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 Walter higginsons statement

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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:17 am

I'm not aware anyone's saying he didn't.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:44 am

But it's being questioned.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:42 pm

I don't think it is. Who's questioning it?
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:32 pm

As well as the report that said the zulus were retiring, many authors, comments, writers, articles, books, etc, also mention that there were many other confusing reports coming in which say that the zulus were forming in three large groups, and that one of these large groups was heading in the direction of LC, and it was this that prompted Durnford to say, "if they are heading towards the general we must stop them at all hazards", and that it was this report that forced his hand to move from the camp to see what the zulus were up to in an effort to protect LC's flank or rear, and not just the report that the zulu's were retiring.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:41 pm

Indeed!
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:52 pm

Hi Julian, Hope the wounds are mending.

Get well soon. Salute
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:54 pm

Thanks.
God, those assegais were sharp!
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:59 pm

Should have had your good old M-H and bayonet with you rather than using your hands. agree
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:11 pm

Ah but there's nothing like the old one-two.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:35 pm

LOL, yes, there's also knees, feet and head, or a good old poke in the eye with a finger sometimes does the trick, or biting them with your teeth. Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:36 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
I've hurt my wrists and cut my hand and typing is a bit difficuklt so apologies because I'm not going to correct my mistyping.
Rsusteze makes a fair point re non-corroborated testimony.
Everyone would like to be able to find clear definitive answers to all the problems of Isandhwlana and the two Higginson stataements seem to provide some clear indicators of events , some of which can't be corrobraoted.
Standard procedure is that it's acceptable to make conjectures based on uncorroborated information especially where they seem to provide a sensible linkage between cause and effect or two contiguous events PROVIDED it is stated that the information cannot be corrovborated (yet).
Higginson covered his tracks over the Barker business for which he had good reason (if not to lie) to omit part of his story.  That does not mean that he would have any reason not to tell the truth in the rest of his statements.   Trying to recall a month later the precise background circumstances of when he first sighted the Zulus would, even for a trained military man, not be easy.  (Try it!)  You all saw momentary TV pictures of the horrors of Both were written just under a month after the battle within a day of each other for two differenet persons.  to be honest I don't see any huge differences between the two accounts which need raise questions over veracity.  In one he expands a little on a statement in the other.  In his mind there's confusion over exactly what he came across when. Bataclan last week (sorry Frederic!); see if you can reconstruct the shape of the building and the appearance of its front and then try to put it into words.  I think we all expect too much of men like Higginson.
Neither can we assume that Higginson WAs the civiialian from whom Durnford received a message.  Frank is right in that SOME NNC officers would have worn civilian clothes but it's also true to say that some had unifroms - we absolutely do not know what Higginson was wearing.
I'm not taking sides but with Isandhlwana an open mind really is essential (until proven otherwise).  There are too many pitfalls.
Onc emore apologies for standard of typing.

JW. You are in a roundabout way.  


Julian Whybra wrote:
I don't think it is.  Who's questioning it?
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:55 am

Ray
First, sorry, I've just realized my post was garbled in the middle - I've edited it now.
Secondly, to answer your point, maybe I am in a roundabout way. The civilian may have been Higginson, but it may not. Perhaps Durnford got 2 messages at different times, both events witnessed by different people. Because it's known that H spoke to D and C spoke to D, albeit at approx. the same time with a similar message, it cannot be assumed that H=C.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:30 pm

Julian, as I said in an earlier post, I don't think it was just the report of the 'zulus retiring' that made Col Durnford move from the camp, I think it was the report about 'the zulus are forming in three large groups, and one of the large groups was heading in the direction of LC' that forced Col Durnford's hand to move from the camp, to try to establish what they were up to in order to protect LC's rear or flank, hence Col Durnford's remark "if they heading towrds the general we must stop them at all hazards".
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:32 pm

And as I said before: "Indeed!"
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:04 pm

Martin
You have all the information at your finger tips but your not making 2 and 2 equal4. What I mean by that is look at the sequence of events. Durnford sends his troops onto the plateau, they sweep across the plain heading North east. there are no significant numbers of the enemy in sight. So where does that 'The enemy are splitting into three columns fit in, ?
When Cochrane ran of his litany of sightings and messages that came through he didn't attach a time frame to them so the one you mention could/did come from much much earlier. It had to have done so because the troops on the plateau didn't report it, or at least its in no statements. If we take that and put it into a time frame then it has to be taken out of context and potentially the 'statement' of Durnford was not a declaration of intent but rather a passing comment.

