was 21st Jan , according to Edward , it's the last note he wrote to her . His comment about being down is actually the  ' PS ' at the end of the letter , I quote .. '' I am down , because I'm left behind , but we shall see '' .  No doubt he was excited early the next morning when he received his orders to proceed to Isandlwana .
90th You need to study mo

You need to insure your copy of Edward ' s book, rare as hens teeth, $2000 best price I can find, and when he wrote those words had he just not finished describing in fuĺl detail, in a rather light hearted fashion, how he was Dressed? I think he painted a rather good word picture of his attire.
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6    Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:24 am

Hi Krish
Yes , he described his dress etc etc , and he is saying he's feeling well , and this life suits him . It's basically a throw away line his ''I'm down '' comment , certainly , absolutely , NOTHING to do with being depressed or depression as some are hinting !
90th You need to study mo

ps I've a reprint copy which set me back only 30 GBP's a couple of years ago .
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:46 am

Hi Gary

What's the title of your reprint of A Soldier's Life and Work in South Africa? There seem to be a number of alternative Colenso/Durnford reprints around.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:48 am

It seems to me that I read somewhere that the first edition ("A soldier's life and work in S.A") is the most detailed edition (Mr Julian Whybra?), unless i confused with "the history of the Zulu war" from the same author (I.E: you can find this book on the web "archive.org").

Gary, can you post the letter from A. DURNFORD to his mother (21 january), please (i have only extracts of this letter)?.
Thank you very much.
Cheers.
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6   Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:24 pm

Hi Steve
It's titled ' A Soldiers Life And Work In South Africa ' . I got mine from DP&G Publications , they have many reprints , I have posted their link on here several times in the past .
Hi Frederic
Bit late here , I'll post the letter tomorrow . Interesting letter as he says he's to go against Matyanyana ! .
90th Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:39 pm

90th wrote:
Hi Steve
It's titled  ' A Soldiers Life And Work In South Africa ' . I got mine from DP&G Publications , they have many reprints , I have posted their link on here several times in the past .
Hi Frederic
Bit late here , I'll post the letter tomorrow . Interesting letter as he says he's to go against Matyanyana ! .
90th Shocked

Gary,
Thank you very much. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:12 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
I think John refers to the letter written by Lt Henderson to his father, 28th January 1879
"If I had known what sort of man Durnford was (when he got into action) I don't think I would have gone with him. He was close to me during most of the fight and he lost his head altogether, in fact he did not know what to do."

Thanks Frank.
agree
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:02 am

John I'm still waiting to see your source evidence of Smith - Dorrien , changing his name to Smith - Dorrient as you said he did . Looking forward to seeing it Shocked .
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6    Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:38 am

Frederic / Steve .
Here is the letter from Durnford to his mother dated late on the 21st Jan 79 .
'' Camp , Rorke's Drift , Zululand ''.
'' We arrived here and camped on zulu shores last night about dusk .The Mission Station is in sight on the Natal side , where also is a company of the 24th Regt , and the Hospital , with , I'm happy to say , but few patients in it . I have sent for instructions from the General , who is about 10 miles off , forming a camp at or near the Isandlwana Mountain ( see my map of zululand ) . My movements are to operate against the two Matshanas , and , if they wont submit , make them . I have as guide a man who , having lived nine years in this part of the country , ought to know it . This wet weather we have is most depressing in every way , but to-day has been very hot , quite a pleasant change for me , and , indeed , for all of us , black and white . The General has gone on with the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 24th etc , and we follow on . I have no news , am stupid , and dull , and ' down ' , so adieu for the day .
'' P.S. - I am ' down,' because I'm left behind , but we shall see.''
cheers 90th You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:45 am

Thanks Gary.

That throws a whole different light on things doesn't it, and just goes to show that quoting words out of context can be very misleading.

It is obvious that when he says "but we shall see" refers to his having asked Chelmsford for instructions. It clarifies why he says "I have no news and I am stupid, dull and down' - because of the weather and the fact that he is still awaiting orders to move up. And he is quite clear about his earlier orders to operate against the Matshanas.

The idea that he is clinically depressed and "mad" is bunkum.

