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 iSandlwana a forum timeline times

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:02 pm

As a preamble to producing any attempt at a time line the basics of the zulu attack would first need to be explored.
I hold the opinion that present day re construction doesn’t take into account all the available original testimony. As an example of that, why is Staffords statement that he saw the zulu chest/right horn sitting down so glossed over. Why is the zulu left horn so small in numbers?
For this purpose however Im more concerned with why a large slice of the zulu army that is supposedly charging forward without control suddenly sits down.
Why?
If the zulu army ‘rose as one’ and charged forward why was the left horn well behind the chest in advancing.
The rocket battery was attacked in the notch very close to the line Durnfords retreat. That attack could not have lasted very long and yet Durnfords men had to travel the length of the Quabe valley stopping and firing in company order all the way back and still managed to arrive at the scene towards the end of that attack.
The only conclusion that can be reached is the chest was significantly ahead of the left horn. Is it not possible therefore that the left chest, after brushing aside the Rocket battery sat down and waited for the left horn to appear out of the Quabe valley?
Working on that thought process I would suggest the following sequence of events.
Chelmsford receives an appeal from Dartnell and issues orders for the 2/24th to make ready to advance.
Smith Dorrien is sent to RD with an order for Col Durnfords force
Chelmsford leaves camp
Durnford  leaves RD to travel the Biggarsberg
Smith Dorrien arrives at RD
Durnford is recalled to RD
10.30Durnford arrives at iSandlwana
Raw and Roberts are sent onto the plateau
The first company is sent to the plateau.
Durnford rides out
The impi is discovered
Gardner and Smith arrive in camp
The second company is sent to the spur
Durnford reaches the top of the Quabe valley
The left horn attacks
Durnford retreats down the valley
The rocket battery is destroyed
The chest sits down to wait for the left horn
Durnford meets up with the remnants of the rocket battery
The chest  and right horn move to attack.
Cavaye and Mostyn retreat down the spur
Durnford reaches the donga
The reserve moves in behind the left horn and waits on the plain
The left horn, right horn and chest is pinned down
The withdrawl  from the donga occurs
Durnford rides across to speak to Pulleine
The NNC gives way
The recall is sounded


Last edited by Frank Allewell on Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:22 pm

I would suggest that as a cooperative effort forum members are invited to produce any substantiated items that could be incorporated onto the schedule above and I will modify/add to the list as we go.

As a start up:
I have traced 15 separate times quoted for Durnfords arrival at iSandlwana. Most authors/historians have generally opted for a time of 10.30. Some of the times can be immediately discounted, Johnson was with the rocket battery, far behind and had no idea what time Durnford reached the camp. Stafford to was behind the main arrival.
Curling was on stand by with his guns to the north of the ground and could have easily missed the arrival over the neck to the south.
Most of the other comentators were either on parade or on standby, to the North of the camp.
Then the question could also be asked, who amongst the 'time keepers' actually had a watch?
I don't however believe that we can ignore Lt Wyatt Vause. In his unpublished private diary he specifies a time of 10.30., that's born out by the man closest to Durnford, Lt Cochran.
Im happy to reccomend a start time to the forum of 10.30 for our time line in the camp.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:16 pm

I have taken a first stab at incorporating the relevant parts of L&Qs timeline from Zulu Victory (in italics). At this stage I haven't added any times as I want to make sure we are all happy with the headings first. The sequence is going to be problematic in places but we can discuss. As well as suggesting times are there any other events we want to include in the first instance?


Chelmsford receives an appeal from Dartnell and issues orders for the 2/24th to make ready to advance.
Smith Dorrien is sent to RD with an order for Col Durnfords force
Chelmsford leaves camp
NC vedettes east of Conical Hill and 1 mile north of Qwabe report thousand of Zulus deploying from Ngwebeni valley.
Lt Scott reports the Zulu advance to Pulleine.
Alarm sounded and infantry under arms drawn up in front of camp.
Pulleine despatches note to Glyn that Zulus are advancing left front.
Mounted vedettes engage advancing Zulus close to Conical Hill.
Lt Chard reports seeing large numbers of Zulus moving east to west over Nqutu Ridge.
Lt Pope reports 7,000 additional Zulu on Nqutu Ridge, over and above those originally sighted.

