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Captain David Moriarity, 80th, KIA Ntombe
This photograph taken when he was in the 7th Regiment prior to his transfer to the 80th. [Mac & Shad] (Isandula Collection)
The Battle of Isandlwana: One of The Worst Defeats of The British Empire - Military History
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 The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:01 pm

It can be shown that once Melvile took the Colours he rode back into the camp

The climb is huge, the point i was trying to make is that

Melvile was exhausted, but he refused to leave Coghill to his fate, he could have escaped on foot
if he had left him. The climb is huge, he must have been determuined not to leave him, from the hight
they could probebly see the warriors racing to kill them.


Merry Xmas

Cheers
DB14
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:48 pm

The fact remains,and always will. Should they have been where they was. Colours are used to rally the men, and officers should guild there men not leave them.
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90th

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PostSubject: The Deaths of Melvill & Coghill.   Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:34 pm

Hi All .
Horace Smith - Dorrien mentions the fact that after seeing and hearing of instances during WW1 where no VC was awarded
he thought some had received it during the AZW in less circumstance or words to that effect . It may have been himself he was referring as he was nominated by memory for the VC but his commanding officer either didnt approve it or '' Lost '' the paperwork.
This stemmed from him going over his commanders head to see service in Sth Africa .
cheers 90th. 😕
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:42 pm

I suppose it is like comparing winning the RWC nowadays with a hard fought test series back in the amateur days. The bar is so much higher these days in terms of performance and skill than back then. Today each player is a professional surrounded by training staff and experts. Compare Usian Bolt with Roger Bannister. Maybe we shoudl look at the Victorian Ear VC's the way we would look at the Bannister's four minute mile. Great for the time but not much to talk of in todays competition.
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90th

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PostSubject: The Deaths of Melvill & Coghill.   Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:55 pm

Hi Eric.
We have to be careful about Generalizations of the Victorian Era VC's . No doubt nearly all of them were earnt the hard way .
Some possibly a little softer than others , but who are we to judge . Reading some of the accounts they are still quite mind blowing
so I dont have any issue with a Custodian of the VC earnt in Victorian times as compared with later recipients including those of
our era in regard to the Middle East conflicts . Idea .
cheers 90th. 😕 .
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:12 am

Pascal MAHE wrote:

good evening

It is well known that these two, took advantage of the fact that it was necessary to save the colors to get the hell out as so aptly pointed out the replacing of Chelmsford.

Cheers

Pascal

Is it?











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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:25 am

According to the late George Buntting, he was told by Chief Sothondoza's descendants (who lived on the Natal side of the river and were watching the drama unfold below them) that they had killed Lts Melvill and Coghill. The Zulus on the Zululand side of the river had shouted to them to deal with the white men, failing which they would deal with them. George and his family knew the local people intimately and he personally related the above to me.
Regards, Ken
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:39 am

Nice to see you back Ken, must be busiest time of the year for you.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:52 am

Hi Ken

Did they say anything about the other 2 soldiers??


Cheers
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PostSubject: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:16 am

Hi

It is well known that these two, took advantage of the fact that it was necessary to save the colors to get the hell out as so aptly pointed out the replacing of Chelmsford.

Cheers

Pascal

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:53 pm

Pascal

What do you mean by These two took advatage


Coghill had nothing to do with saving the colours Suspect


Cheers


Last edited by Drummer Boy 14 on Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:22 pm

This is because the two topic coincide , it's not Suspect Suspect Suspect Question

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:44 pm

Ken Gillings wrote:
According to the late George Buntting, he was told by Chief Sothondoza's descendants (who lived on the Natal side of the river and were watching the drama unfold below them) that they had killed Lts Melvill and Coghill. The Zulus on the Zululand side of the river had shouted to them to deal with the white men, failing which they would deal with them. George and his family knew the local people intimately and he personally related the above to me.
Regards, Ken

Ken, I think this is a remarkable and most important piece of information. Which tribe did Chief Sothondoza's descendants belong to?
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:33 am

Regarding Coghill, I'm not sure it's been mentioned here yet that he was Glyn's orderly officer and therefore a member of the staff. So while he was from the 1/24th, he was not attached to one of the line companies defending the camp, and thus did not abandon any men under his direct command. Chelmsford later stated that Coghill "had every right to leave the camp when he realized the fact that nothing could be done to save it." He also defended Mevill, writing "I feel sure that Melvill left the camp with the colours under orders received. He was too good a soldier to have left without." In short, Chelmsford argued that he believed both men had satisfied honor and duty even if they were not deserving of VC's.