Does that make sense?

Cheers Mate.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:38 pm

Hi Springy.

Well yes, it does sort of make sense, and I can see your point about there being no proper time frame, however, I am sure I can recall reading in one of Ian Knight's books that it was the report I quoted that made Durnford leave the camp to see what the zulu's were up to in an effort to protect LC.

You are right that Durnford sent some of his troops onto the plateau, but he also sent lookouts to various vantage points in the area, and if I recall correctly, it was from one of these that the report came in about the group heading towards LC, and I am almost sure that it was in one of Ian Knight's books that I read it.

Sorry mate, I can't put my hands on my books at the moment, we are still getting things back to normal after the house fire, and everything in the room got shifted (which made a change from Mrs Shifter keep shifting my things about), when I get round to getting everything back to normal I will look for Ian's books and see if I can find which book I read it in (most likely it was Zulu Rising).

I understand what you mean mate by "not a declaration of intent but rather a passing comment", and I think that can be applied to his comment about "where you see zulu's you should attack", but I do think that Durnford was very concerned about the report of the group heading in LC's direction, and I do think that it was this report that made him move from the camp.

I think you are right my friend, it is the time frame that is the sticking point here.

Hope you are keeping well mate. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Fri Nov 27, 2015 5:00 pm

Frank's post mentioning Cochrane's report prompted me to go back and read his evidence again. It is worth looking at the actual words he used.

"Constant reports came in from the scouts in the hills to the left. But never anything from the men on the top of Sandlwana hill that I heard. Some of the reports were.

The enemy are in force behind the hills on the left.
The enemy are in three columns.
The columns are separating, one moving to the left rear and one towards the General.
The enemy are retiring in every direction.

Upon hearing the last report Colonel Durnford said he would go out and prevent the one column joining the impi who were supposed at that time to be engaged with the troops under the General."


In analysing that passage it is clear that so as far as Cochrane is concerned no report came from the top of Isandhlwana.
And as Frank says, there is no timescale attached to the reports that he lists, and he says they were "some" of the reports, so they are not everything he heard.
He then specifically says that Durnford responded to the last report "the enemy are retiring in every direction". Which, so far as he is concerned came from the scouts on the hills.

If those reports were indeed spread out over time it can be argued that it demonstrates that Durnford is biding his time until he thinks he knows what is going on. He does not respond to the message that the enemy are in three columns. He does not respond to the message that the columns are separating, one towards the General. But he does act when he hears that the enemy are retiring everywhere. Cochrane says this came from the scouts on the hills and Higginson says it came from his man up on Isandhlwana. What to believe?

Steve
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Fri Nov 27, 2015 5:32 pm

As I said before, it doesn't have to be the same man.  It could be two occasions, two men, two reports, one from the plateau, one from the mountain top.
The alternative is that Higginson was right - he knew the man he sent up there (he identified him) - whereas Cochrane did not - they were simply all messengers to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Fri Nov 27, 2015 5:50 pm

My point remains. The troops were spread out over the plain, its very open ground, no where to hide till the far Northern ridge. There are no mentions in ANY of the statements, Hamer, Raw Nyanda etc that they witnessed ANY of the reorted items. Therefore those sightings had to have come about BEFORE Raw and Roberts started to patrol the plateau. The plateau IS NOT visible from the mountain top so any reports of troop movements had to relate to the Zulu in a different area other than the plateau. Cochranes listing is not neccesarily in order he merely recounts some of the reports without relating to when they came in. I think Im demonstrated that they didn't come of the plateau AFTER the patrols started and as there was a time lag between the patrols starting to move over the plateau and Durnford setting of then the report in question HAD to have been generated from another position. Ive said in the past that I believe that there was a force out on the plain between iSandlwana and Chelmsford and I believe that force was some where around the Quabe valley entrance. That would suit all the circumstances above and give meaning to Durnfords pursuit direction.

Just my thoughts guys.

