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 redcoats with Durnford

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: redcoats with Durnford    Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:45 pm

I think it is in Edward Durnford's book he mentions that 30 red coats were found with Durnford?

I was wondering if he gives a source for this?

Also any idea who the 30 men were? Snook says Pullen:?:


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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:52 pm

I personally believe they were C company. I'm wide open to correction Sam but there isn't any proof, or semblance of, that Pullen commanded a rear guard. Brickhill mentions that Pullen was trying to get men to stop running away, and again that Pullen asks him to go get help from Pullein. But it stops there.
We do need to take cognizance of the fact that MS was/is the most biased of authors. The regiment was his life we couldn't expect him to be anything but loyal, and to pass the buck. Which he did quite vehemently.
That rear guard was organized by Scott in its early stages and joined at a later point by Durnford. There is a pretty solid pointer to that which will be forthcoming soon.
The timing of that defence point is a key, it had to have occurred before the companies got back to the saddle, the only troops close enough to do that was Charlie Popes right wing.
Sorry for being enigmatic but I don't want to tread on toes.

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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:26 pm

Hi Frank

I'll go with that. Very Happy I love Snook's book but always read it with an open mind.

Brickhill states Pullen led some soldiers away but most likely they were the pioneers already with him. If Edward Durnford's account is right and 30 redcoats were found at the stand this always seemed too many to be accounted for by Pullen's men. Given we know Pope did make it back to camp it seems likely his men would link with Durnford/Scott.

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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:22 am

Sam
We have to give MS credit for taking a different view of the battle. Its what we are all trying to do. Unfortunatly he was driven by the 'regiment'. But there have been a number of 'finds' since his book was printed that shows things in a different light. That applies in particular to the left horn, its composition, its position and its opposition.
Neil Thornton took an entirely different view of RD, with a lot of success.
It could be fun to take a totally extreme look at the whole mornings activities and see how it would pan out, much the same as the Colonel did but from a different less myoptic stance.
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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:06 am

Hi Frank

Sorry for the late reply DrummerBoy discovered alcohol+hangovers Sad

I agree i love his book and totally give him credit, he transformed how i saw the battle completely. Thanks for the Thornton suggestion i'll have to have a look.

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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:31 pm

Drummer Boy 14 wrote:
Sorry for the late reply DrummerBoy discovered alcohol+hangovers Sad

Ah, the slippery slope to ruin....... Joker
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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:58 pm

Does anyone who has the book know if Edward gives a source for the number of redcoats found with Durnford?

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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:31 pm

Edward Durnford writes the following in "A Soldiers Life".

About 30 of the 24th rallied to Colonel Durnford on the Nek, where he was still holding his own, the troopers with him being fourteen Natal Carbineers with their officer, Lt Scott, and 20 of the Natal Mounted Police - these were all mounted men who had plainly stood fast, but the ground where they made their stand being rough and stony, they had dismounted, and now fought on foot. Close to this spot upwards of 100 of the 24th with four officers, of whom Cptn. Wardell and Lt Dyer were afterwards recognised, had fought their way;  and Cptn Younghusband and about 60 men fell back from the Nek up the steep mound of Isandhlwana where "under the southern precipice" they stood at bay.

He gives no reference for this.

What may be indicated by Edward Durnford's wording is that Scott and Durnford's stand with 20 of the 24th was prior to the 100 arriving on the Nek with Wardell and Dyer and the 60 with Younghusband.

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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:54 am

Steve I would agree with you. Gardner witnessed Durnfords withdrawl from the donga, before the general collapse of the firing line so the action to defend against the left horn was already in place before H Company got there. BUT, there were 24th men already there as well as Grainger points out, defending against the left horns attempt to outflank. There are indications that that with the colonials defending the 'fall back' position and G company holding their position a 'cordon sanitair' could have been created allowing H company to fall back fairly well protected on the flank and only facing pressure from the front, North.
Its just a theory, but look at the positions G company were found afterwards, the mention that 'lower down the soldiers were kneeling and firing', the fact that probably 80 to 90% of the troops got back to the saddle. All indicates a very strategic withdrawl, to a degree.
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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:14 am

Hi,

If you think about it, if you had to make a stand, somewhere, the Nek would be an ideal place.

One flank very well protected, the other quite well protected (Blacks Kopie), a fairly good field of fire, a relatively narrow frontage and advantage of slightly rising ground.

The wagon slower down could be an issue and could have given the Zulus some cover but once in cover, it is very hard to get troops out of it to face the fire, no matter if regulars or tribal warriors.

There was Melville (I never know how to spell his name, so it keeps changing......every time I type it) quote about 'making a stand but doesn't think it could be done' - I forget who witnessed it.

Should you believe in the idea of a stand on the saddle - it probably adds credence to reason why Melville was carrying or had the Colours.

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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:47 am

Sime
Their were at least three significant stands on the saddle itself. I'm sure at one point a comment was made that the fire was so intense the Zulus couldn't raise their heads. On the reverse slope of the saddle are a long line of cairns that attest to a major stand. Ive never believed in the comment, from Edward Durnford, and Snook for that matter, that Younghusband fought his way across the camp then once on the saddle moved upwards to his final stand. Its so much more logical that from the point he was defnding on the line that he moved along the slow incline up the side of the mountain, there are a string of cairns that point the way.
Again all speculative.
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PostSubject: Re: redcoats with Durnford    Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:20 pm

Thanks for posting Steve Salute

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PostSubject: Reccoats with Durnford    Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:50 am

Hi Frank
Yes I agree 100 % with you re Younghusband , he , I believe , fought his way along the slope , as you said there are Cairns all along that slope , without checking I think there are 14 or so , I've walked that area , so in my mind that's the logical path that Younghusband and his men traversed .
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