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 G coy positions at Isandlwana

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:00 pm

Here is a photo from the forum some time ago. It gives a very good impression of the firing line, the distances between soldiers and the distance from the camp. I would say it is pretty much where Pope's Company would have been. When you consider that the camp would have been on the flat ground in front of the mountain I would say the line is not particularly far out.
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90th

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PostSubject: G Co Positions at Isandlwana    Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:02 pm

Hi All
This is mainly for the new guys , Ray I've posted on here many times why the firing line was so far from the camp ! . Basically they had to be so far out because the Tented area was quite large and they had to be in front of it , which makes sense if your orders are to defend the camp ! , as I've said previously the lay of the land has everything to do with it as well , you cant see much unless you are well out on to the plain , the dead ground is plentiful on the plain in front of the camp . I've posted some pics on here before , I can tell you if you stand in the tented area you cannot see todays villages on the plain , due to the lay of the land , it looks nice and flat the area around Isandlwana and all along the plain , but I can tell you its nothing like that at all , for Instance G Co couldn't have seen Y'husband , Cavaye or Mostyn's companies and vice versa , the land is unbelievably distorted . Chalkie I'll send some pics of G Co's position to ' Graves1879 ' , he will , as always , post them for us when he gets the chance to do so . Very Happy
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PostSubject: G Co Positions at Isandlwana    Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:04 pm

Steve that seems to me to be to far right of Pope's position as you look at the Mountain .
90th Salute
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:08 pm

Hi Gary

You have a much better feel for Pope's position than me, but it supports what we are both saying about why the line was where it was.

Look forward to your photos.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:24 pm

Paul

The avatar is Colour Sergeant Bourne OBE DCM of Rorke's Drift fame. Looks nothing like Nigel Green in the film!

I have found a picture of G Company 2/24th but it is just after Isandhlwana so may not be what you want. It is in Ian Knight's book "ZULU isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift 22-25 January 1879" published by W&G (otherwise known as the silver book). It can sometimes be got very cheaply and is one of the best for photographs. I do not know of any other photos of G Company or of 2/24th from that time.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:24 pm

What excuse can there be for not striking the tents.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:39 pm

Ray63 wrote:
What excuse can there be for not striking the tents.

I think the argument was that they were trying to pack the contents up, so dropping the tents would have prevented that.

By the time the seriousness of the situation was realised, it was far too late.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:41 pm

I can see that they weren't deployed too far out when you've mentioned the camp in the rear and if the ground is so undulating then they would have to go to the best position they could to defend the camp, makes sense. Looking forward to seeing the pics. Its a good photo of C/S Bourne.
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90th

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PostSubject: G Co Positions at Isandlwana    Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:51 pm

Hi All
I've sent off about 15 or so pics to Graves1879 , one of those photos is looking down the plain from the tented area , you cannot see the villages due to the dead ground , I'll try and find a couple of the villages to highlight how deceptive the ground actually is ! .
90th Shocked
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90th

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PostSubject: G Co Positions at Isandlwana    Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:06 pm

I've sent 3 photo's to Graves1879 showing the Villages which cant be seen from the base of Isandlwana , or from the Tented area , this will show you the difficulty which faced the troops re the dead ground and why they were out so far .
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:55 pm



50 men of G company where found neer the Mpofane Donga I read here on the forum , how far out on the plain is this ? Presumably this was G Coys first firing position before the fall back.
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eaton

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:18 pm

90th wrote:
Hi All
I've sent off about 15 or so pics to Graves1879 , one of those photos is looking down the plain from the tented area , you cannot see the villages due to the dead ground , I'll try and find a couple of the villages to highlight how deceptive the ground actually is ! .
90th Shocked

How far would this dead ground and the villages be from where the camp was?
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:42 pm

This map shows the locations of the Companies on the firing line and their lines of retreat. The little donga behind Pope's position is the Mpofana donga. Ian Knight gives a description of G Company's action on page 403 of Zulu Rising.