Steve
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6    Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:03 am

Hi Steve
Quoting out of context certainly happens as we've seen , as for your last remark / sentence , I'm sure there are several on here , ..... who'll think otherwise ! No No aren't there ? .
Cheers 90th
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:53 am

90th wrote:
John I'm still waiting to see your source evidence of Smith - Dorrien , changing his name to Smith - Dorrient as you said he did . Looking forward to seeing it Shocked .
90th
Read the book!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:55 am

90th wrote:
Frederic / Steve .
Here is the letter from Durnford to his mother dated late on the 21st Jan 79 .
'' Camp , Rorke's Drift , Zululand ''.
'' We arrived here and camped on zulu shores last night about dusk .The Mission Station is in sight on the Natal side , where also is a company of the 24th Regt , and the Hospital , with , I'm happy to say , but few patients in it . I have sent for instructions from the General , who is about 10 miles off , forming a camp at or near the Isandlwana Mountain ( see my map of zululand ) . My movements are to operate against the two Matshanas , and , if they wont submit , make them . I have as guide a man who , having lived nine years in this part of the country , ought to know it . This wet weather we have is most depressing in every way , but to-day has been very hot , quite a pleasant change for me , and , indeed , for all of us , black and white . The General has gone on with the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 24th etc , and we follow on . I have no news , am stupid , and dull , and ' down ' , so adieu for the day .
'' P.S. - I am ' down,' because I'm left behind , but we shall see.''
cheers 90th You need to study mo

Well he got that right!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:08 pm

There is also another important point to remedy at the lack of precision of the maps used by the British troops (I.E: Durnford's map / Steve-Rusteze previous post):Durnford mentions a guide, "a man who, having lived nine years in this part of the country".
Cheers
frédéric

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:14 pm

CTSG
Seeing as you've decided to chime in , why dont you post the evidence that says he changed his name ! Very Happy . I dont have the book as it's only a chapter or so on the zulu war , so by your comment , I assume you have it Question  , therefore , possibly , you are in a position to help someone for a change , in regards to primary source evidence , now .... that's what I call a turn up for the BOOKS !  Shocked Very Happy , only if you can be bothered , of course ! Very Happy . I'll wait patiently but wont be holding my breath agree
90th Salute


ps . It's only a couple of posts back I'm hoping you still realise what this reply is to ? .
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:27 pm

Bonjour Gary,
The chapters about the Zulu war by SMITH-DORRIEN are "free" somewhere on the web.
But i don't know the answer about a possible change of his name Salute
Cheers
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:31 pm

Gary,
Maybe with this link:http://www.richthofen.com/smith-dorrien/
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:06 pm

Whole book available here. Wordsearch does not find any reference to Dorrient, so we await further details.

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

Steve
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6    Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:50 pm

Dont hold your breath Steve , still waiting for John , and now CTSG , to '' Enlighten '' us with their intelligence gathering exploits ! Shocked
90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:35 pm

"On reaching Landsman's Drift over the Blood River, which was our destination, a somewhat serious but not unamusing breach of discipline occurred. When the force had halted at Landsman's Drift previous to its advance to Ulundi, a certain Battalion had looted a barrel of rum and buried it, intending to have a " jolly " on their return. They had made great friends with another Regiment and told them the secret of where this rum could be found. Consequently a night or two after our arrival several men of that other Regiment were absent at evening roll-call and the Orderly Corporal was sent to look for them. As he did not return, another dove in the shape of the Orderly Sergeant was sent out of the ark, and when he too failed to return, still another N.C.O. was sent. The latter came flying back to say that behind a kopje just outside the camp he had found an empty barrel of rum with the Orderly Sergeant lying alongside of it with his mouth under the bung-hole, surrounded by twenty-six others all dead to the world. Doctors were hurried out, and opinions expressed that some of these thirsty lads must die, but, by a free use of the stomach pump, luckily all lives were saved. Needless to say, a court-martial followed. On arriving at Madeira I heard the sad news that my father had just died abitter blow. He had been so interested in the war and I had been looking forward above everything else to telling him my adventures. It was at this time, I changed my name from Dorrien to Dorrient for no particular reason other than I preferred it that way. For the next two or three months I worked away passing down troops and stores from the front, and then in November got orders to return to England myself."
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:56 pm

