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 Shepstone's last stand

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Shepstone's last stand    Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:18 pm

Hi Everyone Very Happy

I know this has been discussed before but i couldn't track it down scratch

Was wondering what peoples theories were on how George Shepstone ended up where he did and who he fought with ?
It seems to be glossed over by most accounts of the battle with most saying he fought with NNC men, there is an account of his death when he tried to reload.


Thanks for any help Salute

Sam
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:04 am

Sam have a look at Brickhill. Theres a key sentence that 'could' refer to Shepstone. Theres also a mention ( Malidi ? Nyanda") that puts him in the camp.
I believe that he retired through the camp, took up a defense in the lower slopes overlooking the saddle before being forced up to his final stand. I would also throw my hat in the ring in saying his contribution in keeping the Fugitives trail open was very underestimated.

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:30 am

I'll go with that Frank.
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:38 am

Good to see you posting again, place has been far to quiet.
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:41 am

I'll second that Frank great to see you CTSG Very Happy

Thanks for the reply it makes a lot of sense and i'll certainly have a gander at Brickhill's account Salute
Always bothered me his death seemed to be glossed over with no real thought.


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Sam
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PostSubject: Shepstone's Last Stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:11 am

Hi All
Yes I dont think there is any definitive accounts as to how Shepstone ended up where he did , but I was looking for something else earlier in the week , and there was a mention that Shepstone was found with many bodies , which appeared to be native in appearance , it may've been Harford who wrote it , but not sure . I've been up to his last stand area on 3 occasions , the first time I went was with Paul Marais , who knew where he was going , we saw some cairns but not many , I went up a different route the 2nd & 3rd Time on my own , didnt follow Paul's route exactly but I did manage to find quite a few more cairns , there are no paths and plenty of thorn bush to negotiate , not to mention the Zebra's , Kudu and some bird which took off near my feet , scared the crap out of me ! , at least no Cobras , Mamba's or Adders for me ( so far ! ) Shocked Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:30 am

Sam
Brickhill: .....the Basutos who had a narrow escape of being cut of at the crest, but who came through past the Generals tents and who shouted to each other and kept up their fire from a few rocks under iSandhlwana.
Nyanda: The last I saw of Mr Shepstone was among the tents.

The interesting thing about Nyandas statement is he provides a narrative from the discovery of the impi to the final retreat from the camp. He puts George Shepstone in the section of mounted men 'nearly cut of' and also in the retreat across the camp. That effectively kills of the concept of him retreating around the back of the mountain.

That's virtually all the 'evidence' we have on his movements. Factually we know where he died and as Gary so rightly points out 20, possibly more, cairns are on that side of the mountain. That speaks of a force of over 100 men, fighting a pretty cohesive fight if the closeness of the cairns is anything to go by. To extrapolate that, it speaks of a fairly compact body of men, a company for instance, rather than a group of ad hok survivors.

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PostSubject: Shepstone's Last Stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:45 am

Agreed Frank , there are probably 16 - 20 Cairns in that vicinity all up , as Harford ( or whoever it was ) mentioned there were no traces of British uniforms or equipment found amongst the bodies , so it seems with near certainty that Shepstone , and his NNC men were pushed around the corner of Isandlwana , and died fighting on the Western Slope about half way up .
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:26 pm

Saul David's book has an account of his death but i am unsure of the source as i think he's the only one to use it  scratch

"We were told that present during the fighting was a son of Somseu, he fourgt very bravely, he
killed our people, the others feared to approach him, suddenly there dashed our brother Umtweni
before he could load and killed him."


Also POT sent me a newspaper letter from Trooper "Muirhead" who states Shepstone was wounded and tried to hide under Zulu bodies but was caught and killed. Very skeptical of this as i'm sure he was no where near when Shepstone died but very interesting !

