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 Which Trooper Brown?

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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Which Trooper Brown?   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySat Mar 23, 2019 9:50 am

I have been having an interesting discussion with “The Major” outside of the forum over the discovery of the bodies of Lieutenant & Captain Robert Barton, Coldstream Guards and Lieutenant James Poole, Border Horse.

Wood in his autobiography states the bodies were discovered by Trooper Brown, V.C., who I assume to be Trooper Peter Brown, V.C., formerly of the Cape Mounted Rifles.

However, Ron Lock in Blood on the Painted Mountain credits Trooper Robert “Bobby” Brown, D.C.M., formerly of the Frontier Light Horse, with the discovery. Yet I know he returned to the U.K. in 1879, as he received his D.C.M. at Windsor Castle, in December of that year.

The matter is further complicated on the V.C./G.C. site who attribute Trooper Peter Brown’s Victoria Cross presentation as being by Sir Garnet Wolseley, which I find hard to believe Wolseley left South Africa on 5th May 1880, a little under a month after Brown’s name appeared in The London Gazette of 12th April 1880.

Any thoughts, anyone?

JY
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Which Trooper Brown   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 3:52 am

Hi JY
You've probably done the same as me but I checked Wolseley's SA Journal 1879-80 , there is no mention of him bestowing the VC to Trooper Brown , Wolseley , as you are aware , embarked at Durban on April 27th to proceed to the UK , he had stops at Port Elizabeth and Cape Town from memory . Where was Lt Edward Stephenson Browne while Wood was with Eugenie's Party , could he have been the ' Brown(e) ' ? .
90th
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Which Trooper Brown?   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 9:33 am

Bonjour John,
I am not sure that helps but it is an FLH Trooper who saw Barton killed.
Source Natal Colonist, Saturday 12 April 1879, quoted in "The Boiling Cauldon", p. 273.
Frédéric
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Which Trooper Brown?   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 10:44 am

Frédéric,

Personally, I think the only people that saw Robert Barton die were Zulu.

His body was found someway off of the beaten track.

Other reports even confuse who he is actually carrying with him, one report has it he was carrying Rupert Weatherley.

Thanks anyway,

JY
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Captain Barton   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 4:36 pm

Hi JY,


This may help. Taken from page  89, 'History of the NMP', by Holt.

quote ;
' From the camp at the Ityotyosi ( Princess  Eugenie's, that is) two of the Police were guided by a Zulu to the remains of Capt Barton, Grenadier Guards. This officer, when attempting to escape from Hlobane , had been followed by three Zulus  for a considerable distance , being overtaken and killed . His fate remained unknown until his body was pointed out'. unquote.


I have more on this about the actual discovery and what was removed from the scene, The descoverers performed a burial  of Barton's remains there too.  Based on the itinerary of the French Royal tour the finding of Barton's remains would have been in May of that year.
No Brown is mentioned in any of this. If the  quoted text above is correct, no one else did  know where this officer got to, or his fate.


regards



barry


Last edited by barry on Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Which Trooper Brown?   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 5:13 pm

Barry,

If anything it actually confuses the issue further. Holt manages to get Barton’s unit wrong, and no Coldstreamer that I know would like to have been referred as a Grenadier as they are Nulli Secundus.

Wood states the items removed were buttons from Barton’s breeches, and a squadron pay book from his pocket, does that coincide with the items that you know of?

I know that “The Major” is going to undertake some research in PMB. Hopefully the truth will out - eventually.

Thanks,

JY

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barry

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PostSubject: Capt Barton   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 5:20 pm

Hi John,
Don't shoot the messenger.
Exactly how many  Capt bartons were there.?

regards

barry
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Which Trooper Brown?   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 5:41 pm

Barry,

As if I would...

Regarding your Barton query, too many, and it leads to confusion amongst some folk.

