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 Gerald French, liar or not?

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Gerald French, liar or not?   Tue May 02, 2017 3:42 pm

Lock and Quantrill go to great lengths in Zulu Victory, ppg 258 to 261 indicating a map supposedly altered by French to prove iSandlwana was the fault of the NNC withdrawing and breaking the line.
Question:
What proof do we have that it was he that changed the map?
What proof do we have that it wasn't Gosset that made the changes?
How many times was the James map changed?
What proof do we have that it wasn't changed by James.

In the Penn and Sword edition of his book there is also mention that French 'shamelessly' changed the map. Where does that statement originate from?

I would really appreciate help with source material answers.

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Tue May 02, 2017 7:38 pm

Very interesting question!.. i'm having real trouble with
photobucket which is preventing me from posting images
at the moment, anyone else having difficulty?.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Tue May 02, 2017 9:36 pm

Frank

It is very difficult to produce solid evidence to answer the questions you raise. So far as I can see, aside from the James maps in the Royal Archives,  no other early versions of the maps which eventually became part of the Narrative survive. But there are some clues which can be gained by comparing what we do have. The map on the left is the copy of the Anstey map in the National Archives (FO 925/1094) and on the right the published version in the Narrative. James compiled his maps for QV in March 1879 (very early indeed), the Anstey compilations are November 1879.

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Anstey's compilation shows the large A and B notation which also appears on the second James map reproduced by L&Q with the supposed NNC changes made by French (their Map 10). But James first version of the same date (L&Q map 9) shows large capitals A through to H, but with no key indicating what they mean. Both of Anstey's maps shows the E and F part of the sequence and also indicate what the letters denote. James also shows E and F but says nothing about them.

Turning to the supposed retreating NNC I think it is unlikely that James produced two versions of the map on the same day and with the sequence D-H missing in one of them.

L&Q have moved the key on map 10 up onto the body of the map which is not how it appears in French's book (but I don't think that is significant).

Finally, James marks his map (L&Q 9) as "Third position at 1 PM". That implies that in March 1879 there were two further James maps showing the earlier positions. It seems likely that the final Anstey map in the Narrative combines those three original James maps by showing the dispositions by night, by day and then at 1 PM.

I think, on balance, the L&Q map 10 additions are not by James. Whether the changes are by French is harder to say.  Close inspection of the NNC symbols in fact show them lined up with the three imperial companies to their left as well as tailing back. If anything L&Q10 shows the Zulus being held!

What else might be in the uncatalogued Royal Archives!

PS P'bucket seems OK.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 6:31 am

Morning all.
Steve
I will later post a version of the James mp that may change your thoughts. It shows that there was another stage in the changes.
In the accepted James map the titles at the bottom were very sparce and as you say there were various other notations. From that point a second printed version was produced with a lot of the changes purported to have been made by French. This copy has again various notations made in pencil that could have been made by French. I have eliminated Gossetts hand writing as well as James. But I don't have a copy, yet of French' writing. What it does prove, or would seem to prove, is that alterations were made by a third party to the title blocks and also piquet dispositions, plus one ore two other points.
I have also been having issues with PB so hopefully they have now been resolved.
I'm pretty ambivalent on the question of French doing a cover up, maybe maybe not, the issue for me is to find out why the initial changes were made and by hom and for what reason. I don't believe at this stage it was a further part of the 'cover up' but again I'm open minded about it.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 7:56 am

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Take a careful look at this copy. Below the Title block there is a sub title that doesn't appear on the L and Q first map. That sub title is printed/litho so from the original map amendments have been made
adding on bits and pieces. There are then further additions in pencil. So the question would be who was responsible for the first amendments to the original litho that is at Windsor to produce this version and secondly who then added all the pencil notes.
Allied to that is that these pencil notes also change the positions of the letters ABC etc. Those changes were accepted and litho printed for the eventual copy.
Not to sure if I have explained my dilemma properly but to encapsulate: If indeed French changed the nomenclature it would have had to have had the connivance/co operation of the intelligence department who would have had to sign of for some of the changes to have been incorporated, although not all.
Anythoughts, anyone. I really do need some insight into this. Has French been maligned unfairly or was there a guiding hand behind him at some official level?
I would probably be tempted to blame Tony Blair, but that wouldnt be fare.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 9:38 am

