Zulu Dawn Film Lt. Col. Pulleine: Lord Chelmsford assures us that there is no way the Zulu can get around us without our knowing. Col. Durnford: Zulu generals have a nasty habit of doing the unexpected. It might be wise to picket the hills.
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At eZungeni, Zulu War of 1879" original painting by Hermanus Willem Koekkoek (1869-1929) (Isandula Collection)
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 Save the Colours!

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Posts : 13
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 : 665
Join date : 2017-05-13
Age : 54
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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Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 62
Location : Melbourne, Australia

PostSubject: Save the colours    Sun May 27, 2018 3:10 am

Hi All
In a couple of accounts it's stated that Melvil and Coghill didn't leave together , it's mentioned that they caught up with each other along the trail , they were both very unlucky , as they had got across the river , and were at least 200 yds away from it up a hill before they were Killed , I , for one , believe as do many others , it was by so called ' Friendlies ' as there is Zulu evidence they told the natives on the Natal side to kill the them , or they themselves would be hunted down and killed . Not sure which book it was in , probably Zulu Rising but not sure .
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PostSubject: Re: Save the Colours!   Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:03 am

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