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:00 pm

Thanks, I haven't got that book so I will try and get a copy.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:46 pm

Am I correct in saying Pope was KIA on the slopes of the Nek?
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:08 pm

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A Cairn near the G Co position

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Looking to the Nqutu Ridge from near the G Co Position

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General area of G Co.

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General area of G Co.

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From G Co position I've turned around to look at the mountain

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Looking to the saddle from the same position as the previous photo

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G Co Position

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Left of G com position

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From G Co position to the saddle

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The view of Isand from G Co's Position

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From near G Co's position looking down the plain

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Unmagnified view of Isand from the G Co Position

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From near G Co looking across the firing line.

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From Pope's to Durnford

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To highlight the dead ground this pic is looking down the plain from the camp area, you cannot see the Zulu villages which are on the plain, due to the dead ground I spoke of in my earlier post.

These next three are the Villages on the plain that cant be seen from the base of Isandlwana, and also cant be seen from the tented area either.
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chalkie



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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:19 pm

These are fantastic, thanks for posting them. You can definatley see how undulating the ground is. Its such an open expance to defend , can you imagine standing in that firing line looking out on the Zulu advance ?
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:22 pm

Gents I'll hold my hands up.

Is the Nek and the saddle on Isandlwana hill?
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:43 pm

Gary

Excellent photos.

Ulundi

The nek and the saddle are the same place. Look at Gary's 9th photo (From G Company position to the saddle). The hill on the right is the slope of Isandhlwana and the hill on the left is the Stony Koppie, between them is the saddle.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:46 pm

Thanks Steve. So they died on the slopes of the Nek.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:50 pm

Those that were left.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:00 pm

Including Pope & Austin!
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:52 pm

90th

Many thanks for sharing your photos and thanks 1879Graves for posting them.

Regards

Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:28 pm

Wonderful pictures Gary, in fact brilliant, many thanks for sending them, and also many thanks to Graves for posting them for you, great stuff.

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90th

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PostSubject: G Co Positions at Isandlwana    Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:49 am

Thanks guys for the kind words , a massive thanks to ' Graves1879 ' for taking the time out to post them as quickly as he did , thanks Mate , it's very much appreciated , not only by me , but by several others it's safe to say Salute . Just to clear a point or two , the photo's I've taken standing on the dirt road which you can see in the photos , which I've notated as G Co's position , it isnt , its on the way to G Co's position , as they were further down the plain away from the road which runs across the face of Isandlwana , hope I havent confused the issue with anyone , including myself ! No agree agree
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:38 am

A massive thanks from me as these photos have added to the story of Pte James White enormously and gives me a feel for the ground on which the 24th fought.
Thank you .
Chalkie.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:03 am

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I thought this may help. The cairns etc are accurately plotted, within 100mm as are the monuments. The firing line is my own interpretation based on original reports and the findings of the Ian Knight dig.
Where I have indicated the Pope cairns, these are hotly disputed by many authors, they are the only possible occupants even though they are further to the East than expoused by Colonel Snook etc.
There are no other candidates apart from the Zulu, and as far as Im aware there are no records of Zulus being buried with the soldiers.
Wardells position is a really a matter of interpretation. There is a report that he marched forward and across the guns to fire down into the concealed ground. That is the ground that Gary has so ably demonstrated that exists with the hidden village.
As to the death of James White I would suggest that its highly possible that he was part of the 'ad hoc' company formed by Henry Dyer ( Note Dyson is incorrectly annotated on the map). and positioned to fill the gap refered to by Davies. He will therefore be positioned by one of the forward cairns or on the retreat back to the saddle, Im afraid thats the closest anyone will get. The beginning of the line from Younghusband is described by Essex.
Hope that helps.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:13 am

It all helps , thanks Frank.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:38 am