If someone does come across the source of Shepstone's body being found i would love to see it as i've never seen any mention of it before. Also thanks again Frank and 90th Salute

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Sam
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PostSubject: Shepstone's Last Stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:43 pm

Hi Sam
Ian Knight also uses this description in ' Zulu Rising ' it comes from Swinny ' A zulu boy's recollections '
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PostSubject: Shepstone's Last Stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:41 pm

While trying to find any info on who found Shepstone and his men , did find in IK's ' Who's Who Of The AZW ' the zulu boy who Swinny talks of in ' A Zulu Boys Recollections ' , states the chap credited with killing Shepstone is himself killed at Hlobane
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:44 pm

Thanks 90th very interesting Very Happy

Can't wait to find out who found Shepstone and the men round him.
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PostSubject: Shepstone's Last Stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:51 pm

I've just been through Several books , IK said to try Drooglever this is what I found '' Offy Shepstone denied taking papers from Durnford's body . He had recovered private papers from his brother George '' , but we still dont know if Offy found George first or was told where George and his men had died .
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:50 pm

Thanks. I'll soon be posting.
DB You will have to rename, now your no longer 14
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:37 pm

DB ( DiaBolical maybe?)
Ive checked through a a lot of the primary sources and I cant locate any mention of his body being located.

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:51 pm

I'd happily change it if i knew how but don't think Frank's suggestion will win out  Rolling Eyes  Very Happy

I was always fascinated with the return to the battle field and the reports which is why i am so determined to find any reference to Shepstone as i've never come across one bare what 90th mentioned.

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:29 pm

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Been after a copy of Shepstone for yonk's, if
anybody spot's one please give me a shout.
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:31 pm

I wonder if an answer lurks in the papers relating to the Luard Inquiry in 1886, which are in the Natal Archives (NA Col Col Box 8 "Documents re. alleged theft of papers from the body of Col A W Durnford by Offy Shepstone"). The question as to whether Offy Shepstone removed papers from Durnford's body in May 1879 first came up in 1880. It took until 1886 before an attempt was made to settle the case in court,  but it was never really tested by the very circumscribed proceedings in South Africa (shades of Chelmsford's "inquiry" back in 1879). It does seem however that Offy Shepstone searched and found Durnford's remains before searching for his brother. An implication perhaps that they were not far apart? Anybody in a position to go take a look?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:00 pm

Archibald Forbes records that Offy Shepstone recognised Durnford's body at once and that on searching his body found a hunting knife and some rings. His account is very detailed as he describes finding Lt Scott and many other Volunteers in the area. He however makes no reference to George's body but it is clearly possible Offy after finding Durnford went off and found his brother's body.
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:28 am

Hi,

Looking a some photographs (that Frank kindly sent me) - Shepstone's grave (and therefore stand) seems to be on the 'reverse' slope of the of the 'saddle'.

Mentally -  when I read in books about it, I always picture it to be much further North (NW) on the back of Isandlwana - isolated and I struggle to work out how he got there.....particularly being as he was out with the NNMC and died with the NNIC (?) but if it is where it is it makes more sense

I do think that, due to 'bigoted' Victorian (and many later writers) opinions,  the 'auxillia' at Isandlwana have had a bad press compared to the glorious 24th.....supposedly ripping their red rags off and cutting it etc.....

I have always believed that man to man the 'Natal Native' (little different from a Zulu - apart from a river) was as good or bad, at fighting as the Zulu (as was a soldier of the 24th) but the NNIC were out of their depth tactically, poorly led, employed, motivated and left to their own devices by the British.

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:24 am

rusteze wrote:
I wonder if an answer lurks in the papers relating to the Luard Inquiry in 1886, which are in the Natal Archives (NA Col Col Box 8 "Documents re. alleged theft of papers from the body of Col A W Durnford by Offy Shepstone"). The question as to whether Offy Shepstone removed papers from Durnford's body in May 1879 first came up in 1880. It took until 1886 before an attempt was made to settle the case in court,  but it was never really tested by the very circumscribed proceedings in South Africa (shades of Chelmsford's "inquiry" back in 1879). It does seem however that Offy Shepstone searched and found Durnford's remains before searching for his brother. An implication perhaps that they were not far apart? Anybody in a position to go take a look?

Steve


Steve there is a very good thread on here relating to Luard.
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:04 am

I did a lot of research on the issue of papers being taken from Durnford's body as it was the topic that started my interest in the Zulu war. Alfred Davis quoted in the Luard letter states a letter was taken from Durnford's body and Longhurst stated a packet of letters were taken also. Shepstone denied this and stated it would be impossible as Durnford was not wearing a coat. But Longhurst, Geo Macfarlane, Trooper Clarence, Trooper Brewer who took a button from the coat all state there was a coat and and DB Scott who helped rebury his body stated that "The clothes consisted of a coat, half a scarlet waistcoat, shirt and singlet."

