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Lt. Melvill: Well done, Sir! Did you see that Noggs? Deceived him with the up and took him with the down. Norris-Newman: Well well, this one\'s a grandfather at least. If he\'d been a Zulu in his prime I\'d have given odds against your lancer, Mr.Melvill.
 
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Lt. (Brevet Major) J.R.M. Chard, 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers--Rorke's Drift and Ulundi
(Mac and Shad) Isandula Collection)
Rededication Rorke's Drift Defender William Wilcox. 8th May 2011 Dolton Devon.
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The missing five hours.

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 Missing five hours question

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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Missing five hours question   Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:39 am

Hi
Last night I was re-reading Q&Ls ‘Missing five hours’ thesis (yeah a real ‘rock and roll’ Friday night in Uttoxeter) and to me it seems very convincing but one thing struck me as ‘odd’ was the statement from a ‘Nokhenke deserter’

I do not know the set up of the de-briefing/interrogation team but it must have had a Zulu speaking translator and to my mind someone who re-interpreted the information given.

There seems to be lots of references to compass directions ‘eastward’ and ‘running north and south’ etc but I am not too fussed about that, but the one thing that I find odd is the fact that ‘about four miles’ is mentioned.

I assume the average Zulu would have knowledge of compass directions (sunrise & sunset) but would he pay attention to what direction the valley was running in? More strangely (to my mind) is the reference to ‘miles’.....how did the Zulus measure distance?......it’s almost like the statement was ’fitting in with what the integrators wished to know’

Cheers

Sime
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Missing five hours question   Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:56 pm

Your quite right Simon.
A number where interpreted by Drummond and recorded by Gosset, Woods took statements of 4 Zulu interpreted by Llewellyn Lloyd his political assistant.
A number of these statements were collected and sent to London by Chelmsford, 30th March 1879.
Without doubt most of those statements were added to by those present. One can imagine a scene:
Interpreter "Where did the Zulu come from prisoner."
Native waves over his left shoulder.
Interpreter to Gossett"'from the North sir".
Gossett:" More North East I would say, what?"
Mean while the Zulu is thinking, 'damn I shouldn't have waved my friend just then..................................'


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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Missing five hours question   Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:21 pm

Cheers Frank Very Happy
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Missing five hours question   Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:34 pm

Sorry Simon couldn't resist it. But yes virtually all the Zulu testimony has to be regarded as 'tainted'. We do need to take cognizance of the fear factor, those being questioned not wanting to convict or implicate them selves. Mehlokazulu is a classic example of that. After the war when the tourism started there was also the bravado of what the individual had done et. BUT those statements are all we have from the Zulu side so its a case of very careful reading.

Cheers
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Missing five hours question   Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:03 pm

I agree with Frank.. the ineptitude of the British was at times staggering..
Mehlokazulu told them what they wanted to hear!. he fought the British
to the end of his life over a quarter of a century later when he was shot
to death in the unnecessary slaughter at Mome.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Missing five hours question   Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:02 am

There is still a huge amount of information that can be sifted from the Zulu statements however. Mehlokazulu for instance when he is being very PC needs to be put to one side but his placements and timing are very critical to building the battle picture.
Some of the statements seem to give the givers to wide a viewpoint, that can only have come from post battle conversations or prompting from the interviewer. For example one particular member of a left horn regiment commentating on the works of the right horn.
Most of the problems with the Zulu statements come from trying to fit them into the British perceptions rather than allowing them their own viewpoint.
Just an opinion
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Paul Lamberth



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PostSubject: Re: Missing five hours question   Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:02 pm

"The missing five hours" debate has me amused. Time is relative. First light, mid morning,late afternoon,dark, dawn, etc. etc...close enough. Infantry were still reminding themselves to wind up their watches...the Navy knew if they forget they might get lost. Royal Observatory mid day gun..Cape Town. In terms of distance Zulu used time...how long will it take me to get from A-B...not miles...or Cape roods. Direction...where the sun comes up...or where the sun sets...towards Big river, from Flat mountain en route to the Forest...which is near my house. The famous "blue note" leaves the camp at 08:05 and arrives at the General 09:30 = 90 minutes, = 10 miles on horse = General in the hills towards the south east in direction of the forest/falls....How do you loose five hours?
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SRB1965

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Location : Uttoxeter - the last place God made and he couldn't be bothered to finish it.....

PostSubject: Re: Missing five hours question   Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:59 pm

Paul Lamberth wrote:
"How do you loose five hours?

Give me a bottle of Jack Daniels.......and I'll loose more than five hours.....probably most of tomorrow.... Sad

However in all seriousness, I think most landmarks in Zululand had locally well known Zulu names.....Isandlwana for one (variously...the hut, the cows udder or the fist depending on what book you read) and that they would be able to name larger homesteads, so I am not too concerned about that.

Though as you say, distance would have been expressed in 'days walk' or 'half days walk' something like that.

Cultures who only had a broad idea of time and had to go somewhere (regardless of distance) would not be hung up on the time & distance equation or speed.

Cheers

Sime
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krish



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PostSubject: Re: Missing five hours question   Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:29 pm

Interesting, I wondered how the distances were measured in those days, but have just transcribed a family diary where great uncles were moving sheep in 1879. Each day he wrote the distance, so many miles from point A etc, They had wagons and 12000 sheep. I think the measurements related to what the animals could travel. But for some reason, comparing to today's maps, their estimate,motions were spot on.
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Missing five hours question   Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:58 am

The thing is that invaders invariably thought that the indigenous people
that they sought to conquer were unsophisticated and therefore stupid!.
we all know now that the Zulu were nothing of the kind... True they did
not enslave time and divide it to nothingless as the ' the modern ' world
did.. but the Zulu had been around Europeans for 50 odd years and had
come to learn how we measured time, ask any Zulu to meet at a precise
time three weeks hence and there he would be. same as the speed in
which the Zulu could transmit complex information over the entire country,
shouting the news from hill to hill, from valley to valley, there is so much
to admire about those people. xhosa
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