Cheers
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:19 pm

Although Cochrane does not give a sequence or timing for the messages he quotes, he does give a sequence for Durnford's subsequent actions. This supports the idea that the messages came in earlier.

After listing the messages and Durnford's reaction to the last one Cochrane sets out the following.

Durnford asks Pulleine for two companies of the 24th to accompany him.

Slightly out of sequence, Cochrane mentions that previously Durnford had sent reinforcements to his baggage train guard.

Durnford now sends two troops onto the hills to the left under Barton and takes the rest, plus the RB out with him.

So as Frank says, the messages from the scouts and Durnford's reaction, came before he sent the two troops to the plateau.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:59 pm

Except for the final one that came from the mountain lookout via Higginson. That sentry couldn't see the plateau and there weren't any Zulu there to see anyway the small amount had been driven of by the patrols. So IF that sentry saw a Zulu unit withdrawing it had to be from a point other than the plateau. In other words the plain around Quabe.
All comes down to that really.

Cheers
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:58 pm

There is something odd here (surprise surprise). Trying to match up Cochrane's and Higginson's statements throws up some questions.

According to Cochrane, Durnford responded to the final message from the scouts on the ridge that the zulus were "retreating in all directions" by sending two troops up onto the ridge and going out himself with the rest of his command. Cochrane gives the impression that Durnford took these two actions simultaneously.

Higginson says he reported to Durnford, who had arrived in camp while he was up on the ridge. Durnford tells him to send men up to the top of Isandhlwana which he does. Nothing happens for half an hour - we can assume that during this time Cochrane is witnessing Durnford decide to send his two troops up onto the plateau and to leave himself (as above). Cochrane says there is no message from those on top of Isandhlwana and Higginson confirms that, because he sends another native up the mountain half an hour later.  

The native comes down quickly to say the zulus are retreating and Higginson reports this to Durnford. But the plateau cannot be seen from Isandhlwana, hence your theory that the native saw the Zulus in the mouth of the Quabe down on the plain. And by that time the two troops sent by Durnford were up on the plateau (ie Durnford did not leave at the same time).

Would Higginson's native have said the zulus were retreating if they were coming down the Quabe? Or did the man on Isandlwana not see anything at all thinking, I cannot see them, therefore they must be retreating.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:42 pm

Steve, well done, yes, that is what I read in one of I.K's books, it must have been the Cochrane report. Like you say in your later post, Cochrane does not give a sequence to the reports, he just says "some of the reports were", meaning that they were not necessarily in that particular order, but he then goes on to say that "Colonel Durnford said he would go out and prevent one column joining the impi who were supposed at that time to be engaged with the troops under the General", this would appear to be a response to the report about the group heading in LC's direction, as he also said "if they are heading towards the General we must stop them at all hazards". It just seems to be a bit of a puzzle as to who delivered that particular report and from what vantage point it came from.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:09 am

Surly those lookouts on top of Isandlwana would have had a 360 commanding view of the Battlefield and surrounding areas.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:27 am

Disregard last, just found this by Chadwick.

"[*Note the previous remark that from the top of Isandlwana, as well as from the positions of the vedettes on the escarpment, the view of the plateau is very limited"
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PostSubject: Walter Higginson statement    Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:37 am

Yes Impi , the Moutain of Isandlwana isn't as tall as the Ridge to the left of camp , it certainly would be closer to no view , than even a limited one .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:04 am

Hi Steve
Reading the Higginson statement from the 18th. He seems to indicate that the Mounted troops had been sent up onto the plateau before the sentry reported from the top of the mountain. He comments that on receiving the news that the Zulus were retiring Durnford sent him onto the plateau with orders to Raw et al.
The first sentries were on the mountain for aprox half an hour and had no report the second scooted up and down so I assume we could allow a minimum of 50 minutes for all that to have happened.
Reading Stafford and Cochrane I don't think the Mounted troops were in camp for that length of time.

By the way Higginsons phrase is "the NATIVES were retiring", not the Zulus. That cant refer to the Mounted Troops because Higginson was there at the time of discovery.

Gary
Pretty certain you spent time, feet up beer in hand on the balcony actually looking at the top of iSandlwana and that balcony is below the top of the ridge, effective proof of your comments.

