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 Hamers 'rocketeer'

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SRB1965



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PostSubject: Hamers 'rocketeer'   Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:29 am

Hi, I have 're reading' Hamers account of Isandlwana, and he says that his horse - Dick, was done in but luckily a guy from the rocket battery turned up with a spare horse. This soldier was shot soon afterwards. Has anyone any idea who it was? It's probably lost in time now but generally the rocket unit must be the luckiest one in the battle (apart from this guy - who almost made it).

Ta

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PostSubject: Re: Hamers 'rocketeer'   Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:32 pm

Sime
Nourse mentions that when he got back to the camp, from the RB demise, he was with 4 of his men. They were the four have records of Johnson, Goff, Grant and Trainer in addition there was an Officer from the NNC, Skottowe and one other ( The subject of a JW Essay).
There is of course the other mystery of Fugitives Drift, Staffords Running Man. I wonder if they are the same person?
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PostSubject: Re: Hamers 'rocketeer'   Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:26 pm

Hi Frank,

Just out of interest would Nourse have referred to men of the Rocket detachment as 'his' men?

I have always read (or read into) this phrase as meaning 4 of his NNC unit - I believe some of the NCOs made a stand, when the rest of the Company fled.

I don't believe I have read of the running man, I will search the forum for him.

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: Hamers 'rocketeer'   Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:09 pm

Hi,

I have found this on a Nourse thread on the forum




Three of the eight gunners were killed instantly and Russell fell mortally wounded, most of the amaNgwane fled, discarding their rockets, and the mules stampeded in every direction. It all happened in a matter of seconds. With the exception of five men, the amaNgwane flight continued past Isandhlwana camp and on in the direction of their homes amongst the distant Drakenberg mountains. They were never seen again.

Nourse, whose mount had bolted with the mules - as had all but six of the artillery horses -
found himself on foot with two of the five of surviving gunners - Privates Johnson and Trainer.  

Fortunately the dongas gave concealment and the warriors did not pursue.

Just before the first volley, Private Grant and another of the gunners had been detailed to hold the horses and, despite the chaos, they had hung onto the terrified animals.

Still holding the jumble of reins, they managed to mount and with great resolve and commendable horsemanship they galloped away, Grant leading two spare horses and the other gunner leading one.

Bombadier Gough, with a spare horse, also escaped. These additional horses would be the only
means of survival in the hours ahead





Three of the eight gunners where killed - so we have Grant, Trainer, Johnson, Gunner X and one other (maybe Gough)

So Nourse starts off with Johnson and Trainer (all on foot), I believe the 5 men with him initially, were not men from the Rocket but his own men he says  "With the exception of five men, the amaNgwane flight continued past Isandhlwana camp"

Only 6 horses where present.

Grant and Gunner 'X' had 5 horses (Grant 3 and 'X' 2), Gough had his own horse.

Where did Nourse, Johnson and Trainer get their mounts - from Grant? If so that would leave Gunner X with two horses - could he be the chap who gave Hamer a horse to replace his Dick?

This is all just an idea and gets me no closer to the rocketeers ID.....

Ta

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PostSubject: Re: Hamers 'rocketeer'   Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:52 pm

I think the problem is that two different groups are getting confused. Nourse says the following in his testimony -
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It seems pretty clear that these 5 are the remnants of his NNC company and he says 4 of them were killed.
When he reaches the bottom of the hill and meets up with the returning Durnford he is with 5 other survivors (according to Jackson - Johnson, Trainer, Grant, Davies and Barker).

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Hamers 'rocketeer'   Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:59 pm

Johnson and Nourse took different routes. Johnson made his own way back to the donga after meeting with Durnford.
Grant took the horses back to the camp and gave them to the others there. (Goff, Johnson and Trainer)
Nourse was rescued by Davies.
Barker got back to camp with the rest of the Carbineers, independent from Durnford, and manned the donga.
Stafford mentions a soldier from the MI who ran all the way back to Fugitives Drift.
Short sentences, to damned hot for anything else close to midnight and the temperature is 38C.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamers 'rocketeer'   Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:24 am

Frank,
The IMI quoted by Stafford, possibly Frank Godding (2/3 rd)?
I dont have a copy of the lastest version of the 8th Edition of England's sons, but from memory there is something on him.

Cheers
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Hamers 'rocketeer'   Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:10 am

Thanks Frederic. I couldn't remember the name.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamers 'rocketeer'   Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:41 pm

I just completed an Essay with a large section devoted to the rocket Battery. I will see if I can separate those pages and post. It may assist in putting things into perspective.
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PostSubject: Re: Hamers 'rocketeer'   Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:27 pm

Thanks a lot Frank, as you know it keeps cropping up in my posts...... Surprised

Cheers

Sime
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