Film Zulu: Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: Sixty! We dropped at least 60, wouldn't you say?Adendorff: That leaves only 3,940.
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Lieutenant J.P. Daly, 1/24 Regt.-KIA Isandlwana
[Mac & Shad] Isandula Collection)
The Battle of Isandlwana tactics

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 Save the Colours!

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Posts : 11
Join date : 2017-07-21
Location : Los Angeles, CA

PostSubject: Save the Colours!   Sat May 12, 2018 1:34 pm

What evidence, if any, is there that LTC Henry Pulleine ordered LT Melville to save the Queen's Colour of the 1/24th?

In HCMDB, LTC Snook provides circumstantial evidence suggesting that Melvill was seen riding with the Colour back in the direction of where he believes LTC Pulleine's command post was located (Apologize for using modern terminology, I simply do not know the proper Victorian era terminology) but are there any other tidbits that suggest this order was actually given?

From reading over LT Melville's service record, especially his actions in South Africa, I do believe that he was too good of an officer to flee the battlefield using the Colour as an excuse, despite the crude commentary of a certain General Officer.
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Posts : 420
Join date : 2017-05-13
Age : 53
Location : Uttoxeter - the last place God made and he couldn't be bothered to finish it.....

PostSubject: Re: Save the Colours!   Sat May 12, 2018 2:05 pm

Hi WW,

There is no actual evidence that HBP charged Melvill with saving the Colours. As Adjutant, the Colours were technically under his control.

He did say that he (recorded by Brickhill maybe or someone else Higginson?) that he was trying to make a rallying point on the nek "but it was now impossible".....and I believe the Coghill gave him the news that HBP had been shot. The Colours were or should have been kept in the guard tent, which was I believe behind the camp near to the nek

Despite the heroic paintings & portrayal in Zulu Dawn, I do not believe they left camp together - there is cleverer people on the forum who will be able to give you more detail.

A Zulu mentions that his father told him, that during the battle a soldier waved a flag and did not fight but 'trusted in other soldiers'.......this could not have been Melvill because the Colours he had were cased, so if this tale is story is believed (and I do believe it), another Colour (one of thed 2nd24ths) must have been used towards the end of the battle - unless it was the HQ marker flag - but still a flag none the less.

Based on what Lord Wolseley said, there have been rumours that Melvill 'cut it' with the Colours but I personally do not believed he set out with that intention. Sadly enough had Mel & Cog made it a few hundred yards, to safety - many of the command mysteries of Isandlwana would be solved....

Put in the search engine (on the left mid page) 'Melvill' and there should be loads of posts come up.


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