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 Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene

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PostSubject: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyMon Sep 20, 2021 9:19 am

One area that is often overlooked in historical accounts is Capt Barry's picquet of No5 Company, 2nd  Battalion 3rd Regiment Natal Native Contingent at Mkwene (a piece of high ground at the western tip of the Nyoni ridge) on the morning of the battle.
Having been up there a couple of times it seems to  be one of the most important pieces of real estate on the entire battlefield and yet its tactical benefits as an observation post seem to have been ignored by the British commanders.
Here are some photos I took back in 2016. By moving around the top of Mkwene all of the key locations can be seen

Looking south towards the camp. Pulleine's movements and camp activity would have been clearly visible:-

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Spend 5 minutes moving to the west side and the  basin were Mostyn and Cavaye take up position and engage the right horn is visible:-
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Move across the top to the eastern side and the whole Nquthu plateau is visible including, in the distance, the V shape feature indicating the mouth of the Ngwebeni valley. This photo which I think throws into doubt the whole 'X' marks the spot theory, shows how impossible it would be to hide 15-20,000 Zulu Warriors on the plateau without being seen by someone on Mkwene on the morning of the  22nd.:-
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The Nyoni ridge. Many of the vedettes posted would be visible to an observant sentry:-
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We know Capt. Barry was up there somewhere from survivors accounts:-
Statement of Lieut. C. Raw, Natal Native Horse. Addressed to Maj. Grenfell, D.A.A.G., Fort Napier. Pietermaritzburg, February 1879
  We left camp, proceeding over the hills, Captain George Shepstone going with us. The enemy in small clumps retiring before us for some time, drawing us four or five miles from the camp when they turned and fell upon us, the whole army showing itself from behind the hill in front where they had evidently been waiting. Here Captain Shepstone returned to camp to report that the Zulu army was making for the camp, leaving instructions for us to engage the enemy, retiring on the camp. The enemy had already opened fire upon us; we then opened fire upon them, and retired skirmishing on to the camp. Before this, my troop had been joined by Roberts’, with a company of Lonsdale’s footmen (Barry's men?). Lonsdale’s men at sight of the enemy at once ran back to the camp, leaving their officers with us. When about four hundred yards from the camp we were reinforced with a company of the 24th Regiment, and No. 3 troop,

Lieut. Higginson, Natal Native Contingent, Initial Report dated 17 February, 1879
Just as we were going, orders came to stay in camp, as the Zulus were seen on extreme left of the Camp. Soon afterwards Lieut. Ardendorff of my Company (No.6) was ordered to ride out to the outlying picket on the left, formed by the 2nd Batt, 3rd Regt N.N.C, and bring in a report of what he saw, he returned in about half an our & made his report. ...
  Soon afterwards Col. Pulleine sent me out & Sergeant Major Williams came with me. We found Capt. Barry & Lieut. Vereker watching a large force of about 5,000 had gone on around behind the Isandhlwana hill. I remained about three quarters of an hour & then returned to Camp.....
  When we got over the hill I found Capt. Barry with half of the outlying picket advanced about 2 miles into the plain, and about ½ a mile in rear of the Carbineers & Mounted Contingent. As I came up to him the first shots were fired by the Mounted Contingent at what they thought to be a small body of Zulus, but just as they were getting into Skirmishing Order, about 1,000 men came around the hill and engaged them; they slowly fell back, and as they came up to Capt. Barry I left Sergeant Major Williams with him and turned about to ride into Camp to make my Report. I was going along pretty fast, and soon overtook two Officers riding into Camp. One of them was Capt. Shepstone; he asked me where I was going and when I told him he said ‘Oh! I will make a Report to Col. Pulleine, as I am going in, will you please ride back and tell my men not to be outflanked’.....
My Company was extended along the front of our line of tents. As the Zulus came over the hill in front, the mounted Contingent & Carbineers came round the side, bringing in Capt. Barry, and the outlying picket.

Statement of Lieut W. Higginson, Natal Native Contingent. Rorke’s Drift, 18 February 1879.
Soon afterwards Lieutenant Adendorff of my company (No. 6) was sent out to the 2nd Battalion outlying picquet to bring in a report from Captain Barry in charge of the picquet; he came back very soon and made his report, and shortly afterwards I was sent out and Sergeant-Major Williams, 1st Battalion, came with me.
  We found Captain Barry and Lieutenant Vereker watching some Zulus about half a mile from them in the plain before stated; we also saw large bodies of natives on the hills to the left front of the 2nd Battalion Natal Native Contingent. I remained there about half an hour watching the Zulus and then we returned; on my going to make my report to Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine, he referred me to Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford who had come into camp while I was out with the picquet; it was now about 10 a.m. I made my report to the Colonel, ......
  He then ordered me to follow up with the Carbineers and mounted Contingent, who had been sent out to the extreme left of the camp about two miles, and order them to work round the right of the hill in front of the 2nd Battalion Natal Native Contingent, while he with the rocket-battery worked round the left of it and followed the Zulus up. I rode off, followed by Sergeant-Major Williams, and on getting into the plain on the other side of the hill we saw the mounted Contingent about a mile from us; on coming within 200 yards of them I saw Captain Barry, with some of his outlying picquet, and at the same time saw a large number of Zulus coming from the rocks at the foot of the hill facing us. The mounted Contingent at once opened fire on them, and gradually retired, trying to prevent themselves from being outflanked. I left Sergeant-Major Williams with Captain Barry as he was without his horse, and as I knew that he would assist him back to camp if overpowered, he being a good shot, a good rider, and a very cool man under fire, I rode back to camp;



