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 The search for Gardner's mysterious German

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John Young

John Young

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyWed Nov 20, 2019 3:27 pm

Please see the following post.

JY


Last edited by John Young on Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:19 pm; edited 3 times in total
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John Young

John Young

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyWed Nov 20, 2019 5:03 pm

A request for help from Kate (gardner1879):-
I've been trying to track down the mysterious German who agrees to help Alan and rides out with him from Helpmekaar, that he mentions in his letter home to his father dated 26th Jan 1879. (RaSwtZ p182)
Up till now I've sort of drawn a blank but recently I enjoyed reading Major Stabb’s diary and there in his 27th June entry he talks about meeting a German called Herrman about 12 miles from Dundee.
“to Washbank 13 miles. A German (Mr Herrmann) in charge of commissariat. Very civil and obliging.”

This got me thinking and I started to do a bit of digging.
In for God Queen and Colony there is a Sgt H. Hermann (one less 'R')on p309. N.N.C. Batt. Unknown.
He crops up again on page 305 as part of the 3rd Contingent N.N.C. and it says, unlike most of his colleagues who died at iSandlwana, he transferred to Bettington's Horse. As we know Bettington’s Horse amalgamated into the Native Horse at RD in February 1879 from the disbanded 3rd Battalion N.N.C.
Looking at Bettington’s Horse rolls on p34 he crops up as a corporal.

Seems Hermann was issued the 1879 medal with clasp which was returned to the mint.

His being seen by Stabb near Dundee could explain perhaps that he left Bettington's Horse joining the commissariat and returned to the area he lived. If this is the case his local knowledge, so useful to Alan in getting to Dundee, is explained!
The fly or flies in the ointment though are as follows,
He’s not shown in 'England Sons' as an iSandlwana survivor nor Dutton’s as being at Helpmekaar. However nor is he shown on the RD defenders list, though he could have been out with Chelmsford on the 22nd. Does anyone have a list of the N.N.C. N.C.O’s who went out that morning?
There is no mention of a Herrmann family in Sheila Henderson’s chapter on the war in the Dundee sector ‘The Zulu war and the Colony of Natal’. Though according to Ian Knight there was a German community downstream from RD at Elandskraal.
There were also Germans in Neu-Deutschland in the south, where they had their own volunteer corps, the New Germany Rifles and up in Luneberg in the north, where Moriarty is buried.(John Young)
However had my mystery German belonged to either groups chances are he would not have had a good knowledge of the Dundee area.

In addition the Berlin Mission Society was active in Natal/Zulu though would they serve with the British military?




Also in Harford’s almanac:-
‘Corporal H. Hermaan, 1st/3rd N.N.C., was present at Rorke’s Drift on the morning of 23rd January 1879.

It was there that he provided his next-of-kin details to his Adjutant, Lieutenant Henry Charles Harford. Harford recorded Herman’s next-of-kin as Mr. J. Noble, Alice St., Port Elizabeth in his 1879 almanac.’
Harford also mentions the survivors of iSandlwana - Corporal H. Hermaan is not one of them - as well as answering the eternal question that G. W. Adendorff was present at the Defence of Rorke’s Drift.
(courtesy of John Young)

However looking once again at Alan's letter he says he reached Dandu (sic) at daybreak and his conductor refused to go any further. (Could Alan be using the word conductor here to mean a leader or guide rather than a wagon conductor?)
He doesn't mention why but could the ‘conductor ‘ have then ridden to RD to report to his superiors? Thus speaking to Harford that morning, though why would he not mention he had been at iSandlwana? Could he have been ashamed for leaving or might Harford forgot to have put his name down?
Also his next of kin is a man in Port Elizabeth. Hermann may have lived alone in the Dundee area but his N.O.K. friend, lawyer, business partner or whoever he may have been might not have. (N.O.K. does not necessarily have to be family)

I know there are a lot of ifs and maybes but in the light of not knowing Hermann’s location on the day, isn’t rather strange, there is a German at Helpmekaar after iSandlwana. A man called Hermann is possibly at iSandlwana with the rest of his unit who are KIA.
Five months later a German crops up connected with the British military in the same area near Dundee called Herrmann.
Suspicious hmm or not?