I studied a handwritten letter from Gosset to look for similarities with the annotations written in pencil on the map. Some similarities but not definitely convincing in my humble opinion (but I'm not a graphologist!)
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Frédéric
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 11:05 am

Frederic on that Gosset manuscript you have been looking at there are again some pencil notes/annotations that I believe are very similar to the notes on the map. See what you think, I would value your opinion, even though your not a graphologist.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 12:10 pm

It looks to me that the map with pencil changes is based on the original produced for the Intelligence Branch by Mainwearing (Sketch of Isandla Camp) on 24th February 1879. That map is at Kew under MPHH 1/675/4 but I have not seen it. IK tells us in ZR (p.552 hardback) that James produced a confidential report on Isandhlwana in March 1879 that is in the Chelmsford papers ( but not at Kew I think). In the notes IK says the annotations to the James map were made by Gossett. It would make sense that in March 1879 James based his maps on Mainwearing's.

Given that the amended locations of points A and B (that first appear on your latest version of James) also appear on the final Anstey map in the Narrative, the pencil changes must surely have been made before November 1879 and so rule out French as their author.

I will try to get along to Kew and take a look at the Mainwearing. What is the source of your latest James map?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 12:24 pm

Bonjour Steve,

As you suggest in a previous post, Walter James mentions in his report three sketches (maps); The legends of the maps (A, B ...) are also briefly commented.

Frank,
I am sorry, I forgot to compare the notations written in the pencil by Gosset (I studied only the notes written with the red pen). I shall take a look.

Kind regards.
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 12:36 pm

no reason in particular for posting this from French, but pb seems
to be working for me again.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 12:40 pm


Frank,
In my humble opinion, the letter "G" is written in a special way on the map. A similar "G" can be found in the comments written by Gosset.
"At" is written in the same way (the "t" is a bit special). There are also similarities with the word "contingent" that can be found in both Gosset's writings and in the map.
It's interesting that IK wrote the annotations to the James map were made by Gosset (Steve).

Kind regards.
frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 12:49 pm

Steve
Mainwaring surveyed the ground in September 1879
James February 1879.
I'm had a few weeks of looking at the pencil notes on the map and comparing back to two separate samples of Gossets writing, thanks to John Young for providing one sample and Frederic for the other. Like Frederic I'm not a graphologist but the differences in style are very marked. Gossets is a very sharp angular style slightly back leaning. Really nothing akin to the map notes. I'm surprised IK has drawn a comparison.
If however it was Gosset doing the revisions, and he was highly involved in sorting out Chelmsfords papers ( shortly after his death in 1905), it would let French of the hook really. Its those pencil notes that indicate the NNC breaking the line.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 12:55 pm

I made myself the same observation about Gosset's writing style (very sharp angular style / contrary to the annotations on the map).
However, I wondered if the reason is that he wrote with a pen (feather) and not with a pencil...
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 1:03 pm

Frank

Mainwarings work surveying the battlefield in September 1879 threw me at first as well. But this from "Intelligence Revealed" by Jewitt. "Sketch of Isandla Camp (from memory) Lith'd at Intel. Branch Qt Mr Gens. Dept. 1879. 1:2500 approx. 33x29 cm North is oriented towards the upper left-hand margin of the plan. Endorsed: signed H G Mainwaring Lieut. 2/24th Regt. Feb 24th 1879."

It should also be noted that the pencil amended James map is in colour with the NNC shown as green dots. The French book is published in black and white and so an alternative way of denoting the various forces had to be found - hence the little black crosses for the NNC. I think French has just changed the symbols, nothing else.

Frederic
Do you have a copy of the James report?