The questions that need to asked is why, with a company of 80-120 men in this key position was Pulleine so 'blind' at the beginning of the battle and why was the information of the Zulu movements so sketchy early on.
Was Barry incompetent? Was Barry asleep? Were his men asleep? Were they actually up there on top of Mkwene in the first place? (Higginson is a rather dubious witness). We know there was an early morning  mist, was the Nquthu plateau also obscured? Did Barry observe the Zulu movements and misinterpret their intentions? (unlikely).

In my opinion Mkwene, or Barry's picquet as it is commonly referred to, is one of the most, if not the most valuable pieces of ground available to Chelmsford, and later Pulleine, as an observation post and yet its importance seems to have been ignored. If it had been manned by reliable picquet/vedettes the battle may have gone another way.
Kate Very Happy
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyMon Sep 20, 2021 11:14 am

Hi Kate
Could not agree more but there is a but, the view changes dramatically if your just on the foot hills. I havent seen anything that says the piquet were up on top of the hill. I know its a pedantic approach but there is that possibility that the piquet was stationed around about the present row of houses on the Northern face. Your right though the summit should have been manned.
An alternate thought for you.
The X marks the spot, (Snooks words, 'that damned patch of grass') theory refers to the position 'I believe where the basuto opened fire.' Now assuming the 'X' was just a few hundred yards to the right, and there is very good reason to believe that Roberts rode across to join Raw. Then that 'X' would quite possibly  be able to see a lot more towards the east and around the foot of the iThusi ridge. To the North of the village on the ridge is a very dead area totally invisible from and of the vantage points with a perfect access into the Ngwebini valley.
Possibly then the impi accessed the plateau from the eastern end not the western end. Just some thoughts to stop you getting bored.  Very Happy
PS That position would fit perfectly into Whitelaw seeing a largish body
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyMon Sep 20, 2021 11:15 am

Great photo by the way. agree
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyMon Sep 20, 2021 1:37 pm

Afternoon Frank
Thanks for the reply, always informative.
That year I walked the entire route of the right horn from the mouth of the Ngwebini all the way to the top of the Tahelane Spur and then 'spilled down into the camp in some disorder' ( I was pooped)
As I walked I was constantly looking for areas that the Zulu forces could have concealed themselves.
There are patches of dead ground as you walk along the Nquthu plateau towards Mkwene and you lose site of it now and again but only momentarily.
There is a largish donga which could hide a couple of hundred men early on, and I'm sure you know the one I mean, that we walked through but not the thousands that made up the Zulu army.
Any large scale movements early on would have been seen by a diligent picquet on Mkwene.
IF they were on Mkwene (and if not why not) and IF they were diligent.
The Zulu forces accessing the plateau from the eastern end is an interesting concept.
Kate Very Happy
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90th

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PostSubject: Capt Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene    Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyMon Sep 20, 2021 1:49 pm

Hi Kate
I do tend to agree , I've maintained for as long as I've been on Mkwene you can't hide Zulu's .. ''Fousands of em '' in or on that saucer shaped plain ! . Salute
90th
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyMon Sep 20, 2021 2:35 pm

Hi Kate
3 years back I walked that entire area in a grid pattern with a metal detector. Took close to a week and came up with 3 seperate areas that pinged quite a bit. Neither of those areas was point 'X'. One was the area I indicated earlier and the other two were effectivly in a direct line back towards the ridge line. Should add as well there were a lot of pings below the ridge line to the west of the Notch ( with a large 'N' Gary Very Happy ) So I agree whole heartedly with you about the regiments as normally indicated. But we do know that the regiments were on the move before discovery by Raw et al. So the question would be from where and where to !
As the late Mike McCabe pointed out frequently the topography is not the same as it was 140 odd years go. When the Nqutu road was put through the landscape changed drastically, that whole area where the upper Ngwebini crosses the tarred road was a major flooded swamp in the late 60s. The shape of that valley is vastly different.
So there could very well have been the odd regiment hiding out there. But not the whole army. Ive got photos from way back of a land rover, old long wheel base model, parked at different spots and photographed from different areas along Mkweni and the ridge line. It is invisible for periods.
My second point is that (sorry if Im long winded) Raw and his merry men werent on Mkweni and quite possibly did not have the intell passed to them of 'Zulus dead ahead Captain. Vereker and Barton had sat and watched zulus doing there thing a half a mile away. Barker had done the same and even ridden towards them so there was considerable avtivity.
Having set that scene if I may then lets take it forward. Vereker and Barry were mounted and so its unlikely they were to high up that hill. Orders were passed on for that Piquet to proceed along the plateau. Does that not create a time gap for a regiment or two to exit the Ngwebini onto the then lower are where the road actually is now?
A third point would be that I do firmly believe that an exit was also made from the western end of the valley to that dead are, and its big enough to accomadate a football crowd, again taking it forward that area could easily then be the holding area for the reserve and potentially the left horn.
Your last point 'if not why not' the commanders were mounted and climbing those rock strewn slopes is not pleasant. I would agree they should have had people higher up but yet again why should they, the 'umphathi omkhulu' had gone of to fight the main army.
Cheers, hope your not traveling the M25?