Durnford leaves RD to travel the Biggarsberg
Smith Dorrien arrives at RD
Durnford is recalled to RD
Durnford arrives at iSandlwana
Infantry stood down
Alarm again sounded and infantry fall in for second time

Raw and Roberts are sent onto the plateau
The first company is sent to the plateau.
Durnford rides out
The impi is discovered
Gardner and Smith arrive in camp
The second company is sent to the spur
Cavaye’s company on Tahelane Ridge open fire at 800 yards on Zulu right horn heading west.
Mostyn’s company ordered to reinforce Cavaye’s company
.
Durnford reaches the top of the Quabe valley
The left horn attacks
Durnford retreats down the valley
The rocket battery is destroyed
The chest sits down to wait for the left horn
Durnford meets up with the remnants of the rocket battery
The chest and right horn move to attack.
Artillery continues to fire at 3,400 yards on Zulu centre.
Pope’s company deployed on British right flank.

Cavaye and Mostyn retreat down the spur
Younghusband’s company advances to protect their left flank.
Ntshingwayo establishes command post on Nyoni Ridge

Durnford reaches the donga
The reserve moves in behind the left horn and waits on the plain
The left horn, right horn and chest is pinned down
The withdrawl from the donga occurs Durnford rides across to speak to Pulleine The NNC gives way
The recall is sounded
Zulu right horn enters camp.
Melville leaves camp with Colour.
Artillery attempts to leave camp.


Steve
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:28 pm

Frank

Do not want to steal your thunder. Happy for you to be the keeper of the master copy, if you are content, and convert the italic headings when/if people are happy. It will get confusing if we all try to do it.

Steve
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waterloo50

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:02 pm

Frank/Steve


Brilliant work on the timeline, can't wait to see a working version. The timeline will definitely be an invaluable asset. There have been a number of debates that I can think of where this would have been really useful.

Cheers

Waterloo
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:04 am

Bonjour,

Attemp to synthesize the essay: "Isandlwana : a time table" by Keith SMITH



10.30 Durnford arrives at iSandlwana
10,40? Briefing between DUNRFORD and PULLEINE
10.45 DURNFORD sent Lt Wyatt VAUSE with his n°3 Troop, Zikhali’s Horse, tu provide further support for the baggage train.
11;10? DURNFORD took a brief meal
11;10 CAVAYE is sent to the spur.
11;15 BARTON, SHEPSTONE, Raw and Roberts are sent onto the plateau
11:25? DURNfORd sent HIGGINSON on the plateau with order for SHESPSTONE
11;30 CAVAYE arrived at the spur
11;30 Major F.B. RUSSEL (R.A) and the rocket battery arrived at the camp, accompanied by Captain C. NOURSE with his NNC company (D)
11;30 Durnford rides out
11;45 The impi is discovered
11:50 SHESTPONE gave order to BARTON to engage the Zulus while HAMER and him raced back to the camp with the news
11:52?:Lt SCOTT (Natal Carbineers) on picket duty sent two messengers to the camp
12:00 Brief conversation between DURNFORD and the 2 Carbineers
12:05? Durnford retreats down the valley
12:08 Gardner and Smith arrive in camp
12:10 SHEPSTONE met PULLEINE and GARDNER
12;10? The Carbiners met RUSSEL and the rocket battery
12;15 The rocket battery is destroyed
12:15 Mostyn’s company ordered to reinforce Cavaye’s company
12;20 SHEPSTONE started with VAUSE and his men to the spur
12:25 ESSEX met MOSTYN
12:25: The Zulu chest is engaged by the British artillery
1230 Cavaye’s company on Tahelane Ridge open fire at 800 yards on Zulu right horn heading west.
12:30: the 2 guns opened fire
12;35 Mostyn joined Cavaye
12;35 Durnford meets up with the remnants of the rocket battery
12;40 Arrival of SHEPSTONE and VAUSE to the spur
12:45 SMITH took one gun away fort a short time to assist the right flank
12;50: SHEPSTONE, MOSTYN and CAVAYE retreat down the spur
01:00 The zulu advance on the whole front faltered under the withering fire from the defendeurs of the camp
01;00 Durnford reaches the donga
01;10? BRADSTREET and some mounted men joined him at the donga
01:15 SMITH returned to his initial position
01:15: ADENDORFF and VAINES left the camp
01:15: DRUMMOND heard the guns firing from the camp
01;20: the track to rorke’s drift was closed to any fugitives by the right horn
01:30; the Zulus began to enter the camp behind DUNRFORD’s withdrawal
01:30: the right horn came over the nek and entered from the rear
01:30 MELVILL left the camp
01:35?: the Union Jack in front of the General’s tent was pulled down and torn to pieces
01:40: the infantry  was ordered to retire and the guns stopped fire
01;45 A native who was with CHELMSFORD’s troops reported hearing the guns
02:00 End of the final stand by DURNFORD
02:20?-02:25?: ANSTEY: final stand
02:30 the battle was essentially over

The time line in this form is not readily usable.
Need to separate it into several sections.
It's just an opinion.
Cheers

Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:14 am

No guarantee of the result of this attempt ...
As you know, English language is not "my cup of tea". Wink


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Frédéric
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:24 am

Hi guys
Now you can start to see the issues that Julian raised, it becomes very complex with off shoots of actions, and no guarantee that you can actually attach a frame to an activity. Its because of that I decided to bring things down to the minimum to establish a time frame. Once that is in place sub menus can be attached to broaden the scope. I would still recommend that's the way to go, your going to get horribly bogged down other wise.

