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Lt. Melvill: Well done, Sir! Did you see that Noggs? Deceived him with the up and took him with the down. Norris-Newman: Well well, this one\'s a grandfather at least. If he\'d been a Zulu in his prime I\'d have given odds against your lancer, Mr.Melvill.
 
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Lt. (Brevet Major) J.R.M. Chard, 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers--Rorke's Drift and Ulundi
(Mac and Shad) Isandula Collection)
Rededication Rorke's Drift Defender William Wilcox. 8th May 2011 Dolton Devon.
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 The faces of "B" Company.

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rusteze

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PostSubject: The faces of "B" Company.   Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:32 pm

The photo of the Rorke's Drift defenders on the grassy bank is well known. I have taken my copy and blown up some of the less familiar faces about as far as the print will allow. It somehow makes them  more personal and alive. But who are they? I guess we may never know. Some have said that the one on the right is Hook - I'm not sure. It is an event that we discuss so much and yet we know so little.
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Steve Reinstadtler
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:41 pm

Heres 2 later photos of Hook and Steve's 'Hook'

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I dunno how this facial recognition thing works - you are supposed to look at eye spacing and ear shapes......the nose and brow shapes look very similar.

Cheers

Sime
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:27 am

This will only make sense if it is right clicked, and downloaded.
it's an high def image. we have attempted this so many time's,
i have a book that claim's to match most of them up, i will dig
it out, but at best it's only ever been speculation. not Hook i
believe.

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:31 am

I met the American that wrote the book your talking about les. Bit of a talker, in fact a hell of a lot of a talker. There are a lot of guesses from him and a couple of the identified faces have been renamed.
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:35 am

Very good photo, Les when zoomed in on.

Cheers

Simon
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:49 am

Steve,

Take a look at the photograph of the reconstituted ‘G’ Company of the 2nd/24th, also taken at Pinetown.
Pte. Hook V.C. was assigned to that company at the time. Look at the soldier at the extreme right of the company, standing almost apart from the other members of the company.

He is wearing his glengarry high on his head, not unlike the soldier I had previously tentatively as Hook elsewhere. Both men have their hair showing on the left side of their foreheads. Hook’s scalp wound troubled him for the rest of his life, I would contend this might account for the soldier wearing his glengarry high on his head to prevent further irritation.

Just my opinion.

JY
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:05 am

Hi John/Steve,

Just out of interest, can one of the post the photo of G coy 2/24th or at least the 'Hook' section.

If not no worries.

thanks

Simon
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:24 am

Simon,

It appears in a number of books but the best version, apart from that at the Museum is on pages 40-41 of Nothing Remains but to Fight.

I have a poor copy somewhere in my collection.

JY
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:30 am

Ok thanks John, I have that book up the loft, so I will scamper up and get it....well scamper as fast as the recovery from a hernia op will allow......

Simon
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:46 am

Cheer's Sime. Les.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:28 am

John

I see what you mean - could be.

Frank

Who is this american and what is the book called?

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Steve Reinstadtler
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:41 am

Steve I met him at Rorkes Drift Hotel last year, really loud and brash, total pain in the nether regions. He maintained he had identified ever single person from B company. I gently asked how he could do that when a lot of them didn't have surviving comparison photos. I got a look of total disdain and the comment that 'professionals have ways and means', but no answer.
Les will locate the book, for the life of me I cant remember the fools name.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:44 am

Should have added that in the Hotel Library is a large blow up of the photo with every one named and its duly autographed. Bromhead by the way is identified as John Fielding/Williams so go figure.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:51 am

Steve,

The book Frank mentioned is The Men of the 24th by Toby Giese. In my opinion it is dire, but that’s just my take on it.

It contains some very inaccurate information.

JY
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:52 am

Nuff said.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:07 pm

Steve,

For an 1879 photograph of Hook take a look at Ian Knight’s Zulu - Isandlwana & Rorke’s Drift Page 114. For some reason referred to on this site as ‘The Big Silver Book’, but mine’s not silver it is brown and in a green slip cover.