Last edited by Frank Allewell on Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyMon Sep 20, 2021 3:07 pm

Kate next time you manage to get back here take a drive from the lodge down onto the R68 and turn towards Nqutu after a couple of hundred yards turn in to the left, drive passed the village school and just follow the road through the village. The road starts to bend to the left as that happend look straight ahead along the cleft in the escarpement. There is a horse shoe shaped valley. Travell a tad further and you reach one of main feaders into the Ngwebini stream. look along that valley. Either of those two valleys would have been able to take the right wing plus.
So potentially there are two significant areas that would accomadate significant numbers of regiments, leaving really just the umCijo to squat in that hollow to the west of the R68.
Compare that to the so called 'Woods' maps that L and Q use. Not to much imagination needed to do a mental overlay.
Wink
Now time to head down to Boulders in Simonstown, major problem with a swarm of bee's killing the penguins, we've collected over 50 dead so far. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyTue Sep 21, 2021 11:21 am

Hi Kate

Great subject, on my 2019 visit I took a pan from Mkwene facing the camp and the Tahalane spur stupid me I did not take one of the valley facing Mabaso my biggest regret which I will rectify on my next visit.

But you would be surprised the amount of dead ground, large enough to hide many thousands of Zulus which what happened, remember in Higginson statement he saw 5,000 moving behind Isandlwana under there very noses a similar amount of Zulus were hidden in the dead ground about 2 kilometers from Mkwene from a trained eye there is a square group of trees to the right you can see 98% from Mkwene but the bottom corner is hidden then go to were those trees are and you will see from the donga which is directly in front of those trees to the top of the ridge is all hidden thats were the Zulus was hiding and the hill overlooking  those trees is the Hill Trooper Barker sighted a large Zulu army at 11am which is only a short distance from Ithusi the very location of Barkers Vidette position My very best Pan is from Ithusi showing this hill
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyTue Sep 21, 2021 12:43 pm

I was lucky enough to attend an excellent talk by Kate on Saturday and also got a copy of her book which you will all know.

I lack her detailed knowledge and mastery of the sources but Kate and I did mess about with Google Earth Viewshed which I regard as useful tool for working out what you can see from where. It suggests, pretty obviously, the position of Barry makes a big difference as the ridge line is quite marked. Move Barry a few yards to the West and he sees nothing to the East at all. My mastery of sources is limited but was there a reason ie other sightings to the West that might have drawn Barry down from the summit and thus blinded him to what was behind him and once he descended, over the ridge.

Notwithstanding the limitation of Viewshed these two images seem to support Kate's point. The green in shows the terrain you can see from a particular point. The High Point I have used was carefully 'surveyed' in so it was the highest point.
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The position of the other pins is open to discussion and audit! and I am keen to find a way to share them. Especially, if we add photos and our latest drone footage.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyTue Sep 21, 2021 1:17 pm

Hi Simon
Interesting points. It looks as though there is an assumption that there are piquets on Qwabe hill and Nyezi. Both positions are highly debatable. In particular Nyezi, that area is completely cut of from the view of the piquet commander, Scott. Piquettes were posted to be in visual contact and so able to communicate.
Its a mute point. L and Q agree with you, IK not so as with all things iSandlwana its up to individual choice. Barker is the one most often mentioned as being on Qwabe, Whitelaw on Nyezi. However there was a brush with Mehlokazulu and Barker early morning and he puts that on the ridge looking down on the camp.
The dead areas I refer to are still dead, to the North of the village marked as Kwa Ngobese and the valley above the school, off the R68 that is. I would question quite strongly the professed coverage of those valleys, as shown on your second illustration. I have walked/slash climber that whole valley and the views of Mkwene and indeed the ridge line are non existant. As again is the extent of the 'open' ground close to the village on the top of Mabasos, Esiqgumeni.
View shed is not the most accurate of Google products Im afraid, I point I mentioned to you a couple of years ago at I think Rorkes Drift Hotel. Interesting non the less.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyTue Sep 21, 2021 6:47 pm

Thanks Frank.
In lieu of being able to jump on a plane and get my boots on the ground (*sigh*) I resorted to Google maps and think I can see the horse shoe shaped features on the map. Yes perhaps the right horn was sitting up there.I will bow to your superior knowledge as I haven't been in there and seen for myself.
Perhaps the army was already spending the night in  a couple of different spots in its prepared formation ready for the off the next day or if discovered.That would make sense when looking at Ntshingwayo's ability to hold back some of his warriors after their discovery.
Its a good point that as Barry left Mkwene he would have lost view of the far end of the plateau and Zulus could have started to deploy but that was after he left. We know he was mounted (Lt. Hillier-"..Lt Veriker (sic) of the NNC was on picquet when Captain Barry rode up") perhaps he wasn't up there after all.
Surely there should have been a picquet up there who would have seen any large scale Zulu movements whether they came from the Ngwebeni valley or moving further north? IF he was up there and IF he was alert.

