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 Chards statement put into context

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Chards statement put into context   Fri May 15, 2015 9:33 am

In Chards statement he mentions the following:

'An NCO of the 24th Regiment lent me a field glass, which was a very good one, and I also looked with my own, 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 iSandlwana, on my left as I looked at them, hid them from my view.'

Standing in the camp area, 1/24th, saddle, 2/24th, doesn't make much difference, but as Chard had gone to iSandlwana for orders one would assume that he was close to the Column commanders HQ.
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This is a view from the top of the koppie, much more elevated than Chard would have been, of the area of the 'Distant Hills'.
The hills are really the high points of the ridge with the plateau behind. The high point to the left is the knoll on which the NNC piquet was stationed, on the opposite face looking out across the plateau, so not facing the camp. The plateau is not visible from the camp area, in fact not visible from the top of the mountain either. Therefore any sighting made by Chard, and there is no reason to doubt the veracity of his statement at all, would have HAD to have been of the Zulu on the face or top of the ridge, or on the flat below the ridge.
Given that fact the impi would have separated the NNC piquet from the camp area, but there is no mention of that fact. If that was indeed the case one would imagine a certain amount of panic setting in that the outer defence line had been penetrated, no mention of that either. So where was that line mass of Zulu, they were around, Pope, Brickhill et al comment on it.

This was a question I asked pete and ron. They quite rightly called it a conundrum and suggested the impi turned North to go around the Knoll. This doesn't work for me as if they had done that then Chard would not have seen them disappearing around the Lion hill
Just a thought for discussion.

regards
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Fri May 15, 2015 11:03 am

Hi Frank

I hesitate to respond because I have not been there. But heigh ho, it seems to me there are two possibilities.

1. Anything visible between the picquet on the knoll and Chards viewpoint, for the reasons you give, must have been friendly forces?

2. Or, there is a small portion of the line of hills (up close to were the edge of Isandlwana intrudes in your shot) where you can see a little further back. This appears as though it may be so in the photo but, as I say, I have not seen the live view.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Fri May 15, 2015 11:18 am

Hi Steve
1) Reading Chard Brickhill etc not really a possibility.
2) Ive looked at various points of view. L and Q thought they could have travelled along the ridge until before the knoll and then turned North to go around the Knoll. Always possible, but Chard wouldn't have seen them heading towards the mountain in that case.
Nope its a bitch of a problem, like doing rubbics cube blindfolded.....with welders gloves.......and super glue on your fingers.
Just cant figure it.

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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Fri May 15, 2015 8:52 pm

Frank wrote:
'An NCO of the 24th Regiment lent me a field glass, which was a very good one, and I also looked with my own, and could see the enemy moving on the distant hills, and apparently in great force.

"Lend me his field glass" (When they met up)

"I also looked with my own" ( Possibly after he departed from the NCO in another location) ?
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Fri May 15, 2015 9:03 pm

Frank, I'm probably way off, but in for a penny. Are you talking about the area where I have entered a red line?

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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Sat May 16, 2015 11:26 am

Morning Impi
really the whole length of the ridge. The area you've pointed out, is the side of the knoll and is virtually invisible from the ground level. To be seen the impi would have to be traveling in front of that knoll and would then disappear behind the Tahelane spur ridge( left hand end of your line). To complicate the issue the NNC piquet was on the ridge and according to Mainwaring was on that small high point just to the right of the knoll. Ive been puzzling on this issue for years. Small point I know, but iSandlwana is all about those small points that don't make sense. I will try and mark up a photo.

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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Sat May 16, 2015 11:55 am

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A closer view of the ridge. Assuming the impi did travel along the plateau, this then is the only area they would have been visible from the camp. Chard would not have seen them disappear behind the mountain. In taking this path the impi would have travelled between the two piquets on the ridge. That's never been mentioned in any statement.
Cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: Chards statement put into context    Sat May 16, 2015 1:23 pm

Hi Frank
It's difficult to work out all the bits and pieces about Isandlwana , the fact is clear that Chard saw many Zulus off in the distance , we may never know from where he observed them , all we know is he saw them which is fact . He says that he see's them go behind or out of sight behind the Lion hill , he may have said that flippantly , he saw them moving in that direction and has rightly assumed that's where they went , without actually seeing them go there ? . Hope this makes sense what I'm trying to say ! .
90th scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Sat May 16, 2015 3:23 pm

Greetings Gary
Fully agree with everything you say. I don't disbelieve Chard merely trying to isolate where he could have seen them on the ridge. As you know the movements on the ridge have been my passion years, this exerise is merely part of that in trying to identify where that impi came from. Tied to that is the fact that on Nyoni hill were the NNC, notoriously skittish.But no reports of them attempting to retire, so logic says they didn't see the impi. That's just one of the points, there are a lot of them hence my continued interest.
Do the exercise youself stand at any point on the battlefield and see for yourself where you feel that impi advanced from ( the to isn't important to me).

Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Sat May 16, 2015 8:48 pm

This is a rough sketch of the contour  and spot heights around Isandlwana in metres above sea level. It is traced from the modern map. If Chard was just to the front of the Saddle when he saw the impi he would have been at 1220m, had he gone to the top of the adjacent Kopie he would have been at 1249m. The top of Isandlwana (he wouldn't have got there) is at 1332m.

The ridge to the north and running east/west is clear. As it starts to rise it is at the same level as the Saddle and continues upwards to 1260m. at the level of St Vincent's. Then to 1365m at the top of the Knoll. Behind the Knoll the heights reduce to 1320 and then 1300,  so that ground is not visible to Chard even from the Kopie.

The sketch obviously has its limitations, but it might just demonstrate that a small portion of the ground beyond the highest point of the ridge is visible to Chard, with a good glass, from just east of the Knoll and just before Isandlwana gets in the way. Not conclusive by any means, but possible.
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PostSubject: chards statement put into context    Sun May 17, 2015 5:38 am

Hi Frank / Steve
Interesting points no doubt . I'm off to Sihayo's Kraal today , being taken by Dalton , who is the great grandson of Sihayo himself .
After yesterdays two hours pottering around the firing line , and G Co's position extreme right of the firing line , who , when you stand there may have seen Wardell's men on their left ? , but wouldn't have seen any others , except for Durnford in the Donga .
Not sure I mentioned it but at one of Anstey's Cairns . Dalton found 3 pcs of small weathered bone at the bottom of the cairn , I photographed them . and placed them back in their cairn .
90th

just getting organized to watch another magnificent sunrise although it seems a little cloudy at the minute Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Sun May 17, 2015 5:58 am

Couldn't get a better guide than Dalton Gary. You certainly seem to be getting true value from this trip mate.
Enjoy and don't drink to many Castle they will rot your liver.
Try the 'Spook and Diesel ' instead.

Cheers mate
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Sun May 17, 2015 6:21 am

Morning Steve.
The photo I posted from the 1/24th camp area shows the only visible portion.
If you consider the times of Chards sightings and tie back to the number of videts and piquets and there 'known' positions and look at the various statements the mystery deepens. As does every thing at iSandlwana.
Basically there are three ways of the impi getting to a point where they were visible. Coming of the Quabe valley and across the plain under the lea of the ridge. Descending the 'notch area' and doing the same or finally coming from the North and tracking between Magaga Knoll and Nyoni hill. Virtually directly above where Gary is sitting with his morning coffee right now and then following the yellow line down onto the Tahelane spur, And finally approaching from the North West along the Western side of Magaga and down towards the camp then turning right across the Tahelane spur, and that makes no sense at all.
If either of the first two explanations fit then it could very very well argued that the impi was coming from the direction of Mangeni and was the force that bogged Dartnell down.
If it came of the plateau then again it could be argued that it was from the main impi and would fit very well into Snooks scenario.
Scott was on station at that time on the conical kopie, Amatutshane, and doesn't mention seeing a large force streaming passed his position, neither do the vedets on iThusi. Barker throughs no light on it either so we could possibly assume the approach wasn't from Quabe or the notch. That only leaves from the plateau, splitting the NNC piquet on Nyoni from the vidette on Magaga Knoll or from the plateau spilling over East of the Nyoni Hill and down onto the plain then across toward the spur, still on the plain. And sure as hell that should have raised more than a few eye brows.
Giving the propensity of the NNC to avoid facing down the Zulu, especially when greatly out numbered, could you imagine them sitting by and watching a great number streaming by a matter of a few metres away, when there was an escape route down to the camp just behind them? To me that doesn't ring true at all.
For me then that leaves only a single possible path, from the plateau over the ridge East of Nyoni Hill ( that's in the centre of the photo by the way) and then either along the side of the ridge or along the plain and then under the present iSandlawana lodge and over the Tahelane spur.
Does that make sense?

Cheers
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90th

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PostSubject: Chard's statements put into context    Sun May 17, 2015 6:22 am

Hi Frank
Windhoek's quarterly statement will be good for them !!!!! Salute Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
90th Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Sun May 17, 2015 9:10 am

90th,

Keep drinking it Namibia's GDP is increasing because of it! Joker

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Sun May 17, 2015 12:36 pm

Hi Frank

The first thing to say is that I think we agree there is a small window, just before Isandlwana interrupts the view, where Chard could have seen an impi beyond the ridge. I agree that your first two scenarios about where it came from (involving coming out of the Quabe or down the Notch and then returning North before going West), are unlikely. The most likely path seems  to be your third scenario where there is a path to the small uninterrupted portion of the horizon, where you can see over the spur and on up to the 1300m contour and the 1421 spot height beyond it (which hill is that?). That path coming from behind Magaga, where the elevation looks to be gently decending all the way until well West of Isandlwana.

