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Trumpeter J. J. Horne, Newcastle Mounted
Rifles, shot through the leg he was fortunate to escape the massacre at Fugitive’s Drift and, some 50 years later, related his story to a newspaper reporter.
“Around 75 European officers and men escaped the massacre at Isandhlwana, John Joseph Horne appearing on the list of survivors.
posted to Helpmekaar on 24 January 1879.
No better summary of Horne’s military career may be quoted than the following feature which appeared in the Natal Advertiser on 24
January 1920, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Isandhlwana:
‘A surprising number of lsandhlwana survivors has been revealed by the 50 years’ peace celebrations. Mr. John J. Horne, an organiser
of the Newcastle Mounted
Volunteer Corps in 1875, and one of the survivors of lsandhlwana, is still hale and hearty and lives in Durban.
His account of the preparations for the battle at lsandhlwana shed new light on why no laager was formed. He and his corps were.
stationed at the far end of the camp and two members of his corps, Berning and Dinckleman, were on vedette duty about four miles out.
of camp Dinckleman rode into Home with the report that the natives were approaching in mass formation. Colonel Durnford, then in command, rode up, and Horne passed on the report to him. The Colonel ordered the dispatching of the ox. wagons and the formation of a laager, but shortly afterwards Colonel Pulleine rode up with an auxiliary force and the laager was not. formed. Why the order was countermanded is not known to Horne. Horne escaped the massacre with a shot through the leg. Mr. Horne's career has had more excitement during a year than most people.
have in their lives. In 1870 he was given an appointment in the Government service at Ladysmith. He joined the Natal Frontier Guards in 1871. In 1873 they were ordered out on the Langalibalele rebellion. He was one of the first volunteers to join up when the trouble. started. During the course of the campaign, he went into Basutoland by way of the Double Mountains and the Bushman's Pass, under Captain Ellis, where they captured their man and brought him to the gaol at Matitzburg. In the latter end of 1875 Mr. Horne was transferred to Newcastle, where he acted in many civic roles through the lack of other officials. Mr. Melmoth was magistrate of Newcastle at the time and when he received a request from a Major Dartnell to raise a mounted
corps he asked Horne to do it. After official sanction had been obtained Horne raised a force of 37 men, whom he trained and drilled. In 1877 the Major inspected the corps and paid its organiser a compliment as to its efficiency. It was then brigaded with the Buffalo Border Guard between Newcastleand Dundee. A year later the corps was called up for the campaign the first leg of which ended in the disaster at Isandhlwana.’ Just 38 South Africa Medals were issued to the Newcastle Mounted
Rifles, at least seven of whom were killed in action on 22nd January.1879