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 'Witts' Kraal

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SRB1965

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PostSubject: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon May 28, 2018 8:02 pm

Hi,

I have picked this up from another place and decided to see if this august body can throw any light on it – just for the purposes of discussion on this forum, only.

Witt said he witnessed (from the Shiyane) some 'British' soldiers (redcoats maybe?) fighting in kraal behind Isandlwana – these have always been attributed to be defenders pushed back over the nek by Zulu pressure.

An alternate theory (of mine) could be that they were men trying to hold back the right horn – but this is only an idea.

Is there any graves/cairns associated with the Western/back of Isandlwana – which may not be attributable to Shepstone’s stand?

Is there any evidence of the Kraals? I believe Witt described one as ‘stone’ but I am not sure – whether this was visible or he had knowledge of the area, from his ‘church’ business in the area.

Most of the normal Kraal material would leave no trace but I wondered about the 'stone' parts

This is a map showing the approx. position of the kraals, sadly I do not know the source of the map.

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon May 28, 2018 8:41 pm

Sime the map is in the Narrative. There are remnants of a number of kraals on the back of the mountain, At one stage it was covered in small farms. I will dig out the aerial photo from 1945. Mike Snook had a theory that a group took refuge in a Kraal but the ground around was to hard for burial so the bodies were moved to the nearest available 'soft spot'

Hope that helps.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue May 29, 2018 6:12 am

Hi

I've read HCMDB a number of times but I must have not picked up on that bit or have forgotten about it.

A bit strange thinking about it - because Younghusband's cairn seems to be in very rocky place (assuming it marks a grave site)

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue May 29, 2018 7:07 am

Sime its not in HCMDB it was during a conversation between Mike and and another forum member.
I will forward to you the photo of the area, possibly you could post it.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue May 29, 2018 7:27 am

Photo sent.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue May 29, 2018 10:55 am

Detail of Norris Newman's map published in the Natal Mercury February 1879 shows a Kraal on the lower slope of the saddle that I guess would be visible. Perhaps ties in with Snook's comment about stony ground as well (I cannot read the first word above it).
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue May 29, 2018 4:56 pm

Wonder if the word is 'sloping'?
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue May 29, 2018 7:07 pm

Hi Frank,

Thanks for the photo - if you look closely at it, there seems to be evidence of the kraals - amongst the fields.

I have highlighted them on a section of the photo you sent and it they appear to be in similar positions to the ones and the 'Narrative map' and even the one on the Noggs map.

It is hard to tell exactly.....

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I have put all 4 maps in one post to make it easier to compare.

Whether the areas on your 1945 map are features indicating continued use or 'crop marks' on the old kraals, I don't know

There even appears to be a crop mark on the modern satellite image that may coincide, with one of the kraals

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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal    Wed May 30, 2018 2:25 am

Hi Sime.
I've walked around from Younghusband's Cairn to where George Shepstone and his men are interred , I don't remember seeing any stone walls or similar , I've also walked up the western slope to the left of Younghusbamd's Cairn , also don't remember ever seeing any walls or stone fixtures , that's not to say they aren't in the bush somewhere in that area , last time I went up to Shepstone's 2 years ago it was tough going in parts , due to the undergrowth . There are a few Cairns around the Shepstone area, maybe 8 - 12 from memory ? .
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed May 30, 2018 3:53 am

Hi Sime
There are relics/ruins of the kraals still in evidence but down the slope towards the Manzimzama. As Gary has pointed out theres nothing on the main slopes in the way of walling or remnants.
If you look carefully you will also see the faint path of the original road.
There is incidently an old 'imusi' actually on the battlefield itself, towards the North on the reverse side of the Rock Ridge, and a number of old foundations around the Conical Koppie ( Amatutshane).
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:04 pm

just out of interest this post/thread contains more information about a potential 'witt's kraal

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Has anyone any photos of the kraal mentioned by Neil A?