Thank you !
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:12 pm

John wrote:
"On reaching Landsman's Drift over the Blood River, which was our destination, a somewhat serious but not unamusing breach of discipline occurred. When the force had halted at Landsman's Drift previous to its advance to Ulundi, a certain Battalion had looted a barrel of rum and buried it, intending to have a " jolly " on their return. They had made great friends with another Regiment and told them the secret of where this rum could be found. Consequently a night or two after our arrival several men of that other Regiment were absent at evening roll-call and the Orderly Corporal was sent to look for them. As he did not return, another dove in the shape of the Orderly Sergeant was sent out of the ark, and when he too failed to return, still another N.C.O. was sent. The latter came flying back to say that behind a kopje just outside the camp he had found an empty barrel of rum with the Orderly Sergeant lying alongside of it with his mouth under the bung-hole, surrounded by twenty-six others all dead to the world. Doctors were hurried out, and opinions expressed that some of these thirsty lads must die, but, by a free use of the stomach pump, luckily all lives were saved. Needless to say, a court-martial followed. On arriving at Madeira I heard the sad news that my father had just died abitter blow. He had been so interested in the war and I had been looking forward above everything else to telling him my adventures. It was at this time, I changed my name from Dorrien to Dorrient for no particular reason other than I preferred it that way. For the next two or three months I worked away passing down troops and stores from the front, and then in November got orders to return to England myself."

John what a load of rubbish, you wrote that bit about him changing his name. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:18 pm

I'll have to get the book ! , to see if our John is telling the truth , or speaking with a badly forked , yes forked ..tongue ! .
John , how about you post the page number from which you come by your intelligence , not that I think you would attempt any underhanded tactics , to back up , a still little hard to believe story ! Very Happy Shocked You need to study mo
90th Salute
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:30 pm

John , John , John , it's a sad old day when one has to falsify one's own inadequacies and or mistakes Suspect Suspect . You poor thing . You need to study mo . I think more reading may be required for YOU . LOL times MANY .
90th Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:52 pm

90th We call it... Pulling one's leg! Very Happy Can't believe you fell for it...
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable    Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:07 am

Littlehand
Me either to be honest , I didnt think John had it in him , I suppose pulling a leg is much better that doing it with something else , as it seems our John was doing ! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy . Seems CTSG was helping him out after his post '' READ THE BOOK '' ! Shocked Shocked .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:39 pm

ymob wrote:
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?
Cheers
Frédéric

Bonsoir,
On the way, HB was to skirmish through the many dongas and ravinbes on the plain "in case zulus were hanging about near the camp" (Crealock's statement to the COI).

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri May 15, 2015 10:40 pm

"Writing to Frances on 30 August l886, then on her final visit to Britain, Luard wrote:

"The further prosecution of this business about Colonel Durnford is not, I think, to be undertaken.  Anything in the shape of a public exposure I should myself be extremely opposed to, as the profession to which I belong would, I fear, suffer thereby  One can prove nothing against anyone, except perhaps, against Offy, though the practical difficulties in the way of doing even that much are enormous. You can publish nothing that will not be libellous to be effective and the case is not sufficiently conclusive, or of sufficient public importance to be taken up by a member of parliament whose influence would have sufficient weight to move the mass of government, or the masses of the people. ‘ ...I have done my best and failed.  I have been told to swallow a dose - a very bitter one, and I have obeyed orders. I have seen Sir Andrew Clarke and have asked him to do nothing further in the matter’. As regards Colonel Luard, "circumstances alter cases".  You must look at his home circumstances.  His wife has probably denounced his intimacy with you and demanded that it should cease.  This is, of course, only my idea of the situation."


Edward then expressed a confidence in her continued handling of the case that was in reality no more than a slender hope.  He was sure she would carefully think out her ideas for future action, not only of the course to be followed, but also the probable results.  Then came his judgement on their efforts so far:  You see, we have come to this terrible deadlock really through impulsive action without reckoning the cost.

And that of course is exactly what she would have done.  They offered her a respectful "out".

By now Col Luard had arrived in England, and he refused to see Frances, their friendship ended when he was faced with having to write a public apology to Shepstone.

In January 1887 Edward told her he and his family would object to the publication of anything relating to he case, as he had never accused Chelmsford of anything other than false accusations against his brother.  He also suggested she was being far too "romantic" with the claims she was making against Shepstone and Chelmsford.