However i didn't come across any mention of finding George Shesptone's body or the men around him when looking into this. scratch

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Sam
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:36 am

Thanks Pete/Sam. I am aware that Luard has been discussed before and I will re-read the thread. But it seems to me that there is some conflicting information on whether "Offy" first searched for Durnford's remains (if you believe the conspiracy theory - at Chelmsford's instructions). Or whether he first searched for his brother. The story goes that he found George, removed some papers from his body and this is what the witnesses saw in his hand which they assumed he had taken from Durnford. For that to be the case he would have to have found George first. I have seen quotes from letters and opinions in books but I cannot recall seeing any direct evidence quoted from the actual Inquiry papers. Has anybody seen these in their research?

Steve
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PostSubject: Shepstone's Last Stand    Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:51 am

Hi Rusteze
I quoted yesterday that when Offy was questioned if he'd taken papers from Durnford's body , he did say they were papers retrieved from George's body , there it seems , little evidence as to who found George , surely if Offy himself did so it would be certainly written in their family history , and therefore most likely be written in the public record , it seems to me , that another person , or persons unknown ( at this stage ) gave the papers to Offy , if his statement is true , George was obviously found before Durnford .
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:55 pm

Hi Gary

I am assuming your quote is from Droogleever? What I have not seen reproduced is the primary evidence from the Luard Inquiry which presumably Droogleever is using. If someone else found George's body the sequence of events as described seems unlikely to me. Someone unknown finds George's body, removes his papers and passes them there and then to Offy who happens to have them in his hand when he finds Durnford? Offy then goes off to find George?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:59 pm

Shepstone makes clear there were no papers and could not have been as Durnford wore no coat. If he had George's papers it would have provided a clearer explanation then the no coat excuse which i believe isn't true given there are at least 6 people present who state the body had one on.

Forbes also states they entered the camp and Shepstone recognised Durnfords body. He makes no mention of George so it seems unlikely Offy had found him before hand as surely Forbes would record this scratch


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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:41 pm

This is the problem with secondary sources. Droogleever says (page 244 Road to Isandhlwana) "Shepstone denied taking papers from Anthony Durnford's body. He had recovered private papers from his brother George and these may well have been what he had in his hand when he was bending over Durnford". Do we believe Forbes or do we believe Droogleever? I imagine Forbes is reporting what he heard and saw at the time (perhaps with a little journalistic licence?) but Droogleever has probably seen the Inquiry papers.

Les
You have Droogleever's manuscript I think. Does he give any reference for this passage?

Steve
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PostSubject: Shepstone's Last Stand    Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:15 am

Yes Rusteze I was quoting Drooglever , just another riddle to look into re Isandlwana ! Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:41 pm

Hi Steve, two extract's from the thesis. A Figure of Controversy: Colonel
Anthony William Durnford in Natal and Zululand, 1873-1879.

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:06 pm

Bingo. Thanks Les. Droogleever got it from the Natal Archives as I suspected - he doesn't give all the sources in his published work so your manuscript is valuable. So far as I know, nobody has yet transcribed the relevant archives themselves.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:46 pm

Just out of interest (and probably unanswerable) - where was the evidence of the officers and NCO's of the company?

I spose there should have been around a dozen white officers/NCOs with the company - who even allowing for the looting of arms and bandoliers etc should have had 'European' clothing - it seems that the Zulus did not strip their enemies S.B.N, as for example the Sioux tended too, but just had off with a jacket (not too blood though) or something else convenient to wear.

just wondering....