As you say, it still leaves the conundrum of the NNC who are likely to have been quite close and yet did not react.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Sun May 17, 2015 12:57 pm

Strange to think that the 'window' we are talking about is the place Gary is busy drinking his coffee and beer. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Chards statement put into context    Sun May 17, 2015 4:22 pm

Hi Frank
It is eye opening what cant be seen from certain places on the battlefield , I've just come back from 3 hrs wandering around down there by myself , with the exception of the SPIRITS ! , I did find myself talking to them several times , thank God no-one else was on the Battlefield , just ME & THEM ! Shocked Shocked . Bloody windy , strong Northerly , I put a halt to my climbing Blacks Kopie , was difficult going up , would be easy to lose balance coming down , after Rob's mishap on Thursday I wasn't taking any chances . Time for a Windhoek or 6 ! Very Happy Very Happy .
90th Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Sun May 17, 2015 4:57 pm

90th
Walk over the saddle then down the trial for around 20 to 30 metres, the route up the koppie is a alot easier, the rocks are no where near as bad. Just watch for snakes on the rocks if its sunny.
Your second visit seems without a doubt more in depth, good on you mate.
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PostSubject: chards statement put into context    Sun May 17, 2015 7:33 pm

Hi Frank
Thanks mate for the tip , going to pick up Rob tomorrow from Ladysmith Hospital , will give me a chance to have a look through the museum there as well . I Certainly have had more time to do some other aspects of Isandlwana , which we didn't have time to do first time around . Also some of the things done last time , I haven't needed to do them again , for instance the cave , I did it last time , but was close enough today at Younghusbands without needing to go there again , haven't done Durnford's Donga this time , as there is no real need to do so this time , which gives me extra time on the slope etc
cheers Mate 90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Mon May 18, 2015 10:16 am

What happened to Rob 90th is he fine ?
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Mon May 18, 2015 1:37 pm

Triped over garies wallet Very Happy
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PostSubject: Chard's statement put into context    Mon May 18, 2015 4:56 pm

Hi Aussie
Last Thursday myself , Rob & Siyabonga walked the Tahelane Spur , cutting across the route taken by the right horn , we were coming down Nqutu Ridge when Rob went over and broke both bones in his right arm , elbow and wrist , this was 10.30 am , we went to Dundee ( 50 k ) , they sent us to Newcastle ( 80K's ) who in turn sent us to Ladysmith ( 100k's ) , got back to the Lodge at 7.15 pm , we went to Ladysmith today to pick him up , via the Talana Museum . He seems in as good as spirits as you could be , his ribs are also giving him grief at the moment as well . The poor bugger was to start annual leave Friday and head to Durban , he wont be going anywhere , except , back to Ladysmith Hosp for a check up in 2 weeks .
90th . Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Wed May 20, 2015 4:25 am

So sorry to hear that, can you please convey to him my best wishes { Anthony } he knows who i am
so you drove 230 k's for treatment not good at all i hope when he fell he did not land on one of those rocks they cover the place so when are you leaving the lodge mate ? we need to meet when you get back home mate
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PostSubject: Chard's statement put into context    Wed May 20, 2015 5:12 am

Hi Aussie
I'll pass on your best , he did indeed land on one of the those rocks , I felt for sure he'd smashed all his ribs on his right side ! , luckily I suppose , his arm had protected his ribs , I think his injuries would've been much worse ! .
Cheers mate
Gary
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Wed May 20, 2015 10:27 am

Hi 90th
Just spoke to my tour guide who took me around all the sites one of the best even by Robs admission
when he arrives 90th tell him to take you to the crossing point were the Zulus crossed the Buffalo river to get to Rorkes Drift Rob was with us when we went, he had a fall there to nothing serious thank GOD when Rob worked for fugitives drift lodge he was shown by David Rattray a different place further down he is good bielive me
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Thu May 21, 2015 10:24 am

Aussie Inkosi,

Is Paul meeting-up with 90th?

I've been in contact with him over the last couple of days and he hasn't mentioned anything.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Thu May 21, 2015 11:09 am

Im pretty sure 90ths on his way back already.
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Fri May 22, 2015 7:46 am

John Young wrote:
Aussie Inkosi,

Is Paul meeting-up with 90th?

I've been in contact with him over the last couple of days and he hasn't mentioned anything.

John Y.

Spoke to Paul on Skype he told me he is going to cover Rob for 2 weeks and Paul is leaving Friday mate
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PostSubject: Chard's Statement put into context    Fri May 22, 2015 10:24 am

Hi Frank
You are correct my friend walked in the front door at 8.30 am this morning ! , it's now 7.20 pm ! , which Paul do you mean Aussie ? . When I left , Dalton was taking over the reigns from Rob , if his timetable allowed ? . 38 hrs on the go by the time I got back here , the first 4 hrs of that was leaving Isandlwana Lodge heading to Durban for the flight back . Frank I went to the RD Hotel one day last week , with Shane the manager of Isand Lodge to see Charles , unfortunately Charles is / was in the UK for 3 weeks , we still had a couple of Beers there before we left , I dont think anyone was staying there on the day ? .
90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Chards statement put into context   Fri May 22, 2015 10:47 am

90th,

Aussie is talking about Paul Naish, who I tried to put you in touch with last time.

Paul normally covers for Rob if he's away for any amount of time.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Chards statement put into context    Fri May 22, 2015 10:56 am

Hi JY
Actually Rob was talking to him before I left on Wed morning . Salute Salute .
90th
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