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Zulu Dawn Lt Col Pulleine Lord Chelmsford assures us that there is no way the Zulu can get around us without our knowing. Col Durnford Zulu generals have a nasty habit of doing the unexpected It might be wise to picket the hills
 
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 Shepstone's last stand

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Nov 06, 2017 3:15 pm

Hi Frank

I agree that it seems very possible. Could also explain why the order on Durnford's body had to disappear if the only other copy was being suppressed. Provides a clear motive which i'll admit was lacking before.

Indecently 14 year old me also bought 3 notebooks wrote Durnford's last order in it and left it in different places in my garden for 6 months. 2 were glued together and useless but the 3rd was legible Very Happy

Cheers
Sam
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rusteze

rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Nov 06, 2017 4:00 pm

If you are dashing off a note in the field in 1879 you are much more likely to use a pencil. Less or more durable than ink do you think?

Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Nov 06, 2017 11:41 pm

You do have a point Steve, Pulleines note was in pencil. But there was ink in the camp, the report of the Zulus drinking it, so it cant be discounted. I assumed at the time that Crealock being the snob he was would have preferred the more formal. I am however sure that a pencil note would not fare any better under the elements, but must try it.
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90th

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PostSubject: Shepstone's Last Stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Nov 07, 2017 10:20 am

All
there was certainly ink in the camp but in those days it'd probably be in a bottle , no fountain pens I believe back then ? . Pencil much easier to use , and it can sit in one's pocket , no desk required ! lollll
90th Very Happy
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Nov 07, 2017 11:05 am

Morning Gary
Funny you should say that, I have a mate who collects antique fountain pens. Seems they date back to the 1700s. Earliest one he has is an 1870. But I agree with you that its more likely the dip and write sort of thing. I was trying to find a sample of pen and ink in the field, the orders from Spalding to Durnford on the 19th Jan seem to be such.
Cheers Mate
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Nov 07, 2017 11:10 am

Have a look at this Gary.
"Samuel Pepys, English naval administrator, mentioned in his writings a metal pen "to carry ink" in 1663 while Maryland historian Hester Dorsey Richardson also wrote about fountain pens that existed in 17th century. In the 19th century, standard pens were improved with mass production of cheap steel pen nibs which also influenced fountain pens. On May 25, 1827, Romanian inventor Petrache Poenaru received patent from the French government for a fountain pen which had a barrel made from a large swan quill. In America in 1848, Azel Storrs Lyman got a patent for a fountain pen with “method of supplying ink to pens from a reservoir in the handle”. These were not the only patents for fountain pens of that time but these pens needed three inventions to become popular: iridium-tipped gold nib, hard rubber, and free-flowing ink (early fountain pens didn’t understand the role that air pressure plays in the operation of pens). First fountain pen to have all this was made in 1850s. Duncan MacKinnon and Alonzo T. Cross invented in 1870 a variant of fountain pen called stylographic pen which used a wire in a tube as a valve for ink. All these pens were filled with an eyedropper. First self-filling fountain pens were invented in the early 20th century. They were crescent-filler pens (which had a rubber sac and a crescent button which pressed it) and twist-filler pens."

Always plenty to look at on this forum : You need to study mo
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90th

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PostSubject: Shepstone's Last Stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Nov 07, 2017 11:24 am

True frank , but I was meaning using the easier to use variety of fountain pens , I knew they had some type there as they did have bottled ink available , I'm thinking it was a nib attached to a length of wood or similar , Ok if your at a desk , not overly practical anywhere else . Hopefully you know what I'm attempting to say ! ? scratch scratch Joker Joker Joker
90th Very Happy
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Nov 07, 2017 11:37 am

The question of the location of written orders in the camp is an interesting one. Chard went up to Isandhlwana on the morning of the 22nd to see whether he had any further orders. He tells us that there were no staff officers around and so he went to the HQ tent to find out. There must have been a list of orders kept there - probably by the clerk (who no doubt used ink!). Whether they were just orders for the day or a comprehensive set including, for example, Crealock's orders to Durnford, I do not know. Presumably that is also the location where the battalion records were kept such as pay lists and muster books. It is really quite surprising that none of that material seems to have survived.

