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 The Blame Game

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:41 am

This really is a continuation of the conversation taking place under the heading of 'The Companies on the ridge'.

As it is really a separate but ongoing discourse on Penn Symonds I felt it would sit better under a different heading.

The blame game probably started as early as the night of the 22nd of January with Lord Chelmsford’s gasp of ‘I left 1000 men here’. The wonderment that a bunch of natives could devastate one of the finest fighting forces in the world in its own campsite was beyond comprehension.
Who had got things so badly wrong that such a cataclysmic event could overtake the invading column? A column composed of fine hard fighting men, well seasoned in the art of chasing elusive natives unwilling to stand and fight, for surely this was the enemy envisaged by Lord Chelmsford and staff. A vision so entrenched that even on the 22nd of January from a breakfast picnic under the shadow of the Silutshane hill Lord Chelmsford’s Military Secretary was heard to comment: “Attack the camp? How amusing”.

As the days unfurled and survivor’s tales started to be told and retold the actual aspects of the battle started to get confused. As William Penn Symonds recorded at the time:
“It was very remarkable how their accounts afterwards varied. Men forgot what they saw and did amidst great excitement, and mixed up what others told them with their own experiences and reminiscences.”

One thing was common ground however was without a doubt the universal manner of protecting their individual selves from criticism of running from the battle field. From the 5 imperial officers the handful of redcoats and the colonials that did reach the safety of Natal, some after the hair raising gauntlet of the Fugitives trail a sorry tale of mismanagement started to emerge and as Symons pointed out small individual issues started to become more widely accepted as universal fact.

An imperial regiment could not have been defeated by stick wielding natives unless something or someone had made a disastrous error. Various issues were seized upon, the lack of an ammunition supply chain, no screw drivers, zealous quartermasters were all offered but that wasn’t enough. Blame had to be laid at the door of someone. The obvious party was the outsider, the Irish Engineer, the Maverick, the man most unpopular in the colony. Anthony Durnford.

The higher echelons of staff seized on the story of him disobeying the orders given to the camp commander Col Henry Burmeister Pullein from Col Glynn, even though Lord Chelmsford had no knowledge of these orders.

But that wasn’t enough, Colonel Richard Glyn was column commander and as such it was his responsibility to ensure the safety of the camp. This was the burden now put upon his shoulders in letters written by Colonel JN Crealock, from mid February to mid March Crealock told anyone that would listen that it was Glynn’s command. On the 2nd of March he reiterated this position and despite the caveat of not wanting to shift blame unequivocally pointed the finger at Glynn.

The war of words heated up with Glynns assistant Major CF Clery taking up the cudgels in defence of his superior. Issues came to a head and as reported by Clery in a letter of the 18th March:

“PS Things do not seem to be going smoothly at head quarters. I enclose here a scrap I have received from a colonel commanding regiment writing from headquarters. Our friend C. (Crealock) has I fear done a lot of mischief out here.”
The ‘scrap’ reads as follows:
‘I hear from trusty sources that Crealock wrote ‘a blackguard enemy’-the very words used-about Glynn, then Bellairs took it up and spoke hotly against it and the General took his view.
There are hot words about, which show how the wind is blowing. The other day there were hot words in the general’s sanctum, H. E. (His Excellency) saying to Crealock, “I will not allow you to speak thus: at any rate if you must express such sentiments, speak them like a gentleman.’

What could have caused this escalation over a two week period from a gentile and polite ‘not wishing to pass blame’ to a full blooded accusatorial situation?
It is possible that Captain W P Symons has the answer.
In his hand written manuscript he concludes with the following:

“Again efforts were made to place responsibility on those from whom it had been entirely removed. At first this seemed likely to be successful; but the discovery of order books, official memoranda, etc, on the battlefield on the 14th March, many of which I read, and from which I freely took extracts, stopped all attempts of this nature.”

There is no record anywhere of any documentation being retrieved on the 14th march from the battlefield.

What was it, where is it?

My readers may draw their own conclusions but is it coincidental that Major Black of the 24th lead that party and subsequently it was Major Black that located Crealocks order book in May? Is it coincidental that the attempts to pass the blame to Glynn ceased?