Could this be my mystery German and perhaps another unaccounted for iSandlwana survivor ?
If its not Hermann then who was Alan’s mystery Helpmekaar German?
Does anyone on the forum have anymore information about Hermann (either NNC Hermann or Stabb’s Herrmann) which could help prove/disprove my theory? (and it is just that)
Thank you
Kate
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Julian Whybra



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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyWed Nov 20, 2019 5:43 pm

RaSwtZ - an acronym too far. John. What is this?

Can I remind you that two anonymous NNCs survived (ES nos. 76 and 77). Curiously Frederic Bomy and I think we know the identity of one. It would be wonderful to have Mr. Hermann as the other!
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barry

barry

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Herrmann the German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyWed Nov 20, 2019 6:14 pm

Hi Kate,
The name Herman is jogging my memory so will check my records to see if anything comes up. I will revert shortly on that.
However there are pockets of Germans across Natal in such places as Utrecht, Hermannsberg, New Hanover, Wartberg, Dalton, Luneberg, Paulpetersburg, Greytown and further south in New Germany(Pinetown). The name Herman there is quite common amongst them... So, plenty of opportunity from one of those.
These communities quite often joined Brit defence units and did their bit to help.

regards

Barry

PS. I would not be too pedantic about the double R, double N spelling of the name.
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John Young

John Young

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyWed Nov 20, 2019 6:16 pm

I’m pointing the finger to the north of me, Rifle and Spear with the Zulu.



JY
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 6:40 am

John/Kate
The Elandskraal community was, and still is, the Dedekind family. They date back to late 1860's early 70's.
There were a number of German communities in the area though, Bergvlille, Konisberg in Newcastle and the main area of Greytown. There was a family in Greytown named Horman ( cant for the life of me figure out how to put the two dots over the o)
The logistics of the ride sound pretty intense, riding from iSandlwana to Helpmakaar, then on to Dundee is something others did, but then after arriving there at daybreak, turning around and heading back to Helpmakaar and then back to RD in time to witness the disbanding and roll call of Harford? That to me would be the fly in the ointment.

Frank
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Julian Whybra



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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 8:42 am

John
Thanks
Frank
Try using Symbols for o umlaut.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 9:24 am

scratch Not a clue Im afraid
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1879graves

1879graves

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 9:45 am

Ö ö

Rolling Eyes
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 10:17 am

Now your just showing of. Suspect Very Happy
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1879graves

1879graves

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 10:56 am

agree

Frank, just hold down the ALT key and type 0214 (Upper Case) or 148 (Lower Case) then release the ALT key and BINGO!

Give it a go and see if it works.

Andy
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Julian Whybra



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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 11:02 am

Or click Insert at the top of the page and look for Symbols on the far right of the menu bar. click that then scroll down to what you want. It'll open up a whole new world for you!
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 12:14 pm

¡¢• (148 +Alt)
º™¡¢ (0214 +Alt)
No Bloody Bingo Andy.
And no Insert Julian. Should have mentioned its a mac. Another bit of useless rubbish the grandkids blackmailed me into buying, took me two months just to figure out how to switch it on.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 12:16 pm

Even tried to use it as a frisbee but its got a soft land facility. Sad
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1879graves

1879graves

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 12:31 pm

How do I get symbols on my Mac keyboard?
Press Command-Control-Space and by default you will see the Emoji characters. To see the Character Viewer, with special characters from any font on your Mac, click on the Character Viewer icon in the right corner of the window, or in the menu bar next to the time and date

scratch

I do not have a Mac, so I could not tell you if the above works or not, but give it a go.
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1879graves

