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 Colonel Dunford's horsemen

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free1954



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PostSubject: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:17 pm

I read a feature in a SINGLESHOT magazine at the doctors office, not sure what issue it was, that stated colonel Durnford's horsemen were armed with Westly Richards monkey tails. were these carbines or rifles?
Was the ammunition for these kept with all the other ammo?  Thank you for reading my post.
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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:22 pm

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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:30 pm

Bonjour,
There are interesting comments from Neil Aspinshaw in the threat "suplies of ammunition, Isandlwana, Durnford's donga"
Cheers
Frédéric
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free1954



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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:00 am

thanks gentlemen for the links. that answers my questions.
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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:43 pm

The belief that Colonel Durnford's Horsemen were armed with the Westley Richards "Monkey Tail" can probably be traced back to the book by D,R. Morris, "The Washing of the Spears", Page 369.

I have made an in-depth study of the rifles and carbines issued by the Natal Government. Only a very limited number of Westley Richards Carbines were ever acquired and archival evidence suggests that they may have been issued to the Prisons Service.

The carbines actually carried by Natal's mounted units were Snider and Swinburn Henry Carbines. Both of these carbines took a metallic cartridge, the case of which had to be ejected before reloading.  These coiled brass cases had a tendency to stick. The Westley Richards fired a paper cased cartridge which was consumed upon discharge merely leaving the remains of a felt base wad which was not removed but rather automatically pushed into the bore when the next cartridge was inserted.

Sources, other than Morris,  suggest that the Natal Native Horse were armed with "Martini Carbines". Since the Swinburn Henry Carbine is externally very similar to a Martini Henry, I believe that it was actually the Swinburn that was carried by the Natal Native Horse.

An important external difference between the Swinburn Cavalry Carbine and the Martini Henry Cavalry Carbine is that most of the former as ordered by the Natal Government are fitted to carry a short and relatively useless bayonet.

In the "Red Soldier", Page 91, by Frank Emory, he quotes a certain Lieutenant H. Davies who commanded the Edendale Contingent of the Natal Native Horse which actually fought under Durnford at Isandlwana. He refers to his carbine taking a bayonet, thus confirming that it was a Swinburn Henry Cavalry Carbine and neither a Westley Richards nor a Martini Henry.

So far as I am concerned the final evidence that the Westley Richards, with its combustible paper cartridge, was not carried by the native horsemen under Durnford's command is a quotation from "Moodie's Zulu War", Page 43 where one of his native troopers praised Durnford's conduct during the stand in the donga. This included helping his men by removing "old sticking cartridges". This is  a statement which indicates that they were armed with weapons taking a metallic cartridge which would not have been the case had they carried the Westley Richards.


Last edited by terrylee on Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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free1954



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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:23 am

hmmm, the plot thickens. thank you TERRYLEE for your lengthy response.
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terrylee

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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:54 pm

The carbines carried by the Natal Mounted Units during the Zulu War: Swinburn Henry and Snider Cavalry Carbines. The bayonet was not generally issued.

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free1954



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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:11 am

very nice sir. thanks for posting. were the Snyder's originally made as a carbine or were they cut down rifles? and why did they use the nipple protector?
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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:44 pm

The one Snider Cavalry carbine in my collection which can be positively identified as having been issued by the Natal Government is of the Mk.III pattern and thus not a conversion. But so are most of the others in my possession which originated in Natal.

However, over the period 1874 - 1879 the Natal Government acquired at least four batches of  Snider Cavalry Carbines from various sources. It is thus quite possible that conversions were also received and issued during the Zulu War. In support of this some Mk.II conversions that I have come across were also originally found in Natal.

The nipple protector appears to have been retained to protect the "nipple" through which the Snider firing pin passes. Perhaps this may also have proved liable to damage as with the percussion arms.
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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:05 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:10 pm

Were the "Callishers Terry Carbine's" used during the Zulu war ?

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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:16 am

I do not have any definite information concerning use of the Calisher during the Zulu War but think it possible that they could have been issued to some second line units. I attach two photos: The first is of a Calisher which was found in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, in the 1960s and was probably one of those originally issued to the Natal Volunteers and another showing some Basutos with these carbines.  Unfortunately I cannot vouch for the accuracy of its caption.  