If it was indeed Crealocks notebook then the truth of the order to Durnford had to have been widely known. Is it possibly that this was the information that Lt WW Lloyd referred to when he wrote:
“ We and a good many other boys know certain things concerning lord Chelmsford’s actions on the 22nd January which if they were raised abroad would simply down him in the eyes of the world and cause his recall in double quick time.”

Is it just possible then that the exact order relayed by Crealock was shown or communicated to him causing the outburst referred to above? If indeed that order had been made public so soon after his evidence at the Court of Enquiry it could have been very detrimental to his career, as it was the eventual time of its release had no effect on him save and except histories view point of him.

Crealocks notebook eventually was handed back to him but what were the other documents referred to by Symonds? He very definitely uses the plural ‘books’ in his manuscript so whose were they and where they are now? What of the Memoranda referred to?

For a senior officer of the 24th to admit that there was a cover up, and that’s exactly what this is confirms the speculations of years by authors and historians alike. But was it the cover up by Lord Chelmsford so often alluded to or was it a cover up by the Regiment?

It is to the best of my knowledge, and I do apologise if I am wrong, the first time these quotations from William Penn Symons have been seen.

Frank Allewell
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2016/08/11
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:48 am

Good post Frank opens the door to more avenues.
However we should by now conclude that Durnford shoulders most of the blame for His actions on the field, the only defence put in his favour is base on his passed events and what a nice and brave chap he was. But by military standards he didn't cut the mustard. You don't win battle by being a nice chap. So with him out the way, we can concentrate on the rest.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:17 am

Morning CTSG
Fully agree time to move on, even if we disagree, but this certainly does open a few doors. I will shorty post another extract from Penn Symonds that tends to 'open a few doors' for Rorkes Drift as well.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:18 am

Hmmm!.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:47 am

Morning Frank

Fully agree this is not about Durnford's culpability, it is about how (and what) evidence was discovered, whether it was suppressed and by whom, and why it appears to have been kept under wraps to this day.

Some preliminary musings.

1. If the evidence found on the 14 March included Crealock's order to Durnford ( and was the cause of the outburst reported by Clery on the 18th March), why was the outburst aimed at Glyn? Is it not more logical to speculate that whatever was found (perhaps in addition to Durnford's order) reflected badly on Glyn and that is why it was supressed by the regiment?

2. It may be that the "cover up", if that is what it was, was not solely instigated by the either the regiment or Chelmsford in isolation, but by both?

3. Does Penn Symons reference to the discoveries on 14 March appear in both the original text and the transcript?

I don't quite understand what Clery is saying about " a blackguard enemy", is that from Clarke's book?

Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:12 pm

Morning Steve
As I said. time to draw your own conclusions, Ive really only put forward some facts.
However
1. The plural 'Books' could indicated anything, Ive only speculated Crealocks, it could easily have been Pulleins. The Crealock outburst was aimed I would believe at Glynn as 'commander' of the column. Your right it could have been something that reflected badly on Glynn, I would be interested to see your take on that possibility.
2. Again quite right, it could easily have been from both. Again it would be interesting for you to speculate on the circumstances that would cause that.
3. The references are only in the original hand written script they don't appear in the transcript.

The phrase Blackguard Enemy is a rather old terminology referring to a person that is a liar and uses that ruse to act against you.

Ive posted this to really try and look at a different aspect of the battle rather than the it was Durnford/Pullein/Chelmsford finger pointing debate. Its also not an attempt to try and blacken the name of the Regiment but just a way to find out why this has been hidden away for the last 137 years. Its so well phrased that there were discoveries of the battlefield, that's pretty incontravertable. So where are they? Tucked away in a vault in Brecon? In an attic at the ancestral homes? A croft in the Hebrides? I have often discussed that there are still lots of things that will find there way to the surface over the years, possibly this could be the Harbinger.

Too Curious man! Why dost thou seek to know
Events which-good or ill-foreknown are woe.

