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The Battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift
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 G coy positions at Isandlwana

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impi

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:35 pm

The accounts regarding ammuntion being supplied twice to these compaines.

Do the accounts actually say "ammunition boxes"?

Or just "ammunition"?
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:01 pm

Higginson saw a sergeant from Lonsdale's coy and two men of the 24th carrying out two boxes to that coy.
Malindi (Lonsdale's coy) said "We got fresh [ammunition] from Camp, and remained firing". He continued by saying that the fire of the company and of the 24th next to them "checked those opposite to us but those who were a little out of our line still kept on". The latter were presumably the tip of the left horn outflanking the 24th on the British right.
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:41 pm

Thanks Julian!
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:52 pm

It seems that the ammunition boxes came from the reserve of the 24th.
If Lonsdale Coy was on the right of the firing line, probably from Quartermaster Pullen (1/24th).
But troopers from Durnford, also on the right of the firing line said that a Quatermaster of the 24th ( probably Pullen) didn't agree to give them ammunitions. In the same vein, there is  the story between the "little boy" who kept the reserve ammunition of the 1/24th (after the departure of Pullen) and Sgt Kambula (Edendale troops)
Not logic: scratch  
I certainly missed something (refusal motivated by the caliber of the guns/ cartridges?) .
Necessity for me to return to study the long debate on the ammunition question Sad
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:54 pm

Didn't Dunfords men have the Snider rifles.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:24 am

How many rounds did a ammuntion box hold.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:44 am

ymob
Why should the re-supply come from the 24th?  why should it not come from the NNC's own ammunition waggon.  These were not Durnford's NNC.  Their officers would have known where their own supplies were.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:47 am

impi wrote:
Didn't Dunfords men have the Snider rifles.

From Neil Aspinshaw on this forum (Durnford's donga)
About the Edendale men:

"There is conflicting evidence, In the South African military history society journal Vol 7 No 6 1988 a thesis on Kambula by Dr F K Mitchell does write that the Edendale men were re-equipped with Swinburns, if so, it would chamber the conventional Mk3 577/450 military cartridge but I am looking for hard evidence they did, not supposition.

If they did, then the 24th's QMr would have had rounds, no doubt. Please bare in ming the Swinburn exisited since 1872 when JF Swinburn patented the action, a full five years before the carbine round existed, it was designed to accept the standard cartridge of the day".

Cheers

Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:53 am

Julian Whybra wrote:
ymob
Why should the re-supply come from the 24th?  why should it not come from the NNC's own ammunition waggon.  These were not Durnford's NNC.  Their officers would have known where their own supplies were.

Bonjour Mr Whybra,

This is a deduction on my part:
You wrote: "Higginson saw a sergeant from Lonsdale's coy and two men of the 24th carrying out two boxes to that coy".

Why are not men of NNC who brought the ammunition boxes but two men of the 24th escorted by a Sergeant of the NNC?

Cheers

Frédéric
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waterloo50

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:55 pm

rusteze wrote:
Talking of ammunition boxes, this is a later photo of a captured maxim gun in the Boer War. Note the ammunition boxes for 303 rounds are the same as those used during the AZW.
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Steve

I'm wondering if these same boxes had the new modification, the screws that held the lid on were screwed into a steel lined housing, not visible but an important modification. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:23 pm

No good in the tent, should be in the men's pouches on the line!
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:08 am

xhosa2000 wrote:
Morris at no time claimed his work was definitive! how some
people in the world received his work was not a matter for him!.


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From the dust cover introduction: 'The Washing of the spears is the definitive account.....'
Subtitle to the main title: A history of the Zulu Nation under Shaka and its fall in the Zulu War of 1879."

Two pretty strong claims to accuracy!

If we are to denigrate Mike Snook for a lack of footnotes and his flights of fantasy then the same must apply to others.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:58 am

Frank Allewell wrote:
xhosa2000 wrote:
Morris at no time claimed his work was definitive! how some
people in the world received his work was not a matter for him!.


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

From the dust cover introduction: 'The Washing of the spears is the definitive account.....'
Subtitle to the main title: A history of the Zulu Nation under Shaka and its fall in the Zulu War of 1879."

Two pretty strong claims to accuracy!

If we are to denigrate Mike Snook for a lack of footnotes and his flights of fantasy then the same must apply to others.

