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 Melvill's Revolver Cylinder

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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

Posts : 1987
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PostSubject: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptySat Oct 28, 2017 10:22 pm

Hi i know i posted this several years ago but i'm sure it wasn't solved ! I've read many times that Melvill's revolver didn't work as the Cylinder was missing from it and that it was subsequently found later on. Does anyone know the source for this ? it seems very strange someone would be able to identify the owner of a revolver cylinder and Higginson did state both Melvill and Coghill shot down 2 pursing Zulus scratch

Cheers
Sam
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptySun Oct 29, 2017 5:24 am

Hi Sam
This from Page 110 of ' Victoria's Harvest ; The Irish Soldiers In The Zulu War Of 1879 ' by David Truesdale & John Young
Footnote ( 7 )
In his seminal work TWOTS , D.R.Morris states that when Melvill pulled his pistol from his holster , he found that the cylinder had fallen out . It was ( apparently ) later found in the camp and it is presumed that it was dropped while Melvill reloaded before leaving . If the pistol in question was a Colt ( entirely possible ) , then the cylinder found was simply an empty one , as the quickest means of reloading a Colt was to replace the entire cylinder - much as you do with speed loads for modern revolvers . The remark by Higginson seems to imply that both men were able to shoot at the encroaching zulus .

I've seen this in several publications , have also read there were no dead ' zulu's ' found near Melvill & Coghill , have read there were ! , I'm not to sure about what to believe when it comes to Higginson ! .
90th Salute
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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

Posts : 1987
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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptySun Oct 29, 2017 9:58 am

Hi 90th

Many thanks for the reply i think Gyln mentions dead Zulu's near the bodies but again i am at a loss to the source of his revolver not working scratch The only mention to Melvill revolver is by Higginson who seems to believe both Melvill and Coghill's worked as they both shot down a pursing Zulu. It is possible Coghill fired twice and was an excellent shot but given I've seen this in several publications i'd like to solve the mystery Very Happy

Cheers
Sam
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptySun Oct 29, 2017 11:46 am

Sam check my post , the source is Donald Morris in ' The Washing Of The Spears ' ! . Morris wrote the book back in the 60's from memory .
90th agree
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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptySun Oct 29, 2017 2:26 pm

Hi 90th

Many thanks for identifying Morris as the source Salute  
Now i wonder where an earth he got this from? I am sceptical it is true given Morris did have a habit of making stuff up, eg Pope's dying 2nd, a dog ect. Brickhill did record Melvill asked him about seeing his sword so maybe he got confused with that.

Cheers
Sam
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SRB1965

SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyMon Oct 30, 2017 6:33 am

I have always been fascinated by this story and also the story that the bodies of 2 mounted infantrymen were found nearby (but I dunno where I read that).

Just how close to safety where the two? Where the Edendale men nearby?

More importantly, had the two escaped would majority of the questions/mysteries of Isandlwana have been solved and the careers of futures authors/historians been ruined?
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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyMon Oct 30, 2017 9:31 am

Hi SRB1965

I don't want to risk going off topic here but Adrian Greaves had a theory that one of the men was Sgt Cooper given i'm away at Uni i don't have access to my books but i was convinced by the theory i seem to recall. Many of the answers e.g. ammunition, the distance of the firing line, Pulleine style of command would have been answered if Melvill had lived given he was by Pulleine side during the battle.

On a previous topic to this i believe it was stated that Fyln found the Cylinder but given Higginson clearly states both Melvill and Coghill had working revolvers and i don't see any evidence to suggest Fyln did find it i think it's just another myth !

Cheers
Sam
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyMon Oct 30, 2017 9:39 am

Hi DB
You must be very careful when quoting Higginson , he doesnt say they actually have '' working revolvers '' , he says something like '' shoot them , you both have revolvers '', he doesn't know they are working or not , he's only assuming ! .
90th
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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyMon Oct 30, 2017 10:44 am

Hi 90th

He says "for gods sake fire you both have revolvers," and then states both men did fire and drop their man. I know doubt has been taken with Higginson but i see no reason for him to make up a detail about them both having working revolvers. And given i see no evidence anyone found Melvill's cylinder i'm inclined to believe it was fully working.