JY

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:39 pm

One thing that is striking about that image is the very fair colour of his whiskers and hair. That seems to me to also be the case in the possible "grassy bank" image. We also have Lady Butler's very helpful depiction of a distinctly ginger looking Hook in her painting.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:51 pm

Steve,

19th Century photography makes ginger hair appeared dark. Gonville Bromhead is a good example.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:41 pm

Not for nothing was he christened polto geist by guests at the bar. John your far to polite the books bloody awful.
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:10 pm

Yeah JY, Frank.. not the best! ist ed 1987, a bit of a curiosity. still
required in the overall scheme of thing's..

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:21 pm

Les,

Come on you have to be kidding?  I couldn’t see it on my shelves until I looked behind the uprights where I hide the unworthy publications.

How is it that men who had been evacuated back to the U.K. are in that photograph.  Another intriguing thing is in that photograph he can identify William Roy D.C.M. of the 1st/24th, yet he fails to do so in the Osbourne House Colour Party group.  

As to his Rorke’s Drift garrison before the attack it is just a lift from Lummis.

Curiouser and curiouser...

JY
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:28 pm

I do not know about the historical aspects of the book but I am not to keen on his wargames set up...... Surprised
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:33 pm

Frank

I have this mental image of all the clapped out old AZW authors and miscellaneous reprobates hanging out at the RD Hotel Bar. Bit like Mo's Bar in the Simpsons - prizes for naming Homer!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:48 pm

Simon,

That’s not a wargames set-up, that’s an aerial photograph from 22nd January 1879 courtesy of the R.E. Balloon Section.

JY
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:05 pm

Oh so that is the illusive aerial photograph, I have been searching for, for all these years.

I see what people mean about the grass cover now.....its almost carpet like......
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:50 pm

Clapped out old AZW authors indeed............ Calumny sir.
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:54 pm

Ive e mailed you a photo of the hallowed ground Steve
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:24 pm

I sort of imagined it more like this.
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Steve
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:32 pm

close
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Kenny



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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:49 pm

JY

When was this group photograph taken? The location was Pinetown (?). 2/24th was at Pinetown on 21 October 1879 before catching the troopship Ontario to Gibraltar. At that date Hitch (arrived UK 9 June 1879) and Allen (arrived UK 26 August 1879) so why have they been identified as members of the group. Also why are Bromhead, Robert Jones and Hook not wearing their newly presented VC decorations.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:37 pm

Kenny,

As you well know there are a number of photographs of 2nd/24th taken at or near to Pinetown. I have seen the full battalion, a number of company groups and smaller groups.

I think that only Mr. Giese can give us the answer, hence my comments at 3:21pm about those who had been evacuated appearing in his key to the photograph. How he slavishly followed Canon Lummis’ mis-identifications in another photograph can only add to the mystery.

As to the V.C. decorations I am at a loss I’m sorry, I thought you might have had the answer.

Regards,

JY


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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:45 pm

Hi JY.. Unworthy publication's.. how very restrained you are, my copy of Giese
is located in a bookcase, not on show, it reside's behind the proper book's..
but i buy anything connected to the AZW, so i do indeed have my share of
turkey's.
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:07 am

JY

Another question - why should we think that Cpl Roy DCM is one of the group? Surely he would have returned to his battalion.
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:54 am

Kenny,

I refer to my previous answer ask the author, but it appears my attempt at sarcasm was lost on you.  The point I was trying to put across is that the book is unreliable as a source of reference.

Obviously Roy had returned to the 1st Battalion, yet incredibly Mr. Giese places him in the ‘B’ Company, 2nd/24th group.  However, on page 77 he fails to identify Roy in the 1880 Colour Party group.

He acknowledges the assistance of two previous Curators at Brecon, and then manages to misspell one of their names.  They appear to have provided him with photocopies of material that form the backbone of his work.

Regards,

JY
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:41 am

I'm busy trying to get contact details for him. Should be interesting getting an explanation.
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:47 am

Frank
I think he's still at the University in Houston.
I really do not think it is worth contacting him.
I tried some years back, in the early 90s and asked him some serious questions about sources used and proof of identities (in particular the nonsense deduction re Robert Head and the 'pipe') and he failed to answer or avoided answering in all cases. He admitted to being a great fan of D R Morris.
Enough said.
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:24 pm

Pretty much the attitude I got last year.
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:45 am

Hi,

On the Rorkes Drift VC website, they have Hook down as Poltergeists #44.

