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 The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana

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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:19 am

littlehand wrote:
I thought Harford lost his field glasses. Binoculars. Question
Not just. He was dropping things all the way.  I think the best account was in Nogg's book, but don't trust my memory for it.  Might have been his diary or Maori's account.  Maybe the cylinder is just my imagination because he was armed when he got to the caves...although I suppose he could have simply put it back in.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am

These are all cairns leading up to and around M and Cs grave

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Draw your own conclusions

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:46 am

[quote="littlehand"]Source: Letter from Ron Lock.

Hi all,
On this same subject ("letter from Ron Lock"), you can read the answer given par Ian Knight on this forum this month (question; Lt Hillier, NNC is recorded as noting that Melvill's and Coghill's bodies lay behind the bodies of soldiers(...)
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:22 pm

H6pdr wrote:
littlehand wrote:
I thought Harford lost his field glasses. Binoculars. Question
Not just. He was dropping things all the way.  I think the best account was in Nogg's book, but don't trust my memory for it.  Might have been his diary or Maori's account.  Maybe the cylinder is just my imagination because he was armed when he got to the caves...although I suppose he could have simply put it back in.
Possibly but could'nt find anything on the cylinder. 


I wonder how Melvill's cylinder found its way into Chelmsfords tent. Did Melville use his revolver at any stage whilst on the battlefield. If the colours were housed in LC tent, it's possible the cylinder dropped out
When he went into the tent to retrieve the colours. 
But would he have not checked that his revolver was fully loaded prior to leaving in the knowledge, that it might be required at some stage of his journey. Did he not also loose his sword?
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:25 pm

. Did he not also loose his sword?[/quote]
Bonsoir Littlehand,
Yes (Brickhill account)
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:27 pm

How would someone identify a revolver cylinder as Melvil's ? Surly it would just look the same as any other revolver ?

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:30 pm

Not sure many had revolvers, the fact that his was missing when found, and one was found in the camp. I guess they just put 2 & 2 together. 

Good point though, who recovered his revolver. Question
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:33 pm

DrummerBoy 16 wrote:
How would someone identify a revolver cylinder as Melvil's ? Surly it would just look the same as any other revolver ?

Cheers
I have the same interrogation...
The officers had "private" revolver (not the samedi for all?)
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:51 pm

Can we believe Higginson. 

A Lieut. Walter Higginson, of 1/3rd Natal Native Contingent, has left an account of what followed. He had also been precipitated into the flood-waters,

Quote:
And states that as Melvill drifted down towards him he called out to him to catch hold of the colour-pike, which he -- Higginson -- did, but the force of the current dragged him off his feet and off the rock to which he tenuously clung, but fortunately into calmer water. To continue in his own words, "Coghill, who had got his horse over alright came riding back down the bank to help Melvill, and as he put his mount in close to us, some Zulus who were about twenty-five yards distant on the other bank commenced firing at us in the water. Almost the first shot killed Coghill's horse, and on his getting clear we started for the Natal bank and managed to get out alright, but when we had covered about a hundred yards up the steep bank we noticed two Zulus following us. When they got within thirty' yards of us, Melvill and Coghill fired at them with their revolvers and killed them both. I myself was without arms of any kind, having lost my rifle in the river and did not possess a revolver. When we had gone a few yards further, Melvill said he could go no further and Coghill said the same. When they stopped I pushed on, and on reaching the top of the hill I found four Basutos in whose company I finally escaped by holding on to a horse's tail."
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:56 am

Hi Littlehand
Lt Higginson it appears didnt make to many friends during the retreat ! , time hasnt been kind to him in regard to what was said of him during the battle , or more to the point , his escapades on or near the river . We only have what he said and what others have said , so who knows , but I tend to take what he said with a grain of salt ! .
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:13 am

littlehand wrote:
I wonder how Melvill's cylinder found its way into Chelmsfords tent. Did Melville use his revolver at any stage whilst on the battlefield. If the colours were housed in LC tent, it's possible the cylinder dropped out When he went into the tent to retrieve the colours. 
One of the colours -- regimental, I think -- was in the HQ tent which means in Chelmsford's tent, I believe. So, I guess that's a possibility.

littlehand wrote:
But would he have not checked that his revolver was fully loaded prior to leaving in the knowledge, that it might be required at some stage of his journey. Did he not also loose his sword?
I don't know about his sword, but in reading about Essex, I know he left his sword in his tent when a sergeant informed him of shooting up on the spur. And when Smith-Dorrien rode overnight from Isandlwana to Rorke's drift, he did so with an empty pistol...so sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:23 am

Quote :
I have the same interrogation...
The officers had  "private" revolver (not the samedi for all?)
Cheers
Yes, pistols were considered "private property" and therefore not the responsibility of the government.  Besides the different models, my GUESS is that many were customized with carvings, engravings etc...  Is it possible that the cylinder might be stamped with a serial number or something similar as well?  I don't know.

The reason that Bromhead had to give Smith-Dorrien (who was a supply officer at a supply depot, after all,) the only shells for his pistol is that the British army did not see it as their responsibility to ship ammunition for private property...so if an officer forgot to pack some, he was probably SOL unless he was carrying a popular model.