By now she has angry by being submitted to tyrannous threats from the military authorities and despite looking at a short time to live, she did everything in her power to prove her case. She tried to convince an MP Mr Howard, but his opinion was that nobody was interested in Shepstone."

Source: edurnford.blogspot.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Sat May 16, 2015 7:40 pm


Impi there's nothing there i don't already know.
But we do know, that eventually those siding with Colenso saw her for what she really was. E Durnford as you can see, showed concern regarding Luchard's  wife, and what she was thinking of Colenso. Col A Durnford was a married man but that didn't stop Colenso going after him. 
She was corrupt from head to toe, and had the ability to suck people in to her way of thinking. Funny how Edward failed to continue with a follow up book. 
Anyway it was along time a go, and as we know truth always prevails. 

PS thanks for posting anyway! 
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon May 18, 2015 10:17 am

In a nut shell, both Dunford and LC had responsibilities to action on the 22nd Jan 1879. If has many think, Durnford actions related to him falling back on the letter LC sent him the rebuke letter, where LC clearly suggests that he would expect a commander to disobey his order ect. Then surly it's plain to see Durnford military skills must come into question.

CTSG. In hindsight, if Colenso hadn't met Durnford, and Histories events still continued with Durnford being lost at Isandlwana. I guess the scapegoat issue woundn't exist either.
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable.5 Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:30 pm    Thu May 28, 2015 11:30 pm

Rusteze wrote:(durnford was he capable 5?)

Good morning Frederic

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

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

Bonsoir,

"In a recently discovered memorendum dated 20 February 1879, there was even an attempt by Chelsmford to assign much of the blame for the disaster to his n°3 column commander Colonel Glyn.
He wrote:
I have no desire whatever to shift any of the responsability which belongs to me on to the shoulders of the officers commanding n°3 columns. At  the same time i am anxious to make it clear that by accompanying n°3 column  I did not accept the responsability  for the numerous detais which necessarily have to be considered by  an officer commanding a column in the field. On arriving at the camp of n°3 column i myself emphasied personnally to colonel Glyn thaht i did not wish to interfere in anyway with the commander of the column but that of course i should be only to glad to talk over with him all matters connected with it, and to give him the benefit of my opinion whenever he requiered it - i believe that i also said the same of Major Clery my senior staff officer".

Source: YORKE E. p.199: "Zulu!" p. Wilson Black papers

Before Isandhlwana, who could have said that Lord CHELMSFORD, a perfect Gentleman (see for example the comment on his character by HB or Clery), would have this attitude towards a brother Officer?

This is the same reasonning with Durnford: each person has his own demons...and limitations.
So the sentence "it was not in Durnford character..." is not a decisive argument.

Just a though.
Cheers

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri May 29, 2015 10:39 am

Good post Ymob agree
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri May 29, 2015 11:16 am

Bonjour Frederic

No, of course it is not a decisive argument it is just an opinion. The same is true of those who say they think Chelmsford was a gentleman, just an opinion. We do not have enough evidence about why Hamer was sent and certainly cannot reasonably reach the conclusion that it was a ruse on Durnford's part. Chelmsford, on the other hand, was clearly willing to go along with laying blame on the dead - not the act of a perfect gentleman in my book. However, it does not mean that Durnford was a saint or that Chelmsford was the the devil incarnate.

Hope you are well.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri May 29, 2015 12:07 pm

rusteze wrote:
Bonjour Frederic

No, of course it is not a decisive argument it is just an opinion. The same is true of those who say they think Chelmsford was a gentleman, just an opinion. We do not have enough evidence about why Hamer was sent and certainly cannot reasonably reach the conclusion that it was a ruse on Durnford's part.  Chelmsford, on the other hand, was clearly willing to go along with laying blame on the dead - not the act of a perfect gentleman in my book. However, it does not mean that Durnford was a saint or that Chelmsford was the the devil incarnate.

Hope you are well.