He has his glengarry high up on his head and looks like he has a moustache thing going on - similar to the guy in the G Coy photo (posted by Steve)

Does anyone know which Pinetown photo was taken first? I spose not but is there a chance that Hook appears in both photos....

Cheers

Simon (the insomniac)

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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:52 am

Simon,

The only possible answer to your last question is lost in time, unless the original plates are unearthed somewhere and the photographer numbered his plates in sequence.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:00 am

Hi

I thought (or rather) hoped they may have been done some weeks apart, an a 'Hook' would have transferred in the meantime or they may have been a date scribbled on the back of the photos.....

Oh well.....

Cheers

Simon
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:02 am

Simon,

As far as I’m aware they were all photographed on the same date.

Kenny might have further information on that.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:58 am

The Record of Service (diary) for 2/24th gives the following:

29th September 1879
A, B, C, D and E Companies of the 2nd Battalion began their two hundred and fifty miles march down country from Utrecht.  At Landman’s Drift they picked up G Company.

6th October 1879
F and H Companies marched via Helpmakaar and Greytown to Pietermaritzburg, where they arrived on 6th October, to await the Battalion Headquarters.  Sir Garnet Wolseley had selected the 2nd Battalion 24th for an expedition against Sekukuni, but on his arrival at Utrecht, on 9th September 1879, he brought the news that the Battalion was ordered to Gibraltar.  Sir Garnet took the opportunity presenting their Victoria Crosses to Brevet Major Gonville Bromhead and Private Robert Jones.  He had already given one to Private Henry Hook at Rorke’s Drift.  (Two other Rorke’s Drift men, Corporal Allen and Private Hitch, received their crosses from the hands of Her Majesty at Windsor Castle and Netley Hospital respectively).

14th October 1879
Remaining companies arrived at Pietermaritzburg on 14th October, where great demonstrations awaited ‘the Battalion that saved Natal’.

21st October 1879
The march to Port Natal was resumed, and after some delay in camp under canvas at Pinetown, awaiting transport, the Battalion embarked in the SS Ontario at Port Natal (Durban).

12th February 1880
The 2nd Battalion 24th reached Gibraltar and went into quarters at Casemate Barracks.  This was the first time that many of the soldiers had a roof over their head since leaving Chatham in February 1878.

The diary suggests that the photo session took place sometime after 21st October.  I do not have an exact date of departure of SS Ontario from Port Natal. At that time the railway from Durban to Pietermaritzburg was not complete - the railhead was at Botha's Hill - some 16 miles short of PMB.  So the 2/24th may have used the railway from Pinetown to Durban.

Best I can do.
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:41 am

Kenny,

Thanks for that, I knew I could rely on you have the information as to the movements of the 2nd Battalion.

Regards,

JY
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:46 pm

Shining a light through an album page reveals the stamp of the photographer. This is on a photo of an NNC battalion in the same album as the "B" Company shot. Does not of course mean that all the photos in the album are by the same photographers.
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:10 am

Having coincidentally been re-reading the BSB (or in JY's case the 'brown and green' book), I would not be at all surprised if Polter 44, is not Hook from the photo on page 114......

Cheers

Sime

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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:13 pm

Why do all these weird hyperlinks keep coming from.......?
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:39 pm

The faces of "B" Company.
In "John Williams, V.C. a biography" by W.G.Lloyd page 35 the group photo identifies 10 of the defenders.
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:05 pm

Wentworth,

Unfortunately the author compounds errors made elsewhere, and my opinion is therefore unreliable.

Neither Hitch V.C. or Allan V.C. are in photograph for reasons explained in the preceding posts.

For further evidence of the author’s inaccuracy on page 14 of John Williams, V.C. A Biography he identifies a post-1881 Royal Artillery soldier as ‘John Williams’, when clearly it is not.

Regards,

JY
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PostSubject: Re: The faces of "B" Company.   Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:26 pm

Wentworth,

Lloyd also includes Saxty and Jobbins local lads - helped promote book sales in Eastern Valleys of Monmouthshire at the time. My recollection is that Lloyd did not have any special expertise but was keen to write a book about a hero from his local community and enhance his own standing within it. He also wrote another book about the local rifle volunteers who signed on for one year’s service in South Africa during the ABW from Pontypool area.
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