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Major-General Sir William Penn Symons
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 'Umsweantos' flag.

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SRB1965

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PostSubject: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:34 am

I've picked up the ball from the Iron Cross thread and moved (corrected it with help from JY & expanded it) it to here.

This is all theoretical and relies on the belief of the account.

There is an account of the battle of Isandlwana, recounted by Umsweanto/Muziwento (recorded by Swinney)

One line in particular grabbed my attention:-

"We were told also that there was a soldier at lsandlwana who carried a flag. He just waved it backwards and forwards. He fought not; he feared not (perhaps he put his trust in other soldiers)"

Given that the Queens Colours of 1/24th were cased with Melvill, the Regimental Colours elsewhere. So (if we believe the anecdote to be true) the only flags available were the Colours of the 2/24th (both of which were lost) and (maybe) one marking Lord C’s HQ.
As far as I know, no other Zulu account mentions flags and the only flag mentioned in British accounts is the one with Melvill.

Did Fripp get it right (albeit inadvertently) in his painting Isandlwana, where a Regimental colour is shown in a rallying square?

So who carried the colours?

If we also believe that the 2/24th Colours would have been carried by soldiers of the 2/24th (they could have been grabbed by anyone 1/24th or 2/24th from the Guard tent, I spose) - that leaves Popes G Coy (very very unlikely because they were out on piquet duty) or the 'composite' company of 'rear echelon' troops sent to support him?

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:26 am

Bonjour,
The 14th March 1879, first visit of Isandhlwana battlefield, the British searched the body of Lt Dyer, 2-24th. There was a Big rumour that an officer on horse (who was not Melvill) left the battlefield the 22 January with a flag.
As the corpse of Dyer pierced by an essaigai in the breast was found near Wardell's body...
Thé flags were never found contrary to bits of pole ( sorry, i don't know the exact words).
Through all the testimonies about the finds oc bits of pôle, it seems that some soldiers tried to protect the flags the 22 January.
Cheers
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:32 am

Simon,

Anstey and Atkinson are believed to have rallied troops are around them in a series of final stands, what better way to rally men than under the Colours of their regiment, and in my opinion it would have been immaterial if those Colours were those of a different battalion, if regimental pride were at stake.

As an aside in 1939 when my late father was transferred from his Royal Artillery battery to the descendant regiment of the 24th he was told by a n.c.o. “They’re a good mob, but f**king unlucky with their Colours.”

JY

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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:35 am

Bonjour Mr Young,
Atkinson or Daly?
Cheers
Frēdéric
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:45 am

Fred,

Yes you can add Daly to list as well, but it is all supposition obviously.

Dyer - who you mentioned above - was apparently seen on horseback directing fire.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:54 am

Mr Young,
Agree about Daly.
There is a testimony about Daly's action the 22 th January ( but elsewhere on the battlefield).
I am intrigued by your mention of Atkinson because to my knowledge there is no testimony about his action the 22 January.
Contrary to Anstey, his corpse was never identified (as Daly)
Cheers
Fred
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:58 am

Hi John/Frederic.

I've read of Anstey's stand along the Fugitives Trail and some one proposed/theorized that he could have had a Colour (can't remember if it was IK or MS- its in one of books I have).

John - its amazing that 50 years after they last lost a Colour, its remembered (or recalled) and still used as an inter regimental 'dig'.....

Now this is probably all wrong but many years ago, I read of lowly TA battalion, returning from the trenches (in WWI) and there was some dispute about the right of way with a very clean smart Guards Battalion (probably Irish or Welsh), the upshot of which was the CO of the TA unit said to his Guards counterpart "Was you at Dettingen"?

The Guards in question were not raised at the time and the TA units ‘parent’ battalion had fought at the battle – apparently the last army to be personally commanded by the monarch.

Now this is most likely all incorrect because it was many, many years ago, that I read it - I have often tried to find reference on the internet, but with no luck.

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:09 am

About the rumour of the Officer with a flag: Apparently for those who knew him "a tall man on a chesnut horse" (from memory) looks like him.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:44 am

Fred,

Re-Atkinson see his entry in MacKinnon & Shadbolt.

Simon,

iSandlwana was actually the third occasion that the 24th had lost a Colour or both Colours.

3rd July 1810, to avoid their capture by the French in a naval engagement off of the island of Mayotte, the Colours were thrown overboard into the Indian Ocean.

13th January 1849, the Queen’s Colour was lost at the Battle of Chillianwallah, during the Sikh War.  Lieutenant-Colonel Smith recorded: ...the Queen’s colour was unhappily lost.  It’s staff had been broken in two, and one of the men is reported to have wrapped the colour round his body, but he was afterwards killed, and all endeavours to find any trace of it have hitherto been vain.  The Regimental colour was for a time on the ground, but was brought off uninjured...

22nd January 1879 - we already know about.

So as you see “F**king unlucky.”

JY
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:05 pm

If proof were needed!

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Steve Reinstadtler
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PostSubject: umsweantos Flag    Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:07 pm

I knew it was real !! Joker Joker
90th Salute Salute
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:17 pm

Hi John,

I knew that the 24th had lost a Colour at Chillianwallah but I did not know they lost them (or threw them overboard, not technically lost I spose) in the Napoleonic Wars.

They do seem very careless with their Colours......

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: umsweantos Flag    Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:28 pm

Hi Sime
I'm with JY..... F##KING UNLUCKY ! Joker
90th Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:30 pm

Just bloody careless.......tchhh.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:44 pm

If I lost my car keys 3 times, you would say I was careless (or in fact carless at that point!) not unlucky......"he's a careless twit".....not "an unlucky twit"......

Cheers

Sime

ps don't drive, so got no keys to loose!

pps - However, England are just unlucky not careless......
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PostSubject: Re: 'Umsweantos' flag.   Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:32 pm

Mr Young,
Thank You very much for the référence (Atkinson).
Bien cordialement
Fred
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