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:54 am

Sime
This is the conversation I refered to earlier between Mike and a forum member.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:27 am

Raises a lot of interesting questions... If the two stone kraals seen by LTC Snook and mentioned by Witt were used as a last-ditch defensive position by LT Anstey and the remnants of Co. F, this would strongly imply that they had at least some reserve of ammunition left, further debunking the myth that ammo supply/resupply was at fault for Isandlwana. It also implies that Anstey was able to maintain tactical cohesion within his unit to a far greater extent than previously thought. Would be very interesting to see the results of an archaelogical survey of the area.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:45 am

Sime and Warrior
there are 5 old kraals in that immediate are. Sime Ive sent you an aerial photo of the area, possibly you could post it for me.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:30 am

I have taken three maps showing the locations of cairns and monuments. and attempted to put them all in the same orientation. On the left is the Natal Provincial Roads Departments map of 1893 (courtesy of Frank), in the middle is Boast's map and on the right is the Jackson/Whybra's map from Hill of the Sphinx. In each case I have marked Shepstone's Cross and the group of five cairns to help with location. Boasts map is difficult because he does not show Isandhlwana or Mhalabamkhosi - and, as Neil said back in 2010, he is not accurate with distances.

I have also marked what I take to be the L shaped group of cairns mentioned by Neil, next to which he and Snook discovered the remains of the stone "Kraals" in question. The L shape group of cairns is not particularly evident in the other two maps. Neil is tentative about whether or not they were Kraals because of size of the rocks and no obvious entrance ways - so they could all be something else. But they did sound quite substantial just 8 years ago.
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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:58 am

Sime and all
I've been over the Anstey area several times , I can honestly say I've never seen any rocks , or such , which could've been used as a Kraal area , I asked IK and he also said he's never seen or noticed Cairn Structures near Anstey in the years he's been down there .
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:14 pm

Hi

This is the photo that Frank wished me to post.

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Looking at it hypothetically - would Witt have been able to see the 'L shaped' cairns (and it associated kraals - if any) from his vantage point on the Shiyane or is it down in the dip/valley

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:31 pm

Way back between the 30s and 50s there was substantiall farming between the western slopes of iSandlwana and the Manzimyama stream. Hopefully Sime can post the photo from 1945 that shows the various imusi in the area. In addition the ground to the Immediate north stretching all the way back to the present road was a patchwork of fields.
There is of course lots of disagreement ( go figure?) of what exactly was Ansteys last stand, from the river upwards. IK comments "the last of the 24th were pushed over the neck and right down to the river before they were killed." But he skirts saying that was Anstey, " Lieutenant Anstey's body was apparently found surrounded by a clump of dead redcoats in this area."
So, as usual with iSandlwana, we don't know where Anstey died or even if his was 'the last stand'.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:02 pm

Boast's map compared with Frank's photo. Pretty good match. I have speculated about where the L shape cairns might be, but difficult because of Boast's lack of spacial accuracy.
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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:08 pm

Frank / Sime / All
The Anstey last stand area is you'd think be within the proximity of the 8 - 10 Cairns which are on the Banks of the Manzimnyama Stream .
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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal    Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:41 pm

Hi Frank
Page 417 of Zulu Rising by I.K... One of the last great concentration of the 24th was broken up on the Nek , the survivors , Lt Anstey among them , were pushed over onto the valley of the Manzimnyama . Pressed in by the right horn , and trying to avoid the Left , they veered off the track and down a slope scoured with dongas and strewn with boulders . By now the Infantryman must've been out of Ammunition , fighting with Bayonet alone . Many were no doubt wounded , all of them exhausted , traumatized , and moving slowly through the broken ground , backs now and then pressed against each other , every stumble over a rock , each snag on the spiky leaves of an Aloe , risking a tumble that might send them sprawling at the mercy of the zulu's pursuing them . As they descended into the valley , the hills closed in , robbing them of any landmarks , leaving them to follow in the wake of the mounted men , or cling to the memory of the direction of RD . Finally , nearly a Kilometre from the Nek , they struck the banks of the Manzimnyama , and they could go no further . The valley was full of zulu's killing stragglers , and the banks were so steep there was no hope that they could scramble down them in any kind of order . Here they were overrun and died , all forty of them together in a clump , with Anstey in their midst , the true last stand of the 24th ( Footnote 87 ) States
Umhoti describes how one group of the 24th was driven down the manzimnyama ; Papers in the Anstey family confirm the body of Edgar Anstey was found there . Edgar's Brother , Capt T.H.Anstey , RE , completed a survey of the Battlefield in Nov 79 , during the course of which , according to family sources , he recovered a blood stained handkerchief from Edgars remains . A Cluster of Cairns on the banks of the Manzimnyama is believed to mark the spot today .