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free1954



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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:02 am

interesting. thank you gentlemen for the replies, links and pictures.
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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:08 pm

terrylee,

The photograph you posted dates from the Langalibalele Uprising in 1873 and the blocking of the passes of the Drakensberg.

John Y.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:49 pm

This is the recorded issue of Swinburns in Nov 1878 by the Natal Authorities (source B Knapp), no mention of the Edendale Contingent.

Natal Carbineers 59
Victoria Mounted Rifles 47
Alexandra Mounted Rifles 30
Natal Hussars 41
Buffalo Border Guard 23
Ixopo Mounted Rifles 29
Durban Mounted Rifles 65
Newcastle Mounted Rifles 33
Stanger Mounted Rifles 46
Weenan Yeomanry 19
Isipingo Mounted Rifles 36
Natal Mounted Police 130

With a further 83 Swinburn Henry Carbines issued to various mixed border volunteers and scouts,
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PostSubject: Swiburn Henry used by the NMP   Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:00 pm

Hi Neil,
Thanks for the breakdown on the issues of this weapon in Natal.
I think these numbers changed somewhat shortly thereafter as there were 132 NMP at Isandlwana and another 100  or so around Natal at the out stations and in the capital, who were not called to the Zululand front.
Dartnell records in the history of the NMP that there were only 6 Terry rifles available when the Natal Mounted Police  were set up  a few years earlier. They were rejected as being totally unsuitable , and there were not nearly enough of them anyway.

regards

barry
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terrylee

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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:28 pm

Hi Neil, Your figures are very interesting.  However, according to Major Dartnell's report, the Natal Government received 830 Swinburn Carbines over the period April - October, 1878.  You have accounted for 641. I wonder what happened to the balance?  Natal Mounted Police? Edendale Contingent?

It is, of course, possible that as the commanding officer of the Edendale Contingent, Lieut. Davies was armed with the superior Swinburn while his troopers were equipped with Snider Carbines.  The main point that I wished to make
is that these troopers were armed with a firearm taking a metallic cartridge which rules out the Westley Richards.

Do you by any chance have figures covering the issue of Snider Carbines?

Terry
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PostSubject: Arming the town laagers   Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:19 am

Hi Terrylee,
Concur. See my preceding post.
The NMP , as well as their armoury, in addition to the arms issued by the Colonial authorities to the men woman and children in the town laagers will have no doubt accounted for more.
Laband's 'Field Guide to the war in Zululand', gives comprehensive details of just how widespread the laagers were.

regards

barry
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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Sun May 01, 2016 9:35 am

Hi Barry, According to the Dartnell Return, the Natal Government also received 350 Swinburn Rifles between May and October, 1878 with a further 500 in January, 1879.

My limited information indicates that these saw no active service, merely being issued to volunteer infantry units which were deployed as town guards. If so, more of the Swinburn carbines from "the balance" would have been available for mounted units which saw action such as the Edendale Contingent and the N.M.P.  

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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Sun May 01, 2016 10:17 am

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Natal Native Horse, Natal Mounted Police & an officer of the 24th Regiment.
Ulundi, September 1879.
John Young Collection.

I appreciate this is from the end of the campaign, but as is obvious from the photograph the N.N.H. troopers are armed with both carbines and rifles.

John Y.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Tue May 03, 2016 1:36 pm

Additional info on the Swinburn Carbine issue
51 issued to the Durban Artillery Volunteers,

the 83 additional is also plus the "irregular scouts" attached to these amount =100 extra
Carbutts Border Rangers 36 Europoean 35 irregular
Newcastle Scouts 50
Durban Mounted reserve 47 Europeans 15 irregular.

Anybody who regularly shoots their Sniders like me will know what Durnford was doing with the "flick of his wrist" to clear a jammed case, by using the heel of his hand to bash the front end of the breech block back and pulling the case free. Anyone who regularly shoots a Swinburn (not a Martini) like me won't see how this can work in any way, apart from grabbing the crook of the lever and yanking hard, hardly a "flick". purely an observation with no historic grounding.
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terrylee

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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Tue May 03, 2016 2:01 pm

Hi Neil, thanks for the extra figures covering the issue of the Swinburn Carbines. Do you have any information relating to the dates upon which they were issued to the various units? This could have a bearing on the matter since according to Dartnell's report another 500 Swinburn carbines were received in February, 1879.