Which brings me to those early sightings. I must admit the early sightings of Zulus by those vedettes/piquets and people in the camp have always caused me a certain amount of head scratching regarding the standard Ngwebini theory and climbing up to Mkwene and looking at the views muddied the waters even more for me. In his famous despatch Pulleine at 8.05am states "...Zulus are advancing in force from left front of the camp" Chard sees Zulus disappearing behind iSandlwana.
Just who were the Zulus seen in the early hours  and why were they not really taken as a serious threat by those in the camp?

We could assume the initial large body reported very early on were the right horn deploying  behind iSandlwana who then disappear from view. At a cursory glance this seems  plausible but then why would the right horn be deploying so early with no movement from the left and centre and why would Ntshingwayo deploy his right horn first without any support and then wait for the famous 'missing five hours' before commencing the attack.

Perhaps those Zulus that were 'driven before' Raw could have been the advanced guard/skirmishers of the head/chest who were moving out on the Plateau to attack but over three hours after the right horn had deployed? Really!
Could Robert's and Raw have found themselves in a similar position to Hart and Raines at Nyezne? Yet at Nyezne they stumbled into an ambush which was part of the deploying left horn. The rest of the Zulu force was moving into position at the same time as the movements of that left horn. Chief Godide kaNdlela did not deploy his right horn and then wait for five hours.
If memory serves me right at Kambula the whole army was deploying at the same time but was stung into premature action by Buller.

If we compare Nyezane with iSandlwana the theory that the army was sitting tight on the morning of the 22nd with its skirmishers to their front and then, once discovered, began the attack  starts to 'fit'
Which means asking where were the 15 - 20,000 warriors sitting tight and the only place I can see where you can fit that many unseen is the Nwgwebini Valley (or with some in your horse shoe valley Frank). Anywhere else, along with subsequent movements, should have been seen from Mkwene. And perhaps they were, perhaps Pulleine's report of Zulus advancing in force to the left front of the camp" were the umCijo moving out of the Ngwebini to the dead ground on your map Frank.

(Another left of field idea that popped into my head could be perhaps the early large movements were not the right horn but the beginning of the movement of the entire Zulu force but once again why the 5 hour delay and why try and what would be the motive of deploying behind iSandlwana other than to cut off the British from their supply base.)

As the sun came up any large bodies of Zulus either on or moving across the Nquthu plateau would have been seen from Mkwene which means before Robert and Raw's arrival the plain must have looked relatively empty and therefore safe to ride over. Roberts and Raw would not have ridden across a plain swarming with Zulus!! (though clearly Zulu scouts were hidden in dead ground.)
I have stood at the 'X' spot, as well as studying the Campbell maps and have read L.and Q. who place the Zulu army further s/west from the Ngwebini but standing on that 'X' and  looking round just don't see how such a huge mass of Zulu warriors could have gotten to and then been hidden from Mkwene.They must have been further back and the 'hill' that Raw claims to look over could only be Mabaso into the Ngwebeni.

And finally to try and comprehend the visual effect of the sheer numbers involved in the Zulu army on the move I will take a quote Ron Lock's 'Blood on a Painted Mountain' p140 and it relates to Russell at Hlobane (and I appreciate he was higher up than a picquet on Mkwene)
"First it looked like a dark cloud scudding swiftly over the hills-but there were no clouds! All to soon the truth was revealed. There, five miles away, advancing at an awe inspiring pace, was the mighty Zulu army"
Now look at my photo above of the east view from Mkwene with the mouth of the Ngwebini approx 3 miles away and tell me how such a vast 'dark cloud' could remain hidden anywhere on that plateau.

Which brings me back to the original point of the thread. Mkwene was a vital piece of real estate for the British in observing Zulu movements were ever they started from. Reports were sent back from it, some perhaps more fanciful than others when describing numbers, but the significance seems to have been lost on the commanders in the camp.
Whoever gave the order to abandon it whether it was Barry or a superior could be another potential culprit in proportioning blame for the disaster.
Kate Very Happy

Glad you like the pictures Inky though when I walked the route of the right horn I couldn't see any dead ground 2km from Mkwene that could hide 5000 Zulus. There are shallow depressions which I think show up on Simon's pictures but none are large enough to hold that number of warriors and they have to get there first without being seen. Glad you liked the talk Simon.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyWed Sep 22, 2021 4:25 am