Cheers
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:29 am

Hi Frederic
I deliberately avoided bringing the KS time line into the string, there are quite a number of issues I have with it. Distance a horse can travel based on Wolsleys calculations ( was he a noted equestrian?)
How was that calculation achieved? Did it take into account the countryside and the opposition?
So to my mind a lot of the times are just a broad guess really.
And that's what 90th warned against.

Cheers
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:59 am

Wink
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:06 am

Frank,
I agree.
1.  Basic events have to be listed first (unless there's a positive ID for a minor event).  The rest can follow later.  (A bit like doing the borders of a jigsaw FIRST.)
2.  One has no real idea what events taken from timelines from secondary sources are based on (unless stated) and are therefore irrelevant to trying to establish a definitive version.  Only primary-sourced times or primary-source deduced timings (from known sequences or consequential events) can be relevant.
3.  Remember that not all C19 watches will give the same time at any given moment.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:34 am

The difficulties appear with the timings rather than the events. We should perhaps hold back from timings that we are not confident about for the time being. My own preference would be to agree the event descriptions but only allocate timings to those we are confident about. There is a logic to the approach KS has taken to establish timings but there are also the error factors that Frank has pointed out because of the nature of the ground. We should not let that put us off because we have the advantage of people who have walked the ground and we might be able to adjust the timings as a result. Nobody is wrong, and KS has at least provided an approach that has some scientific basis, it's just difficult to judge. In some cases a judgement will be the best we can do.

For the moment why not include the headings, perhaps attempt a split into groups, but only include timings that are solid (or semi solid at least)?

It would, for example, be useful to include LC's timings to Mangeni and back, as L&Q have done, but that can wait for a bit.

Steve

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:41 am

Steve I would suggest that you do a copy of my original list and insert any items you feel you can put a provable time to and then paste. Rather than zipping back and forwards it will also be upfront, as it were. I would stress though that any times put in should be provable and prime source.
Once we have the basics on provables listed then we can start to speculate based on those facts.
Oh if you do add then do it is color and possible initial the insert, would help to track.
I do add that this is a forum wide exercise and it would be good to get the widest possible participation, that does include the newer members as well. Please don't be afraid of adding to the list, everything will become debatable.
One issue that I will be attempting to 'nail' down is the point where Durnford turned in the Quabe valley, there are so many versions. One or two have attempted to put the distance ridden on the time he was out from the camp. My personal observation of the area and terrain would tend to put him in the same area as the KC maps, the point marked DH ( Davies/Henderson)
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:05 pm

Frank

I will turn my mind to that. Your stress on wider forum participation is a good one that I would echo. We need more people to pitch in with headings to include, or timings where they are confident of them, or comments about how to do this, or other places to look. We have managed the first tentative steps that's all.

Steve
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:43 pm

Your two timings of 1200 cannot be at the same time. Shepstone left Raw's troop after it discovered the impi and arrived at the same time as Gardner at Pulleine's tent (1215 say?).
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:29 pm

Thanks Julian - done. Are you content with the rest so far?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:17 pm

Steve here's some times you may find useful. From TMFH,

"Eastern Area

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.

Thus from both the Eastern and Western area reports, it may be concluded that significant elements of the amabutho were in the process of, or had already, deployed out of the Ngwebeni Valley. Within an hour or two of daylight, they were discernible from the camp and its remaining outposts, moving deliberately and in strength. It is logical to conclude that at the very least, some of the key preparatory moves for a deliberate attack on the camp were underway.
How then could Lieutenant’s Raw and Roberts, commanding two troops of the NNH who were yet to arrive at the camp with Durnford, ‘discover’ the main amabutho sitting quietly in the Ngwebeni ravine? This is a direct contradiction of the aforementioned primary source reports (and importantly not hearsay) that large numbers of Zulus were already deployed out of the valley area and positioned on the Nqutu Plateau."
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waterloo50

