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 SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,

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littlehand

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PostSubject: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:02 am

Looking at MEMORIES OF FORTY-EIGHT YEARS SERVICE GENERAL HORACE SMITH-DORRIEN.

It was said many time during discussions that, his memory wasn't clear when he wrote his book. But reading his account some written three days after the event, he wasn't that far off. So maybe we should take him at his word. Its not word for word but near as dam it!!!

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/printArticleJpg/110563357/3?print=n
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:23 am

LH a wonderful man and a personal hero but some of his reccolections are a tad different and don't 'fit'.

Cheers
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:36 pm

Frank wrote:
reccolections are a tad different and don't 'fit'.

I saw that, but should it not be considered based on him writing this a few days after the event, rather than many years later. Just a thought.

I notice he says, the Zulu showed themselves at 6am, which is something he must have been told.

I'm still interested in his comment, in his book regarding Durnford's arrival at the camp, where he claims he himself arrived at 8am after Durnford. Then we have Brickhill's account which confirms Durmford being in the camp around the time SD says. Been puzzling me for ages.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:39 pm

Puzzling! You and me both.
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90th

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PostSubject: Smith - Dorrien's memory open to question   Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:45 am

Littlehand that is the reason I don't really buy into the construction of a time line , to many different times etc etc , basically impossible to work out , even to within 30 mins , all speculation I'm afraid .
90th
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Kenny



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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:38 am

Did everyone synchronise their pocket watches before the battle? Also no satellite clock signals in those days. You have to view these times from 19th Century stand point. How good would your memory be after these calamitous events with many of your friends and colleagues killed.
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90th

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PostSubject: Smith Dorrien's memory open to question   Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:36 pm

I agree Kenny , I doubt the wisdom of any attempted time line for the exact reasons you post . Good luck to those who are willing to give it a try ( Bashing one's head up against a brick wall ! )
90th
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John

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:40 pm

Essex makes in his statement at the COE, that Durnford arrived, but did he actually see him arrive at the time he stated or could he have been elsewhere in the camp. And only assumed the time Durnford arrived.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:52 pm

Hi John there are around 12 references to Durnfords arrival with times attached. The majority put it the arrival at 10 to 10.30. SDs time is virtualy impossible.
Kenny
Quite right, no syncro of watches no sat timing and yes all speculation but if it smells tastes like fish like fish and looks like fish theres a pretty good chance that it is fish.

Cheers
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John

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:50 pm

Extract MOFYS
S.D
“I rode off and got into that camp about 8 a.m., just as Colonel Durnford's force arrived.”

Brickhill account.
Between 8 and 9 o’clock 8 natives came in from the south of the camp under a white flag. They brought eleven guns, in satisfaction of the demands made upon them by his Excellency the General on the previous day. I took them to the column office and from there to Colonel Durnford”

He then says
“At Half past ten Durnford’s Horse arrived”
He doesn’t say Colonel Durnford came in?

So we have SD & Brickhill’s times approximately in line with each other. Either way they both place Durnford in the camp before 10:30am

Which would put their watches approximately 2.5 hours behind the other witnesses?
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:09 pm

SD's accounts in the press at the time and in his book contradict each other. In the press report he says he left RD an hour after Durnford set out for the camp. In his book he says he arrived at the camp at 8.00, just as Durnford's force arrived. What happened to the hour?

Steve
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:41 pm

I guess SD would have been travelling a lot fast than Durnfords column, wagons ect.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:38 pm

Can anyone help!
What time did Chard leave RD
What time did he get to Isandlwana
What time did he leave Isandlwana
What time did he get back to RD

What time did Spalding leave RD
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:14 pm

Hi Impi
He doesn't mention times in his statement. It becomes a bit of a clue persuit to tie him up with Durnford and with Spalding really.
The clues are:
He sent of his detachment to isandlwana in a wagon.
That wagon he met up with on his return journey at the foot of the hill ( around the Manzimyama crossing)
He had just before that met up with Durnford around a 1/4 of a mile outside of camp.
He instructed the men to get out and walk up the hill with Durnfords men.
The wagon he took back to RD.
He reported to Spalding then went and had lunch.

Possible issues that could assist is that he makes no mention of passing Durnfords wagon train on the way to iSandlwana so its likely he left before Durnford did.
Durnfords departures are refered to by Cochran as leaving for iSandlwana between 7.30 and 8.
Cochrane, who was with Durnford for the whole time puts his arrival at between 10 and 10.30.
Smith Dorrien puts his arrival at RD as just before dawn around 4.30 to 5 oclock. He mentions that Durnford was just leaving the camp and then remarks that he read the dispatch then changed direction to iSandlwana. That statement again raises issues with SD as other statements say that a messenger was sent after Durnford, Cochrane says they were already on the way to the Biggarsberg.
So if Durnford left RD for iSandlwana around 7.30 then an 8 oclock arrival is out of the question.

So have fun with that lot.

Cheers

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:04 pm

A ponderable statement from SD is his comment that he heard heavy guns firing at iSandlwana. It was that that prompted him to leave RD. So if he got in at 8, to the camp, he would have left at least 1 1/2 hours earlier so the guns would have been firing around 7 in the morning ? It becomes easier to see why SDs memory was a tad awry the more you look into his writings.

Cheers
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:00 pm

SD is all over the place on his timings. Durnford was at the camp before the artillery came into action so if SD didn't leave RD until he heard the guns he cannot have got there as Durnford arrived, even if that was 10.00. Indeed, on that reckoning SD would have arrived just as the whole thing collapsed.

That leaves us with Brickhill's statement that has Durnford present by 8.00 - do we have a theory about that?

Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:11 pm

Quite possibly, like a lot of his contemporaries, he didn't possess a watch and was estimating?
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:23 pm

That's always a possibility, but pocket watches were pretty standard by that time. I suppose Brickhill only needs to be half an hour or so  out to make it sort of credible. He estimates the arrival of the Zulu party at up to 9.00. By the time they had explained themselves, been taken to the column office, explained themselves again and then taken to Durnford it could easily, in reality, have been 10.00.The remainder of Durnford's column arriving at 10.30/11.00  is also not far out of line with what others say.

SD is the red herring in all this.

Steve
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John

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:27 pm

Steve wrote:
That leaves us with Brickhill's statement that has Durnford present by 8.00 - do we have a theory about that?
Steve

Agree, we actually have Brickhill speaking Durnford.


It makes one think, to many survivors concocting their stories, but not consistent with their times.?


Last edited by John on Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:29 pm

As Ive said before Steve, the fugitives trail works perfectly with the timings until you add SD then its all up in the air.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:32 pm

For me the most credible account concerning Durnford has always been Cochran. He spent the whole morning with Durnford and was witness to most issues. Im happy to stick with his timings.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:40 pm

I agree Cochrane is as good as we are going to get.

Steve
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John

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PostSubject: Re: SMITH-DORRIEN's Memory open to question,   Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:44 pm

Reading SD account, posted by LH first post in this thread, I agree SDs timings are all over the place, in-fact his whole account is all over the place.
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