Steve
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyWed Nov 15, 2017 11:06 am

Just to return to the original question for a moment...my personal belief is that Shepstone, as has been said, should receive more credit for having kept open one side of the nek open. I put to you the following:
There is no report of Roberts's troop (with or without its officer who might or might not have been killed by 'friendly fire') returning down the spur. Suppose someone in that troop used his initiative and retreated down the western side of Isandhlwana to monitor/slow down the progress of the right horn.
Suppose that when the situation became dire a message was conveyed by one of Roberts's native troopers back over the nek. To whom would this native have made for to deliver that message? Isn't Shepstone the likely candidate? And what would Shepstone have done, realizing how serious the situation might become?
He would not have gone to Roberts's troop's aid alone. The only reserve that I know of without any specific assignment is Murray's coy - probably tired and exhausted after its night march - but probably lined up in front of the NNC tents. I believe Shepstone took Murray's coy and went to Roberts's aid and the bodies lying around him were those of Murray's NNC.
Speculative, yes, but not entirely.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyWed Nov 15, 2017 11:42 am

Hi Julian
The one thing against your theory is the terrain. When 'the situation became dire', the line had been pushed back, the reserves would have as well. With the line at the edge of the tents would be I assume your dire point? That would put the NNC in a position of having to do a serious uphill over the foothills below the cliff face to the Northern end, and most probably toward the enemy. Not something the NNC was keen on doing.
I think it was Nyanda that says the last time he saw Shepstone was in the tents. At that point the situation was worse than dire as the line had literally collapsed. It would have been impossible for Shepstone to move around the North of the mountain. That would leave the Southern approach and as that time frame approached the right Horn was already in the camp, again Nyanda. I would believe that for Shepstone it was then more of a fighting retreat and the only clue we have to that is Brickhill, the Basuto, rather thn the NNC. Brickhill knew the difference.

Regards
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyWed Nov 15, 2017 11:51 am

Damn, that may put a spanner in the latest diorama I am working on....Shepstones Last Stand....I have him with a few NNCI.....oh well....
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyWed Nov 15, 2017 12:25 pm

Frank
I was thinking more of the moment when the situation became dire for Roberts's troop.
I never anticipated that Shepstone would have moved 'north' of the mountain with reinforcements - a clear impossibility. Only ever south.
Nyanda did see Shepstone but when exactly that was is open to interpretation.
Nevertheless, I am grateful for the points raised.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyWed Nov 15, 2017 12:34 pm

Question : « When you saw George Shepstone return to the camp, do you know what he came for ? »
Answer : «  I don't know but I heard him rallying the people and saying they were wanted at the front. They were soldiers and others left in charge of the baggage. The only time I saw Captain George Shepstone was when I went the second time to the wagons to get a gun...He was saying this – 'Why are you men not at the front ? Do you know that every man is wanted there ? [I.E : Indication of the order already given by Pulleine to rally the firing line???] - t those men who had been left in charge of the baggage. Captain Barton was also there trying to get ammunition [I.E : Important indication for the timeline] which however, he did not get, the man refusing saying that all the ammunition there was for the military and not for the contingent. Immediately after this the Zulus rushed into the camp... ». quoted in « Zulu 1879 », ed. Leonaur, by D.C.F. Moodies
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyWed Nov 15, 2017 12:36 pm

Fred
Thank you.
It is not open to interpretation.
And was not when the situation IN THE CAMP became dire.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyWed Nov 15, 2017 12:39 pm

Je vous en prie (sorry in French).
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Nov 21, 2017 12:59 pm

Is it known why everyone believes the men who fought with Shepstone were NNC men when there doesn't seem to be an account of the bodies being found or the stand they made?
Is it just there were no other men available so he must have fought with NNC men?

Cheers
Sam
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Nov 21, 2017 2:58 pm

Sam
There is a further alternative. from Younghusbands last stand, not his cairn but the backs to the wall position. Upwards from there is the 'last survivors cave' but also above that position to the west is a small ridge. On the ridge is a cairn and just below it another cairn. On the western side of the ridge is also a cairn, and then below quite a string going to the North ( behind the mountain) including Shepstones.
I put forward a theory some time back that Shepstone could quite possibly have been forced up the lower slope of the mountain by the three pronged pressure of the right horn, the chest and left horn. All three converging on the saddle. IF that were feasible then Shepstone could have joined forces or just been part of Younghusbands stand and retreated backwards over that small ridge. Or yet again he was in the tent area BEFORE Younghusband retreated along the mountain incline and got to that location first, drawing the Zulu right horn after him thus stopping Younghusbands retreat.
I quite like that idea, it does tend to explain why Younghusband stopped where he did.

Something for you to explore.