Martin
The incident of the Zulu charging was on the morning of the 23rd on the road back to RD.

Cheers all
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PostSubject: Walter Higginson statement    Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:48 am

Frank you know me to well , I still haven't climbed to the top of Isandlwana Mtn , may be a possibility in May when I go again with Knight & Co , if we get the numbers , I'll probably go by myself if the Knight / Marais tour doesn't eventuate , that my friend will be No 4 !! . I've sat today watching an enthralling Test Match , we looked down and out with a review at 8 / 118 , but we got the excellent benefit of the doubt , and managed to make 224 !!!! Joker Joker Joker , a lead of 22 !! .
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:34 am

Frank Allewell wrote:
Hi Steve
Reading the Higginson statement from the 18th. He seems to indicate that the Mounted troops had been sent up onto the plateau before the sentry reported from the top of the mountain. He comments that on receiving the news that the Zulus were retiring Durnford sent him onto the plateau with orders to Raw et al.
The first sentries were on the mountain for aprox half an hour and had no report the second scooted up and down so I assume we could allow a minimum of 50 minutes for all that to have happened.
Reading Stafford and Cochrane I don't think the Mounted troops were in camp for that length of time.

By the way Higginsons phrase is "the NATIVES were retiring", not the Zulus. That cant refer to the Mounted Troops because Higginson was there at the time of discovery.

Gary
Pretty certain you spent time, feet up beer in hand on the balcony actually looking at the top of iSandlwana and that balcony is below the top of the ridge, effective proof of your comments.

Martin
The incident of the Zulu charging was on the morning of the 23rd on the road back to RD.


Cheers all

Impi did reply to the last part of this, when it was mentioned, yesterday.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:32 pm

Frank

I take your point. Where does that leave us with Higginson's mans report frpm the top of Isandhlwana? He says "natives" are retiring and not "Zulus" are retiring - do we think he means NNC retiring towards the camp pursued by Zulus?  He could have seen some of that from his vantage point, but not what was happening on the plateau. But I don't think he means that - so which natives?

On the question of how long Durnford's mounted troops were in camp, I rather like Cochrane's assertion that Durnford sent his two troops up onto the plateau and simultaneously took the rest out himself over the plain. But I agree it is hard to square with the other accounts. What I suppose I am really saying is that he sent his two troops away on the strength of the earlier messages from the scouts, but did not move himself until Higginson reported half an hour later. In that sense Higginson's report was not the one that precipitated Durnford's tactics.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:11 pm

Hi Steve
Here we go again, time to get hung drawn and quartered. ( Julian in the background screaming PROOF PROOF PROOF).
Firstly its been commented on how fast can someone get up and down iSandlwana.
Second Why didn't the sentry already up there report.
Thirdly Why 'Natives' instead of Zulus.

I know they are small issues but that's what allows us to keep our sanity over these many years.

OK.
Third point first. They were Natives, probably NNC retiring past Amatutshane, Scotts position ( They ended up on the 'Knuckle)
Second Point Because they were on the lookout for Zulus not their own men.
First point Because he didn't go all the way to the top. He got possibly to the lower plateau ( half way up ) and saw the NNC retiring along the plain and got back down to report to Higginson. Massive speculation but just imagine the conversation/orders Higginson to his man: "Get up there and tell me what you can see"
Few minutes later, man comes panting down and says exactly what he saw: " The Natives are retiring."

Its all fanciful but look really deeply into it. He couldn't see the plateau, There weren't any Zulu up there any way. If there were Zulu on the plain why didn't Scott see them? Or did he?
Working on this theory though if there were no Zulu around what did he see and where?

Sorry If Im spoiling your Saturday lunch

Cheers

PS Im spending the afternoon with Kens Book
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:33 pm

I quite like your hypothesis but Mr Whybra will bring us to heel!

In the meantime, one problem is that Higginson uses the word "natives" interchangeably to mean "Zulus" - "We found Captain Barry and Lt Vereker watching some Zulus about half a mile from them in the plain before stated (by which he means plateau?), we also saw large bodies of natives on the hills to the left front of 2nd Bttn NNC."

