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 Some fun research

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:17 pm

The Original Chard Map

While researching a paper, on the movements of Colonel Anthony Durnford, in Natal I happened across an interesting hand drawn sketch of the Rorkes Drift defenses.
Interesting in that it was the second time I seen the Mission Station drawn ‘upside down’, North facing downwards instead of the traditional mapping rule of North being to the top of the page.
The only other time I had seen this was in the Michael Glover book, Rorkes Drift A Victorian Epic, 1975.
Busy on other issues I put the map on the back burner until I could generate space to look more closely at it. I was drawn back to it not too long a time later with again a cross over in my ongoing research into the movement and timeline of Colonel Dunford’s column.
The map is signed by Chard, or what appears to be an unimpressive copy of his signature, and of course it is ‘upside down.’ I managed through a forum member to enlist the help of a number of knowledgably people in the AZW fraternity. Brecons files were examined during a search for mention of the map and some extensive research done into any provenance. All without result.
I did manage after some time to locate a reference number and with the assistance of Rusteez/ Steve managed to hone in on The National Archives. I checked back on the number with a number of current publication and it was mentioned as a source acknowledgment a number of times. But never a comment on the map sketch.
Rusteeze willingly gave off his time assisting these investigations and offered to visit Kew to examine the file on condition I told him what I expected/hoped to glean.

My expectations were:
Find a reference to the map
Find a copy/original of the map
Locate an additional document along with the official Chard report
This last item was what had started the search and caused the spin off into the map issue.

A moment to digress and to a degree explain that last comment. I have searched through virtually every modern author looking for a reference to a further Chard report, from Morris, Laband, Knight, Glover Barthorp, Snook, Thornton, Stevenson and Baynham Jones. Whilst a fare few have referenced that file as a source document none have answered the questions I posed above.
That of course gave me room for thought that it was indeed a wild goose chase. Not the first in my career and probably not the last.
Most people have tended to use the Chard Victoria report as the basis for any narration, unfortunately that's how errors go down in history.
All or most of the above eminent authors mention in their sources or attributions, two Chard reports, the Official report sent to Colonel Richard Glyn on the 25th January 1879 and a further one requested and compiled for Queen Victoria on the 21st February 1880.
The official report is used as the basis for the ‘Historical records of the 24th regiment’ by Glennie Penn Symonds and Paton, and the official Narrative of the War.
The report for Queen Victoria was written by Chard 21st February 1880, some twelve months later and well after his reception at Balmoral on the 14th October 1879 (AF Pickering Private Secretary to Queen Victoria).
There are two notes on the file cover however that could be construed as pointing to the fact that Queen Victoria had already see the original report. The first note suggests the ‘HRH would be interested in seeing this” dated 24th March 1879, and a second some three days later passing on a request that the report be forwarded to Lord Chelmsford for his comments.

Although Chard was senior officer at Rorkes Drift he was an Engineer and had command of a number of Royal Engineer members killed at iSandlwana, Corporal Gamble, Sapper Cuthbert, Sapper Maclaren, Sapper Wheetley. Chard would have had to account for that loss to the Officer Commanding 5th Company Royal Engineers. It was this report that I was hoping would assist my main line of research.
The file is marked, “Only to be read under supervision”. And according to Steve he was lead into a room with a large safe, the safe opened and the file presented to him and then he was locked into the room. A room with windows along one wall. He asked for and surprisingly was given permission to photograph the contents. This he duly did.
In the file was a copy of the original hand-written Chard report, as used in the narrative, but with a note on the last page above his signature that a ‘map of the defense was attached’.
All the pages are numbered sequentially from 1 to 15 with the map at number 14.

So, from a sighting of the ‘forgery’ in the middle of Zululand to the National Archives at Kew a trail of research that assisted in re-discovering the original Chard map of Rorkes Drift but more importantly the key 'third' report.