Steve

Bonjour Steve,
Totally agree with you.
Actually my post is not about my hypothesis about Hammer. It's just a pretext. My hypothesis about Hammer is delisonial... but could generate useful answers by others members to explain some controversial decisions (for me) taken by Durnford this day...
By studying others messages on the forum, i read sometimes the same argument by eminent members of this forum : "its not possible because it's not in his character".
And the debate stop, for not a "decisive argument" which i regret...
Isandlwana was an exceptional event for all the participant, for the British army, for the world.
And the character of the men is not white ou black, usually gray.
Yesterday, i learnt that the president of my association had stolen 60.000€. Hovewer it was not in his personality...
I.E: I read with great interest your visits to archives:Salute:
I thank you for the courtesy of your answer.
Amitiés.
Frédéric






just a pretext.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri May 29, 2015 5:09 pm

Frédéric,

Place no store in anything attributed to Wilsone Black Papers, to my knowledge it is a piece of chicanery which duped a number of us.

The documents are - I believe - 20th century fakes on 19th century paper.

Sorry if that disappoints anyone.

John Y.

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri May 29, 2015 10:13 pm

"Queen Victorias Journal .

Journal Entry : Sunday 12th October 1879

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

What was going on that was so horrific when Chard arrived at Isandlwana. Question
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri May 29, 2015 11:01 pm

Do you think it might have been the Zulus heading round the back of Isandhlwana towards Rorkes Drift?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Fri May 29, 2015 11:05 pm

Possibly, but he didn't come across as being overly concerned in his report.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:24 am

John Young wrote:
Frédéric,

Place no store in anything attributed to Wilsone Black Papers, to my knowledge it is a piece of chicanery which duped a number of us.

The documents are - I believe - 20th century fakes on 19th century paper.

Sorry if that disappoints anyone.

John Y.


Bonsoir Mr Young,
Bad day for me , a "fake " and a a clumsy comment to Steve about the "not decisive argument" (sorry Steve, indeed!)!
Incidentally, there is another "fake" in Zulu! in the same page (p.200) about the alleged "Pulleine-Cavaye order.
See on the subject he excellent essay "Reading between the lines: an analysis of the alleged Pulleine-Cavaye order of 22.1.1879 by Mr Julian Whybra. Source: "Studies in the Zulu war 1878:II"
Cheers
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:09 pm

Bonjour,
About the decision taken by Durnford the 22 January after his arrival  at Isandhlwana to keep with him and his cavalry the rocket battery and infantry to chase a group of Zulus.
For a long time i didn't understand this decision that slowed a mobile column of "troopers".

We know that Durnford sent out two troops of Zikhali's horse under Captain BARTON to reconnoitre the Nqutu plateau and clear away the band of zulus who were wandering about.

RAW says that ROBERTS was to pick up Captain BARRY NNC picquet company from the top of the spur and take them  with him as support*.
*Source TNA (PRO) WO 33/34 Inclosure 1 in n°91 account of Lt RAW ("Isandlwana: a time line" by Keith I. SMITH)

Ultimately, the decision taken by DURNFORD seems no so strange in the context of the Victorian's warfare.
Just a thought.

Cheers

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 6   Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:24 pm

Bonsoir Frederic
How are you mon ami ? , my thoughts with Durnford and the Rocket Battery , is like all the thinking of the higher echelon of officers of the day , in , and around the camp , quite simply , not for one instant did they believe the camp would be vulnerable to attack , and Durnford , along with the rest thinking the zulu's would be terrified of his native horse , he didnt perceive any problem to the Rocket Battery , Durnford believing the Zulu's had others ( LC ) in their sights ! , my humble thoughts .
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.6   Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:10 pm

Frederic

I think you are right that taking the Rocket Battery was not that strange. The RB's escort had always been two companies of NNC. When following on the mounted men from Rorke's Drift to Isandhlwana Durnford ordered one company back to protect the wagons (later he ordered them forward again). When Durnford left the camp he only had 1 company of NNC with the RB and so picking up the NNC picquet would indeed bring the support available up to normal.

I also don't find it particularly surprising that the RB decided to mount the ridge via the Notch to engage the Zulus. Durnford had two troops on the ridge and two troops with him on the plain. The RB's role was to provide long range artillery support to engage enemy concentrations when found - and that happened first on the ridge after Raw found them (but advancing rather than retreating). So of course Russell wanted to get them into position as quickly as he could and when Carbineers Barker and Hawkins advised him where the enemy was he made for the high ground to throw some rockets at them. We know he didn't get there. As Gary says, nobody thought the camp was the target - how wrong they all were.

Steve
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