Steve


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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 1:11 pm

Les
Good ! that is the final map with all the annotations.
Frederic
Happy to accept that viewpoint, but then it does firmly mean that French was effectively presented with a completed map for his book. IF that is factual it would then follow through that his interpretation of the battle was again not his own but a result of the presentation from 'Gosset" ?
Again if those were Gossets notes to be sent to the printers for completion he has managed to have a severe historical effect. Nes pas?
Steve
That map is currently on display at the NAM. It came to me courtesy of John Young.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 1:17 pm

Interesting Steve, James and Mainwaring were surveying at the same time? I have the original Mainwaring sketch dated by him as September. It actually reads "drawn on the ground September 1879"
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 1:31 pm

Ive just had a look through Mainwarings journal. He comments: 'In the following September when encamped with two companies at iSandlwana for the purpose of cleaning up the camp etc, my work was to make a survey of the battlefield."

So very definitely his survey was in September not February.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 1:42 pm

Note that the reference to the "February" Mainwaring map says "from memory" so perhaps not surveyed? It is also entitled "Isandlana Camp" (so perhaps done pre battle?). James says his was "compiled from sketches and other sources", so also not surveyed. I would have thought that in February/early March 1879 the Intel. Branch in London can only have been using material from the Inquiry or pre invasion - what else was there? I would guess that James added the battle details to Mainwarings map of the camp (ie adding "behind the hills at B C" to the reference). Then Gossett made the pencil annotations later and changed the locations.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 2:13 pm

Sounds logical to me Steve, would you agree it goes a long way to correcting French's image?
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 2:22 pm

Bingo! Saves me a trip to Kew. This is Mainwarings February map (disregard the big A superimposed by NA). I think that French is being unfairly maligned for the changes to the James map - but he is not exactly even handed when it comes to Chelmsford otherwise. Question now is in what context did Mainwaring produce that map in February?
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 2:32 pm

Quite! I wonder if it wasn't for Penn Symonds?
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 2:41 pm

A possible clue Steve is that both Mainwaring and PS get the North point in the same wrong direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 3:12 pm

Good thought re Penn Symonds. No doubt JW is still working away at that.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 3:52 pm

All part of my one man crusade to rescue Major the hon Gerald French DSO from the ignominy he has been cast into. Next instalment coming soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 4:07 pm

What brought this on? Have sent you an email.
Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 4:32 pm

Keep it up gents, I'm watching! I'm trying hard not to participate in case I muddy the waters at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 4:40 pm

A nod is as good as a wink to a blind man.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 5:12 pm

Ive been spending some time looking into various odds and sods and found myself delving into L and Q. There was something, in fact many somethings that didn't add up, this being one of them. So much of this work was done after Chelmsfords death that I started to wonder. I'm sure that Dear old Gerald is just a mislead old duffer, just read Bindon Bloods lead in, conjurs up everthings that's so British you can almost hear land of Hope and Glory in the back ground with the massed Wembley choir belting out En-gal-and En-ga-land. Stirring stuff, Old Bindon and Gerald in the club harrumphing away at the injustice done to young Fred. Damn stirring stuff, what ?
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 5:44 pm

Frank
There are indeed many things that do not add up in L&Q and in many others' works which is why we know that it is necessary to go back to the sources and form our own ideas and opinions. It would be all too easy to resort to the mind's-eye picture-solution of Colonel Blimps sipping brandy round the fire at the Gentlemen's Club and re-arranging history to suit themselves. The important thing is try to find evidence for everything we conclude, bearing in mind that history is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation. Misunderstandings, false remembrance and the unintended ambiguity of the written word and the annotated map are the cause of all our problems. Basically, the (re-)construction of history is problematic. The question seems to be: can we rely on our past, when all we have to prove it is biased, patchy memory and infinitely interpretable documentation?
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 6:01 pm

Julian your quite right of course but my explanation to Steve was so much more fun than a plain old honest............. The Forums Bloody Boring at the moment.
Mention of the Col Blimps reminds me of the two old chaps muttering away in the club when one blurts out: "Irishmen, either Prostitutes or bloody rugby players," where upon his friend said "Careful old chap my wifes Irish." "Oh really", he replied" What team does she play for!"
Sorry couldn't resist it.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 6:38 pm

Frank

You're right about the current level of boredom I am afraid. I have taken to counting how many words Julian uses with more than 10 letters.

