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 Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin

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Richie Rich

Richie Rich


Posts : 21
Join date : 2018-10-23
Age : 51
Location : Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin Empty
PostSubject: Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin   Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin EmptyWed Jun 16, 2021 10:22 am

In a few days, I am heading out to Intombi Drift to visit the battlefield and nearby cemetery containing the graves of Captain Moriarty and Civilian Surgeon Cobbin. I have volunteered my services to the small accompanying group to talk about the two just mentioned whilst at their gravesides, and although, thanks to 'The South African Campaign of 1879' by MacKinnon & Shadbolt, I can obtain the bio of Moriarty, Surgeon Cobbin seems to be the challenge. Besides MacKinnon & Shadbolt, I have also found references in Ron Lock's 'Blood on the Painted Mountain' but here with both references used, no real information could be obtained. Is anyone on this forum able to direct me to an obtainable source regarding Surgeon Cobbin? Thanking you way in advance.....
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin   Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin EmptyWed Jun 16, 2021 12:31 pm

Richie in the search engine type Cobbin.
Captain Moriarty and Doctor Cobbin was murdered in their tents and most of the men also. I commanded the party on this side as Lieutenant Harward saddled his horse and galloped away leaving us to do the best we could, when I saw all our men across, about fifteen in number all as naked as they was born. I sent them on in front and we retired firing at them, there was hundreds of the Kaffirs crossing the river to try and cut us off but we made good our escape to a mission station and expected to be outflanked there but we fought our way to within a mile of Luneberg - the distance we had to run and fight was nearly five miles, so you will have a guess at how we were situated - We arrived at Luneberg about fifteen minutes past seven o'clock losing nine men on my side and forty-one on the other side was buried - and all the remainder was assegaied in the river - a party went out to bury them on the same day but they took them up again, I mean the Kaffirs, and skinned them - so we are ordered out again to go and bury them."
"While Sergeant Booth was calmly extricating his men from almost certain death, his superior officer, Lieutenant Harward had galloped to Luneburg, arriving at 6.30am. He roused Major Tucker with the words; “The camp is in the hands of the enemy; they are all slaughtered, and I have galloped in for my life”. He then fell onto the bed in a dead faint. Upon being revived, he told of the attack, no doubt sure that there were no survivors. Tucker immediately ordered his command of 150 men to turn out and march to the Drift. On the way, he came upon Sergeant Booth’s party at the farmhouse. Booth volunteered to accompany Tucker’s command but was told that he had done enough.
As Tucker reached a rise about a mile distant from the river, he saw hundreds of Zulus moving away from the camp, most carrying plunder to their nearby stronghold. When they reached the wrecked laager, they found all their colleagues naked and mostly disembowelled. Then commenced the harrowing task of collecting the mutilated bodies, ferrying them across the river to be interred together in a large burial pit dug on the slope above the crossing. The bodies of Captain Moriarty and a 28 year old civilian doctor named William Cobbin were taken back to Luneburg for individual burial.
In the aftermath of this disaster, there was a considerable amount of covering up of what was an embarrassing episode for the regiment. Backed by Major Tucker, Lieutenant Harward’s report stated that; “The enemy were now assegaing our men in the water, and also ascending the banks of the river close to us; for fear therefore, of my men being stabbed under the wagons, and to enable them to retire before their ammunition should be exhausted, I ordered them to retire steadily, and only just in time to avoid a rush of Zulus to our late position. The Zulus came on in dense masses and fell upon our men, who being already broken, gave way, and a hand to hand fight ensued. I endeavoured to rally my men, but they were too much scattered, and finding re-formation impossible, I mounted my horse and galloped into Luneburg at utmost speed, and reported all that had taken place.” Inaccurate as his account was, Harward did have the good grace to acknowledge his sergeant’s sterling behaviour."
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Richie Rich

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PostSubject: Re: Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin   Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin EmptyWed Jun 16, 2021 1:19 pm

Thank you Frank, appreciate the effort and interest. I am hoping to find some detailed info about the individual himself in order to create a realistic profile of the man when standing alongside his grave. But yep, slowly but surely I will gather the info and details available. Thank you again. Regards.
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin   Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin EmptyWed Jun 16, 2021 5:36 pm

Hi Richie

This is what I have on Cobbin.

William Ingram Cobbin MRCS (Civil Surgeon)
William Ingram Cobbin was the son of John and Mary Cobbin. His father married twice, Eliza Smith on December 24th 1832 at Colchester - they had one child Frederick Finden born September 29th 1839 at Camberwell and Mary Day Leeson August 3rd 1843 at the parish of St George’s, Hanover Square, London. John and Mary Ingram had five children.
John Leeson Day born 9Th July 1844
Elizabeth Amelia born 1845, died 1847
Ingram born 1847, died 1849
Marian Elizabeth born 1848, Brixton.
William Ingram was born 26th June 1851 at Priests Buildings, Lakenham, Norwich.
 When William was twenty-five years of age he attended the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Court of Examiners 31st July 1876, unfortunately he was not successful and had to be referred. William eventually passed his examinations to become a Surgeon and was included in the Listings for the Court of Examiners dated 26th January 1877. Although qualified in Surgery it was not until later that he became qualified in Medicine - first registered under the Medical Act of 1858 on 4th August 1877.
 According to the records of the Royal College of Surgeons, William Ingram Cobbin appeared on their list for the first time on 11th July 1878. He was also included in the Medical Directory for 1878 and was registered as living at 68 Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, London. It is also recorded that William was employed by the Peninsula and Orient Shipping Company, later working in South Africa.
 In 1879 during the Zulu War William was serving with Her Majesty’s Forces where he accompanied Captain David Barry Moriarty in command of a Company of the 80th Regiment of Foot, who were ordered out from Luneberg to escort a convoy of eighteen wagons carrying ammunition, stores and provisions. On Wednesday 12th March the waggon convoy was attacked at Meyer’s Drift on the Intombe River. At the age of twenty-seven years, William was killed in action and his body was laid to rest in the cemetery at Luneberg. Awarded the South African Medal with the Bar '‘1878-9’.