Stand by for incoming!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:44 pm

As I said earlier, it would help a great deal if we knew who actually reported this and from what vantage point he saw it from, then people like Frank (and others that know the area well), could get a good idea of the lay of the land and what he could have seen from his position. But I still think it was this report about zulu's heading in LC's direction that prompted Durnford to leave the camp, it's just a pity that there is to time frame given about all these various reports.

You are right Steve, Higginson could be meaning the same thing by using the words 'natives' and 'zulus', but we don't actually know for sure, he could well have said 'natives' meaning either the NNC or zulus. He might have been more advised to have said the NNC for the native troops on the British side, and said zulus for those against, but by interchanging the usage of the words he has confused things somewhat.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:55 am

Sometimes the debates on the forum get bogged down by too much information all at once and responses en masse tend to get lost among the welter of replies.
I'm going to try to avoid this and just respond to one point - the word 'natives'.
Yes, 'natives' could be taken to mean NNC or Zulus and there is evidence of interchangeable use.
BUT.
Let's not forget the reason that Higginson's man was sent up the mountain.
It wasn't to report on the weather.
It was to report on what the Zulus were doing.
Not necessarily the NNC.
If the NNC were retiring it was presumably because the Zulus were chasing them (there is no mention of this by H's man). That would be the important part of any message - not just that the NNC were retiring.
Durnford's response to the message - We shall have to follow them up - would seem to be a response to Zulus being the ones who were retiring, NOT NNC. Any other interpretation doesn't make sense.
The interchangeability of 'natives' for Zulus is often qualified by the use of the pronoun 'our' when meaning NNC.
The likelihood therefore is that H's man was referring to Zulus not NNC.
but this cannot be proven.
And just so as not to disappoint Frank and as a timely reminder "PROOF, PROOF, PROOF!"
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:38 am

And why would Durnford go after the NCC.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sun Nov 29, 2015 4:43 pm

I thing the main point is being missed.
The message was 'the natives are retiring.'
There is definitly no view of the plateau from the mountain.
Any sightings therefore were from the mountain onto the plain, or backwards down the road to RD or along the path to become known as the Fugitives Drift.
So three possible areas of sighting. None of which are reputed to have had Zulus 'retiring'.

So no Zulus in the area at all. Then who would those 'Natives' be? Couldn't be Barrys they were invisible on piquet, Couldn't be Raw or Roberts because they were patrolling alomg the plateau and out of site. So we are left with Wyatt Vause or Staffords men coming in from RD or Lonsdales men coming in from piquet.
This then well before the impi was discovered because it was after this 'sighting' that Durnford sent Higginson of to the patrols with his message and the impi was discovered. So no NNC being chased by Zulu.

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:12 pm

So we are back with Cochrane's evidence as being credible. He says no messages came from the top of Isandhlwana (so he must have known people had been sent up). According to him the message that Durnford responds to is the last one from the "scouts" that the enemy are retiring in all directions. Higginson's evidence must be suspect unless Frank is right about the location of the retiring natives, if they were visible from Isandhlwana they can only have been on the plain, or to the rear of Isandhlwana (which does not seem likely). Would the mouth of the Quabe be visible from Isandhlwana or is it blocked by the conical hill?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:15 pm

Frank. Where would the Zulus have been retiring, to be seen by the men on top of Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:03 pm

Steve
Jabez Molife said that they: " rode straight towards the ridge. We then saw the Zulus apparently running away, but the Colonel said "If they are going towards the General we must stop them at all hazards."
So there were Zulu on the plain and IF Durnford rode straight for them then they had to have been running up the Quabe Valley as that's the route he took.
IMPI does that answer your question?

Julian
The beginnings of PROOF maybe?

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:30 pm

Frank

I would nit pick a bit and say that going south of the conical hill is not heading straight for the ridge, but it is towards the mouth of the Quabe. Are we to think that the Zulus are seen retiring in the mouth of the Quabe first by Higginson's man, and then by Molife after he and Durnford have left the camp? If the fear is they are heading towards LC then presumably they are coming south down the Quabe? If so, it can be no surprise to Durnford that he runs into them.