The main object of my research however has also been satisfied in the locating of the Chard report of 6th February outlining issues away from Rorkes Drift. This is an important document that will assist in establishing a time line and route of Colonel Anthony Dunford’s advance. That is a report I hope to present shortly.

Grateful thanks to Rusteez/ Steve and to Julian Whybra for their invaluable assistance. Steve, one more favors my friend, I still have no bloody idea how to post a picture, could you oblige and post page 14, the map, for me?

Regards.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:27 pm

Morning Frank

First, a thought about the reference to "HRH". If you look at the letter from the Adjutant General (Ellice) at Horse Guards to Lord Chelmsford of 27 March 1879 covering Chard's report (page 21 of the folder) you will see a further reference. I think the "HRH" in question is probably the Duke of Cambridge and not QV.

Herewith the map.
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Copyright The National Archives.

All the best
Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:38 pm

Afternoon Steve.
Didn't think of that. Good thought.

Cheers
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:14 pm

There are a couple of interesting facets on this maps transition to the 'architectural map' produced for the Narative, and the one used by most historians. At RD itself a circular area in front of the 'hospital is indicated as the front of the barricade. Most guides will tell you that was the first line of defence but the soldiers then fell back to a second line of Mellie sacks just behind, and then further to the veranda itself. In this sketch there is no curved line of sacks, just the top of the ridge. The mellie bag wall stretches in a straight line. that's been misinterpreted on the Intelligence Departments drawing. A scond point is the number of internal doors connecting the rooms, it differs from the two maps. In the Narrative map to get from the front room (West) to the rear and then across towards the east something like 5 walls would have had to have been broken through. In the centre room to the west there is only an external door.
Just some random thoughts to explore.
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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:17 pm

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90th

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PostSubject: some fun research    Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:30 pm

Hi Frank Very Happy
Are you talking of the Lunette at the front of the hospital ? , I've read that it was incorporated into the defensive positions but on completion it was thought to be of little use , and therefore wasnt actually used at all , I dont know which book it was in , and unsure if it was an Historian , or a defenders statement . This may explain why Chard hasnt included it in the map posted from Steve ? , just a thought .
90th Salute
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:51 pm

Greetings Gary
Yep that's the place. Its the progression that's of interest, for me, from Chards sketch to the printed version. Exactly as you say, Ive heard about it from many a guide and seen it in books. If you look at Nothing remains but to fight Ian has shown the 5 map series drawn by Chard, its in none of those, but is in a map in Brave Mens Blood. The sketches by Bourne and by Crealock don't seem to show the curve either. Neil Thornton on the other hand does show it in his maps.

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90th

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PostSubject: some fun research    Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:02 pm

Yes it's a strange one , as I mentioned earlier as it wasnt actually used , some of the diagrams possibly leave it out for that reason ? . Who really knows , it's just another of the AZW's points that raise more questions than answers ! .
cheers Mate
90th Joker
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Kenny



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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:30 pm

My own view of this.  It is strange that Chard, a trained engineer, produces a sketch map which opposite normal convention. Mapmakers usually always have North pointing to the top of the page.  At the time of Rorke's Drift in January 1879 there as a shortage of paper - many soldiers could write home to update their families. There is no doubt that Chard produced a sketch - the best position sketch from would be the Shyane (or Oscarberg) which would have produced a correct facing map.  However is still possible that Chard did his sketch viewing the Mission station from the North.  This orientation is the one used by Michael Glover - but he gives no accreditation for the map printed on page 85 of his 1975 book on RD.  

Map Appendices for 'The Narrative of Field Operations' produced by the Int Dept, QMG Dept at the War Office in 1881 would have handwritten sketches of all the locations.  To produce the required lithograghs and any mis-orientations would be ironed out by the editors in the War Office. Almost every author uses the War Office version of Chard's map - it was the one re-produced in 'The South Wales Borderers 24th Foot 1689-1937' by C T Atkinson.  However Chard would have submitted his report to the C-in-C (HRH Duke of Cambridge) before the War Office publication and the Duke then submitted it to HM The Queen. Which sketch did HM The Queen see?
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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:22 pm

Hi Kenny

Frank and I had a brief discussion off-line about some of this after my visit to Kew, so bear with me a little.