Cheers
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Nov 28, 2017 6:03 am

Ive sent Pete a map to post. It was a survey of Graves/cairns taken in 1933. It shows the Shepstone graves rather well.

Regards

frank
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Dec 04, 2017 5:34 pm

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This is a survey done in 1933 showing all the cairns in the area.
Photo by Frank
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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Dec 04, 2017 5:56 pm

Frank
In which archive is this map kept? Campbell Collections?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Dec 04, 2017 5:57 pm

Nope
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Dec 04, 2017 8:43 pm

Hi

It isn't until you see the plan/map that you really 'see' where the cairns were.

Looking at the photos (supplied by Frank & others) you think the cairns and line of retreat/last stand are closer to the hill.

Either argument of Franks, seem perfectly valid and feasible, that the cairn line indicates a line of retreat away from the hill or a holding action back towards the hill.

I wonder if there is any significance (assuming all the cairns are Sheptone's men) about there being a clump near to the hill and scattered ones further out - but this could fulfil either argument.

Does anyone know the position that the right horn appeared in relation to the map?

ta

Sime
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Dec 04, 2017 10:59 pm

Google Earth is now pretty high resolution. I have orientated this shot to match Frank's 1933 map and you can see the current distribution of cairns pretty well. Some co-incide with the 1933 survey. The scrub above Isandhlwana serves to mask others including, I think, Shepstone's.
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Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Dec 05, 2017 3:25 am

Sime
The cairns we are looking at are indeed on the side of the hill. The map seems to be a tad misleading but its spot on, Yes either argument would prevail if the cairns themselves are isolated from the statements, taken as a whole there is a story to be told. Speculation meets conjecture meets deduction and logic.
Steve
I will send a couple of photos taken back in 2012 when the scrub was very thin, you may like to post for me? I still cant get the hang of the new system

Frank

PS Steve have a look at the cairns towards the East and the firing line, that's when it starts to get interesting.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Dec 05, 2017 10:56 am

Posted for Frank.
I’m sending these shot in full resolution. If you enlarge the first you will see the Shepstone cairns low down on the mountain slopes with more cairns to the right, towards the saddle. Then look higher up on the ridge or shoulder and you will see a single white cairn. In the next the cairn is shown from the Eastern side just above the Younghusband stand area. And then the position relative to the massive can be seen. The Shepstone stand is below to the left of this shot. Keep in mind that although it’s a single cairn there cold be 5 or 6 bodies under it.
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Steve
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Dec 05, 2017 11:20 am

Some more shots and enlargements from Frank. More commentary Frank?
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Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyTue Dec 05, 2017 11:30 am

Thanks for that Steve. More of the same sort of angle. The last shots were taken in 2012 when there was very little bush coverage so the cairns stuck out very well.
The top left shot was taken just above the Manzimyama stream and is most probably the line of attack of the right horn moving from bottom left to top right. In the previous photos the width of the saddle is shown rather well. I would believe that the right horn would possibly have split with a portion moving to the left, North, of the saddle and a further portion moving to the South to try and link up with the left horn around about Mahlabamkosi. The fugitives would initially have headed straight to were I'm standing taking the photos and then the later escapees moving diagonally of to the right. There are 14 genuine cairns in what is known as the Shepstone group with another 5 visible to the right of them.
Hope that illustrates the situation.

Frank
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptySun Dec 10, 2017 1:44 pm

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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 15, 2018 3:08 pm

this from Gordon's.. Shepstone.. not adding much.

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WeekendWarrior

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyFri Sep 27, 2019 5:30 pm

Here's what I have on Shepstone.

Gardner
-Between twelve and one o'clock I reached Isandlana, and met Captain G. Shepstone, who told me he had been sent by Colonel Durnford for reinforcements; that his (Colonel D's) troops were heavily engaged to the left of our camp, beyond the hill, and were being driven back. We proceeded together to Colonel Pulleine. I delivered him my order; but the enemy were now in sight at the top of the hill.

Brickhill
-Captain Shepstone then said “I'm not an alarmist Sir but the Zulus are in such black masses over there, such long black lines that you have to give us all the assistance you can. They are now fast driving our men this way.”
- The only attempts at a stand that I know of were the few that followed the Quarter-Master as already stated, and the Basutos who had a narrow escape of being cut off at the crest, but who came through past the General's tents and who shouted to each other and kept up their fire from a few rocks under Isandhlwana.

Muirhead
-George Shepstone was wounded and crept under some dead bodies, but not before one of the 15,000 saw him, so he was dragged out and cut into little pieces.

