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 Walter higginsons statement

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:37 am

Sorry Julian I missed your reference to Scotts position. Would you believe the possibility that Scott did see them and sent a messenger/ messengers back to camp to report them. This could then be the piquet/native spy refered to by Molife Davis etc. And also be the source of one of Cochranes many messages!

From acorns grow...............................
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:48 am

This the view from just below Scotts position, the notch with the road winding up and then the tail of iThusi with the village on the lower slopes.
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However Ive just found this shot its taken from the top of the notch so again its a possible area, but it was directly below the piquet on iThusi.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:10 am

Morning Frank

Your last photo is maybe the answer. Assuming it was taken with the camera at eye level it seems to show that the ground at the top of the notch is visible from Isandhlwana from about half way up and certainly from the top. I do not know how rapidly the ground then falls away towards the plateau however.

Leaving that possibility aside (although I think it is a strong one), it seems the only sighting that leads us into this conundrum is Higginson's - everything else fits with the topography. You have to then question the veracity of Higginson given that the earlier men sent up Isandhlwana said nothing and the doubts about how high up the second man could have got in the time.

Steve
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:25 am

This seems to me a Sherlockian case of why the dog didn't bark in the night.
Logic must prevail.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:33 am

About the time to climb the top of the mountain, there are two quotes from Coupland in "Zulu battle piece" and from E. DURNFORD in " A soldier's life and work in SA" (from memory).
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:44 am

Source: 1879 AZWF / "On the top of the ill?"

"Walter Higginson said: "I made my report to the Colonel [Durnford] and he then ordered me to send some men to the top of Isandhlwana to watch the hills, the men had been up about half an hour without sending down any news, so i sent another native up with orders to come down with news at once, he returned very soon and brought news that the natives were retiring". (source: Higginson official report quoted in "Zulu rising" by IK p.327-328)
Higginson suggests that the native didn't reached the top of the hill (I.E:"he returned very soon").
I think it's possible that the native reached the summit and really saw that the zulus were retiring.
There is a note in "Zulu Battle piece" by Sir Reginald Coupland:(p.63 / edition 1991)
"From its precipitous southern end the mount can easily be climbed. When the author visited the site (december, 29, 1947), an athletic member of his party reached the top from the col [nek] in seven minutes, another older member in fifteen".

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90th

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PostSubject: Walter Higginson statement    Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:57 am

Hi Frederic
I'm not so sure it can be climbed easily at the Southern End Shocked Shocked , to me it looks easier at the Northern End , that's where those with the Holt's Tours have climbed it from in the past few years , I'll probably try it in May , unless of coarse I change my mind to do so !! Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Chicken ! Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:13 pm

Bonjour Gary,
I read several times on this forum that the topography of Isandhlwana had deeply changed since 1879.
I am not an expert of the "site" as Frank an you...
So I do not know if this explanation can explain the timing given in "Zulu battle piece".

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Frédéric
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:20 pm

ymob
'Timing' maybe but also possibly 'typo'. It would be easy for Coupland not to have noticed SOUTHERN instead of NORTHERN either when writing or when proof-reading.
Seven minutes to the top does seem a bit steep, even for an athlete!
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90th

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PostSubject: Walter Higginson statement    Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:25 pm

I can tell you know it will take a damn sight longer than 7 mins , I'm thinking 70 minutes !! .
90th Shocked
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:29 pm

90th
And you, why you're a fit young twenty-something!
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:35 pm

The proverbial"Not a cat in hells chance".
From the South its a mountaineering job.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:35 pm

Mr Whybra, Gary,
I am very bad in topography, I can't distinguish the northern side of the southern face of Isandhlwana!!!Very Happy
In the note ("Zulu battle piece") , you can read "from its precipitous end of the SOUTHERN end ..."
The NORTH face is also very steep?

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:35 pm

This is an overlay that someone did (forgive me I do not know who) of an old and new photograph. Looks like the steepness of the profile has not changed very much.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:40 pm

And this shows how steep we are talking (again I do not have a note of who took it, maybe Frank/Gary?)
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:40 pm

Gary and Frank, see no offense in my question, I am sure you are young and atletic men but
Were you sober when you climb the top of the mountain?Very Happy
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:46 pm

Julian put a cold 6 pack at the top and watch him scamper. Very Happy
Back to business.
Steve I popped that last photo in just to show there was a little bit of ridge visible from the mountain.
BUT we need to be aware that at the time the 400/600 warriors would have been jogging up there Shepstone Raw et al would have been in the immediate vicinity, In addition there were look outs/piquets both sides of the notch. Sorry to bang on but if Durnford had seen them going up the notch then why would he not pursue them, instead he went up Quabe.
All the clues are there its just a case of finding who dun it where and with what.