Dryden I seem to recall?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:19 pm

Steve
Sorry, yes its from Clarke page 125

Cheers
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:26 pm

Steve
Interesting doing an introspective on that Phrase from Crealock, would it be a possibility to suppose that Crealock actually believed what he was saying? That he and Chelmsford really didn't believe that they ( the royal we?) had usurped control of the column and weren't to blame? Could he have been that arrogant?
If we actually accept that argument it puts a lot of issues into perspective. That's a really interesting issue to persue, (but only after the Blitz Bokke have thrashed England in the Olympic Games 7's semi final).
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:27 pm

Bonjour Franck,
There is no need to apologize. It seems to me, what is important is not whether these comments have already been published or not, but the interpretation given to those comments. In these conditions, your analysis is exciting.
Well done...as usual!
Cheers
Frédéric
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:32 pm

Bonjour mon ami
Frederic it would be of great interest to see your 'reverse' analysis, your damned good at ripping arguments apart.

regards
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:54 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Bonjour mon ami
Frederic it would be of great interest to see your 'reverse' analysis, your damned good at ripping arguments apart.

regards

Frank,
Thank you. As you know, an hypothesis is a "good assumption" if it can not be destroyed by counter-arguments. I am very interested by your post. Unfortunately, I have no time, actually I am working night and day.
Bon courage à vous Steve et tous les autres membres.
Frédéric
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:14 pm

There are three elements in this that tend to point to a missing piece of evidence that is somehow to the detriment of Glyn and/or Pulleine.

1. There is no prima facie reason for the order from Crealock to Durnford to be suppressed if that alone had been discovered on the battlefield. It had nothing to do with the 24th.

2. The defence by Clery on the 18th March is clearly a reaction to an attack on Glyn by Crealock, that might be explained by something having been discovered on the 14th.

3. The fact that the relevant passage in Pen Symons written account is omitted from the transcript is telling - why do that?

As you say, it is plausible that Chelmsford/Crealock genuinely believed they had not usurped Glyn's authority.  If evidence had been found on the battlefield to support that belief, we might ask why they didn't  reveal it?  Perhaps because, at that point, it was easier all round for everyone to deflect attention towards the dead Durnford disregarding an order rather than some shortcoming by the living Glyn. But that strategy collapsed when Durnford's order was subsequently discovered? By then they could not change the story.

Just as an aside, whatever the course of events at the time, I hope that after 135 years the public can be allowed to evaluate all of the known historical evidence of what was done at their expense and on their behalf.

Well done Frank. Much food for thought!

Steve


Last edited by rusteze on Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:31 pm

The critical revelation here is that documentation was found on the battlefield and not revealed. That documentation was of a nature that stopped blame being directed at Glynn and the regiment.
Those are important elements that have been supressed.
Symonds knew of it, Lloyd knew of it potentially the whole officers mess would have known.

Steve your point number 1 above: Hypothetically, Crealocks diary is discovered exonerating Durnford from the main charge of disobeying a direct order, and that would embarrass the hell out of Crealock. Supose that was used as a bargaining chip to stop him blaming Glynn? Would that scenario stand up?
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:14 pm

The "deal" could have been something like that, if indeed one was made.

For me, the most difficult question has always been why did Crealock willingly reveal the true contents of his order to Edward Durnford so many years later? He'd had it for a long time and kept very quiet about it. Was it because he knew it was not in fact the most damning discovery from the battlefield? And by then, for most people, the story had gone cold anyway and careers had progressed. Trying to take a dispassionate view, if Chelmsford/Crealock had not misquoted the content of the order to Durnford in the first place, it may be that the revelation that it did not contain a direct order to defend the camp would not have been regarded as being very significant. By implication, that is what was meant by the order - it just didn't say so. And because Crealock said it did he is branded a liar. I am not sure he felt at all guilty about that - the intention of his order was, after all, reasonably clear.