Morning Kate.
I doubt we will ever really know what happened thats why its so much fun speculating. Very Happy  Put 4 AZW fans into a room and come up with twelve differing theories. As Ive said before the battle was on a Wednesday and thats probably the only thing we will ever agree on.
Mkwene is just one more part of the enigma really and considering Chelmsford was more worried of an attack from the east or south why on earth was the North flooded with vedettes and piquets with one measly outpost to the south?
Possibly the men on Mkwene werent posted to observe the plateau but were on the South side looking across the camp? Just another thought.
For once Inky and I have a semblance of agreement, there is a massive chunk of dead ground that could fit a few thousand with ease and still have enough space to pop in a McDonalds and car park. I actually took Ronald there last year. The access to that is from the eastern end of Ngwebini , completely hidden from the ridge and plateau.
The sighting from Vereker watching the Zulus going behind iSandlwana can be explained as the Zulu leaving the Western end of the valley and heading to the Nqutu heights, the valley I pointed out on the map. That area is a lot closer to the camp, possibly a half way stage?
Mehlokazulu records that Ntshingwayo received his report and then ordered his men to start to move so we do have a starting point and time for any movements. Thats really all we have, the rest is for sleepless nights.
My personal beliefs are that most of the regiments were deployed early right horn to the heights along the feeder to the stream and way of to the left ready to advance along the Qwabe. Ntshingwayo had absolutly no quarms in using the real estate, its a massive area he was using.
Historically it was done by Shaka, Dingane and on a number of occasions by Cetshwayo, quite often in the open. Showing the enemy his force advancing was always part of the zulu commanders tactics. Shaka/Zwide battles of years gone by were classic example. Terrify the buggers before the fight starts and youve won the battle.
So secrecy was not an issue at all, that the camp was aware of this mass of zulu was all to their benefit, they didnt know to much about the Martini Henry to their cost.
I agree the sighting by Chard has had me puzzled for years, if it wasnt confirmed by Pope and Brickhill I would discount it. At that stage there was the piquet on Mkwene so if Chard is taken literally that force would have moved between them and the camp, without raising a panic?
In terms of Lt. Hillier dont forget he was not a witness, all his testimony is second hand word of mouth. I just wish he had reported it as such and given his sources.
Have a great day.


Last edited by Frank Allewell on Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:08 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyWed Sep 22, 2021 7:51 am

Hi Frank I hope your well mate, the key to the discovery is trooper Barker you and I place him on Ithusi he himself gives us the the location of his find only a short distance from Ithusi, Quiet some time ago I emailed you my pan locating that hill I claim was the location Barker sighted this army this hill over looks the location the missing five hours claim is the spot. In my mind the issue is solved, I emailed the same Panorama to Ian Knight with my version of events to see if it can pass his scrutiny I am still waiting for an answer.  Like I said there is a lot of dead ground there from Mkwene remember these 2 or 3 regiments moved from the end of the Ngbweni valley behind Nyezi the reason is because they thought the inGabamokhosi was engaged and from there used the Maguzini hill range to shield there approach to this location I claim is the discovery location.

Frank Higginson, , Barry, Vereker and Sergeant Major Williams and 100 NNC saw those 5,000 moving behind Isandlwana at the very same time Chard saw I say hundreds these peeled of from the 5,000 and Chard in his own words say they moved behind Isandlwana its simple the ZULU are PRE DEPLOYING the historical version has no evidence it is all based on presumption thats all no eye witness testimony it would not surprise me the British did not once scouted the Ngbweni valley in the 4 days they were there.  I will try to post some photos showing the dead ground but like I said its very deceptive you can only confirm it by using that group of trees which determines the amount of dead ground, I claim the Zulu were only 100 yards or so from the ridge you can say the reverse slope remember an NNC and his horse was killed there which indicates from the muzzle loaders the zulu were using that the distance was very close within 100 yards. From there they followed Raw and Roberts back to camp were the first action happend around Mkwene at this time Essex is on the Tehalane spur and is informed by Melville to fall back to camp why because those 5,000 Higginson and others saw at 930am moved from the northern banks of the Manzimyama stream to close the back door early.


Hi Kate

in your opening comment you stated

" The questions that need to asked is why, with a company of 80-120 men in this key position was Pulleine so 'blind' at the beginning of the battle and why was the information of the Zulu movements so sketchy early on.
Was Barry incompetent? Was Barry asleep? Were his men asleep? Were they actually up there on top of Mkwene in the first place? (Higginson is a rather dubious witness). We know there was an early morning  mist, was the Nquthu plateau also obscured? Did Barry observe the Zulu movements and misinterpret their intentions? (unlikely).