Raw
-We left camp, proceeding over the hills, Captain George Shepstone going with us. The enemy in small clumps retiring before us for some time, drawing us four or five miles from the camp when they turned and fell upon us, the whole army showing itself from behind the hill in front where they had evidently been waiting. Here Captain Shepstone returned to camp to report that the Zulu army was making for the camp, leaving instructions for us to engage the enemy, retiring on the camp.

Vause
- My orders were to see the wagons safely into camp and then join him about 12. I got back with the wagons and hearing firing about 2 miles to the front of the camp at once gave the order to trot, and started off to find Col. Durnford. I came across Capt. Shepstone, and as he asked me to stay with him I dismounted the men and extended them in skirmishing order. We were soon under hot fire, but continued to advance very slowly as the Zulus were under good cover, and we had to expose ourselves every time we advanced. On arriving at the top of the hill we perceived the enemy in overwhelming force coming up from behind and fearing our ammunition would be expended before we could reach the camp Capt. Shepstone gave the order to retire back to our horses.
- Shortly before the contingent force left the ground, Captain George Shepstone was seen galloping back in the direction of the camp, and, to say, nothing has since been heard of him.

Cochrane
- Previous to this Colonel Durnford, on learning that one column of the enemy was moving towards the left rear, had reinforced the Baggage Guard (which at that time consisted of one company Native Contingent) with one troop of mounted Natives; and I understand that Captain George Shepstone was sent back with this party.
-…. and I believe also that Captain Shepstone (who, after the arrival of the baggage, took the troops of mounted Natives he had used as escort on the hills to the left) rode down to the camp and asked, in the name of Colonel Durnford, for assistance. This Colonel Pulleine gave him by detaching two companies of the 24th a little to the left front.

Davies
-Colonel Durnford immediately ordered Captain G. Shepstone with Lieutenant C. Raw to take No. 1 Troop, Sikali’s Horse (about 52 men), and skirmish the ridge on the left of the Camp…
-I never saw Colonel Durnford or George Shepstone after we left the gully or water wash…

Nyanda
-Colonel Durnford then called me to him and ordered me to advance with 100 men, with whom were Mr. George Shepstone and three other officers of the Contingent, to the top of the hill on the left of the camp. On arriving there Mr. George Shepstone took 50 of the men and I took the other 50, and we separated to reconnoitre towards the East. The distance apart of the two bodies was about half a mile. We saw a handful (not many) of Zulus, who kept running from us. All of a sudden, just as Mr. Shepstone joined me on the crest of a ridge, the army of Zulus sprung up 15,000 men (if all there according to Mr. Drummond and Mr. Longcast, interpreters); Mr. Shepstone then said to me you must retreat fighting and draw them towards the camp.… One company of the red coats and the remainder of our men then came out from the camp to support, and marched to the top of the hill on the left of the camp. We dismounted and moved with them under command of Mr. Shepstone, firing.
- The last I saw of Mr. Shepstone was among the tents.

Hlubi’s Basutos as told to C.Johnson, (published in Amazulu).
-The Basuto and other cavalry exhausted their ammunition far away from the camp, which was by this time in full possession of the enemy. Colonel Durnford fell; George Shepstone, captain of the mounted natives of Natal (son of Sir T. Shepstone) went to the rescue, and he fell too.

Erskine
-When you saw George Shepstone return to the camp, do you know what he came for? -I do not know; bit I heard him rallying the people, and saying they were wanted at the front. There were soldiers and others left in charge of the baggage.
-The only time I saw Captain George Shepstone, was when I went the second time to the wagons to get a gun, the one I had having got out of order in the breech. He was saying this- “why are you men not at the front, do you not know that every man is wanted there?” to these men who had been left in charge of the baggage. Captain Barton was also there trying to get ammunition, which, however, he did not get, the man refusing, saying that all the ammunition there was for the military and not for the contingent. Immediately after this, the Zulus rushed into the camp and Captain Shepstone must have been killed then (about 4.)