One thing we should do is revisit what other 24th officers said in later years, in light of what we now think they knew. Just to see if there are any clues that they were avoiding saying something.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:26 pm

Ive spent the last couple of weeks doing just that trying to follow some form of lead. Interestingly the arch gossip, Clery. doesn't seem to even drop a hint. There again Steve we do tend to analize from a position of strength dwelling on ever nuance. Possible back then these small issues just didn't have any significance at all. Realistically why and how would PS have access to the retreaved documents if they were deemed important? Would Black have delivered them to higher authority, ie Glynn or his adjutant for instance? The fact that PS did not only get to see them but also had opportunity to read them would say to me that their importance wasn't that high. But there again it had to have been high enough to stop the witch hunt he refers to. hummm I think Ive just disappeared up my own backside..............................
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:36 pm

Do we know if PS was asked to compile an overview or was it at his own volition? If asked, he may have realised the significance of what was found before anyone else. Whenever the impression is given that something is being held back it is inevitable that speculation becomes rife - of course it may not reflect reality at all. But if the true events were of little significance at the time why on earth keep them from the public record?

Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:09 pm

From PS his motivation:
"The desire to record the truth and exact circumstances as afr as I could ascertain them, chiefly led me to put together this narrative."
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:51 pm

Well, I'm going to read between the lines again!

"The desire to record the truth and exact circumstances" certainly implies that someone else wasn't doing that.

"chiefly led me to put together this narrative". So something else also led him to do it - what I wonder?

The reason may of course be that so many of his colleagues had perished he was determined to tell the truth as he saw it for their sake.

This is very important stuff and we need to examine the manuscript in detail.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:14 pm

Being done at present Steve, and your between the lines certainly has merit in that he was fully aware of the 'Blame Game' being played out and wanted to get things into perspective. In addition I would say that he had already started to see the distortions and misrepresentation.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:22 pm

Bugger bugger bugger, GB just kicked Bokke butt...........................
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:28 pm

That's the thanks you get for coming over here and uncovering a vital document. There just aint no justice ........ snigger.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:37 am

Ouch !
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:31 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:47 pm

Beat me to it Littlehand.

I was about to post about this.

I can add that it was purchased by Ashworth Barracks in Doncaster. I wasn't aware of the auction until it had ended but after speaking with the under-bidder it seems likely that this is PS's own personal copy of his handwritten manuscript.

It would be good to compare it to his original draft.

Neil
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:23 pm

Neil
Steve and I have been discussing this on the thread The Companies on the ridge. Ive compared two of the pages with the handwritten version and there are significant differences. There is also a third copy in private hands.
All three have differences.

Cheers

PS like you I wasn't aware of the Auction, or its highly likely it would have come to Cape Town. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:34 pm

As Frank says, see the "Companies on the Ridge" thread from 4 August onwards for some discussion of this document. It has only just arrived at Ashworth and I have asked when/if it is likely to become available to read. They are going to let me know. In the meantime this is a close-up of the title they have supplied - it may be PS's own copy or it may not. It is clear from what Frank has said that there are omissions from the typed copy at Brecon when compared with the original manuscript. It would indeed be interesting to see if the Ashworth typed copy is a "carbon" of the one at Brecon or some other transcript (Frank's analysis has so far indicated it is different). If it is a carbon of the Brecon transcript then it surely is too recent to have been PS's. If it is another earlier transcript it certainly needs to be compared with the original manuscript at Brecon. If it was PS's copy then it would have been faithful to his manuscript and not redacted for public consumption. The time has surely come when the nonsense of keeping the Brecon manuscript under wraps is brought to an end. It needs to be made available for study after 137 years.
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:45 pm

Frank, Steve,

Thanks for that. I'm with it now ... All up to speed [and intruiged] !

Neil
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:49 pm

Bonjour Frank and Steve, all

Frank wrote in his first post ;
« There is no record anywhere of any documents being retrieved on the 14th March on the battlefield ».

According to D.C.F. Moodies (quoted in « Zulu 1879 » / Leonaur Editors) under the title « isandhlwana Revisited, From an Unnamed source » (p.63)

« Nearly two months after the fight and massacre there, the field of Isandhlwana has been visited. To Major Black, of the 24th again belongs the honour of heading a gallant performance. (…) The wagons seemed nearly all to be in working order, and under the General's tent private papers and mementoes of interest were found ».