Steve
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:42 pm

how about the Zulus that Chard saw on the heights through binoculars and pointed out to Durnford as he met him on the road from Isandhlwana to RD. Could they be the ones visible from the mountain top that might have been 'retiring'? Just trying to close off all possible avenues.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:58 am

Where would 'Higginson's man' have been looking from, and how do we know for sure that the report that Durnford responded to was 'the enemy are retiring in all directions'? Cochrane said "some of the reports were", he did not say that they were in that particular order, ie; they might not have been in the sequence he gave in his report.

I still think that Col Durnford responded to the report that a group was heading in the direction of the general, as Cochrane also went on to say that "Colonel Durnford said that he would go out and prevent one column joining the impi who were supposed at that time to be engaged with the troops under the general".

Julian makes a good point, surely if Chard could see movement on the heights, then a lookout 'scout' (Higginson's man)? could also see movement from an higher position than Chard was.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:31 am

Julian
Possibly the conversation between 'Bullock' and Higginson would have been more present tense rather than past.
As a second point if the Zulu were a remnant of the Chard/Pope/Brickhill sightings they would have had to have been visible from the camp. There are no comments that put visible Zulus from the camp area after Durnfords arrival.
Martin
You are possibly correct but Harry Davies mentions that when Durnford told them to get ready to move he mentions that the enemy are retiring.
Cochrane again puts the emphasis on the final 'report; The enemy are retiring in every direction. Upon this latter report Colonel Durnford said he would go out and prevent the one column joining the impi that was supposed at that time to be engaged with the troops under the General.'


Steve
I would say that they were looking at iThusi and headed for that point. The easiest road, then and now would be to leave the camp heading South of Amatutshane and avoid the dongas then cut North East to the base of iThusi and the mouth of the Quabe.

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:17 am

These are some notes I made on the topic, see if you can make any more sense of them than my conclusion.

1) Durnford arrives at iSandlwana . Both Molife and Hamer say that they saw small groups of Zulus on the distant hills
2) After speaking to Pulleine Durnford sends back to his wagons, Wyatt Vause and Stafford.
3) Higginson arrives back in camp after watching Zulu on the plateau with Vereker
4) Higginson is directed by Pulleine to give his report to Durnford.
5) Harry Davis chats to some Carbineers and Bullock
6) Harry Davis overhears a ‘Native Spy’ telling Durnford that he had see a great many of the enemy to the left of the camp. Jacob Molife confirms a sentry told Durnford there were zulu on the ridge and seemed to be running away, he puts the number at 400.
Raw says that Durnford ordered them out very close to their arrival at iSandlwana after being told there was a body of 600 enemy crossing the hills. Confirmed by Hamer that they were sent out very soon after arrival.
Norse says: “On arriving in camp some piquets reported that the enemy, about 600 strong, were retiring behind a range of hills on our left,”
7) This news prompts Durnford to send Shepstone and Barton onto the plateau. Molife says that it was after this that Durnford had breakfast
8) 30 minutes later Durnford orders Henderson and Davies to follow him out of camp. Saying ‘The enemy are retiring.’ Molife says this was after breakfast
Private Johnson mentions Durnford came down from the camp of the 1/24th ( So possibly that’s where they had breakfast, not at HQ tent.) and gave orders that as the Zulus were retiring fast the mounted men should advance up a hill about 2.5 miles distant and the rocket battery should follow them. ( this then has to refer to D and H )
9) Molife reports that they left camp and at some point on the ride saw Zulus running away and the Colonel (Durnford) said:”if They are going towards the General we must stop them at all hazards.”


So at around 10.30 ish. Onwards
Durnford arrives enemy are still visible.
Quite a few reports suggest they are retiring, Cochrane/Molife/Davies all confirm the reports.
Estimates put the retiring force between 400 and 600.
The reports are generated from the ridge.
The visible Zulus from early on have to be between the piquets and the camp to be visible ?????????
Around 15 minutes after
Shepstone and Barton are sent to the ridge
Higginson reports to Durnford and a man is sent to the top of iSandlwana
Minimum 20-30 minute time gap
Sentry comes down from mountain and reports enemy withdrawing. That has to be a visible enemy below the level of the ridge but not visible from the camp ( 1st/24th camp)
Higginson is sent with a message to Shepstone/Barton
Durnfords information from the sentry is quite possibly the same info that Molife refers to.

