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Zulu Dawn:“Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the track down to Rorke's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders my Lord? Do we move to the drift?”
 
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 Lt Chard and his sighting of Zulu enemy at Isandlwana

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Shelldon



Posts : 4
Join date : 2016-09-28

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PostSubject: Lt Chard and his sighting of Zulu enemy at Isandlwana   Lt Chard and his sighting of Zulu enemy at Isandlwana EmptySat Jan 19, 2019 5:51 pm

I'm a little confused by Lt Chard's report about arriving at Isandlwana on the morning of the 22nd Jan.

He wrote that he was lent a field-glass by a NCO of the 24th, and through them could see the enemy moving on distant hills, and apparently in great force.

Chard continued watching them moving to his left until the lion hill of Isandlwana, on my left as I looked at them, hid them from my view.

From this Chard then went on to say he though that perhaps the Zulu were to make a dash for the ponts. On leaving Isandlwana, he meets Col Durnford a quarter mile way - and considering most agree than Durnford arrived at Isandlwana at 10:30, means Chard must of left at around say 10am/10:15am.

So my question is, who were the Zulu's he spotted? It must have been a company of NNC surely? For Chard to have spotted any Zulu's in the distant hills means that they were silhouetted on the ridge line of the Nqutu plateau, there's no other explanation (in my mind anyway).

Am I right?
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 74
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Chard and his sighting of Zulu enemy at Isandlwana   Lt Chard and his sighting of Zulu enemy at Isandlwana EmptySun Jan 20, 2019 4:43 am

Morning Sheldon.
It doesnt appear that Chard ventured to much further into the camp than the HQ tent looking for his orders. The regiment was on standby at the time.Looking from the HQ position across at the ridge there is no sighting of the spur and portion of Mkwene hill is blocked. Chard doesnt say the force he witnessed went behind the hill, rather the hill blocked his view.
Ive had the same problem as yourself in trying to come to terms with a large column of men INSIDE the perimeter of the piquets. And to be visible from the camp they would have to be, as you point out, on the ridge line or below the ridge on the iSandlwana side.
If they were NNC, then which group?
Regards
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Simonsole



Posts : 16
Join date : 2020-06-14

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Chard and his sighting of Zulu enemy at Isandlwana   Lt Chard and his sighting of Zulu enemy at Isandlwana EmptyWed Nov 18, 2020 10:07 am

I am decades late to this conversation but I am likewise puzzled. I have used Google Earth Viewshed feature to map exactly what Chard could and could not see from the command tent. He could only have seen beyond the ridge if he had climbed the mountain and he did not. I commend Viewshed (and the profile feature) to the group as a useful tool which allows you to do some inter-visibility analysis from afar, but it all confirmed by what is clearly visible and from photos. I suppose the view over the Nyoni Ridge might be slightly more obscured than it was on the day as there are more buildings there, but not many from my memory. My hypothesis is that what Chard saw were Zulu recce and command parties. the hardest thing to judge might have been the size of them.

The relevance of this now is the RE Museum have launch a crowd funding campaign to buy the Chard Papers. What they say they are buying is here. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"Of particular interest is Chards own hand-written report on the Battle of Rorke's Drift. A draft of the report written for Queen Victoria, this document is a wonderfully annotated insight into this famous action. We are also interested in the acquisition of Chard's photograph album and his drawing set, as used whilst at Chatham."

The draft of the Queen Victoria letter is interesting as it speaks to the provenance of that important record of what was and was not seen am 22 Jan. I gather some think the Chard letter was heavily coached perhaps by staff officers of Chelmsford. Any views?

The sale was 17 Dec and I am not sure if they got it.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 74
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Lt Chard and his sighting of Zulu enemy at Isandlwana   Lt Chard and his sighting of Zulu enemy at Isandlwana EmptyWed Nov 18, 2020 10:56 am

Simon have a look at the Pope diary entry for clarification on the size
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