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 Captain Gardner's Escort

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WeekendWarrior

WeekendWarrior

Posts : 121
Join date : 2017-07-21
Location : San Diego, CA

Captain Gardner's Escort Empty
PostSubject: Captain Gardner's Escort   Captain Gardner's Escort EmptyTue Mar 09, 2021 8:36 pm

Captain Gardner, Major Smith et al rode to Isandlwana accompanied by an escort of ten Mounted Infantrymen. Does anyone have the slightest clue as to the identity of these men? Aside from possibly William Papworth, Gardner's civilian servant (although it's equally likely he was left in the camp on the morning of the 22nd).
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gardner1879

gardner1879

Posts : 83
Join date : 2021-01-04

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Gardner's Escort   Captain Gardner's Escort EmptyTue Mar 09, 2021 10:38 pm

It is an interesting point you make about about William being out with Alan that morning.
In Rifle and Spear I use a little artistic licence and write a short fictional piece about Alan shaking hands with William before he rides off into the mist with Chelmsford's column on that fateful morning and I've always assumed that William remained in the camp.
He was a civilian, not mounted infantry,so I don't think he would have gone out with a fighting force. Other aids of senior officers, such as Private John William's, Glyn's groom were left behind.
However as we know so little about him, he could have been a retired Hussar or trooper from the Derbyshire Yeomanry that Alan got to know during his stint with them. If he was he may have been more likely to have gone out with them to 'have a  bash'.

Alan makes no mention of William being with him out at Mgogo and as soon as Alan returns all hell breaks lose and I think its highly likely he never saw him again.
As a civilian he would certainly not have been with Alan when he took Bradstreet's men out in his gallant action to shore up the British right flank nor when he valiantly tried to pull a scratch force together and get through to Lord Chelmsford.
I can imagine Alan, that morning,telling him to look after his tent and spare horses and that was the last he saw of him.

Although I can't prove it 100%, I would say theres more than a fair chance he was left behind in the camp.
Unless more information comes to light we will just have to speculate.
Kate Very Happy
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WeekendWarrior

WeekendWarrior

Posts : 121
Join date : 2017-07-21
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Gardner's Escort   Captain Gardner's Escort EmptyTue Mar 09, 2021 10:50 pm

I'd certainly agree. Just reviewed the casualty rosters I have readily available, comparing them to the David Jackson's research...

28 Mounted Infantrymen present at Isandlwana, including the 10 pax of Gardner's escort.
11 Mounted Infantry KIA named, 17 survivors.

I'll check England's Sons but it does add up numberwise. No indication that Papworth accompanied Gardner at all, although I do wonder if you're right that they had met while both on active duty. I'm no records guru but it makes for interesting speculation.

For MI survivors, only Evans, Wassall and Westwood left any type of accounts that I currently have- and they don't appear to have been part of Gardner's escort.
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