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:57 pm

My scenario is that they are seen going across the top of the notch and not down it. I have no problem with other lookouts  seeing them too, Higginson would not have known that at the time his man reported. The Rocket Battery heads up the notch to lob some rockets at the retiring Zulus (having been told its the quickest way onto the plateau). But the Zulus have reversed and meet the Battery head on. Durnford sweeps around and up the Quabe believing the Zulus have retreated beyond the Notch - he too meets them coming the other way. Elementary my dear Watson - Zulus in the cumberpatch.


Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:27 pm

So, if the lookout (Higginson's man), was only part way up iSandlwana Hill and saw the zulu's 'retiring', then how come those lookouts who were already up there didn't see this movement long before he did? They must have been higher up (on top), and therefor would have had the advantage of seeing this movement long before Higginson's man did, unless of course it was them that passed on the info to Higginson's man to take back down to the camp.

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:31 pm

Frederic
You cant climb it sober, you cant get down drunk Northern end is the smallest end the Southern looks like the materhorn, on steroids.
From the South its not that bad. Gary should be able to do it in say, ooooh, 4 hours gave or take an hour! Remember this is the bloke that closed his eyes crossing Fugitives drift.
Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:19 pm

Martin
That was my thought.  One man going up meets another man coming down and the message is passed on.
Rusteze
Interesting scenario...
ymob et al.
Sorry, my use of the word 'steep' may have thrown you. 'It's a bit steep' is slang in English for 'It's a bit much' i.e. getting to the top in 7 minutes is nigh impossible.
Funnily enough, the southern precipice is also very steep in the usual sense of the word.
Julian
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:33 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Martin
That was my thought.  One man going up meets another man coming down and the message is passed on.
Rusteze
Interesting scenario...
ymob et al.
Sorry, my use of the word 'steep' may have thrown you.  'It's a bit steep' is slang in English for 'It's a bit much' i.e. getting to the top in 7 minutes is nigh impossible.
Funnily enough, the southern precipice is also very steep in the usual sense of the word.
Julian

Apologize to our athletes Gary and Frank, it's Sir Reginald COUPLAND who was not sober...
Cheers
Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:14 pm

Quoted in "Soldier's life and work in S.A" (p.293)

"When Sir Evelyn Wood was in Zululand with thé Ex Empress of thé French, their camp was pitched a short distance to thé west of Isandhlwana; and from this camp a white man ascended to thé top of thé hill in 27 minutes"
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:46 pm

Perhaps the message was shouted down to a man at the bottom, who passed it onto Higginson. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:32 pm

agree
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:03 am

Steve
Its certainly an interesting idea. Fits the criteria in general.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:20 am

ADMIN wrote:
Perhaps the message was shouted down to a man at the bottom, who passed it onto Higginson. Rolling Eyes

Is this feasible. ?
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:33 am

Hi Impi
Yes it is, very. It also offers an explanation to a few of the queries raised re the timing.

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:07 pm

Admin. Why have the copies of Higginson's statements been removed?
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:15 pm

"Mehlokazulu Kasihayo
The men on horseback retreated very slowly when they saw the Zulu army, while the uKhandempenvu , also called the Umcityu. chased them. The men on Horseback withdrew and dismounted four times, remounting when we were close. Our Army must have seemed numerous at all times, because we never stopped in our advance. There's a small red hill to the side of Isandlwana and there, two compaines of men on horseback confronted the iNgobamakhosi, to which I belong. Approximately the same distance from the camp as between the courthouse and fort napier, but we were high up on the slope. Some of the men on horseback had white stripes on their trousers and there were also men dressed in black , but none of the native contingent was in front of the hill. The iNgobamakhosi and Uve Regiments attacked on this side. The English force stopped to turn around and fire, but we withstood the fire: they couldn't stop us.There is a donga on the side of this small hill in which we were stopped by their fire. I saw that they kept their horses inside the donga and all we could see was their helmets. They opened fire at us and we had to retreat with heavy losses, laying down and waiting to get up again."

This confirms part of Brickhill's statement. Top of page 3 ( I'm assuming this is the same location )

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Could this have been the retreat that was witnessed from the top of Isandlwana? Where is the donga in question, could the small hill be a clue?
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:11 am

Hi Ulundi
The portion of Higginsons statement under discussion concerns the events before Durnford left the camp. The section you quote from concerns the main Zulu advance itself. The donga in question is the Durnfords donga in front of the camp that his mounted force plus the Carbineers etc held back the left horn.

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90th

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PostSubject: Walter Higginson statement    Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:28 am

Ulundi , the small red hill they are talking of is the Conical Koppie , its the only small hill on the plain before you reach Isandlwana and Black's Koppie ! .
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