The time Higginson, Barry, Vereker and Sergeant Major Williams and 100 NNC saw those 5,000 moving behind Isandlwana was around 930am before the arrival of Durnford. Higginson would of told both Durnford and Pulleine of those 5,000 it did not even enter their minds the Zulu's were pre deploying in there Buffalo horn formation, instead when the Zulu's feinted a retiring move Durnfords first intention was to chase them sending the following out of camp Cavaye, Raw, Roberts then towards Itusi he sends out the Rocket Battery, Nourse and then himself with Henderson and Davies number all these men around 400 in total  these all left the camp and only one hour before he was told 5,000 Zulus moved behind Isandlwana.  Durnford  was incompetent thats putting it straight. A wise commander would of drawn his men in not send them out.
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyWed Sep 22, 2021 9:04 am

"Durnford was incompetent thats putting it straight. A wise commander would of drawn his men in not send them out."
Ouch! Shocked No Don\'t agree Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyWed Sep 22, 2021 9:07 am

Ooof!!
I think Inky has just force fed Durnford one of his 'special' trifles Shocked Shocked Joker Joker
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyWed Sep 22, 2021 9:09 am

Just about choked on my morning G and T there!
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyWed Sep 22, 2021 9:23 am

Gary loves my triffles I have just sent admin a couple of photos which I am hoping will indicate the amount of dead ground.

I would love your view on it Frank and stop choking please
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyWed Sep 22, 2021 9:43 am

a Mate of mine flew his drone over the area, it was brilliant but the file was immense.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyWed Sep 22, 2021 12:03 pm

He's not choking he's serious.

It is indeed really interesting Frank so here I go again.

I've looked at the maps again Inky and I can't see anywhere 2km from Mkwene were you could hide 5000 men.
Is the area you mention on picture number three above? Is the group of trees you talk about beyond the buildings on the right of the picture?

There are earlier sightings of Zulu movements than 9.30am:-
Lt Higginson:-
"The first intimation we received about the Zulus was at 6am when the Lt. Hon Standish Vereker came into the camp and said that the Zulus were appearing on the extreme left, nearly opposite his outlying picquet"

Lt Hillier (second hand but sort of ties in between Higginson and Essex):-
"At half past seven am Lt Veriker (sic) of the NNC was on picquet duty when Captain Barry rode up and reported to Colonel Pulleine that the Zulus were advancing on the camp in large numbers

Capt. Essex
..Until about 8am when a report arrived from a picquet stationed at a point about 1,500 yards distant on a hill to the north of the camp

J.A.Brickhill:-
On the morning of the 22ndJanuary between 6 and 7 o'clock in the morning the Zulus showed in considerable force on the southern end of the Ingutu mountain.

If such early movements are the right horn deploying why then wait for such a long time for Robert's and Raw to then subsequently discover the rest of the army?
Surely with such movements being carried out  so early the risk of early detection is massive. (and indeed they were detected) If the British had been more switched on they may have foiled Ntshingwayo's whole plan. Would he risk that?

Wood in his autobiography talks about the natural vision of his native scouts stating it was extraordinary and surpassed only by the telescope.  If some of Barry's men had such vision any movement around the mouth of the Ngwebeni would easily have been seen.
Not to mention the spoor (is that the right word?) that the movement of such a force would leave in the grass.
But, and I'm sorry to repeat myself, IF they had been on Mkwene in the first place.

Reversing that principle the Zulus also have really good eyesight and would have seen picquets moving on and around Mkwene. If they were planning an early attack would they risk revealing their plan knowing they would be seen?

I need another brew
Kate Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyWed Sep 22, 2021 12:56 pm

Hi Kate

Keep an eye out, admin should be posting my photos soon, the first one is from Mkwene of which I locate the ridge line notice the rectangle group of trees then the second photo was taken from the ridgeline looking down showing that group of trees again. Remember the Zulus were concealed on the reverse slope

The Zulus arrived at the location at around 9am it was this sighting that sent Higginson and Serjeant Major Williams to Mkwene in the first place when Higginson arrived he then saw those 5,000 moving behind Isandlwana.

Kate read Barker he states he discovered a large Zulu army less than a kilometer from his picket position. No one has located this spot until know, in all the books written on this battle no one has even attempted to locate this hill do this and you will find out what happened.

I will try to answer some of your Questions Kate

If such early movements are the right horn deploying why then wait for such a long time for Robert's and Raw to then subsequently discover the rest of the army?

The right Horn deployed at 930am by the time Higginson reported it to HQ it was 10:15am, At around 10:30am a report came in that the Zulus are retiring this is what Durnfords act on and at around 11am Raw and Roberts heads out to Mkwene where the report came from at about 1145 the discovery took place under the noses of these pickets.


Reversing that principle the Zulus also have really good eyesight and would have seen picquets moving on and around Mkwene. If they were planning an early attack would they risk revealing their plan knowing they would be seen?

The Zulu were seen and the British did not put 2 and 2 together, spotting those 5,000 Zulus moving behind Isandlwana should of sounded off the alarm bells but did not the British were apathetic to this Zulu move.



.
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyWed Sep 22, 2021 10:44 pm




I am hoping this can help you in determining the amount of dead ground hidden from the Videttes from Mkwene

Firstly both photos were taken around 3 years apart the first one is from Mkwene this is the view Barry and his Videttes would have seen

You can notice the ridge line but it blends in almost perfectly but there is a grass difference before and beyond the white line

Then look at the mark wooded area you would notice the bottom  corner cut that is were the ridge line covers the dead ground

Then go to the second photo this is taken around 15 meters from the ridge line which is just beyond the white line in the first photo

Identify that wooded area and you will notice a great deal of dead ground from the wooded area to the ridge line move to the

right and I have mark the rough location of were Trooper Barker was standing when he sights this army.  You will notice in the 2nd photo

just under that wooded area is a donga  which is hidden in the first photo.