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:07 pm

Hi,

I can see that plenty of excellent work is happening with the time lines, however, I am thinking that I can already see a bit of a problem developing....we have six almost complete timelines posted, if anyone one wants to add anything new, they now have to scroll through all of the timelines just to compare their own notes and times. I was wondering if it would be better for people to just post the alternative times rather than a complete timeline list. Perhaps, choose one timeline as a master copy and work off of that. The alternative is that either Frank or Steve (if they don't mind) hold on to one hard copy as (Editors) when they are satisfied that they have a fairly comprehensive list, they put it on to the forum so that people can take a look and then any additional times that may be missing, (that way the editors of the time line aren't expected to do all the work on their own) new times and info could be posted and then added later with their agreement. It may even be an idea to post the time line every few days for review (No criticism from members, just positive feedback required) by the forum members as work progresses. I would also add that the work that has been carried out so far has been very educational and I honestly appreciate your efforts. Good luck with the project.



Kind Regards

Waterloo


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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:38 pm

Littlehand
That is useful, thank you.

Waterloo
I agree that we should focus on one master list and I suggest it is the one started by Frank to which I have added some initial times (my post at 4.52 today). I have also incorporated Julian's amendment.

At this stage, I agree with Frank that we just want times that can be found in primary sources, not authors estimates (we can move on to those next but they are more problematic). We probably now have most primary source timings  (as was said at the beginning there are not many timings that are solid). But we should make sure everyone has a chance to consider those, and comment if they wish, before moving on.

In the meantime,  I have no problem with people offering up further lists, but I suggest that we should not transfer headings to the master until people have had a chance to comment.

We have so far got additional lists from Frederic based on DWE, my list from ZV and Littlehands from TMFH. They will all be valuable and I am happy to have more.

I think it will inevitably get messy, but if we can agree that there will be one master to refer to I think we can cope (famous last words).

Please say if anyone wants to suggest something else - this is meant to be a group exercise.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:42 pm

Hi rusteze

I have amended my last post, I have added a new suggestion about editors.

kind regards

Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:55 pm

Littlehand
Not a criticism but an observation.
You've posted almost too much information at once. You've been overenthusiastic!
Members will respond either piecemeal which will reduce the overall effect of what you've contributed (and not advance the whole) or respond en masse which will complicate proceedings and confuse.
More bite-size chunks might produce more useful responses.
So, I'm confining myself to your first quotation from Barker - which should highlight another consideration. Barker's account dates from 1912. There is an element of Shakespeare's 'remembering with advantages' going on here. What he wrote in such detail re timings (about sunrise, a quarter of an hour, 8 a.m.) cannot be taken as Gospel - it is too far removed from the event - unless corroborated by a contemporary account, otherwise it will defeat the object of what everyone is trying to do. Such accuracy after such a timespan is simply not feasible (especially since Barker could not have been aware of the relevance of what he was seeing at the time, well, not until much later in the day). We have to beware of accounts which gild the lily - what soldiers wrote/said 33 years on was not automatically the 'truth'. We have to reflect sensitively about the way such testimony was articulated in relation to public narratives and personal identities both of which were in constant flux. In short we have to be self-critical about our own methods.
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:03 pm

Hi Julian,

The point you raised regarding 'too much information at once', is something that I had mentioned to Steve earlier, the problem is that members now have quite a lot of data to work through within the posts. I think that my suggestion about having a hard copy combined with editor(s) could simplify the situation.

Regards

Waterloo


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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:20 pm

I think the long lists are probably a feature of being at an early stage but point taken. I agree they are hard to digest and to respond to. We are going to find ourselves having to consider the credibility factors that Julian raises more and more as we proceed. And at the end of the day some entries will need to carry an indicator that they are unproven (but that's OK). This is one of those exercises where the value is in the journey not the arrival. I am happy to proceed along the lines suggested by Dave but let's wait and see what Frank thinks when the sun rises over the Cape.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:27 pm

We have to becarefull, as there are a few accounts that were written quite a few years after the battle.
For instance Smith has Durnford arriving at Isandlwana just before him which I think was around 8:30. Brickhill also has Durnford at the camp quite early.
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:48 pm

The Suns not exactly up over Cape Town, but I am. Great response so far May I suggest for an ease of record keeping that the initial list and the one Steve altered is maintained. Just copy it, add/modify and re post it ( just use a different color ).
Every so often when debate has accepted or rejected a point then it can be edited.
But so far so good.
John
Fully agree about SD's time for Durnford, when I looked at it to suggest a 10.30 start point I really did find 15 separate statements relative to it. In the end I went through the list weighting each one and ended up with the people that were closest to Durnford. It gives a fair start point, if once we have this mass of data co alated it doesn't fit it can be re looked at.

This type of exersize is going to spark a fair amount of debate on each point and wont be completed in a hurry, but hell its a lot of fun.
Cheers all
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:02 am

Bonsoir,
I am curious to know who will validate the controversial proposals...
One member, two members of a jury composed of members?