So it seems there was a visible enemy from iSandlwana but not from the camp, only logical areas would be behind Amatutshane at a distance, possibly below iThusi. If they are with drawing and Durnford sees fit to chase them then they wouldn’t be withdrawing onto the plateau. The only places therefore they could be moving to would be across the plain, to the South, East or North.
Durnford chased towards the North..ish so one would assume that would be the direction they were retiring to.
So where did the zulu come from.
Its possible they were the force that Durnford saw when he arrived in camp, but they cant have been moving East otherwise he would have seen them as a threat moving towards the General. They couldn’t move South or they would bump into the camp, West is again a possibility in which case they could have been the force that Higginson and Vereker watched.
They could have moved into the Notch area and been seen by Scott who would then have sent a message back to the camp. Would this disparate group have just kept moving or would they at some point over the hour plus have decided to sit and rest. Possibly at the foot of iThusi, East face. That would put them out of sight from the camp and Amatutshane. If the piquet on iThusi was concentrating on the plateau ( where S and B were by now patrolling) they wouldn’t have seen the small force tucked below them.
If that force rested for 30 to 45 minutes then it’s a possibility that as they moved of around iThusi they could have been seen from the mountain as withdrawing.
Its also possible that this force came from the East, so frightening the piquets and causing them to retreat. This could then have been a portion of the force left behind that engaged Dartnell.
To many possibilities to call.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:16 am

Re the Chard Zulus - it is true that there are no comments from the camp area that put visible Zulus on the plateau after Durnford's arrival...EXCEPT the very one we're looking at, viz. the man on top of Isandhlwana. Is it possible that the Chard Zulus could have withdrawn a little so as not to be visible from the camp (or thepicquet on the ridge) but visible from the mountaintop?? When they do eventually retire they could then have given rise to H's man's comment that 'the natives are retiring'.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:58 am

Hi Julian
As I put forward earlier
"So it seems there was a visible enemy from iSandlwana but not from the camp, only logical areas would be behind Amatutshane at a distance, possibly below iThusi. If they are with drawing and Durnford sees fit to chase them then they wouldn’t be withdrawing onto the plateau. The only places therefore they could be moving to would be across the plain, to the South, East or North. "
And a result that would fit the known facts:
"Would this disparate group have just kept moving or would they at some point over the hour plus have decided to sit and rest. Possibly at the foot of iThusi, East face. That would put them out of sight from the camp and Amatutshane. If the piquet on iThusi was concentrating on the plateau ( where S and B were by now patrolling) they wouldn’t have seen the small force tucked below them.

So to answer your question yes its possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:11 am

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This is a view from just above the HQ area tents. Amatutshane ( conical hill ) is ahead on the other side of the dongas, the plateau ridge on the left right at the end of the ridge is an indent, the notch, at the end of the ridge adjacent to the notch is iThusi the hill slopes down onto the plain and that low 'ridge' hides a lot of territory. It is however visible from higher up the mountain and to a degree from the top of Mahlabamkosi (Blacks koppie).
Hope that helps
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:14 am

Frank
But could they not have been on the plateau, away from the edge, visible from the mountaintop and not from the camp/ridge, and 'withdrawing' or 'retiring' further back northwards on to the plateau?  That would seem to fit all the criteria wouldn't it?
I can't really see how any Zulus in the plain (or hidden behind iThusi) would not have already been visible to Scott's vedettes on Conical Koppie or the escarpment and therefore already reported on back to camp.
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PostSubject: Walter Higginson statement    Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:18 am

Nice photo Frank .
90th Very Happy
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Walter higginsons statement   Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:32 am

There is the conundrum Julian. Unfortunatly the edge of the plateau is actually the top to the ridge that runs backwards down onto the plain so whereas it may just be possible to see a few heads bobbing around (Hummmm) if they were back of the edge it wouldn't be much. There are a couple of hills on that ridge that cover it very well both had piquets on them and so any zulus that close to the edge would have been, I would imagine, engaged.
As the earlier reports from Pope onwards, the impis seen moving would have had to be on the face of that ridge and so between the piquets and the camp. Theres just no other way of viewing them.
This is a diagram I put together showing where I believe the impi seen by chard would have travelled. It fits this purpose rather well in that it shows the whole ridge and the piquet areas.
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