I think it has something to do with hibernation, we are just coming out of ours and you are about to enter yours.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 8:52 pm

Frank/Steve
Sorry, beavering away I'm afraid. I have to be firm with myself to work rather than 'play' (i.e. go on the forum) at the moment. And yes, I know what you were at Frank; my intervention was just a timely reminder that's all. P.S. I owe you an e-mail re Stafford which I'm still perfecting (soon, though...soon). So, to liven matters up, can anyone tell me the source of the "history is that certainty..." quotation I used?
In all seriousness this thread is an important one and the use, or rather misuse, of the French maps is one which requires a whole essay to itself - don't you think Frank? Hint. Hint.

Steve
I'll try to use words in future with less than six letters (damn!).
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 9:49 pm

Don't encourage him Julian or he will disappear for another 3 months. Here's another quiz question given the earlier mention of Bindon Blood. What connects Bindon Blood and Lord Kitchener that also has an AZW relevance (not their service during the Boer War).

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 10:45 pm

Steve
Well, Blood was in the AZW; didn't he meet Kitchener in the Sudan(?); and I know Kitchener requested his presence in the Second Boer War as you said but I don't believe Blood was in Zululand or Natal, I can only find he served in the eastern Transvaal.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Wed May 03, 2017 11:15 pm

Steve
Well, Blood was in the AZW; didn't he meet Kitchener in the Sudan(?); and I know Kitchener requested his presence in the Second Boer War as you said but I don't believe Blood was in Zululand or Natal, I can only find he served in the eastern Transvaal......


He went out after Isandhlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:40 am

Good try gents but not there yet. First clue - the connection is not a simultaneous one.
Further clue tomorrow if no one gets it first.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 8:11 am

Steve
During my 'leave of absence' I did manage to achieve a number of things, lots of really beneficial research ( Results will be forthcoming). Plus I did a ground survey of the whole plateau from Mabaso to the ridge, two weeks of walking a grid pattern with a very sophisticated detector. I must hasten to add that no digging took place but all 'pings' were recorded. In addition to the plateau the area that I have prieviously indicated as being the area that the RB was destroyed was also surveyed. That area, some two to three hundred metres West of the Notch is the place I am firmly convinced was the RBs final resting place and also the place the left horn used to get down onto the plain. At the bottom of that decline was an area that yielded an amazing amount of results, tends to place the first line of resistance.
I didn't impinge on the actual battlefield area just the ridge the spur the plateau and areas outside the fence. I shall over the next couple of weeks publish the findings.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 8:17 am

By the way Blood was in Natal with the coastal division. It was he that organized the ill fated attempted landing of Wolseley at Point Durnford. Blood also served with Chelmsford under Lord Napier in India.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 8:40 am

Frank
All very good. I look forward to your results.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 10:45 am

Yes, it should be an interesting year.

Further clue in the quiz - another connection is a "Chatham" man killed at Isandhlwana.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 11:03 am

Is the connection The Royal Engineers. agree
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 11:14 am

Morning CTSG and well done. Need to be more specific though. Who is the "Chatham" man and what is his RE connection to Kitchener and Blood?

Steve
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 11:31 am

You talking about Durnford?
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 11:44 am

Durnford, Kitchener and Blood all commanded Columns, Divisions, or even whole commands.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:03 pm

Not Durnford.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:04 pm

Chard!!
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:18 pm

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:22 pm

Chard killed at Isandhlwana?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:26 pm

Warren

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:27 pm

rusteze wrote:
Chard killed at Isandhlwana?

Steve

There was a rumour!!! Back in the day. That's another cover up.
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