JY
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barry

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PostSubject: Capt Barton.   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 6:22 pm

Hi JY,
The date of finding the body was May 27th 1880.
The Zulu who fired the shot through Bartons thigh  after  pursuing him for 12 miles,  showed Cpl Clarke NMP the remains. They erected a cairn of stones over the  body. They found Barton's cap and pocket book at his side. The Zulu returned his sword. During the chase the Zulu said  Capt Barton had tried several times to shoot him with his revolver, but it failed to discharge each time.
The Zulu did not mention any other person being with Barton during the chase.

source ; the unpublised war diaries of Tpr Clarke NMP/NP/SAMR/REF; Vol 1 page 63
 

regards

barry
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Which Trooper Brown?   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 6:56 pm

A Trooper Brown (unit and first-name are not mentioned) was also with Wood's expedition towards Hlobane's mountain at the beginning of September 1881.
"Trooper Brown, a smart, useful man, who had been selected from great many others to accompany the expedition".
Sorry, again that's not help!
Frédéric
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Which Trooper Brown?   Which Trooper Brown? EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 7:26 pm

Barry,

Thanks for that I wonder if the pocket book was the squadron pay book?

Wood has it that the grave was marked with a black painted wooden cross on which was cut Robert Barton, killed in action, 28th March 1879.

We should get Commissioner Clarke on the case!

Frederic,

Well at least we can discount Trooper Robert Barton, DCM, from that expedition as he was already deceased by then.

JY



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90th

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PostSubject: Which Trooper Brown   Which Trooper Brown? EmptyMon Mar 25, 2019 1:37 am

Hi JY
I've always read that Lt Col Frederick Weatherley was killed when trying to save his son Rupert , I think Capt Dennison was an eye witness ? , also have only ever read that Lt Pool(e) was killed with Barton. As per my earlier post , and I realise it's a longshot , but could the trooper Brown VC been a mix up with E.S.Browne 24th Regt VC , could he have possibly gone out with Wood and Eugenie ? .
90th Salute
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Which Trooper Brown?   Which Trooper Brown? EmptyMon Mar 25, 2019 1:53 am

Smoko,

I gave that example as to how questionable some of the reporting was in the Natal newspapers was.

I believe that we can discount Lieutenant Browne from the mix, as there is no evidence to support it.

JY
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PostSubject: Capt Barton   Which Trooper Brown? EmptyMon Mar 25, 2019 3:18 am

Hi JY,

I take it that you are happy that we have the right man. I will check other sources which I have to see if I can cross reference any of this. I assume the Barton gravesite is some 20kms from the Hlobane action.


A little more about the activities on 27/05/1880;
On that day Wood and Princess Eugenie's entourage were visiting  Fort Newdigate , there to place a wreath and plant poppy seeds on the grave of Lt Frith, 17th Lancers, who by all accounts had been shot by his own men.  Thus, Wood was not present with Clarke when Barton's remains were found. There was another person there as Clarke refers to 'we'.


On the way back from Fort Newdigate, Wood shot a Hartebeest  with Clarke's carbine, which he had borrowed and then kept. The Hartebeest became a 'braai' that night at the Ityotyosi camp, feeding the whole Royal entourage. Clarke had no difficulty , on returning to PMBG sans his rifle, telling Maj Dartnell where it was, and how he a mere corporal then, had trained the General earlier in the tour to shoot 'properly'  with his carbine.



Checking the names listed for the French Royal entourage I see that a Brown, Hutton and Ford were listed as 'servants' . This may tally with both 90th's and ymobs posts. I seem to remember too that the servants chosen were selected because of their proven military prowess.
regards

barry
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Which Trooper Brown?   Which Trooper Brown? EmptyMon Mar 25, 2019 6:43 am

Barry,

Thanks for all of that.

Wood had experienced previous difficulties with carbines, Fowler at Khambula proved that.

I have forwarded some of your information on to “The Major” to help him progress matters in KZN.

Regards,

JY
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