William Ingram Cobbin MRCS: Last Will and Testament
 This is the Last Will and Testament of me William Ingram Cobbin of Torrington Square in the County of Middlesex - Surgeon. I give demise and bequeath unto my Trustees herein - after named their executors administrators and assigns all my shares in the leasehold property situated at No 1 South Molton Lane, No 11 Brook Street, Oxford Street and also No 125 Kentish Town Road both in the County of Middlesex for all my estate and interests therein nevertheless to be held by them upon trust to receive the rent issues and profits of the said property and after payment of the outgoings incidental thereto upon trust to pay the nett annual produce unto my sister Marian Elizabeth the wife of John Alexander Miller for her sole and separate use and free from the debts interference and control of her present or any future husband for and during her natural life and her receipt alone shall be a sufficient discharge to the intent that she shall hall any power to deprive herself thereof by way of anticipation And from and after her deceased Upon trust for such person or persons and any such intents and purposes as my said sister shall notwithstanding coverture by Will appoint and in case she shall not make any will or other testamentary disposition then my said trustees are to stand possessed thereon for such person or persons as shall be her next of kin at the time of her death according to the Statutes for distribution of the estates of interstates And I empower my said trustees to grant and give or join in granting and giving a Lease or Leases of either or both the said properties for any term or terms not exceeding twenty-one years at the best annual rent that can be obtained for the same but so that no premium shall be received in respect of such lease or leases I give and bequeath my medical books to my cousin John Rudd Leeson I also give and bequeath all other my personal effects and trinkets to my said sister absolutely And as to all the rest and residues of my estate and effects real and personal and whether in possession reversion remainder or expectancy Unto my executors hereinafter named And I hereby direct them to sell the same immediately after my deceased and after payment there out of my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses to divide the same into twenty-two equal portions and as to eight of such portions I give and bequeath the same unto my said sister her executors and assign absolutely in addition to any other bequests in her favour and as to eight other of such portions I give and bequeath the same unto my brother John Leeson Day Cobbin his executors administrators and assigns and as to one other of such portions I give and bequeath the same unto such Treasurers for the time being of the University College Hospital for the uses of the said hospital And as to the remaining five portions I give and bequeath one each to my friends John Sidney Lansdon, Margaret Ann Leslie the wife of George Leslie of Quebec Lodge, Blackheath in the County of Kent. Gerald Coleman, Henry Charles Lang and John Hawthorne Lydall and I appoint my cousin George Michael Silley and my friend John Hawthorne Lydall Executors and Trustees of this my will and I declare that the said John Hawthorne Lydall shall be entitled to act as Solicitor in the Trust premises and to charge and be paid for all business whether strictly professional or not transacted by him in relation to the said trust premises as if he had not been a Trustee or Executor of these presents and I hereby revoke all former Wills and Testamentary dispositions at any time heretofore made by me and declare this to be my last Will and Testament.
 In witness whereof I the said William Ingram Cobbin Have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of August One thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven-                                                       W I Cobbin
 Signed by the said Testator as and for his Will and Testament in the presence of us both of us both present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witness-           G Reedston Garthorne 53 Oaeney Crescent N. W.
                                                                                H F Lance Clerk to J H Lydall Solicitor 12
                                                                                Southampton Building Chancery Lane
Proved at London 15th July 1879 by the Oath of John Hawthorne Lydall one of the executors to whom Admon was granted George Michael Silley the other executor having renounced.

Salute
Andy
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Richie Rich

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PostSubject: Re: Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin   Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin EmptyThu Jun 17, 2021 10:04 am

Andy you are a STAR .....thank-you. All of a sudden......a grave has developed a personality, representing a life that was lived and lost on that tragic day. Thank you Sir.
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90th

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PostSubject: Civilian Surgeon W.J.Cobbin    Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin EmptyFri Jun 18, 2021 1:15 am

Hi Frank
Moriarty wasn't killed in his tent according to some sources , Moriarty managed to get outside and from memory shot at least two warriors , one of which was a brother to one of the more famous Indunas , Moriarty as he was shot or speared managed to yell out '' I'm done for boys , fire away '' ....or something similar , I'm away so can't check any references .
90th
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin   Civilian Surgeon W.J. Cobbin EmptyFri Jun 18, 2021 4:00 am

Morning Gary, just re posted from a Littlehand entry.
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