Terry


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barry

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PostSubject: NNC pictured with carbines and rifles   Tue May 03, 2016 3:00 pm

Hi JY,

Thanks for posting that interesting picture. Carbines and rifles are visible there with the members of the NNC
What  interests me is the possibility that the shot appears to be picturing people involved in transport, ie wagon tow chains and ox yokes in the foreground and wagons in the back ground.  One transport rider in a slouch hat appears appears to be on the left of the group. Some front row uniforms are a bit of a puzzle too.  
May  I ask if you acquired that picture pre-captioned?.

regards

barry


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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Tue May 03, 2016 9:05 pm

Barry,

The photograph shows part of Sir Garnet Wolseley's personal escort. The 24th officer is Lt. C. E. Curll, the Native Horse are Jantje's Troop. The escort also included Sub-Inspector F. L. Phillips commanding a detachment of twenty-four European and twelve native other-ranks of the Natal Mounted Police. The two men either side of Curll appear to be wearing the cyphered badge of the NMP. An examination using epidioscope proved this to be correct.

There was also an infantry element of the escort commanded by Brevet Major C. J. Bromhead, provided by 'F' and 'H' Companies, 2nd/24th

As you will be aware there were no photographic studios at Ulundi in 1879, and the amateur photographer has photographed the group in the surroundings of Wolseley's hastily established camp. Hence the wagon chains. Other photographs taken show the tented camp, the Zulu surrender on 1st September 1879 and the two cannon recovered by the Barrow, McCalmont and Phillips' patrol. If you wish to examine them for yourself I deposited copies of them at Saxonwold during a visit in 1992.

As to the man on the left being a transport rider on what do you base your assumption? Could he not be a European non-commissioned officer of Jantje's Troop?

Henry Hope Crealock produced a sketch of Jantje's Troop showing four troopers riding. Three of those men bear a marked likeness in dress to three of the troopers in the photograph.

Regards,

John Y.

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PostSubject: Garnet Wolsely's NMP escort   Sat May 07, 2016 5:28 pm

Hi JY,
Thanks for the response.
The man in the felt hat, sitting left front does not appear to have an NNC identification on his hat band. Maybe it's there and my picture is a bit too light to pick it up, thus the supposition that he may have been a transport rider.
As an aside the non commissioned ranks in the NNC were normally filled by promotions from the ranks, the vacant commissioned ones being filled by whoever was interested from other colonial or imperial units.
Now, interestingly, because of the battlefield attrition at Isandlwana, the Colonial Govt banned any more NMP involvement in Chelmsfords thrust's. NMP manpower was very short post Isandlwana, and not enough to cover the normal police duties in the colony.  A batch of new recruits arrived from England shortly after the battle, and once trained, these alleviated somewhat, the dire manpower shortage .
As a special concession the escort duty to Ulundi was allowed, as a once off. Insp Phillips who had been garrisoned at Helpmekaar post 23/01/79 , led the NMP detachment on that mission.  

regards

barry
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:04 am

JY
I don't think Jantje's Troop had any European NCOs did it?
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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:37 am

free1954 wrote:
I read a feature in a SINGLESHOT magazine at the doctors office

The difference between an American and a UK Dr Surgery......you get 'Singleshot'...we get 'Staffordshire Life' or 'Take a Break'.......
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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:26 am

Julian,

With hindsight maybe not.

I was just trying to establish why Barry felt the man in the widewake hat was a Transport-Rider.

John Y.
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free1954



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PostSubject: Re: Colonel Dunford's horsemen   Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:34 am

SRB1965 wrote:
free1954 wrote:
I read a feature in a SINGLESHOT magazine at the doctors office

The difference between an American and a UK Dr Surgery......you get 'Singleshot'...we get 'Staffordshire Life' or 'Take a Break'.......


this dr. is something of a "gun nut". usual dr;s offices have GOLF DIGEST.
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