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 Gerald French, liar or not?

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:30 pm

Les

You're getting closer date wise.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:41 pm

Steve,
A link with Lt Macdowell or Chieftain?
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:42 pm

CTSG

Sir Charles Warren is an interesting thought but not the "Chatham" man I am afraid. However, if Lord Kitchener or Bindon Blood turned out to be Jack the Ripper then you might be on to something! Could be a whole new theory.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 12:49 pm

Frederic

You are very close indeed my friend. Well done!

Next clue - half of them arrived after Isandhlwana.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 1:57 pm

Captain Walter Jones?
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 2:02 pm

Frederic

Stick with MacDowel.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 2:20 pm

The major action of Lt Macdowell before isandhlwana is the prefabricated bridge assembly...
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 2:34 pm

The connection to Kitchener and Blood is nothing to do with what MacDowel did in South Africa.

Final clue - you might say they were all "hard wired" at some point.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 2:48 pm

it seems to me that there is a link with a photograph posted by you recently on the forum (with Durnford, Macdowel...).
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 2:50 pm

'C' Troop, Corps of Royal Engineers?
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 2:56 pm

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Clouseau, the prize is yours!
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 3:08 pm

"C" Troop Royal Engineers was formed in September 1870. Lt. Bindon Blood joined in November 1870, Lt. Kitchener joined in April 1873, Lt. MacDowel joined in January 1874. The "Right Half" of "C"Troop embarked for South Africa on 1 April 1879.

So, what connects all of them and is also relevant to the AZW is "C" Troop RE.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Thu May 04, 2017 3:23 pm

Always happy to learn something.
Cheers
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PostSubject: Gerald French , Liar or not    Fri May 05, 2017 2:22 am

Wasn't C troop RE known as the Telegraph troop ? .
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Fri May 05, 2017 11:03 am

Hi Gary

That's right, the electric telegraph was introduced into the army as a result of the US Civil War. As usual, the British were too mean to introduce it properly at first but the Franco Prussian war made up their minds for them. "C" Troop was the result.

In my view,  the RE is always key to  progress in the British army. The small RE Balloon Section went on to become the Royal Flying Corps and then the Royal Air Force. "C" Troop would later become the RE Telegraph Battalion and expand enormously in the Great War, then of course becoming a whole new Corps as the Royal Signals. That then led to the Bletchley Park Code Breakers and all of the current cyber warfare capabilities. So "C" Troop has a distinguished history from a very small beginning in the AZW.

But the old Crimea veterans like Chelmsford were not ready for innovation in 1879, preferring to rely on messaging by horseman. Isandhlwana could have been very different if he could have communicated with the camp rather than peering through a bloody telescope.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Sat May 06, 2017 3:04 pm

As an attempt to wrap up the topic, would this encapsulate our thoughts?

The first map produced by Walter James in February/March of 1879 was drafted after a close ground survey early in February. It was noted on the map ‘from memory’. I believe that phrase was used to describe not the topographical attributes but rather the camp location. The actual rough survey notes and measurements taken by James are on record at the RRW museum in Wales. I do have copies of those notes and diagrams.
A subsequent map completed in March of that year shows more detail of the camp site and the positions of the troop in line of defense.
The original of this map, held at Windsor (Called for our purposes variation 1) was lithographed and printed. It was then subjected to changes with a sub title added amongst other things. (Called for our purposes variation 2). This amended map had in addition to nomenclature additions a series of large dots indication the positions of the attacking Zulus, left horn right horn and chest. It also had a number of dots indicating the Zulus blocking the Rorkes Drift Road. (again variation 2)
This amended, lithographed and printed map was in turn subject to a number of variations and color highlighted. The title block was changed from ‘SKETCH OF ISANDLANA CAMP’ to SKETCH OF ZULU ATTACK AT ISANHDLWANA’.
The attacking Zulu force was colored in dark blue with the defending Natives in a lighter blue. There are a number of dots uncolored to indicate that the original dots were printed not hand drawn to this copy.
One of the changes made on this print is to change ‘natives’ to Native Contingent.
Variation 3 of this map was then printed in 1906 in Gerald French book ‘Lord Chelmsford and the Zulu Wars’ and unashamed attempt to exonerate Chelmsford from any blame.
The fact that the regimental positions and Zulu positions added in variation 1 and printed in variation 2 would in my humble opinion rule out French as being the author of the original change’s. These changes, troop positions etc. would have had to have been drawn by someone with more knowledge of the day.
There is no proof of who made the changes from variation 1 to 2 or 2 to 3. One could surmise that as this plan is held at Windsor it is not part of the French estate papers.
My own opinion is that French came upon variation 3 during his research for his book and immediately jumped on it as further proof of Chelmsford’s innocence.
That French has been accused of deliberately falsifying the maps is to my mind based on very little evidence.
There is the possibility that this map was part of the Chelmsford papers being catalogued by Mathew Gosset in or around 1905/06. Gosset was close to Lord Chelmsford and his family, it was also he that added comments to Walter James report. The amendments could therefore have easily be attributed to Gosset with or without the cooperation of French.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Sat May 06, 2017 6:34 pm