Hope that's help.
Cheers

Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:05 pm

Steve, it seems to me that you have a copy of this book : « History of the Battles and Adventures of the British, the Boers and the Zulus » by D.C.F. Moodie.
The Leonaur's book, according to the editor, is a part of this book.
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:53 pm

Hi Frederic

Moodie's books are a bit confusing. His chapters on Isandhlwana do not appear in the original edition that I have. Perhaps Frank has the Leonaur reprint that you refer to. It is an interesting quote that might tie in with Penn Symonds account.

Hope you are well my friend.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:07 pm

As I said Frederic: Your damned good at ripping arguments apart. I think the point I was making was the credence/content of those documents, if that is they affected the apportionment of blame. I hope that makes sense my friend (Im glad you have taken a break from work, it keeps us all honest) I will look over the weekend to see if there is any other reference, I have an inkling that a further reference for that visit says the visit was curtailed, but let me check.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:34 pm

I have been re-visiting Clarke's Zululand at War 1879 book in which we have the letters from Clery.

In chapter 16 Clarke describes the arrival of Wolseley in late 1879 to replace both Chelmsford and Frere. He brought with him a new Intelligence Officer, Maurice. We are told that Alison, who had been Intelligence Officer, passed private letters he had received from Clery, Crealock and McGregor to Maurice so that he and Wolsely could read them (they described the events of the war). Clarke says Allison "entrusted them to Maurice with some misgivings". We also have Maurice and Wolsely's reactions to those letters, which was overwhelmingly supportive of Clery's private opinions about the conduct of the war and critical of Crealock.

The letters are in the "Alison Collection" which is held by the Brenthurst Library. My question is, can this collection be accessed and might it also contain material (sent privately to Alison) that is relevant to the comments in the Penn Symonds manuscript?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:23 pm

Steve, Frank,

I was clumsing in my initial comment. My only intention was to bring a document which supports your (fascinating) hypothesis.
Well done, both!

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:19 pm

Frank/Frederic

See Zulu Victory by L&Q page 240.

"There were four significant visits to the batlefield in the months following the disaster. On 14 March Lt. Col. Wilsone Black 2/24th with 27 volunteers visited the site. They found approximately 100 wagons in good order, and brought back papers located in the area of the Chelmsford tent."
No source is given.

Jackson mentions the visit in Appendix 10 of Hill of the Sphinx but does not mention papers.

Snook mentions the visit on 14 March and says Black recorded his findings - he doesn't say where.

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:08 pm

Further to the last post there is also a reference to Black's visit on page 62 of the official history - the "Narrative".

"The scene of this disaster to the British arms remained unvisited by any Europeans till 14th March when about 25 mounted men under Lt. Col. Black 2/24th proceeded from RD by the track followed on 20th Jan. and reached Isandhlwana unopposed. On passing over the neck of land the wrecked camp was before them............. The tents had been taken away or destroyed and the site of the camp was strewn with books, papers and other articles of no value in the eyes of the Zulus."

Doesn't say he brought any back, but there can be little doubt that he did.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:14 am

Julian has pointed out in an e mail that the orders from LC/Clery to Pulleine had been picked up on the Battlefield and returned to LC by a Mr Carbutt, the document being found by Mr Fynn
That order isn't in the Chelmsford papers as far as Im aware so I wonder if there isn't still a private collection in the hands of the Chelmsford family?
Arent they friends of yours John Young?

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:26 am

Reading PS carefully he intimates that it was not the first time that an attempt had been made to lay the blame else where, it was the final attempt that was thwarted by something that was found on the battlefield.
In response Steve:
There were a couple of different thrusts to lay blame, on Glynn and on Durnford. As you say why would PS attempt to defend Durnford? Possibly he didn't but used the Durnford entry in Crealocks book to blackmail him into leaving the Regiment alone. Its also highly possible that there was some other item that lead directly to either Chelmsford or Crealock. That's supported to a degree in that later in his manuscript PS refers to Durnford and criticizes him pretty strongly. That would tend to tell me that there wouldn't have been a Durnford link in the 'found' documents. That is easy to pick up in the Emery discourse itself.
So the attention would turn to what was sufficiently embarrassing that blaming Glynn/The Regiment was abandoned?