Cheers
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:19 am

Let it just feed on itself frederic
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:27 am

I will wait the next dance...
Good luck.
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:33 am

I agree let it develop. Hopefully there will always be a justification made for a controversial proposal. If there is disagreement and we cannot resolve it by discussion we simply mark it as unresolved and move on.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:43 am

Perhaps it's worth noting that although Durnford and the NNH arrived at 10.30, D coy, the bulk of E coy and the RB would arrive later (plus 20-30 mins?) and the waggons with Erskine and the rest of E plus Vause's men still later (plus another 20 mins??).
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:34 am

Done

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:28 am

My post to Little hand yesterday also relates not just to timings but to events and to sequences of events from later accounts. Horne's account and waggon laagering are good examples of what I mean.
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:12 pm

Gent's to keep the timeline free from comments; I have separated the timeline posted by Steve.
When new times have been added let me know, I will add them to the timeline.
The timeline is locked to prevent confusion. In this thread times can be discussed and agreed before transferring to the timeline.
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:49 pm

Hi,

Just wondering how the timeline is progressing?
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:09 pm

It does seemed to have died a death.?
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:06 am

Hi Dave
I think we have the confirmable times listed, from here its speculation Im afraid. I have some times that ive produced, riding the various routes etc, they do give insite but are not definitive. I will post soon.
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:16 am

Hi Frank,

A thread on the speculative times would create a good debate.

Your hard work is appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:02 am

From a contemporary history (fact) point of view this makes interesting reading. From the likes of Kieth Smith's "Dead was Everything...a question of time" is close to being complete. However, from a story point of view..."Durnford arrives at the camp mid morning and has a standing breakfast with Pulleine"
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:39 pm

As I said in my only previous post on this site I am newcomer, so apologies if this has been mentioned before and I haven't seen it.

Would it be possible to recreate in a real time graphic the time-line of Isandlwana? Not just a "situation at 10.30" "situation at 11.00" etc, but an actual moving depiction of events as generally accepted?

I know I invite the "do it your f****** self" response, but that sort of wizardry is beyond me and anyone I know, so I was just wondering if anyone here knew anyone who could try?
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:47 pm

Hi Bruce_zeb

Are you talking about a map animation kind of thing, something similar to the ones they use on the history channel? I'm thinking that in order to do that, there has to be an agreement on the timeline, perhaps someone somewhere could do it. It's certainly an excellent idea.

Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:53 pm

Hi Waterloo50

Yes, that is exactly the sort of thing I was getting at; as you say it does depend on an agreement about the timeline (but there can't be that much discrepancy - in terms of 30 minute differences - surely?) but even then surely anything would be a start?
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:56 am

Really what your talking about is a multi directional real time mapping exercise. In other words a movie.
The first stage of that has been done with a full digital mapping of the battlefield, sections of that are on the forum.
The critical aspect of a time line encompassing the whole day of the 22nd is that there are various 'theatres of operations' that can be changed dramatically by the 'odd 30minutes' or so. To emphasise that look at TMFHT. In theory Shepstone Roberts an Raw left iSandlwana, climbed onto the plateau traversed the whole area fought a running retreat and got back to cam p all within a very short period of time. That's been accepted for the last 100 years. Ron and Pete re timed that issue and 'proved' it couldn't be done, hence the position of point X.
Then again in looking at a time line various actions have to be decided on. I personally believe that the Zulu reserve wasn't on the Plateau tucked away behind the Knoll, therefore where was it? On the plain itself therefore when the left horn cleared Durnford out of the way they had a clear run ACROSS the battlefield ( picking up the odd Martini Henry on the way) then along the fugitives trail.
But that's only my theory. However do we now change the Zulu strategy and timings to allow for that? Or do we stick with established history that doesn't work.
That's a couple of the difficulties with building a time line. taking in all the possible permutations.
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:59 am

Have a look at this

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:10 pm

Frank

I have taken the liberty of quoting an earlier passage of yours from the Godwin Austin/Pope thread that sets out some very credible (in my view)  additions to the timeline. Subject to any further debate, I suggest they might be transferred to the master timeline. What do you think?