Sime

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:13 pm

Righto Steve, i'm convinced there is still so much to unearth! i'm
grateful for those who take the time to delve into various archive's,
but some i regard as the very best researcher's have more recently
concerned themselves with commercial endeavours.. absolutely no
dig implied. we've still got the likes of people like you, Rai , Frank
and other's. cheers xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:39 pm

I would still love to see an account describing the finding of Shepstone and a description of the men around him but i guess it doesn't exist Sad

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PostSubject: Shepstone's Last Stand    Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:47 am

Sam you never know , I would very surprised if there wasn't a written record of it somewhere , it just hasn' been located in a book or archive as yet , I'm sure there will be a report somewhere , but where , that's the question .
90th agree
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:45 am

Steve
there is a problem with your "Box8" at the NA. I have the contents of Box 8a and b and they don't contain the documents your looking for.
8a is a list of Zulu regiments and their sources plus maps of the Zulu method of attack. Box 8b is a copy of a newspaper article from January 21st 1928.
I'm in Natal again early next year I will have another look through PMB archives.
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:04 am

Shepstone married into the Henderson family ( Archie Henderson was at iSandlwana). There is a Henderson family file at PMB that could be of interest. Unfortunatly my 'Searcher' at PMB was the Late Ken Gillings so it will have to wait for my next trip.
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:39 am

Morning Frank

I think we may be talking about Vol 8 of the Colenso Papers at PMB (see Droogleevers reference) which, presumably, is not the same as "Box 8"?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:19 pm

When I went through the Colenso files I didn't come across anything that wasnt in the public domain so didn't bother asking for copies. Possibly I should re look on the next trip. I shall be exploring the Henderson family papers though. Its a spin of from The Shepstone connection, if nothing else there are some photos that may be of interest. Some where in PMB there are a number of 'misplaced items' that Ken and I were searching for. We had not got as far as the Henderson Family files and after Kens untimely demise I never got back on the trail.
Among the items we were searching for was the report by George Chadwick on the cairns. It was a full commissioned report and contained photos placing the cairns, including on the ridge and Tahelane Spur. Most writers have rubbished the claim of cairns on the ridge, George saw and examined them and found artifacts. The report is around but buried in the wrong file, it was chaos when the archives moved.
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:48 pm

The Henderson's and Shepstone's were very tight.

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DB...i'm sure you will get your answer one day. Salute xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:38 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:56 pm

Cheers everyone hopefully a report will surface one day :)
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:18 am

In reply to a forum member I outlined a few points. For discussion purposes I post below.

Theres actually a number of issues involved here
1) Most of the Colonials were grouped around Durnford. 24 members of the NMP were killed 21 around Durnford, 2 on the saddle and 1 at Fugitives Drift. In addition there were all the Colonials. So a large number of 'White Faces' not wearing red. Coming over the saddle its very very apparent this site and if I was going to search for someone that's the area I would have gone to.
2) Molife was in that party and he knew exactly where Durnford was fighting
3) To get to the site of Georges demise. From the position the road crossed the saddle the Durnford AND the 24th stands are straight ahead. The Younghusband stand of to the left front. Shepstones way of to the left behind the mountain and a fare distance higher.
4) It would have taken a large search to locate the outlaying bodies, took months for the RB. I'm sure, but cant prove it that Georges body was not found on May21st but later
And to the crux:
5) What would Offy have to gain by hiding any documents? He had no loyalty to Chelmsford. There is of course the option that his dad could have used them, but for what purpose?
He couldn't have used any copies of DUrnfords orders to embarrass anyone apart from the man who wrote them, Crealock, Chelmsford could and did effectively negate that later when he said his intention was for Durnford to take control of the camp and Crealock got it wrong, as indeed he did.
6) There is therefore the possibility that there was a further order, issued on the 21st, that COULD have been an embarrassment. But if so why wasn't it in Crealocks note book? The order from the 22nd was. So if an order was issued it was either verbal ( definitely not) or it was issued by Clery on behalf of Glyn. So why hide it?
7) Molife was a Durnford man through and through, I cant see him supporting Shepstone.

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:42 am

Hi Frank

If offy states he had Georges's papers on him when he searched Durnford then he must have found him on the 21st May before he found Durnford. I did used to be convinced Offy took papers from Durnford based mostly on Shepstone alleging the body had no coat on when at least 5 statements state otherwise but who knows its a whole topic in itself Salute

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Sam

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:04 am

xhosa2000 wrote:
The Henderson's and Shepstone's were very tight.