Frank

Do you mean you have evidence from Brecon about James surveying in February (was he even there?). Without having seen that, I would say the original map was Mainwaring's who did it from memory. James produces the confidential report in which he lists (in the left margin on page 4) his three sketch maps and notes whose evidence he has included in each of them. There are two sets of annotations on James's confidential report, one in red ink that is Gossett and another set of pencil comments that I believe to be from Chelmsford (they cannot be Gossett's in my view). That is why it is in the Chelmsford Papers at the NAM.

Turning to the initial three James maps I do not think Gossett has changed them (he does not mention doing so in his manuscript annotations on the report). I do not think we have established who drew in the coloured dots, but I would speculate that James drew up a composite version of his original three maps when it was requested by Ponsonby for QV. At this stage James added the coloured dots. I am not clear at what point they are first described as showing an NNC withdrawal, or whether this is what the dots were intended to show. I cannot see your uncoloured dots. But it also seems entirely possible that, at the stage where a map is being produced for QV, some entirely unknown hand is involved in placing the dots for her benefit.
My feeling is that French did nothing other than substitute crosses for the NNC dots.

There is also mention of another map in the confidential report which shows the Zulu line of march from "Unodwengo". That is not on any of the maps we are discussing.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Sun May 07, 2017 6:26 am

Steve I would disagree that the maps refered to in the side column page 4 refers to James maps but rather maps produced by Hammer, Essex and Gardner. We have only evidence of one map that was modified. But I do take your point that yet again there are unclear areas subject to interpretation.
I'm of the opinion that the map(s) are at Windsor not NAM although one is currently on exhibit there. Im currently trying to get the accesion notes.
The James report most certainly at NAM.
The Hamer map is the most elusive, the original was loaned out by the family and lost. David Jackson does have a copy buts its at present unobtainable.
Essex and Gardners I have and will post during the week.
Your comment about Gosset not mentioning any contribution to the map, probably begs the comment that potentially the only one to mention the maps is really James, and that's open to interpretation.
The mystery lingers.
I would fully agree about French, modifications from colour to a monochrome presentation.
There are definitely uncoloured and faintly coloured dots. The dots were on a prievious version of the map before this editing.
A further point is that possibly the various editions of the maps were really sketches not intended for public consumption leading up to the final copy, just a series of intermediat sketches? So maybe we are reading to much into things?
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Sun May 07, 2017 9:15 am

Bonjour,
I don't know if it's useful but there are two references for the annotated copy of the report written by Walter James:
NAM CP 6807/386-8-61
TNA (PRO) WO 33/33

See "Select Documents" by Keith I. Smith, pp.171-172 (note 22).

I.E: I'm pretty sure there's a comment on this map by Jackson somewhere in "Hill of the Sphinx". Notably Conical Hill is not drawn

Cheers.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Sun May 07, 2017 11:21 am

In "Hill of the Sphinx" (p.5), Jackson wrote:
"It [ court of inquiry record] was received at the War Office on 15th March [1879] and less than a week later Lieutenant James (...) had completed a confidential paper. A sketch map prepared by Captain Essex to illustrate his report of 24th January had not reached London. Like another drawn by Captain Gardner it lay neglected among Chelmsford's paper. But Lieutenant James had two maps by another survivor, Hamer of the Commissariat department, and with these and the Court's evidence he worked out as best he could how the battle had been fought".