Frank Allewell wrote:


If you want to build up a time frame start at a point that can be pretty reasonably estimated, Durnfords arrival. Something like eleven sources put it at 10.30 ish. Now consider that he had words with Pulleine, had breakfast sent of the escort to bring in the wagons and the rocket battery its highly unlikely that any of his patrols were sent out before 11 o clock.
Durnford himself left around 15minutes after the arrival of the Rocket battery, and that after the departure of the troops onto the hill. So Russell arrives around 11.15 and Durnford leaves around 11.30.
Barker met up with the Rocket Battery some where around the base of Amatutshane, considering that distance and that they were held to the slowest pace of the NNC its at least 30 minutes ( been there and done it) Barker then rides of the ridge and chats to Russell, he in turn changes course and starts up the Notch. You've been there and seen the conditions, try to imagine walking from the South of Amatutshane, ignoring the modern road, finding your way through that maze of Dongas and then up that steep Notch! At least another 30 minutes if not more. That would put the Rocket Battery destruction at an earliest point of 12.30, and again the opponents of the rocket battery were only the advanced elements or skirmishers, couldn't have been the main impi or all of them including Norse would have been destroyed and that would have put a substantial impi in between Durnford and the camp, we know that didn't happen.
So that's the time frame for the patrols riding across the plateau discovering the impi and then retreating, maximum of one hour.
That's why I firmly believe in the theory of the impi being out of the Ngwebini valley when they were discovered. There really is no alternative. As to why they were there? We will never know. But we all have our theories.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:55 pm

Hi Steve, its a time frame that works for me, possibly we should see how that ties up with Ron and Petes TMFHT, I will have a look at Kieth tomorrow to see if he has anything that would dispute my times.

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:52 pm

Bruce_zeb wrote:
Hi Waterloo50

Yes, that is exactly the sort of thing I was getting at; as you say it does depend on an agreement about the timeline (but there can't be that much discrepancy - in terms of 30 minute differences - surely?) but even then surely anything would be a start?

Hi Bruce,

Although the timeline is extremely difficult and time consuming to sort out, I think that a working map that shows troop movements could in-fact be very simple to construct. I am involved in ACW research and the people that I am in contact with often refer to simple diagrams when discussing troop movements and timings. You can find these simple yet effective maps on Youtube, I have pasted a link to a Documentary on the Battle of Chickamauga, if you fast forward the footage to 21:06 you will see a simple map with troop movements. I think perhaps this is the type of thing that you were thinking about.

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Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:30 am

Hi Waterloo50,

Yes, that's the sort of thing I had in mind; there's no need to build the 'Hadron Collider' of the moving-map world.
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:52 am

The broad timings and the general movements of the various units are pretty well known, and although I do not know of an animated map, there are examples of mapped depictions of movements and timings going right back to the publication of the original official history (Narrative of Field Operations connected to the Zulu War). What is really in dispute is the start points, the points at which forces met and the timings of those events. While 30 minutes here or there may not seem a lot it is in fact quite a sizeable proportion of what was a pretty swift battle. Because so few survived much of it is conjecture and calculation, hence the fascination with the detail. There is nothing wrong with a broad representation, but if the key elements of time and geography are wrong then the conclusions drawn will be spurious.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:44 pm

Extract Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service

"After starting the gallows, I went up to see Captain " Gonny " Bromhead, in command of the company of the 24th, and I told him a big fight was expected, and that I wanted revolver ammunition. He gave me eleven rounds, and hearing heavy guns over at Isandhlwana, I rode off and got into that camp about 8 a.m., just as Colonel Durnford's force arrived. Colonel Durnford was having a discussion with Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine of the 24th, who had been left by Lord Chelmsford in command of the camp, Lord (Chelmsford and all the troops, including the 2/24th, having gone out to attack the Zulus. Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine's force consisted of six companies of the 1/24th, two guns under Brevet-Major Smith and Lieutenant Curling, and some native levies.

As far as I could make out, the gist of Colonels Durnford and Pulleine's discussion was that the former wished to go out and attack the Zulus, whilst the latter argued that his orders were to defend the camp, and that he could not allow his infantry to move out. Colonel Durnford and his rocket battery under Russell, R.A., and his mounted Basutos under Cochrane (32nd), then rode off towards a small hill, apparently a spur of the main range, and 1.5 miles from the camp (see A on sketch). Of the 24th, one company (Lieutenant Cavaye) was on picket out of sight of the camp and about a mile to the north on the main range. We could hear heavy firing in this direction even then (8 a.m.). This company was reinforced later by two more (Mostyn's and Dyson's), and the three fell back fighting about noon and covered the north side of the camp. The remaining three companies present (for two under Major Upcher, with Lieutenants Clements, Palmes, Heaton, and Lloyd, only reached Helpmakaar on the 22nd from the old colony) were extended round the camp in attack formation, covering especially the front and left front. Two battalions of native levies were also in this line, but they were not to be relied on and were feebly armed, only one man in ten being allowed a rifle, lest they should desert to the enemy. In consequence of the heavy firing to the north and the appearance of large numbers of Zulus on the main range of hills, and partly, I believe, to support Colonel Durnford's movement, the line was pushed out on a curve, but to no great distance from the tents. Farther than this it never went. Our two guns were at the same time pushed out into the firing-line to the north-east of the camp"

Twice Smith claims to have been back at the camp around 8am? Can we really put it down to old age and memory problems.?