In essence, there are three documents contained in this particular bundle in the archives - all subsequently numbered in a single sequence by the War Office (I suspect for preservation at review). The first two reports are from Chard, his well known one of the RD defence and, separately, a report of his actions on the previous day at the ponts and on the morning of 22nd going up to Isandhlwana. The third document is the submission of Chard's report by the Adjutant General Ellice to Chelmsford at the instruction of HRH Duke of Cambridge. It is this final document that gives us a clue as to how the reports were submitted, because Ellice makes a point of saying to Chelmsford that "the communication has been improperly transmitted by the Officer Commanding the Royal Engineers under your (ie Chelmsford's) command direct to the Inspector General of Fortifications (the Commander Royal Engineers at the War Office)". It was the IG Fortifications that sent it to HRH. On receipt of Ellice's submission in South Africa, Clifford (on Chelmsford's staff) then writes to Hassard at HQ P.Maritzberg telling him not to do it again! Hassard responds by, in essence,  saying "but it was only a copy I sent to IG Fortifications".

Chard has already told us that he submitted his report on the defence of RD to Glyn. And it is surely this which should have then gone to Chelmsford, who would then be required to submit it to Horse Guards. So it appears that the report that now sits at Kew is a second copy sent by Chard to Hassard (which makes sense) that then found its way to London via RE channels. I think this may explain the somewhat crude copylike map (which is on a kind of translucent tracing paper and subsequently coloured) which, I am in no doubt is contemporary with the other Kew papers, but is a second copy by Chard taken from his first drawing for Glyn. The question is where is the Glyn copy now?

Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:39 pm

Hi Kenny
When I first saw the map I had exactly the same misgivings as yourself. But then as events unfolded and it was tracked down to the Chard report I had to change my viewpoint. One could say that it was added to the file at a latter point, but the pages are numbered sequentially and the map is not the last page. In addition on the final page he points out that he has included a map. And yes I mentioned the first time I saw that orientation was the Glover version, although not the original but a redraft.
With regard to Chards Engineering abilities as a map maker it didn't extend to getting his North Point correct either.
I don't have a record of a map being included with Chards report to QV But there does exist a possibility that his 5 sketches of the battle at various times COULD have been produced for that purpose. Just a thought.
Ive never given to much credence to the shortage of paper argument, certainly for the other ranks but for officers? A lot of reports were done at the time, from Chards official report to Glyn on the 25th, that occupied a number of pages, Bromheads report in a similar time frame plus all the notes that PS made, some 68 pages there.
Its interesting, but for me it was all about the February report on the deaths of his men that was the magnate.
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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:02 pm

I am convinced that Chard's five sketches (together with his drawing of RD) were submitted with his report to QV. I have re-orientated the second QV sketch and put it alongside the plan at Kew. It is an extremely good match.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:14 pm

Great Minds etc. Ive just done the same exersize with overlays. No doubt one came of the other. The clincher is the angle of the kraal relative to the buildings. Question Steve, I only have a printed version of Chards report to QV. Any idea how many pages there were? I have even money on there being 13?

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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:18 pm

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Could be the clincher.

Interestingly the shape of the redoubt is changed.

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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:49 pm

It has indeed - another comparison shows the two piles of mealies in Chard's general watercolour sketch, still two piles at 4.30 in plan sketch 2 when the first attack is repulsed and by darkness in plan sketch 5 it is a single inner redoubt with defenders.
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Don't know how many pages the QV submission was.
Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Some fun research   Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:47 am

Thants what I refered to Steve. The fact that he actually went into such detail really entailed a lot of thought in wanting to make things extremely clear to QV. I cant see him leaving out a salient feature like the curved wall. Like Gary Ive seen it refered to in one of the books so busy trying to find out who and why. It niggles me !
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