Note 9: Lt Jame's narrative is in WO 33/33 p. 686 et sq. The author subsequently came out to SA and was prsent at the balle of Ulundi.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Sun May 07, 2017 11:32 am

"Hill of the Sphinx", note 26, p.37
"Cearly, they [ maps drawn by Essex, Gardner, Penn_Symons] were not used by Either James or Rothwell, althought Hamer mentions in his letter to his father that he has sent the WO two maps of his own (no longer existence?). A third map, which is included with his letter, shows the movements of the amNgwane patrols, but not the positions of the firing line".
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Sun May 07, 2017 12:42 pm

Frederic/ Frank

Well done Frederic! Always comes back to Jackson. As a result I would now put the sequence like this. James has Hamer's maps and the evidence from the Inquiry. He uses that information to modify the only existing sketch of the camp then available (which is Mainwarings) from which he produces a series of three maps for the confidential report showing the state of play at various times during the morning of the 22nd. Interesting to note that Jackson says James "places four companies of the Native Contingent on the left of the guns". That implies to me that he is not talking about dots which cannot denote four companies. So if the original James maps did not have dots they must have been added later, perhaps by James for the QV map. I think the only significance of calling these maps sketches is that they are not survey based. Certainly the James maps were not for public consumption but would anyway be printed for the confidential report.

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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Sun May 07, 2017 5:18 pm

Another possible piece in the jigsaw. On page 6 of his confidential report James cites Blue Book c.2242, page 73 in the side note. I think he actually means Blue Book c.2252 which contains the first details of the disaster. On page 73 (of c.2252) is enclosure 5 of document 21 (Frere to Hicks Beach) by Colonel Bray setting out details he gathered mainly from Brickhill. The message from Frere was received in London on 1 March. Bray included a sketch of the battle which is reproduced. James clearly also had this when he produced his maps.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Mon May 08, 2017 9:20 am

Steve
When I used the term sketches I followed architectural dictates, in a build up to a working drawing the various stages are normally refered to as 'Sketches'. These sketches can be preliminary working drawings. Hence my description of the build up maps to James final map, and not done so as to place them as anything but that.
In terms of the actual dots. In the original 'sketch/ preliminary drawing' by james they are indeed present. That drawing is in the Windsor Archives. The map is uncaptioned and has an amount of data omitted that appears on a modified 'sketch' later. So without doubt proof positive that the dots were positioned at a very early point in James deliberations. ( A copy of that drawing is held by Ron Lock ).
James had produced his plan dated 18.3.79 At that point as Jackson has pointed out he had the COE but not the maps from Essex or Gardner. Neither of those maps incidently are detailed enough to point to individual companies as James report and map do. Hamers map was sent of to the War office but again the question arises, was that map concerning the action that he was more involved with, the plateau. He retreated down from the plateau in the disorganized mess of a withdrawl, would he have been in a position later on to observe and record numbers of companies etc?
So if James didn't get his company dispersal from those survivors then where did that pretty detailed map originate, certainly not from any document produced by Brickhill, and Brays map is so inaccurate its laughable really.
There is virtually no reference to company dispositions from the COE.
All he potential would have had to work from in terms of the camp itself would have been Mainwarings sketch of the 24th February. That map was produced after the dispatch of the the COE, around the 8th February. If Essex and Gardners maps were excluded ( assuming they had done them at that stage) what chance Mainwarings?
There was of course a sketch published in the Telegraph by Harry Davies. I haven't seen that sketch but the earliest sketches I have been able to trace from the Illustrated started to appear at the beginning of March. Long after James map was produced. There is a comment in the Illustrated that a sketch by Lt Newnham Davis of the 3rd Buffs was printed early March This would I assume be the one refered to by James.
James had to have been aware of the various sketches in order to note them in the margins of his report so do we assume automatically that David Jacksons comments were correct, hes a brilliant man but not infallible ? If DJ was wrong then James would have had access to the sketches, but would they have really helped? There has to have been another source.
James is very definite when he comments on the line up, 4 companies of the 2/24th facing the hill then the NNC then the guns and on the right the remaining companies with 2 troops Sikalis Horse. That line up has long been discredited but at the time it represented a pretty exact statement.
Getting back to the James maps, if he used the Mainwaring map as a basis he got the North Point very wrong, in addition to the roads and dongas. The difference between the camp layout of Mainwarings original sketch and the James map is also significant.
With the annotations to the actual report them selves, you mentioned that you thought they were done by Chelmsford! On page 6 ther is a note with an initial after it, that occurs on page 7 as well. Gossets initial is on the top of page 1.
There are two separate handwritings to those notes, page 6. Neither of the handwriting samples there match with the later extensive comments by Gosset. The 'pencil' notes seem a lot softer, more vertical tha Gossets notes at the end. And that second note on page 6 could be a more deliberate hand using a pen, that would compare to the other notes. Its just that initial that doesn't seem to be Chelmsfords.
Just some thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Mon May 08, 2017 11:19 am