Brickhill also states that Dunford was in the camp between 8-9 oclock.

Could Durford had ridden to the camp in advance of his own column ?
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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana a forum timeline times    Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:46 am

A series of notes on a timeline framework.
These are pretty broad based but if any one would like to add please do so.

11 December, 1878 – Sir Bartle Frere (High Commissioner of the British Empire to southern Africa) seeks to create war with the Zulu Nation. He issues ultimatum to Zulu King Cetshwayo.

When the Zulus fail to comply with the ultimatum, Lord Chelmsfords(Baron Frederic Thesiger) draws up plans to invade Zululand.

11 January, 1879 – Invasion began in the early morning. Five-pronged advance by the British into Zululand, met with no opposition.

Troops moved from staging posts to mission station at Rorkes Drift, which was established by James Rorke in 1849.

British camp established on the Zulu bank of the river, troops could see the iSandlwana mountain in the distance. It looked like the Sphinx on their regimental badge.

12 January, 1879 – First action of the war at Sihayos Kraal – a favourite of Cetshwayo. Little opposition to the British and the battle was easily won. This boosted Lord Chelmsford’s confidence in their superiority to the Zulus.

17 January, 1879 – Zulu army leaves Ondini under the command of Ntshingwayo kaMahole. Planned to attack British forces on 23 January.

19 January, 1879 – Lord Chelmsford goes with a small escort to plan route and find next camp site. Camp chosen on the slopes of iSandlwana.

Lord Chelmsford’s centre column relocates camp to iSandlwana. No defensive structures constructed as it was understood the camp would just be temporary and entrenchment would take too long.

20 January 1879 – Lord Chelmsford explores the line of his advance with a small group of officers. Decides flats above the Mangeni Gorge are perfect for his next advance.

Dawn – 21 January, 1879 – At dawn, Major John Dartnell ordered to take mounted volunteers to Hlazakazi heights.
Two battalions of the NNC (Natal Native Contingent), less two companies, were also sent to scout the Malakatha Hills. The two companies were to remain in camp.

Morning – 21 January, 1879 – Lord Chelmsford goes to see local chieftain Gamdana but finds his homestead deserted. Gamdana later met Chelmsford and explained he had deserted his home as he feared for his life; believed Zulu King Cetshwayo has sent an Impi to destroy him for collaborating with the British.

Afternoon – 21 January, 1879 – NNC rendezvous at the waterfall.
Major John Dartnell makes first contact with 1,000 Zulu and decides to make camp for the night. Sends message back to Lord Chelmsford about plans to engage the enemy the next day.

Chlemsford ascends the Nyoni Ridge, where he receives Major John Dartnell’s message, replying that he must engage the enemy as he saw fit.

Night – 21 January, 1879 – Several false alarms at Major John Dartnell’s camp causing a large portion of the NNC to desert their posts.
Dartnell sends second message to Lord Chlemsford, saying that he does not think attacking the Zulus would be wise without an Imperial presence.

Troops woken up after Lord Chlemsford decides to split force to support Major John Dartnell.
Chlemsford orders Colonel Anthony Durnford up to the camp from Rorkes Drift – dispatched by Lieutenant Horace Smith Dorean.

04:00 – 22 January, 1879 – Lord Chlemsford’s column leaves camp.

Dawn – Colonel Anthony Durnford receives orders to move back to the camp. He packs up immediately and leaves Rorke’s Drift.

Lord Chlemsford arrives at Mangeni Gorge as Durnford leaves Rorkes Drift.

06:00-07:00 – Zulus start mobilising, a day earlier than they planned

Colonel Anthony Durnford meets with Lieutenant of Enginneers, John Merriot Chard, on his way to the camp. Chard reports seeing large numbers of Zulus moving behind the mountain.
Durnford abandons his wagons in order to get back to camp quicker.

09:30 – Lord Chlemsford has breakfast with his officers in the valley below Magogo Hill. Chlemsford receives message at about Zulu troop movements, says nothing is to be done.

10:00 – Colonel Anthony Durnford arrives back at the main camp around 10:00, but to the displeasure of Colonel Henry Pulleine, who thought it was going to lose command of the camp.
Durnford explains that he won’t be in camp long, so the command remains Pulleine’s.