To me it seems to show a very good idea of who , what , and where regarding Anstey etc ! .
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:17 pm

Sorry I was merely quoting Ians own words. But despite the hyperbole from Zulu Rising there is still no evidence that Anstey died in a last stand with his men. The possibility still exists, and always will do unless further evidence is produced, that Anstey could have died at an earlier point. In 1879 the ground was virtually bare of trees so a distance of 100 metres from the stream could easily be construed as being on the banks, unlike today. As you well know there are a number of cairns showing the bleed of from the company showing a very fast degradation of the numbers, any one of those could mark the spot Anstey fell.

But its obscuring the discussion on the possibility of there being a kraal in the area used as a defensive post. I don't personally believe that the kraal seen by Witt was that low down towards the stream so if a kraal was being defended its highly likely it would have been higher up the slope.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:08 pm

Steve/Sime if you have 'A Soldier Artist in Zululand' look at page 92. It shows a view from the top of Shiyane through a telescope. Lloyd has drawn two imusi on the lower western slopes of iSandlwana.
The view is quite wide and those are the only two indicated.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:41 pm

Frank

I am looking at plate 81 - can't see anything! What is an imusi?
In plate 82 is the defile going into the bottom right corner the start of the fugitives trail?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:09 pm

Steve
Look towards the bottom of the slope on the left, two smallish 'houses' haven't got the drawing at hand so cant get too accurate, I will check again in the morning.
82 is the view of the saddle, I think, the RD road goes of to the left the donga is to its right. Fugites trail would be diagonally of to the right.

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:49 pm

With the aid of a magnifying glass I think I see what you mean. Two sets of blue blobs at the bottom of the slope in back of Isandhlwana. Boast's supposed kraals appear to be much more at the back of Mahlambhamkosi and there is no sign in Lloyd's sketch. Perhaps too low down to be seen from the Oskarberg.

I find it hard to believe that stones large enough to prompt speculation by Aspinshaw and Snook as recently as 2010 can now have disappeared entirely. Can only assume we are talking about different locations.

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:41 pm

There is a tantelising little piece of evidence relating to a structure in W. Granger's account to his mother on the 23rd May.
'..... I rode up to the camp and Lieutenant Scott gave me more ammunition and I went behind a stone wall to the right of the camp. There were one or two Carbineers and several of the 24th.'

Could this stone wall be part of a settlement in that area perhaps?

Kate Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:49 pm

This is Franks other 1945 aerial photo of the west of isandlwana

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There appears to be 2 circular Kraals West of hill but of what date......

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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal    Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:40 am

Hi Frank
The footnote I mentioned in the Hard Cover Zulu Rising does explain about Anstey , Frank , you may've quoted Ian but you neglected to post any of the details from Zulu Rising. The bodies were , and are located under the Cairns , which are on , or near the bank of the Manzimnyama .

Kate
I think the wall mentioned by Granger is the one which may've been mentioned as being near Black's Koppie ? . If you climb Black's Koppie it's said you can notice the disturbance of the ground , or the formation of some foundations ?. I seem to remember that it was mentioned as being in that area ?. Salute

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:39 am

Morning Gary
We will have to agree to disagree, firstly Anstey is buried in the UK seccond there is still no proof, Ians entry included, that its where Anstey died, obviously there were/are bodies there but that offers no proof at all.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:46 am

SRB
The word is 'stony' not 'sloping'. And your initial map comes from the Official Narrative.
Gardner
Granger's stone wall is the wrong side of the nek to be the site for Anstey's last stand.
Frank et al.
The only 'proof' as such might be the fact that Anstey's brother knew exactly where to look for his brother's body in order to recover it.  But in general I agree that something more solid needs to be dug up (literally).  
And more was taken away than just a bloody handkerchief.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:08 am

Julian,

Isn't 'stony' the third word?

It looks to me like 'something and stony ground' - with 'something and' above 'stony ground' - but my eyesight is notoriously poor......

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:19 am

Julian Whybra wrote:
 
And more was taken away than just a bloody handkerchief.

So was a hankie used to identify the potential body of 'Anstey'?

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:31 am

SRB
I see what you mean. It says 'slight rise and'.
I don't believe a hankie was used to identify Anstey.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:56 am

Thank you.

In that case, I am baffled about the bloody handkerchief line.