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DB...i'm sure you will get your answer one day. Salute  xhosa

Can you please quote the title of the book and the Author please xhosa it seems to have a great deal of infomation

thanks
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:10 am

Hi Sam
Unless Offy was not telling the truth? If he had found George, why is there no mention of it, anywhere.
Heres another scenario: Some time ago I published extracts from Penn Symonds in which he describes papers being found on the battlefield on the 14th March. He commented that it stopped blame being passed to those who were innocent. At the same time in a Clery letter there is a description of a 'raging disagreement' between Crealock and Chelmsford in PMB.
So a potential situation could have developed that Crealocks Notebook was found containing the exact orders for Durnford. That was used to stop Chelmsford and Crealock, the later in particular, from passing blame onto Glyn. The problem then would have been the original orders in Durnfords pocket.
Just a thought, if you believe in conspiracies of course.
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:19 am

Hi Frank

I'm sure Major Wilson Black found Crealock's order book in June when he returned to bury the dead Question
Crealock mentions this in his letter to the Major at the war office i think - this is in Julian's and Jackson's article on the Durnford papers which i can't access being away at uni. Sad
I used to be convinced by the theory given Durnford clearly had a coat on and that was the basis of Shepstone's defense. I just don't understand why he would lie about that. But then again there are a lot of issues like motive and Crealock in 1882 so who knows another Isandlwana mystery. Salute

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Sam
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:38 am

Good day aussie inkosi..

Henderson Heritage - Being a Record of Some Episodes in the Life of Joseph Henderson, the Founder of a Family in Natal and of his Wife and Their Children

Hathorn, Peter and Young, Amy..

Privately published 1972. cheer's xhosa
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:32 pm

Hi Sam
Its intriguing. The PS manuscript will be published in full very shortly, the last page is the most telling. Its a British Army tradition that under pressure from outside the regiments close ranks. Black was 24th, so was Mike Snook. 138 years of closed ranks ?
The 24th came away from iSandlwana smelling of roses. Not to say they didn't deserve it, however...........

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:45 pm

Hi Frank

Just read the quotes on a different topic amazing i'd never seen them.

Crealock's letter to Maj. Jekyll at the War Office
"I imagine you refer to the copy of the order which I made at 2 a.m. 22 Jany & which was found on the field 6 (struck through) 7 months later by Colonel Black & forwarded me & which, stained with the mud of the field, lies before me."

So the documents found in March weren't Crealock's book so possibly they were from/for Pulleine or a copy of the column commander instructions that Whybra and Jackson found that Chelmsford never mentioned before that would have explained why Pulleine set out his defenses as he did so and would have stopped criticism of Gylnn.

My biggest worry is why Crealock would show Edward Durnford the order in 1882 if he had gone through the trouble to hide the original he sent to Durnford. But a cover up certainly is possible !

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Sam
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:16 pm

Sam there was so much intrigue, I don't say collusion, but in Victorian England, the days of honour, protect the regiment at all costs etc, who knows what was really going on. All Crealock had to say to Edward was, "sorry lost the diary, cant remember a bloody thing." But he didn't he calmly tried to drop Chelmsford into the murky stuff ! Deliberatly, why? For sure it had dear old Fred running squawking for a while. Consider again 7 months, through the cold wet winter, summer like only Africa can produce, the battlefield being scavenged by all and sundry and lo and behold up pops Crealocks order book perfectly readable and usable. On the original discussion about these issues some time back I mentioned an experiment I had done in leaving various papers around the battlefield, weighed down by rocks to stop them scattering. They were covered in natural ink notes, not felt tip but fountain pen ink. They were placed in mid January and recovered in August, three out of the five were recovered. With all three the ink had run and was badly smeared. Probably 20% of the writing was legible. These papers incidently were not just loose but were in a notebook format, all the original five were written in different parts of the book because we don't know where in Crealocks book his note was made.
When that book was last used, in theory, was early morning in his/the Generals tent to send the order to Durnford. The documents refered to, probably, by PS were located with metres at the site of Chelmsfords tent area. Doesn't it strike you as strange that Chelmsfords tent area was policed for recovery, but not Crealocks? Glyns was, just down the field a touch. So was the book found in March and 'held back' ransome for good behavior possibly?
Would make a bloody good Machiavellian plot. Suspect
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