This took me some time to work out which explains Barker find perfectly which happened around 11am only around one hour

before the discovery. Remember Barker testifies hearing the first shots of battle which is to his extreme left from his climb over the notch

Raw and Roberts would be standing very close to where I took the 2nd photo at the discovery.


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AUSSIE INKOSI
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyThu Sep 23, 2021 5:15 am

Early morning in Cape Town. So Morning Coffee with a touch of Irish.
Kate
Its probably one of the most interesting parts of the day.
As I said the Zulu didnt worry about being seen, all part of the mental pressure being put onto the adversaries. Most battles they fought, going back to Shaka were designed around showing there force and frightening the hell out of them.
So moving into their forward positions and crossing open ground was no concern at all.
All the zulu movements can be explained as exactly that, moving into position, except for that confusing exception witnessed by Chard, Brickhill and Pope. That baffles the hell out of me.
Possibly the Zulu werent moving into attack with all those movements, just adopting forward positions with the intention of maybe the odd patrol to check out what was happening but mainly just to chill for the "Day of the Dead Moon", chat to the old ancestors etc. There is a stack of evidence that they were not going to attack that day, we have to accept that no matter what L and Q say.
Would that explain the forward movement?

Inky and I do have an agreement on there being dead ground, a lot of it. Possibly when you did your walk from Mabaso Kate you followed the traditional path and then stopped on point X. Unfortunatly that point X is colouring everyones view point. L and Q did a mega jump to plot that position, and good on them for doing so its promoted a hell of a lot of debate.

The so called Wood maps really need to be looked at critically, I believe they do show within reason the dispersions of the zulus, albeit with a certain licence.

Anyway, suns up, temp yesterday was 30 and so far a nice warm day so time to take morning tea and ginger biscuits to that gorgeous blond up stairs.

Kate we must definitly meet up when you and that other Aussie bugger come over.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyThu Sep 23, 2021 5:02 pm

I think it worth noting two separate facts regarding Capt. Barry and his Piquet.

1. Capt. Barry’s and his AmaChunu warriors from No. 5 Coy, 2/3rd NNC were placed in a detached outpost on the Tahelane Spur to watch over the footpath leading down from the high ground. Source: Official Narrative, p. 29.

2. Half of Capt. Barry's picquet was taken with Lieut. Raw's Troop. The other half appears to have remained in place. See Higginson and Erskine.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyThu Sep 23, 2021 5:43 pm

Well done Mike. So in guarding the pathway they would possibly have been on the southern side of the hill looking away from the plateau. Interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyThu Sep 23, 2021 6:51 pm

Thanks for posting the pictures Inky.
How many Zulus do you think were in that dead ground?

Re the Narrative, I would imagine if someone is posted to guard a path leading to a camp they will not be looking down the pathway at the camp. They will be looking everywhere but the camp.
You don't have a guard post facing what you are supposed to be guarding.
However if they are guarding the footpath were they on Mkwene in the first place? If not that would mean that Mkwene was unmanned which would have been a huge mistake. The plot thickens.

We know Barry and other officers went with Raw. I can imagine and I'm only theorising here that the half of the NNC left behind fled along with their mates when the Zulu army advanced.
Kate Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyThu Sep 23, 2021 8:06 pm

Hi Kate
If they were on the South side the only place they could look was down to the camp. Its a strange comment in the Narrative and doesnt really tie in with other comments about sightings from the piquet.
I would suggest that a lot more than half fled in the face of the impi advancing.
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyThu Sep 23, 2021 10:08 pm

If the piquet had been drawn from the 24th, there would have been no issue as to which way they were facing.

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A detail from The Graphic based on a sketch provided by Lieutenant Charles Pope, 2nd/24th Regiment.

That Sphinx-like mountain in the background looks vaguely familiar to me...

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyThu Sep 23, 2021 11:31 pm

Hi Kate

I told you lots of Zulus you need that clump of trees for reference you have it in your photo but you need to magnify it a lot to get a good perspective. How many Zulus the following regiment umCigo, uNokenke, and I have placed a question mark on umCityu if all 3 regiments it numbers around another 5,000 this matches Ugukus testimony perfectly the reason the chest arrived around 30 minutes later is because they came from the valley behind how else can you explain there late arrival ask youself if the whole army was discovered all at once why did it take the chest 30 minutes extra easy its because they moved up, The Zulus the picketts saw at 9am near that modern day village was screens shielding the army behind read Barker a classic Zulu Deception

Mehlakazulu made the following comment on the discovery which explain the circumstances perfectly
“ The Zulu regiments were all lying in the valley, I have mentioned { the Ngewbeni valley }, but the Umciityu made their appearance under the Nqutu range, and were seen by the mounted men of the English forces , who made for the Umcityu , not seeing the main body of the army. They fired, and all at once the main body of the Zulu army arose in every direction , on hearing the firing. The attention of the English mounted troops was drawn to the few men who had exposed themselves under the range, and before these mounted men knew where they were the main body of the Zulus got up and swarmed in every direction”