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:16 pm

Sime
Between the L shaped cairns and the stream is a straight line grouping of around 6 cairns. Just to the south of those cairns are the remnants of a kraal. I cannot imagine the local Zulu with all their superstitious dread of the dead building that close to a considerable grave area so there is the possibility that it could be a very old structure. As to could it be sean from RD, Im looking through the library for a photo that would prove it one way or another. However this is a long way down the trail.

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:55 pm

A long way down the trial both research wise and geographically..... Wink

Without wishing to be thought of as the MBO (Master Of the Bloody Obvious) - the crux of the thread is -

What kraal did Witt see  - the ones nearer to Isandlwana or somewhere down the trial.....?
Could the soldiers within the kraal be associated with any particular stand (e.g. Anstey)?

Obviously any stone structure could or would act as a rallying point or temporary sanctuary, to any group of soldiers.

I would have thought that when the 24th were buried by the British (May/June) or during the initial look at the field (and still being sort of recognisable - through any uniforms not stripped by the Zulus), a note would have been taken of any group of British who died within or around structure/kraal.

Of course as soon as Witt lowered his field glasses/telescope (if he used something) - the defenders could have been driven out or made a dash for it.

Cheers

Sime

ps obviously the Zulus are no longer that superstitious - not where they are building the new palace thing..... Wink
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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal    Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:57 pm

Hi Frank
I'm aware Anstey is buried in the UK , that was in itself because his Brother T.A. Anstey actually found his body !. As Knight mentioned , there seems to have been correspondence regarding the finding of Edgar's body between family members , which as far as I'm aware are yet to be in the Public Domain .
Julian
Not to sure how you would be able to identify anybody that's been lying in the African bush for 10 months , without the possible aid of a Monogrammed Handkerchief , or something similar ? . Read the footnote ( 87 ) on page 653 in the Hard Cover edition of Zulu Rising .
90th
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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal    Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:00 pm

Sime I haven't climbed to the top of Shiyane ( yet ) , Ian K has several times , he said you cant see the banks of the Manzimnyama , or Ansteys last stand position from the top .
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PostSubject: Witt's Kraal    Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:14 pm

Hi Frank
In regard to you saying there is no proof where Anstey was located please read Footnote ( 8 ) page 47 of Jackson's ' Hill Of The Sphinx ' . The same note may also clear up the Kraal idea .
90th .
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:46 pm

Again Gary there is no proof at all other than a notation that says Anstey gained the Manzimyama. On what is that statement based? Im more than happy to be proved wrong but that cant be by unsupported family rumour. Umhoti merely says the soldiers on the Manzimyama were wiped out.
Sorry mate even Ian says its 'a presumed spot'.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:25 pm

Hi Gary
Yes Ian's right. I was on top of Shiyane last year. The day was pretty clear with just a very fine haze but I couldn't see the Manzimnyama either.
Unfortunately when I was on Black's Koppie this year the weather was mingin' with high grass so no sign of dry outlines Sad
Have to look next time I'm over there.
Julian
Not saying the wall was the sight of Anstey's last stand. Just brought it up as  proof of possible settlements in the Nek area.

It could be that any stone from settlements in that area could have been robbed out to make the cairns. Just a thought.

Kate  Very Happy
( p.s. a monogrammed handkerchief found on a body is not the sort of evidence to be sniffed at)
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:20 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Detail of the iSandlwana map from Holden’s British Rule...

JY
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:40 pm

Hi John,

It seems like this map has drawn heavily on the Noggs one?

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:53 pm

Sime,

Published prior to Mr. Newman’s work.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:50 am

JY

I agree with Sime there are just too many similarities with the Newman map. Newman produced it for the Natal Mercury appearing on 4 February 1879 - Holden wasn't before that was he?

Steve Reinstadtler
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:46 am

Steve,

I posted the detail of Holden’s map as it is fairly clear image showing the kraals.  

I mistakenly thought Sime was referring to Newman’s book.  Holden beat him to the publication date there.

Isn’t the Newman’s map actually the Willoughby’s map?  Or I’m I mistaken again?

JY
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:08 am

Newmans map was compiled during late January early Feb in PMB.
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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:25 am

Hi,

Yeah sorry - I was referring to the 'brown' map posted by Steve on the 29th May

Cheers

Sime

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PostSubject: Re: 'Witts' Kraal   Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:40 am

N-N's map was put together by him during his return journey to PMB in the week after Isandhlwana.
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