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:43 am

Frank,

It is my understanding that most of the papers appertaining to the 2nd Baron Lord Chelmsford were turned over to the National Army Museum by the 2nd Viscount Chelmsford, the grandson of the 2nd Baron.

To my knowledge the family do retain a number of personal items relating to 2nd Baron, including gifts from the Empress Eugenie and Queen Victoria.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:58 am

We are beginning to build speculation on top of speculation - the inevitable result of suspecting something is entirely missing from the record but having no idea what it is. We are, if you like, at the extreme end of Donald Rumsfeld's sequence of knowns and unknowns. We have unknown unknowns! In other words, we do not even know the shape of what we are looking for, other than it must have embarrassed someone.  

My inclination is to return to PS's manuscript as the only tangible piece of evidence that we have. It is not at all clear to me, from what we have learned so far, exactly what is said in the document that led its current guardians to suppress it at the time and ever since. I know, from my own experience, that officials can be very over protective of information simply because someone else has decided (often erroneously) that it is in some way sensitive. MOD has been a prime contender in those stakes - if something is marked SECRET (or even just PRIVATE) there is a procedure laid down in the rule book, and it will be slavishly applied by a rule bound organisation like the army - often long after the reasons for doing so are long forgotten.

So what is it that is so sensitive in that document?

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:30 am

Bonjour ,
I don't know if that helps:
Found on the battlefied the 14 March 1879: "“some of the regimental records of the 24th” .
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:00 pm

To correct and clarify Frank's remark of 13th August at 6.14, it was not me that found Carbutt's letter. It was Frederic (ymob). Frank misinterpreted my e-mail and I apologize to Frederic for the false inference.
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:06 pm

Mea culpa, time to don the sack cloth.
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:09 pm

Not at all Frank. My fault entirely. I should have been clearer.
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:56 pm

Bonsoir,
MrWhybra: Thanks
Mr Whybra and Frank: no problem
Regards


Fred
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:25 am

Bonjour Frank,
Just a clarification.
I read your message again (about Carbutt). Personally, I have no evidence that the document was delivered with certainty between LC hands.
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:08 pm

Frederic thank you, obviously a misscomunication between the three of us.

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:15 pm

Frank,
To be perfectly clear: "...with certainty between LC hands or other military and civilian authorities."
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:24 am

Frederic, post your e mail. Its very relevant.

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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:49 am

Bonjour Frank, Steve, all.

Thank you Frank.



Frank wrote in his first post :
« For a senior Officer [Symons] of the 24th to admit that there was a cover-up, and that's exactly what this confirms: the speculation of years by authors and historians alike. But was it the cover-up by LC so often alluded to or was it a cover-up by the Regiment » ?
A letter written by Hugh L. Carbutt, «  a Durban Businessman » (“Discovering the battlefields of the AZW” by Ken Gillings, p.68) was published in the “Times of Natal” (January 5th, 1881, quoted in the “Nottingham Evening Post”, 28th February 1881 / Footnote n°1). Even if it does not answer this problem, it is likely to bring forth some responses.
After a visit to Isandhlwana, Carbutt wrote: “I was told by a gentleman living in the Umsinto Division, that he had, presumably many months before my visit, picked up on the battle-field Lord Chelmsford’s written orders to Colonel Pulleine regarding the defense of the camp. I do not know if this paper has been forwarded to Lord Chelmsford, or if it is still in the possession of the gentleman who found it; but I should imagine it would be, in view of recent occurrences as to disputes at home, a document of very considerable interest and value to his lordship”.

From Carbutt’s letter, three questions arise :
-What was the exact content of this order?:
-Who was the “Gentleman living in the Umsinga division” mentioned by Carbutt?
-Is it possible that Symons was aware of this document before the writing of his manuscript was completed in April 1879?
Re an answer to the first question, the order found could be either the same “Instructions to Column Commanders » addressed to Lieutenant Colonel Durnford, R.E. (“Isandhlwana and the Durnford Papers”, “Studies in the Zulu War 1879, I” by F.W.D Jackson and Julian Whybra) but addressed to Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine or Pulleine’s specific written orders for the 22nd January about the defense of the Camp given by Major Clery.