1879graves

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 12:32 pm

How do I get symbols on my Mac keyboard?
Press Command-Control-Space and by default you will see the Emoji characters. To see the Character Viewer, with special characters from any font on your Mac, click on the Character Viewer icon in the right corner of the window, or in the menu bar next to the time and date

scratch

I do not have a Mac, so I could not tell you if the above works or not, but give it a go.
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http://zuluwar1879.tribalpages.com
90th

90th

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: The Search for Gardner's mysterious German    The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyThu Nov 21, 2019 10:41 pm

Hi Frank 'Was thinking the same thing with the distances etc , not sure it could've been done by the same man in Question , many hours required in the saddle..... to get there and back to RD to '' witness '' the disbanding . Our Test was interesting yesterday , I don't think I've seen a worse batsman in any level of cricket as was the 16 yo Debutant fast bowler for the Paki's , then again his age says it all basically ! , I felt for him facing Cummins and Starc with the new ball , and they did give him some chin music , he'll be cleaned up if he isn't taught the fundamentals of batting ! .
90th Salute

PS. I'm with you Frank re the symbol's ...... Speak English please Julian and Andy ! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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John Young

John Young

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyFri Nov 22, 2019 11:35 am

Hi Frank/Gary,

Yes it is a fly and there many buzzing around in there.

However if you look at Google Maps there is a route to RD from Dundee. There is no need for him to go back to Helpmekaar and then RD.

According to GM, on foot it takes 8hrs 29mins and is 26miles (41.9km.)However to an experienced horsemen who knows the area on a tough Basuto pony you could probably half or even third this to 3/4 hours.

If he left at daybreak (civil twilight 4:55am according to JW studies) this would mean he would arrive at RD between 8 - 9am and in time for Harford's roll call. Plus if you think Alan goes on to ride to Utrecht 40 miles (64km) that day after everything he experienced.


Just a thought.


Kate
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Frank Allewell

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyFri Nov 22, 2019 12:56 pm

John/Kate
Still playing devils advocate and hoping you can 'swat' me down because I like the theory. However! Why would he want to bust a gut doing that ride? I cant see the motivation at all!
If however he was terribly conscientious about his duty and wanted to get back the most common route would have been Helpmakaar and then down the bridal trail, thats the logical route. There is a second route down the Knostrop, no reason to do that as its longer and worse, and then there is a third ( Look rather at the March 1879 maps from the Intelligence Department, now theres an Oxymoron for you) that route goes past fort Pine then down along the side of the Noma Hill range and crosses the Intenti/Buffalo at Robsons Drift.

Using modern day google wont give you the 140 year ago perspective Im afraid.
But the motivation is your biggest fly.
Happy swatting
Regards
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John Young

John Young

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyFri Nov 22, 2019 1:04 pm

Frank,

Don’t include me in this I’m only the messenger.

Plus I’m too busy demolishing my Bo Kaap curry.

JY
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Frank Allewell

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyFri Nov 22, 2019 1:05 pm

With a well worn track from Helpmakaar to Dundee why would he want a guide? Pitch black I , almost, hear you say! Then what use would a guide be with out a light source?
Hummmm.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyFri Nov 22, 2019 1:23 pm

Ah, take away or eat in?
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John Young

John Young

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptyFri Nov 22, 2019 1:35 pm

Home made!  Keeping warm inside on this grey afternoon.

JY
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptySat Nov 23, 2019 10:30 am

Gary
been watching the test of and on, glad to see your RSA import is doing well, got a big future that lad. Interestingly his big brother played for Japan in the rugby world cup. When we say rainbow nation we really mean it! agree
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barry

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptySun Nov 24, 2019 12:37 pm

JY,
Pray, here did you get a genuine BO-Kaap curry from??


regards

barry
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John Young

John Young

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The search for Gardner's mysterious German Empty
PostSubject: Re: The search for Gardner's mysterious German   The search for Gardner's mysterious German EmptySun Nov 24, 2019 12:52 pm

Hi Barry,

It helps to have friends in high places...

‘Nuff said.

Cape Malay curry or a Bobotie this week sometime this week.

JY
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