Reports begin coming in of the Zulu troop movements on the plateau – three column attack, horn tactics.

11:15- While having breakfast with Colonel Henry Pulleine, Colonel Anthony Durnford requests that Lieutenant Walter Higginson post a lookout atop iSandlwana.
Durnford tells Pulleine of his plan to engage with the Zulus, who he is convinced are planning to attack Lord Chlemsford’s column from the rear. Durnford asks for two Imperial companies to accompany him.

Pulleine is aghast and Durnford withdraws request.

Lt Cavaye ordered to take up position on the Tahelane ridge.

11:30-Colonel Anthony Durnford receives word that the Zulus are withdrawing in all directions, so he issues the order to mount up.

11:45- Lt Raw discovers the 20,000-strong Zulu army on the east side of Mabaso Hill George Shepstone and James Hamer race back the three miles to camp to warn Colonel Henry Pulleine.
Colonel Anthony Durnford continues to ride along the Quabe Valley, oblivious to the fact that they are being surrounded by the Zulus
12:10 – George Shepstone arrives back at camp. At the same time, Lord Chlemsford’s orders to relocate the camp to Mangeni Gorge arrive.

12.15 Colonel Henry Pulleine replies to Lord Chlemsford’s orders saying the relocation cannot take place at there is enemy engagement to the left of the camp.
.
Horsemen arrive to warn Colonel Anthony Durnford of the Zulu army’s movements.
Colonel Anthony Durnford orders a fighting retreat back to camp; firing with one side of his column while the other moves back and vice versa.


12: 30:Right horn of Zulu attack moves behind iSandlwana to cut off any British escape through Rorke’s Drift.

Chest of the Zulu attack reveals itself and is met with heavy volley fire from British riflemen.

Colonel Henry Pulleine issues order for all men who can bear arms to defend the camp.

12:55-Zulus go for cover as they take massive casualties from the British rifle fire.
Hamilton Brown arrives views the battle from his position on the plain

A retreating Colonel Anthony Durnford can no longer prevent the Zulu advance and takes cover behind the Nkengeni ridge in the Nyogane donga

Durnford’s company joined by Lieutenant Charles Pope on his left flank.
The Zulu right horn approaches the saddle, behind iSandlwana.

1:20-Remainder of the Zulu right horn has now progressed up from the Manzimyama Valley and have closed off the road.



13:30 – Another message sent to Lord Chlemsford, calling for him to return to the camp as the Zulu army were attacking.


The left horn of the Zulu attack appears over the ridge.

Main Zulu army taking heavy casualties from the main companies’ controlled fire and takes cover in the dongas and long grass.

Colonel Anthony Durnford and Lieutenant Charles Pope hold their firing lines, but are eventually split down the middle by increasing numbers of Zulus.

Colonel Anthony Durnford orders a withdrawl back to the camp, and Lieutenant Charles Pope’s company is effectively condemned to death – they are exposed to the left horn of the Zulu attack.

Ntshingwayo kaMahole sees the retreat as his left horn enters the British Camp.


This spurns the Zulus on and they rise from cover to attack the British firing line again.

Colonel Henry Pulleine sees his exposed right flank and sounds the bugles for the companies to form defensive squares.
Lieutenants Melville and Coghill meet right horn of Zulu attack on the road to Rorkes Drift and are forced to flee with other fugitives along a diagonal line – now known as Fugitives Trial.


Part of the Zulu right horn approaches the camp.

Lieutenant Charles Pope undertakes a fighting retreat against the left horn.
Lieutenant Melville ordered to save the British Colours by Colonel Henry Pulleine, leaves the overrun camp with Lieutenant Coghill.

Defence of camp appears all but over, and word of this is sent to Lord Chlemsford.
2:10-Lieutenants Melville and Coghill cross the river below Mpethe.
Lieutenant Melville dragged down the river after losing the colours but managed to hold onto a rock.

Lieutenants Melville and Coghill were eventually caught by the Zulus and killed, the Colours were found lying in the river.


2:30- Stands are made on the saddle by the retreating troops

Pulleine dies in a stand 800metres along the Fugitives trail

Anstey is the last stand on the Fugitives trail on the banks of the Manzimyama

15:30 – Colonel Anthony Durnford and his company are overrun in the camp and he died soon thereafter.

5:00-Lone survivor made it back up to a cave higher up on the iSandlwana mountain and managed to hold off the Zulus for some time.



18:00 – Lord Chlemsford’s force catches up with him as he returns back to camp.

The survivors of the battle, along with Lord Chlemsford’s company spend the night amongst the fallen.

Several false alarms in the camp and fires seen above Shiyane, the site of the Rorkes Drift camp.

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