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 Isolated Graves in Zululand

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Richie Rich

Richie Rich


Posts : 21
Join date : 2018-10-23
Age : 49
Location : Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Isolated Graves in Zululand Empty
PostSubject: Isolated Graves in Zululand   Isolated Graves in Zululand EmptyFri Jun 11, 2021 7:57 am

After exploring the remains of Fort Newdigate, our party of Zulu War enthusiasts were led to the three nearby isolated graves located just off the gravel road. Although overgrown, neglected and rather marshy, the faithful few managed to approach and locate the graves. Unfortunately, only one is still officially identifiable, that being to Lt. Frederick John Cokayne Frith of the 17th Lancers. Frith was shot through the heart during a skirmish on 5th June 1879 near the Upoko River. His burial was attended by Lord Chelmsford and General Newdigate himself. As he was present with Frith when shot, I am also certain that my favourite character from the campaign - Colonel Drury Lowe (at this time still in his saddle...no cheek intended) was also at the grave side. There is one reference I found where it mentions that another two troopers were killed in the same skirmish and buried alongside Frith, but general consensus suggests otherwise and the two other graves alongside Frith remain unknown with some banter previously on this forum suggesting that they were probably stationed at Fort Newdigate and died from disease. Regardless, I hope that one day soon I can return to their graves and take some time to clean up and pay homage and respect to these poor souls lying remote on the pleins of Zululand.

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John Young

John Young


Posts : 2426
Join date : 2013-09-08
Age : 66
Location : Слава Україні! Героям слава!

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PostSubject: Re: Isolated Graves in Zululand   Isolated Graves in Zululand EmptyFri Jun 11, 2021 3:02 pm

Richie Rich,

Frith was the only person killed in action during the skirmish of 5th June 1879, so it rather casts doubt on the reference that you have discovered. Do you have the source of the reference?

JY
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Richie Rich

Richie Rich


Posts : 21
Join date : 2018-10-23
Age : 49
Location : Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Isolated Graves in Zululand Empty
PostSubject: Re: Isolated Graves in Zululand   Isolated Graves in Zululand EmptyFri Jun 11, 2021 3:55 pm

I seem to recall it was on a previous post on this forum sometime back....where the poster referred to a Pte. Edward D. McToy and his delightful history of the 13th Regiment in South Africa 1877/1879 where it mentions that two troopers were killed with Lt. Frith. The poster did suggest that the recording was probably erroneous but nevertheless referred to the observations made by this Pte. McToy.
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Richie Rich

Richie Rich


Posts : 21
Join date : 2018-10-23
Age : 49
Location : Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Isolated Graves in Zululand Empty
PostSubject: Re: Isolated Graves in Zululand   Isolated Graves in Zululand EmptyFri Jun 11, 2021 3:59 pm

There seems to be so many different versions of events here. I was just searching this forum and see that on 25/03/2019 the following information refers to Frith which here again, goes against my source of information and I quote: "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". - Unquote. As to where the truth lies.....??
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John Young

John Young


Posts : 2426
Join date : 2013-09-08
Age : 66
Location : Слава Україні! Героям слава!

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PostSubject: Re: Isolated Graves in Zululand   Isolated Graves in Zululand EmptyFri Jun 11, 2021 5:50 pm

Richie Rich,

I been digging through my sources, McToy on page 70 does indeed state...killing Lieutenant and Adjutant Frith, two troopers, 17th Lancers, and a number of horses, and wounding several...

The London Gazette records Frith’s death see: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/24745/page/4586

On the night of 6th June 1879 there was the alarm and subsequent “friendly-fire” incident on the site were Fort Newdigate would be built.  

Miles Gissop of the 17th Lancers records in his journal - which published in the Journal of the Society of Army Historical Research Volume 58, No. 234, both of those events.  In the case of the latter episode he records that a Sergeant of the Royal Engineers, was mortally wounded.  I have tried to find a cross-reference to that but as yet to no avail.

If that is the case it might account for one of the graves at least.

JY
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell


Posts : 8220
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 75
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Isolated Graves in Zululand   Isolated Graves in Zululand EmptySat Jun 12, 2021 7:06 am

What I find so superb is that tours through the battlefields are again taking place. I think I can honestly state that that a couple of Aussies and certainly a pair of young ladies from the the Uk are pretty jealous right now. I know I am. Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad
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90th

90th


Posts : 10471
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 66
Location : Melbourne, Australia

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PostSubject: Isolated Graves in Zululand    Isolated Graves in Zululand EmptySun Jun 13, 2021 2:55 am

Frank you've got that right , what are the case numbers in KZN ? . When I'm over next it'll be for 2 months , Kate is coming with me , she also can't wait to get back ! .
90th
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell


Posts : 8220
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 75
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Isolated Graves in Zululand   Isolated Graves in Zululand EmptySun Jun 13, 2021 11:12 am

We are into the 3rd wave Gary, nationally its around 8000 a day infections, mostly TVL and the Cape but Natal is going to catch up quickly. The inoculation is not progressing as well as it should so its a dead slow and stop situation. My wife has just been told she can get her jab on tuesday, small problem is she has been told to go to the Sandon centre, centre of JHB, rather a long way from Cape Town. Shocked Needles to say her reaction was interesting to listen to.
But still brilliant to know that there are tours gong ahead.
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Richie Rich

Richie Rich


Posts : 21
Join date : 2018-10-23
Age : 49
Location : Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Isolated Graves in Zululand Empty
PostSubject: Re: Isolated Graves in Zululand   Isolated Graves in Zululand EmptySun Jun 13, 2021 4:48 pm

Thanks John.....appreciate that support....phew.....thought I was going to be in trouble there LOL....but yes, I guess the mystery will continue and perhaps we will never know. Just viewing the covid comments above....Pat Rundgren has organized a small sortie beginning of July - up to Ntombi Drift. I have never been there so really looking forward to visiting that battlefield and applicable cemeteries. I will definitely upload some pics on my return and comment accordingly.
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