Higginson
-(Durnford) then turned to me & said “Lieut Higginson, ride out at once to the mounted Contingent & Carbineers, and tell Capt Shepstone to work round to the right of the Koppia that is on the extreme left, & then we will follow them up”.
-(Upon riding back towards camp) I was going along pretty fast, and soon overtook two Officers riding into Camp. One of them was Capt Shepstone; he asked me where I was going and when I told him he said “Oh! I will make a Report to Col Pulleine, as I am going in, will you please ride back and tell my men not to be outflanked”. Before I could say a word he was gone…

Hamer
-Very soon after the mounted native horse had arrived they were sent out to some hills on the left of the camp. Captain George Shepstone in command. I went along with him, and after going some little way, we tried to capture some cattle. They disappeared over a ridge, and on coming up we saw the Zulus, like ants in front of us, in perfect order as quiet as mice and stretched across in an even line. We estimated those we saw at 12,000. After his having given orders to the Captain of the Native Horse to retire gradually, Geo. Shepstone (& myself) rode as hard as ever we could back to the camp and reported what we had seen. A company of the 1/24 Foot was sent to back up our horsemen who by that time had retired down the hill towards the camp (I sent you a plan of the camp - which being the first I made out is slightly incorrect - I made out two other plans which have been sent to England to the War Office). We left our horses (for Geo. Shepstone & myself had rejoined the men) at the bottom of the hill, and went up and attacked the Zulus on foot, we drove them back at first, but after retiring over a ridge they were reinforced and came on in overwhelming numbers and we had a sharp run for it to our horses, which were some little distance away. We retreated towards the camp.

Vik’induka
-George Shepstone he certainly saw come back into the camp, but that was the last time he saw him.
Hearsay account, taken from Storm and Sunshine in South Africa.
-But many cairns had been built up to mark the graves, and at a distance from most of them a picturesque cross of stone, in memory of Captain George Shepstone, marks the spot where he fell. Captain Shepstone, son of Sir T. Shepstone, was on Colonel Durnford’s staff, and when he saw all was hopeless, rode off by the Nek towards Fugitives’ Drift. When almost in safety he turned back, exclaiming to a man near him, “I cannot leave Durnford.” His attempt to reach his chief was, however, unsuccessful, and his body was found at some distance from those of the gallant little band who had met death on the Nek. It lay among great rocks, where he had stood at bay and sold his life dearly.

Umsweanto
-We were told also that there was present a son of Somseu (Somseu is the name the Zulus gave to Sir. T. Shepstone. His son, Captain George Shepstone was killed in action at Isandlwana). He fought very bravely. He killed (some of) our people. The others feared to approach him. Suddenly there dashed in our brother Umtweni before he could load, and killed him.

Unknown Natal Carbineer (not at Isandlwana)
-George Shepstone was shot dead.

E. Durnford A Soldier’s Life (No source provided)
Captain George Shepstone lost his life through his gallant self-devotion. Having disengaged his men, he said, “I must go and see where my chief is,” and rode in again. “He was killed in his attempt to get into the camp (close to the “Nek” from the rear) to see what had become of his chief”.
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aussie inkosi



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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Sep 30, 2019 6:13 am

Hi Weekend Warrior

Of what I understand on George Shepstone is that after he warned Colonel Pulliene of the discovery of part of the Zulu army he was either sent or ordered to hold the rear of the camp. This being confirmed by Pulliene sending Melville out to Essex to bring down the two company's from the ridge because a new impi had appeared behind Isandlwana of which Essex could not see. He certainly made a stand there because there is quite a few cairns there but what I would like to know those who died near him of which company they came from or troop of Basuto's because it is quite a mystery.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Sep 30, 2019 6:47 am

Read Brickhill.He describes the 'Basuto' coming down of the ridge, their holding action and then their streaming through the tents and then fighting from the rocks under iSandlwana. As he was in front, East, of the mountain he couldnt be describing action a stand on the western slopes.
He doesnt mention Shepstone by name but that does potentially lead to him seeing Durnford from that position and riding down/across to assist.
That then needs to be viewed in context as to how or even why his body was to be found a long distance away from `Durnford surrounded by a considerable force, judging by the number of cairns, 9 I think so possibly 40 plus men.
The other potential would be the so called 'save the chief' ride didnt occur and Shepstone and his men were trapped against the side of iSandlwana by the right horn and forced upwards, possiblt towards Younghusbands ambit and then across the face to the west. There are a sting of cairns that would support that view.
As for Muirhead! `Tales told in the pub to get a free drink.
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WeekendWarrior

WeekendWarrior

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PostSubject: Re: Shepstone's last stand    Shepstone's last stand  - Page 2 EmptyMon Sep 30, 2019 5:00 pm

I suspect Captain Shepstone and Trooper Muirhead had some sort of disciplinary issue shortly before Isandlwana!
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