Morning Frank

I suspect DJ saw a James map that we are not seeing, one which showed the NNC companies rather than dots. Why would a preliminary sketch be at Windsor, surely QV would simply have had the final article?

My idea is that the three sketches were all intended for the confidential report, they were not a drafting build up for a single final map (which only got produced because QV asked for one). That is reinforced by James listing Essex for both Sketch2 and Sketch3 (ie his evidence to the Inquiry being relevant to both maps).

I still cannot place the Mainwaring map in its own right. Why was it printed in February - for what purpose?

Turning to the notes, my proposition that the pencil is Chelmsford is mainly based on what they say. Page 1 "Most unfortunate". Page 4 "More evidence". Page 6 "I never heard of it" and "this is not true". Page 7 "I never said so". There is also a pencil sidelining to a section of Gossett's commentary on page 8. I agree the initials are difficult. What I think it does show is that the pencil notes were done after Gossett's  additions.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Mon May 08, 2017 1:08 pm

Hi Steve
The first map is definitely at Windsor, as I mentioned RL has a copy, I'm busy trying to locate the accession numbers, ahem Julian a hint!
Again with the references to Essex and Gardner, he did mention them in his report and so had to know they were around, possibly not the content. If he had known the content he wouldn't have been that excited. Possibly James didn't have in my a Sketch 2 and Sketch 3 as being a referral to sketches he was going to produce but more as labeling sketches that SHOULD be read with his report. As in 'Exhibit 345b mi Lord".
Ive been trying to get Photobucket to do its job, without success, so I can post a number of maps. Hopefully it will happen later today.

The timeline of all the so called evidence is the 'anvill' I'm trying to throw around.
James Report 21st march
Plan produced 18th march, that's the original plan.
Times of Natal quoted for 27th January
Mainwarings first sketch 24th February
COE report sent out on 8th Feb

Theres just a confusion of dates that don't allow for a trip to Cape Town telegraph to the Canary isles and an overland trip to Blighty.
The notations coming from Chelmsford was my first consideration, then I was persuaded it wasn't him.
I still think you could be right tho'. That report is not the only copy, so as I believe that it was from the NAM it could easily have been amongst the papers coalated by Gosset for the family in 1905/6 and at that time he added his own opinions.
Cheers
PS I'm going to ask Julian to have a word with David next time he visits and see if he did set eyes on anyother map.

Although this topic has raised probably more questions than answers it has as far as I'm concerned done a tad of good to dear old Geralds street cred.
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PostSubject: Re: Gerald French, liar or not?   Mon May 08, 2017 1:34 pm

I am going to pop along to Kew and take a look at their copy of the James report.

It turns out I have in fact previously seen Mainwarings map at Kew. It has been extracted from its original file and placed into a folder of large Intelligence Branch maps from the period, covering Afghanistan and China as well as AZW. I will also take a look at its original home file to see if anything remains.

Is there anything I can look at for you while I am there?

Steve
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PostSubject: Gerald French , Liar or not    Mon May 08, 2017 1:40 pm

Hi Steve
Newdigate's Diary is at Kew , I don't know how large it is , wonder if they make copies ?
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