On the question of ordering the colors off the field, there are other instances of British regiments sending them off the field to avoid capture. So it's not an inconceivable order, even if it doesn't satisfy our romantic notions of men defending the standard to the last.

I doubt either of them gave a care on that day to whether their actions were particularly gallant or heroic, much less whether it would earn them a medal. Yet I also think one can reject the mythologized accounts of their ride and still believe with some reason that they did their duty as best they knew how, and ended up dying hard like the rest of their battalion.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:07 am

Hi all

They were not officers of troops, had horses, and if they took the flags, it is certainly on order, if they were near Pulleine when they left ...

For the VC posthumously, it is certainly because they have brought with them the flags ...

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:03 am

Pascal MAHE wrote:
For the VC posthumously, it is certainly because they have brought with them the flags ...

Coghill got one for trying to save Melvill

Melvill got one for trying to save Coghill, he could easily have left him like Higginson left them. No dout
he could see the Zulus crossing to attack them.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:54 pm

And why Higginson left them ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:46 pm

He wanted to live and he was a coward.

After leaving them he stole a NC's horse and escaped, leaving the man to his death.



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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:04 pm

And he got a black eye for his trouble, and was never seen again. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:08 pm

Oh and this was known how?

He described the death of his two comrades, but certainly not his behavior ...

And after? He was discharged from the army?

At what unit he belonged, that coward?

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:18 pm

He was an Lt in the NNC

He claimed to have returned with horses and found M and C surrounded and beyond help.

He in fact ran away, came across Trooper Barker of the NC. Barker gave him his horse and told him to wait for him when he got to the top of the hill. He mounted and legged it, Barker barly escpaed with his life.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:54 pm

Then of course, why should a member of a colonial unit died because of a British cock-up.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:47 pm

He stole Trooper Barker's horse, Barker was a colonial.

Mabe M and C would have made it to the top if Higginson had stayed with them.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:01 pm

Quote :
He stole Trooper Barker's horse, Barker was a colonial.

No he asked him for the horse.

And M & C were never going to Come out of this alive. They were both a liability to Higginson. Remember the two basic human instincts.

" Fight or Flight" Choosing one of hem doesn't make him a coward.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:26 pm

Barker gave him the horse, and told him to wait at the top.
Higginson mounted and rode away leaving Barker.

M and C were close to the top when they were surrounded and killed.

M could have left C and escaped with Higginson. He didn't, he left beind his wife and 2 baby son's.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:45 pm

To some he maybe a coward, I expect at the time he couldn't of careless. He lived. The question of course should be. What was any of them doing there in the first place. Men were fighting for their lives 6 miles away..
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:48 pm

Dave wrote:
What was any of them doing there in the first place.

Trying not to die ?

M was to good an officer to have left with out orders, look what he said to Durnford.
Look where he was seen leaving from.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:20 pm

Quote :
Trying not to die ?
Exactly. Just the same as " Higginson"

There is no evidence anywhere to say Melville was ordered to carry the colours to safety.

He have remonstrated with Durnford, but I cannot see what that has to do with him leaving the Battlefield. I'm not saying he shouldn't have left, but his duty as an officer warranted him to stay. A bit like a captain going down with his ship. There is no justification for him or Coghill to have left the field of battle. Higginson had no alegions to England.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:31 am

Hi all

If M & C were ordinary fugitives, they would not have taken the flag, why do (excuse?) And who was responsible for the flags at Isandhlwana?

They left on the orders (of Pulleine?) with the flag and with a mission to save him, otherwise they would keep getting killed on the spot ...

From what I read above, the imperial troops did not they despised colonial troops, even if they were white?

Cheers

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:24 am

Pascal

M and C did not leave together.

