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 The 1/ 24th in the Second Invasion

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PostSubject: The 1/ 24th in the Second Invasion    Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:31 am

This I think is worth sharing as I'm sure many would like a reason as to why the 1 / 24th were not involved in any later fighting after 23rd Jan . The following again from Lock & Quantrills ' Zulu Vanquished ' . Page 234 & 235 ; The Litany of false alarms and accidental discharge of firearms was to continue .Tension among the young soldiers aware that a battle was impending , made the night picquets nervous and jumpy . The remaining 5 companies of the 1 / 24th were on duty that night at Fort Nolela . The NNC provided the advanced picquets , with the companies of the 1 / 24th on duty in front of the shelter trenches . At midnight an officer of the NNC moved out to inspect his picquets .One of the NNC men , seeing a shadow approaching , promptly fired a shot . Immediately the entire NNC picquet bolted back toward the Laager . In doing so , they penetrated the inner line of the 1 / 24th who assumed that a zulu attack was under way . They , in turn , after firing at the NNC , retired smartly back inside the Laager causing great panic .Drury -Lowe was amongst those injured in the confusion as was Newdigate himself . Viscount St Vincent attached to the 17th Lcrs recorded the scene '' The natives jumping over the shelter trench among our men ( 24th Regt ) are taken for zulus .A most discreditable scare is the result . Our men leave their arms in the trenches and bolt .....not a man is left to defend the laager .....in the scramble to get into the Laager our Colonel ( Drury - Lowe ) has his head cut open , and everyone is more or less knocked about . However the men come to their senses and are much ashamed of themselves ''.
Drury - Lowe was not the only sufferer , as Lt Main noted ; '' The panic mongers however did not get off altogether , as in their hasty retreat they knocked over Evelyn Wood's tent and he was furious . He managed to catch 9 or 10 of them and at daybreak held a court - martial & inflicted a summary punishment of fifteen lashes on each offender '' . ( Main ' Recollections ' ) .
Clery felt that , as a result of their actions , the entire regiment was further disciplined ; ' In punishment the battalion was left behind to garrison the laager when the force marched out for the action at Ulundi '' .
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