I wonder what he meant by 'Workman like accounts', it almost sounds like a derogatory remark.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:31 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
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Very nice photo Xhosa!!!!
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Bill8183



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:24 pm

Hopefully to get back to the "G Coy positon"
Mr Allewell, you state on your satellite map that G Coy's cairns are more to the east than Snook believes. I'm a little confused as my take on HCMDB is he believes they fell back from the Ngoyane donga then they were rolled up from the right. Your map puts the cairns to the east of the Mpofane donga, which I would have thought co-incided with what Col Snook believes?
How many cairns are in that area, does anyone know? Are there enough to substantiate his belief that virtually all the 2/24th fell in that area so were not killed on the saddle? (Using the notebook of Cpl Bassage as his evidence)
Incidently, in your "welcome" reply on my first ever post your say that both you & 90th posted a critique of HCMDB ( and thus your disagreements) on the forum. Regretfully I have been unable to find it! Perhaps it's been archived? the version on my phone differs from the "classic" view on my laptop and I have still not worked out how to use the site fully.

regards,
Bill
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:39 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
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I'm thinking this is a photo we haven't seen before?
Bottom right corner, is that a person in uniform?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:58 pm

Evening Bill
No I don't believe there are sufficient cairns to justify Col Snooks opinion, but there again we do know that the cairns are a general pointer only. There are a number of clues that the Colonel has ignored or disgarded to fit his theory. The position Pope was last seen and the position his body was found. Its highly unlikely that Pope would have fled and left his men behind. When he was approached about the site of Popes body he commented that the saddle could be defined as stretching down to the donga and so if it was reported that Popes body was found there then it would have been at the donga. Its an explanation that doesn't seem to fit.
The map of the cairns is pretty accurate, every one was GPS marked and plotted.

Cheers

Cheers
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:07 pm

The photos by the way are from May21st 1879.
Cheers
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Bill8183



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:14 pm

Evening Mr A,
Yes I've seen the description of the death of two Officers with monocles in many publications, plus the marking of Pope's body with an "iron cross"?? Stretching down to the donga.. hmmm quite a stretch indeed. Thanks for posting the map, most useful. For saving of such photos/drawings do you need to have a photo bucket account or is it possible to save direct?

Regards,

Bill
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:18 pm

Bill I cant answer the saving issue, not that technical Im afraid, possible one of the forum members can help.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:29 pm

Bill8183 wrote:
Evening Mr A,
Yes I've seen the description of the death of two Officers with monocles in many publications, plus the marking of Pope's body with an "iron cross"?? Stretching down to the donga.. hmmm quite a stretch indeed. Thanks for posting the map, most useful. For saving of such photos/drawings do you need to have a photo bucket account or is it possible to save direct?

Regards,

Bill

Hello Bill,

If you see something you want to save, Right Click and Save As or Highlight the text you wish to save and select copy and then paste it to a separate file.

Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:40 pm

I have put these two old photos together because they seem to be taken from virtually the same spot (the shape of the mountain is pretty identical). The first taken in May 1879 (thanks Frank) and the second, I would guess, on the 50th anniversary? What is interesting is that you can see the locations of some of the cairns and memorials in the second shot.

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Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:06 am

Bill
A bit more settled to go into your post this morning. Cpl JohnBassage stated that he saw virtually all the 2/24th men laying at the place they were on piquet, the small donga. There are to best of my recollection around ten cairns that 'could' be attributed to G company. Of those ten only four are either at the Donga or close. Six are much further East with three of those really close to the large donga.
Either Popes men were far closer than history tells us to Durnfords force and lost 12 to 20 men there or those cairns belong to either the NNC or the Mounted Men, Durnfords plus others.
Further back towards the small donga, on the area of the rocky ridge are I believe the first of the G Company graves three strung out on the ridge, two at the Southern end of the donga and two more central on the West side of the small donga. That's a potential of 7 cairns that could support the Bassage comments. There were, of the cuff, around 150 G company men in the line, that would mean that each of those cairns contained 20 plus bodies. That kind of figure has never been mentioned by the burial parties. Assuming that all of those Eastern cairns were G company, that still means an average of 15 to the graves, an unsupported figure.
No doubt G Company did bleed badly along the donga but as I said earlier the pointers towards Pope being much higher up when he died would also in my opinion point towards a retreat with a portion, large portion, towards Durnford or Pullen. Guessing, and that's really all we can do, I would therefore disagree with the good Colonel and Corporal Bassage and say that probably close to 50% of the company fought back towards the foot of the saddle and lay buried ay or close to the 'Colonial Cemetery.
But that is purely a personal view point, I cant substantiate with facts.
Hope that helps.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:43 am