At Rorke's Drift Bromhead picked up a Martini-Henry, I believe, but I've always wondered when he was leading some of those charges whether he wasn't muttering under his breath about the no pistol ammunition policy.  It might have cost him his life.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:32 am

90th wrote:
time hasnt been kind to him in regard to what was said of him during the battle,
Indeed, and remember Higgenson was the guy who made the spotting reports that motivated Durnford to sortie out in defense of Chelmsford. Durnford also asked Pulleine if he could "spare" Higgenson and then ordered him to scale Isandlwana and report back on what he saw. Apparently he never did so, preferring to delegate the duty and then reported that the Zulu were in retreat.

If his spotting reports were as questionable as his account of Melvill/Coghill, he was a PARTICULARLY poor choice to trust with the lynchpin information of the battle. Sometimes I think if Durnford didn't have bad luck, he's have had no luck at all.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:05 am

6pr
I think Bromhead used the MH because he was leading bayonet charges to clear the front of the hospital. And considering the distance they covered to do that, under fire from Shiyani and from the right flank, to my mind one, if not the, bravest and probably unsung actions of the battle. And he did it more than once. Thats one of the reasons I ignore Sir Garnet et al who call him a dullard. Another reason is that it was he who leapt out to fetch the water carrier into the fold.
That was one hell of a mans man, Not surprised he suffered afterwards PTS. Top man in my book, and in the eyes of his troops.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:41 am

I'm sure Meville asked Brickihll if had see anything of his sword back on the trail, after Brickhill caught up with him. Birickhill said he hadn't.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:57 am

springbok9 wrote:
6pr
.Top man in MY book?????

Hello Springbok,
What book?
Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:00 am

Chard
I thought the same but ive just looked at Brickhills statement and cant find it. In the 'Big Silver Book' Ian Knight also mentions the same incident but says Melvill asked about his horse, not sword.
Im sure the story of the sword is some where, I will have another look for it.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:01 am

Frederic
Just a phrase meaning I hold him in high esteem, not a real book.

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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:08 am

springbok9 wrote:
Frederic
Just a phrase meaning I hold him in high esteem, not a real book.

Cheers
Sorry.
I have thought at your project on the battle of Isandlwana, "a diffrent book".
Cheers.

Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:20 am

springbok9 wrote:
Chard
I thought the same but ive just looked at Brickhills statement and cant find it. In the 'Big Silver Book' Ian Knight also mentions the same incident but says Melvill asked about his horse, not sword.
Im sure the story of the sword is some where, I will have another look for it.

Cheers
Brickhill account (extract):
"A little further, i found Mr melvill carrying the Colours was just in front of me. We pursued our courses for some distance when Melvill in turning to me said: Mr Brickhill have you seen anything of my sword back there?"

cheers.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:27 am

That's the quote Frederic, I must be going blind, or senile. Sad 

Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:14 pm

There seems to be a lot of question marks over theses two officers ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:42 pm

springbok9 wrote:

I think Bromhead used the MH because he was leading bayonet charges to clear the front of the hospital.
Yes, I suppose it would have been something from a Python skit to affix a bayonet (or sword, if we must) to an Adams or a Webley.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:34 am

Chard
Your spot on, the whole question of Coghill in particular. Unfortunatly we can dissect and sumise till the cows come home. It wont get us closer to the truth. I have over the years tried to build a time and motions study of the fugitives trail. The gaps are just to big to make it work. If one testimony is ignored then a feasible line can be built. But leaving anything out just becomes a work of fiction really.
That testimony that doesn't fit by the way is Smith-Dorrien. I do suspect that the passage of time played some tricks with his memory, but it he cant be discounted.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:02 am

springbok9 wrote:
That testimony that doesn't fit by the way is Smith-Dorrien. I do suspect that the passage of time played some tricks with his memory, but it he cant be discounted.
How is it that it doesn't fit? And have you considered the content of his letter home after the battle vs. what was written in his memoir. (I know you must have but what is the difference to your time and motion study?)
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:37 am

Time and distance is the issue. Take out his comment about Coghill being a mile separated from Melvill and the retreat starts to make sense. I cant pick a single point where there is a view of a mile, looks like it on a map but not in reality. Probably the closet would be climbing Mpethe. But I don't believe he could have seen a mile, even if he had he wouldn't have been able to recognise him. I do have theory, but it needs to stew for a while.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:36 am

Was it not established, that Coghill must have had some point turned around and started going back to the camp. I think it was when he and Curling met, and some thing to do with them both seeing Essex. Which puts them both nearer the camp. Although Coghill has left before Curling. 

Or something like that. I will fid the thread, when I get home later.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:54 am

Yes if you look at the spotings it intimates that he left the camp and went back.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:51 am

Officer. Do I stay, or do I go ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:30 pm

Ray63 wrote:
Was it not established, that Coghill must have had some point turned around and started going back to the camp. I think it was when he and Curling met, and some thing to do with them both seeing Essex. Which puts them both nearer the camp. Although Coghill has left before Curling. 
That's really interesting Ray. If you could expand upon it when you have a chance, I'd be interested.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:09 pm

6pd
Take a careful look at the statements, the only conclusion when you put them on a time line is that Coghill left and went back. Im sure Ive posted the whole time line before.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:45 pm

It has already been broken down, in to the various sighting. and timelines. there is no doubt he tried to return to the camp. for whatever reason.
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