Cheers
Sam
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyMon Oct 30, 2017 10:53 am

Hi DB
It's very tricky working out what to believe to be honest , I've read there were a couple of dead zulus found near Melvill & Coghill . other reports make no mention of any zulu bodies near them , it's just one of those riddles that we'll probably never know with certainty , one way or the other . I did post that someone believed they found Melvill's chamber in the camp , but once again we'll probably never know either way to be honest .
90th Salute Salute Salute
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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyMon Oct 30, 2017 11:06 am

Hi 90th

My reason for starting this topic was to try and track down the primary source account of the person who found Melvill's revolver cylinder in the camp and identified it as his. All that seems to have come to light is Morris claim but no primary evidence from the time to back it up and given Morris left no note of where he found this and has on occasion just made stuff up i am inclined to believe it did not happen and Melvill did indeed have a working revolver. Salute

An interesting debate !! Very Happy

Cheers
Sam
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SRB1965

SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyMon Oct 30, 2017 11:32 am

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
Hi 90th

He says "for gods sake fire you both have revolvers," and then states both men did fire and drop their man. I know doubt has been taken with Higginson but i see no reason for him to make up a detail about them both having working revolvers.
Cheers
Sam

Hi, can't remember the exact timeline with Higginson etc but maybe he felt better about saying he left the officers (to get horses?), if they were both armed and able to defend themselves.....not that he could have helped much, I spose.
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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyMon Oct 30, 2017 1:14 pm

Hi SRB1965

I guess he could have lied but why would he ? its such a specific thing to make up and other people
left people behind e.g. SGT Gamble i think it was left by Brickhill.
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyTue Oct 31, 2017 5:26 am

Hi All
Higginson could well've said that M & C both fired and dropped their men , this is called ' covering one's own backside ' , he said he was off to get them horses , wasnt there talk Higginson was taking off with Barker's Horse , while Barker was dismounted ? , was it Barker who saw Higginson weeks or months after the battle , and gave him a black eye for his trouble ? . Higginson's testimonies were seen to be a little shabby if I remember correctly , part of them anyway ? .
90th
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SRB1965

SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyTue Oct 31, 2017 5:52 am

Hi,

I know its all gone a bit off topic but I always consider Brickhill's account to be the bravest one of the flight from Isandlwana - because he admitted that he left Gamble, made no excuses - in fact he probably could have completely omitted the Gamble encounter from his story and no-one would have been the wiser.

I think (well I know) that it would have taken a braver man than me to pick someone up in that situation - I spose it depends on how close the pursuit was at the time.


Cheers

Sime
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyTue Oct 31, 2017 9:46 am

Higginson composed two separate reports from Rorkes Drift.
17th February
......two Zulus came after us; when they were within 30 yards Melville and Coghill fired and killed both of them.
18th February
Coghill called out " here they come". I turned and saw two men close to us, and running to Melville said "for Gods sake fire you both have revolvers." They did so and I saw both Zulus drop.
This would imply ( Running to Melville) that he was not in close proximity. I would also assume (bad habit) that Higginson was not the type of guy to run backwards to wards an enemy, therefore would put him behind M and C and closer to the Zulus hence he 'Ran towards Melville'. Or of course he may have been to the side.
One point about Higginson, he did ride all the way to Helpmakaar while Smith Dorien jogged "300 yards behind". Not to much fellowship there, he could have shared the riding/walking with a fellow survivor.

Cheers
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Drummer Boy 14

Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyTue Oct 31, 2017 11:02 am

It is such a specific event about 2 Zulu's chasing them and both officers firing revolvers that i see no reason not to believe it and given there is no evidence Melvill's was not working.

90th i think from memory the account of Higginson taking Bakers horse is in Zulu Rising but being at uni i don't have access to my books to check Sad

Cheers
Sam
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyTue Oct 31, 2017 11:35 am

Theres a very interesting account in 'Zulus at Bay' by Denis Barker, Grandson of Trooper Barker.
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyTue Oct 31, 2017 12:30 pm

Hi Frank
I do regret not getting the Barker Chronicles , I did hear it wasnt anything special , which stopped me from getting a copy when I could've done so quite cheaply ! No Suspect Suspect Suspect
90th
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyTue Oct 31, 2017 1:56 pm

Hi Gary
Its nothing special, a lot of errors when he strays from his Grandfather and a hell of a lot of assumptions. The areas when he recounts stories from his father about his Grandfathers memories though are pretty good value. Its for that I bought the book and frankly the only bits I refer to.

Cheers Mate
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Melvill's Revolver Cylinder    Melvill's Revolver Cylinder  EmptyTue Oct 31, 2017 2:24 pm

Hi Frank
Yes I see nowadays it's a ridiculous price , I wont be adding it to the library in a hurry . I'd need to fluke finding one very cheaply on ebay , which won't happen , possibly I may get a cheapie from Bidorbuy !

90th
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