Frank
Broadly speaking I agree totally with your assessment. The only point of difference is that I think your final figure of 50% is too high - probably more like 10-20 individuals.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:29 pm

Frank/Julian,
Many thanks for your replies, it seems there is no arguement about where they fought, just where they fell. I've been looking again at the "Rally on the Colours" chapter in Col Snooks book. He does give an impression of a line of cairns behind the rocky ridge, which looking at Frank's satellite map is a bit misleading. They are somewhat spaced out and as you state only around 10 of them.
I've no idea where his grouping of about 50 G Coy men could possibly be (Pg 244)
I have no idea exactly what is in the notebook of Cpl Bassage, it's one of the items I'd like to get a copy from the museum. (There are many more but Mr Davies would probably have a fit). Obviously he was from C Coy and recognised the remains of some of the 20 or so men left behind on guard, as Snook states one such grouping of Sgt William Shaw, Pte Benjamin Latham from Newport, 976 Pte Thomas Jones from Brecon and Pte James White home town unknown, well now we do know, Hexham, as I guess its the same James White this post is about.
Julian, if you believe only a max of 20 2nd battalion men got to the saddle, where did they fall, the slopes pf the Koppie / main camp area?

Regards,
Bill
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:08 pm

Hi Bill
I think this question proves how little we do know about the battle. The principle of G Company men reaching the saddle is I think agreeable to all however, under the close command of Pope and Godwen- Austin. And that has to rank as one of the truly great pieces of command. There is a single cairn just below the Colonials cemetery that for no good reason has always stuck in my mind, whenever Im at iSandlwana I usually end up sitting staring at it. Possibly a touch of Victorian melodrama is whispering that its Charlie Pope is there. But that's what iSandlwana does to you. Ask 90th and any one else that's spent time there.
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Stuff and nonsense of course............................................?

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:31 pm

Hi Frank,
Great photo, since I've not had the oportunity to visit there yet and not fully conversant with the topography,the centre of the photo is the "rocky ridge"? Behind it nearer the camera is the Mpfone donga or is the donga where the two trees are?
Good view of the size of the battlefield, if G Coy did indeed start the battle facing the plateau they had a fair distance to hinge back.
Regards,
Bill
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:59 pm

Hi Bill
Look at the centre tree, the line running just above its top branches is the donga. The rocky ridge is behind that line. Its generally understood that the area in front of the camp was flat. In fact it slopes down to the donga then slopes back up again, almost a shallow bowl area, to the rocky ridge.
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Possibly this may assist to put things into perspective
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:59 pm

Bill
I think the bulk of G coy ended up where the column had left them that morning.
By the way where Pope fell was marked by an iron meat-scale not a cross.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:54 pm

Interestingly Mainwarings map shows where a preponderance of bodies where discovered, not so individuals apart from the line aross the front of the camp and small groups but certainly large groups. Dyers body position is also marked. Nothing to show 100 to 150 bodies near the donga or the rocky ridge. The only concentration indicated to the East is CS Wolf with aprox 20 bodies. One would think that the abundance of bodies in the small donga would have been noted?
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:12 pm

Im probably barking up the wrong tree here but I cant find anything on Boasts map either.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:14 pm

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:23 pm

Well, Boast listed about 298 graves? With an average 2-4 bodies per grave that gives 600-1200 probable casualties buried. Using the numbers from England's Sons of about 1300 casualties with some buried way off toward the river. So it's unlikely there are any significant numbers of missing bodies.
Despite the unusual elevation of the map, its clear most fell in the camp/saddle area or down the trail. Granted, although the burials are not an exact representation of where they were killed, it's safe to say no soldier in the burial parties are going to willingly carry large numbers of remains any distance, they would be buried near the spot they fell.
So it would seem that no significant number of the 2/24th fell as far east as some would claim.

Waterloo, thanks, I've tried saving as jpeg but for some reason, it works for some (the maps above and a few photos) but a lot of photos will not open in photo viewer.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:28 pm


It just so happened that your reference to Melton Prior co-incided with the arrival of probably the biggest bargain so far in my quest for AZW literature! I just paid the princely sum of 88 pence (yes pence) for a leather bound first edition of his "Campaigns of a War Correspondent".
...that was
a good get.. i believe mine was only 5p at a jumble sale in the early eighties.. not one of my
favourites..
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:14 pm

littlehand wrote:
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It was worth ago!

LH looks good, but how accurate is it?
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