Re an answer to the second question, the identity of the “gentleman” is revealed by E. Durnford and E. Colenso in “History of the Zulu War and its origin” (2nd edition, 1881, p.267 / quoted in [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] / Footnote n°2):
“In the Times of Natal, January 5th, 1881, Mr Hugh L. Carbutt writes: “I was told by a gentleman living in the Umsinga Division, that he had, presumably many months before my visit, picked up on the battlefield Lord Chelmsford's written orders to Colonel Pulleine”.
“Later information says that the finder of the written orders is Mr Fynn, Resident Magistrate at Umsinga, and that he has recently sent the document to Lord Chelsmford”.

Re an answer to the third question is tricky:
It is impossible to know exactly when Carbutt met Fynn.
The Carbutt's letter is undated but Ken Gillings in his book “Discovering the battlefields of the AZW” said that the letter was “undated but clearly written shortly after the battle” (p.60) and “before the final burial” (p.68).
Before April 1879, the camp was visited only twice:
The 22 January, at the return of the Chelmsford's force in late afternoon. Chelmsford and the survivors of the central column left Isandhlwana for Rorke's Drift, the 23 January at dawn: Fynn accompanied the Chelmford's troops.
The 14 March but I don't yet know if Fynn was present during this expedition.
Finally, Carbutt said in his letter: “He [the gentleman] had presumably many months before my visit, picked up on the battlefield Lord Chelmsford's written orders”.
So, in theory, it is possible that Fynn found the Chelmford's order before Symons completes the writing of his manuscript.

It is also unclear whether Fynn sent the order to LC:
Carbutt claimed frankly when he met Fynn that “I do not know if this paper has been forwarded to Lord Chelmsford or if it is still in the possession of the gentleman who found it”.
It would seem that Fynn sent the order to Lord Chelmsford just after the publication of the letter in the “Times of Natal” the 5th January 1881.
Indeed, E. Durnford and F. Colenso wrote after the mention of the publication of the Carbutt's letter by the “Times of Natal” that Fynn “has recently sent the document to Lord Chelmsford”. (see the second edition p.267).
After the publication of the letter, the members of the Colenso family certainly attempted to question Fynn about the contents of the order.
However, they didn't read the order: In the 2nd edition of their book, E. Colenso and E. Durnford didn't change Carbutt’s version of the order’s contents; Fynn no longer had the document in his possession when he met some members of the Colenso's family.
The order had become “a hot potato” given the confrontations raging at the same time in the UK about the question of blame for the disaster at Isandhlwana (see the comments from Carbutt) and Fynn had no right to keep the order himself.

Therefore to answer the third question, my personal opinion is that Symons has not been able to see the order found by Fynn before completing his manuscript in April 1879.
This is an opinion which of course is questionable!

Footnote:

Number 1:  There is a transcription error in the Carbutt's letter published in the “Nottingham Evening Post” : “Umsinto” becomes “Umsinga” in the “Times of Natal” from which the quotation is taken. (Information given the 19 August by Ken Gillings through Julian Whybra. I am grateful to them for sharing with me this information) Umsinga is of course where Fynn has his Resident Magistracy.
Number 2: The first edition (1880) doesn't contain this information.

I.E: “Thoughts” written with Julian Whybra.
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PostSubject: Re: The Blame Game   Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:31 am

Frederic
I will republish my comments sent by e mail for the benefit of the forum and an aid to move the discussion forward.

I would comment that at the time the ‘Instructions to column commanders was issued the Column commander would have been Glynn therefore it wouldn’t be addressed to Pulleine ( He was never a column commander ). I again would speculate that the only mention we have of documents being found BEFORE the completion of PS manuscript was the 14th March, that visit the mention is of documents and Order Books being found at Chelmsfords tent area ( That’s a combination of statements from Black and PS)

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