M was seen leaving and C was behind him. M was seen leaving from were Pulliene was, were the 24th were rallying.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:21 am

If this is what is my dear Pulleine who asked him to leave with the flag ... Salute
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:21 pm

Just out of Interest on a personal note.

How is it known which route Melville took when left Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:23 pm

The shortest :lol:

Salute

Pascal
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:53 pm

LH

Becasue a lot of people saw him on the trail.

Also

The colour was kept on the right hand side of the camp in the 1/24th camp, but Melvill was seen by
private Williams leaving from the left. This means that Melvill took the colour from the gaurd tent
back into the heart of the fight to be seen by Williams. Surly then this must mean he didn't take the colour
as an excuse to leave, if he did why would he ride back to the heart of the fight ?


Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:13 pm

he ride back to the heart of the fight by the shortest route ,no ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:14 pm

Pascal MAHE wrote:
he ride back to the heart of the fight by the shortest route ,no ?

scratch
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:19 pm

But the shortest paths are not they the best ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:06 pm

Lost me scratch
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:41 pm

No , no :lol:
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:34 am

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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:02 am

Merci mon ami , good post for all Very Happy 
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:02 pm

It is said the Melville and Coghill's body's were found with a ring of dead Zulus around them, showing they sold their life's dearly. Is there any accounts to confirm this, or is it just Victorian melodrama, like the painting of them laying side by side with the flag resting over them.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:33 pm

One account mentions several dead Zulu's being near them but the others and particularly Harford's account makes no mention of
any dead Zulus near them - strange Suspect 


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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:47 pm

Ray "Victorian melodrama" there were no dead Zulu's
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:16 pm

Thanks Impi. As I suspected. Wasn't aware there were no dead Zulus
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:18 pm

That's what Victorian melodrama does, alters facts! Hides the truth!
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:20 pm

Good Point!
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:50 pm

Source: Letter from Ron Lock.

With reference to copy of the Inaugural Edition of the AZWHS Journal

"Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill 1/24th. (Page 37)
Drawing their revolvers, the two officers shot and killed a couple of Zulus...Some days later when a patrol found their bodies, they also found a ring of dead Zulus, evidence that Melvill and Coghill had sold their lives dearly...
It is unlikely that they shot any of the enemy.  Certainly not Melvill as the cylinder of his revolver had long since fallen out and was lying in Lord Chelmsford’s tent back at Isandlwana where it was picked up later that day by Henry Francis Fynn, the Umsinga magistrate, who was serving on Chelmsford’s staff.  As for the bodies of Melvill and Coghill being surrounded by a ring of enemy dead, this is an inherited Victorian perception, highly romanticised, that Britain’s soldiers always died admirably as epitomised in Alphonse de Neuville's painting of the incident in which Melvill and Coghill lay in death, sword in hand, as though in peaceful slumber, with each man still grasping the pole of the Queen’s Colour. In reality, there was no ring of enemy dead.  Lieutenant Hillier, an officer of the 3rd Natal Native Contingent, who was one of the twenty volunteers who found the bodies of Melvill and Coghill, recorded the incident in a letter to his father (1) “...crossing over the hill overlooking the Drift, we came across the bodies of poor Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill; they lay behind the bodies of two soldiers, where they had made a stand.  Coghill was quite naked except for his boots and a gold ring on his finger which Captain Parr took off.  Poor Melvill had everything on, but was much disfigured.”  There is no mention of dead Zulus.
Lieutenant Henry Harford of the 99th Foot, also serving in the 3rd. N.N.C., and also amongst the volunteers who found the bodies, likewise makes no mention of any Zulu bodies nearby those of Melvill and Coghill. (2)
"
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:39 am

littlehand wrote:
"...the cylinder of his revolver had long since fallen out and was lying in Lord Chelmsford’s tent back at Isandlwana where it was picked up later that day by Henry Francis Fynn..."
He must have been carrying an Adams. And speaking of Harford (2), I believe the same thing happened to him when he was clambering up the rocky cliff face at Sihayo's holdout. I know he lost a lot of other things that were found by his childhood friend...
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PostSubject: Re: The Death of Lts. Melvill and Coghill at Isandlwana   Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:07 am

I thought Harford lost his field glasses. Binoculars. Question
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