Bonjour Frank,
About Dyson, I don't see his name on your map:scratch:.
You put Lonsdlale and his Coy of NNC on the firing'line? ( and not " in echelon" / in support) between Wardell and the camposite Coy of Dyer?
Thank for your map.
Frédéric
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:31 am

Hi Frederic
Yes managed to change it on the map. I definitely believe Lonsdal was on the firing line. Firstly on his retreat he would have arrived around about the rocky ridge area and the statements from: Malindi who refers to his companies fire and that of a company of the 24th and the NNC and again he sent back for more ammunition. To my mind that places him in the firing line. He also comments that they were ordered to retire andwhen retreating they got to the tent line and the company of the 24th knelt down and commenced firing. That also points to a very orderly withdrawl. Below them to the left was another company also kneeling down. So that places them between two 24th companies. There is a further statement that puts a company of the 24th either side of the guns at the beginning. Hence my reasoning in putting Lonsdal where I did. Incidently Malindi gives the story of Lonsdale sending away his horse and joining the 24th in firing. I hope that explains my reasoning.

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:51 am

Good morning Frank.

Your maps just get better. Someone asked a little while ago what were the main sources of information that have increased members understanding of events in the AZW. As far as I am concerned, I have learned more about what actually happened from your detailed analysis of the ground and the literature than I have from any of the books. What is more, I can picture in my mind exactly how that whole terrain works without ever having been there. Eternally grateful my friend!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:58 am

Aw shucks............. now Im blushing. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:32 am

Frank,
I forget to me in my previous post the essenitial point for me: very happy my dear friend to hear you again.
 Your arguments about the position of Lonsdale are very interesting, you know of course that it is a hotly point between the authors.

I.E: am totally agree with  the comment wrote by Steve. You and Julian Whybra.


Amitié.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:36 am

Frank's map prompts a particular thought in my mind. Look at how the curve of the firing line neatly covers the ground from the northern end of Isandhlwana all the way around to the donga defended by Durnford. Now just suppose his Lordship hadn't gone wandering off that morning. Double the number of imperial companies would have been available to complete the circle from Durnford's donga around to the saddle and the southern end of Isandhlwana. Just a thought.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:43 am

Indeed, which to me suggests that they were trying to defend too big an area in the first place.
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PostSubject: G Co Positions at Isandlwana    Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:53 am

I wrote some notes when I was standing on the firing line at G Co's position back in May , I'm not home so don't have them with me , but from memory , due to the lay of the land , Pope may've been able to see Wardell's Company , but wouldn't have seen any of the others to Wardell's left from what I can gather , the ground has to be seen to be believed , it looks flat / flattish in photogrpahs , it is in small parts , but its such a large area it's easy to think its flat , which isnt the case . I'm keen to poke around the Donga which runs across the plain in front of the camp , one never can tell what may turn up ! Joker Joker
90th Salute
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PostSubject: G Co Positions at Isandlwana    Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:58 am

Yes Eaton , the area that needed to be covered was far to large an expanse for the number of troops that were available , they were set out with 3 - 4 yards between each man by the reports I've read .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:00 pm

Hi Frederic
It is indeed hotly contested. Like most things about iSandlwana there are competing interpretations, The dig by Ian Knight pretty much settled the actual line position and the western end of the line is well documented by Essex, its the balance that's open to interpretation really. Im happy with my take on things, it stands up to scrutiny. I am firmly of the opinion that there are still two Native elements to slot into place, along with Raw.
He I would put close to Shepstone, but theres very little to endorse that view. Malindi comments on the fire of the NNC so that would put a company very close to Lonsdale. There is still the NNC on the 'Knuckle" so consider my firing line as a work in progress.
Steve.
If only! But there again would Chelmsfords battle plan still have been adhered to?
The bodies of the fallen were moved around quite considerably in being grouped together for burial but the general areas of the cairns intimate the fall of soldiers and the lines of the fighting rather well. Its something that modern battlefield analists tend to ignore in the rush to make facts fit theories. Bassage commented on the bodies he saw in the donga and that played a huge part in Col Snooks re construction, but the ground doesn't support his theory. Neither does the eye witness accounts of the demise of Godwin Austin and Pope. Sorry, digressing to prove a point that modern day authors develop theories that don't fit the facts. In my enforced 'quite time' Ive read some acounts from a few of the better known 'historians' that have had me cringing.

Interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:10 pm

90th
I would fully agree with you in terms of who could see what. If your going to snoop the donga do the same on the Rocky Ridge. I would be very surprised if you didn't find things of interest. Most hunters concentrate around the car park for some strange reason.
Have a look at area 'G' on the Mainwaring map.

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:12 pm

I don't go with the Ian Knight dig as actual confirmation that he had found a new position for the firing line. Only a few cartridges were found and a ammuntion box tin foil pull. Either of those could have been transported by other means.
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:16 pm

Where does the account of IK's dig appear?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:20 pm

Hi eaton
Two battles really unfolded. Firstly the attacks form the North/North East. That forced Pulleine to oppose in the manner prescribed by Chelmsford, and it worked. Popes comments on how they were thrashing the Zulu stands. But then the left horn/reserve held back by Durnfords retreat became a Second front. Pope was pulled out of the line and 'hinged' back onto the ridge. The mounted detachment then rode down the donga and Durnford joined forces with them. That caused the line to be extended way to the South.
So possibly in looking for officers that made the wrong decisions Allan Gardner should join the fold. If he had ordered them to the small donga and brought Durndfords men back to join them the line would have been a lot better defended, ammunition would have been closer and when the left horn flanking movement was attempted it could have been defended a lot easier.
The right horn however would still have swung the battle.

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90th

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PostSubject: G Co Positions at Isandlwana    Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:24 pm

Hi Frank
Yes I've sniffed around the rocky ridge , I did find a couple of interesting bits and pieces Shocked only briefly headed into the Donga with Ian , he was very keen to get back to it as am I ! . I also have an area in which I'm going to go over with a fine tooth comb , I would've done so in November but the mist / light rain obscured much for the last two days , then as we were leaving , heading off to J'burg , the mist lifted as we hit the bitumen road ! , funny about that Sad Sad Sad Sad
90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:28 pm

Hi Steve
I don't believe it was ever published.
Ray
The dig in area 1 brought out a lot more than that. 50 bent nails, 3 ammunition box straps, Martini Henry cases, buckles, foil and pull handles. Pretty conclusive stuff really.


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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:31 pm

Hi Gary
Good hunting, should still be a few MH cartridges under those rocks. I do know that a few buttons were located on the RR last year.

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:33 pm

So where does the detail come from?

Steve
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PostSubject: G Co Positions at Isandlwana    Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:33 pm

Frank you are correct , the ' Dig ' was never Published . It was sent to the relevant authorities .... where it still is today ! .
90th Salute Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:35 pm

90th wrote:
Hi Frank
Yes I've sniffed around the rocky ridge , I did find a couple of interesting bits and pieces Shocked  only briefly headed into the Donga with Ian , he was very keen to get back to it as am I ! . I also have an area in which I'm going to go over with a fine tooth comb , I would've done so in November but the mist / light rain obscured much for the last two days , then as we were leaving , heading off to J'burg , the mist lifted as we hit the bitumen road ! , funny about that Sad Sad Sad Sad
90th Very Happy

Hi 90th

Could I ask what you found?
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90th

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PostSubject: G Co Positions at Isandlwana    Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:49 pm

Hi Waterloo
Nothing of any great note , just some old bits of Metal and Tin , where I left them in their same spot where they had been been for a long, long time ! Shocked
90th
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: G coy positions at Isandlwana   Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:49 pm

Steve
I was fortunate to see it in Dundee.

Cheers
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