And dont forget the right horn pre deployed at the same time as Uguku arrival in the dead ground read Uguku he describes the advance of Raw and Roberts why its because he himself is part of the screen. This is what happened the evidence is before our own eyes. It took me 6 months of deep research to work this all out
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyFri Sep 24, 2021 4:49 am

Interesting comment about the path really, we tend to think of the path up to the ridge as being where the road/track is at present but the original was in a much different place.
Ive just been checking on the early 1940's aerial photos, the traditional access to the plateau is actually to the east of the iSandlwana lodge so the egress from the valley would end just to the eastern foothill/slope of Mkwene. The obvious choice for a piquet then would be ON the side of Mkwene a full view would then be had of the path and also a partial view of the plateau, at least sufficient view to see across to the first of the undulations/ridges.
The plot seems to be clearing?
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyFri Sep 24, 2021 5:28 am

Truth of the matter is there were so many reports of enemy activity to the north that it would be criminally negligent not to have some type of overwatch. Frank, I agree with the logic of your positioning BUT... take a look at the position indicated on Capt. Anstey's Survey map. It does indeed appear to be below Mkwene.

I can't speak for 1879 NNC operations, but at least in my Army it's SOP to set a command post a ways back and push out observation posts. Perhaps this is the implied piece we're missing.
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyFri Sep 24, 2021 8:33 am

As a thought to muddy the waters. The piquets at night were ordered to close in to the camp, Barry's piquet was a night piquet that wasnt relieved untill very late in the morning. Could there be an assumption that the daytime piquet and Vedette were in fact placed further out, ie: the North face but during the evening moved closer hence barry not being able to observe the very early morning movements as well.
Just a thought
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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyFri Sep 24, 2021 8:57 am

Hi Frank
Those airial photos can you post them Frank I would think many more of us would love to see them. Frank I think your wrong the night time picket was placed between Mkwene and the camp according to Military survey map and Barry relieved them if I am not mistaken I think it was Erskine

Michael your correct about the positioning of the pickets from Ithusi there is a hill less than I mile away which blocks the pickets view this very same hill the Zulu used to hide this impi a picket should of been placed on it and he would of seen any early approach
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyFri Sep 24, 2021 9:39 am

Thanks Inky
I'm trying to get my head around your theory as you seem quite passionate about it and have been looking again at the photos and my maps.
Am I right in thinking that you are advocating that:-

1/ the right horn have already deployed from the Ngwebini and are up north somewhere possibly north of Mkwene waiting to move. (I'm assuming this as they are possibly seen very early on and then appear to stop before moving again much later and being shot at by Mostyn and Cavaye with Essex describing a horn like shape moving across their front)
2/ the chest is in the Ngwebini along with the left horn
3/ the umCigo, uNokenke, and possibly umCityu in your dead ground are screens covering the main army.
Is this correct?

I'd be interested to see that map Frank though if the path was to the east of the lodge surely it wouldn't then be considered as the Tahelane spur route but just a.n. other path over the Nyoni ridge.
Good point about the picquets, though, one can assume they were back in position to report the early morning movements.

Also could Chard have mistaken Barry's NNC moving about on the ridge line as Zulu's?

Your right Mike as an observation post Mkwene  is a prime piece of real estate and at 1365ft is higher than any of the surrounding pieces of high ground including Mbaso (1308m) Ithusi (1334m) and Isandlwana (1332m).

As for the waters being muddied I think this whole battle as been one thick, gloopy, primeval slop since the 23rd January however that doesn't stop some of us climbing into thigh high rubber galoshes and wading about in the mire shifting for shiny things scratch .
Kate Very Happy


Last edited by gardner1879 on Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyFri Sep 24, 2021 12:17 pm

Hi Kate
I will answer your questions as follows
LEFT HORN consisting of the uVe and Ngobamakosi regiments behind Nyezi hill in visual sight of Isandlwana [ if not behind Nyezi very close to being the end of the Ngwebini valley]
MAIN BODY referred to by Mehlokazulu consisting of the following regiments uKandampemvu, uMxhampo, uMbonambi, and the reserves which would be present at the Battle of Rorkes Drift and we need to place a question mark on Umctyu seeing we do not have a warrior of this regiment confirming there movement to the Nqutu ridge are in the Ngwebini valley
RIGHT CHEST referred to by myself as the impi that Lieutenants Raw and Roberts discovered these consisted of the following regiments uMcijo and uNokenke. In visual sight of Mkwene in the dead ground and discovered by Trooper Barker at 11am
RIGHT HORN Consisting of the uMbubi, iSangqu, and uDududu regiments on the Northern Banks of the Manzimyama Stream in visual sight of Isandlwana sighted by Higginson, , Barry, Vereker and Sergeant Major Williams and 100 NNC I will send you a photo of there location.
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyFri Sep 24, 2021 1:33 pm

Thanks Inky I will await your photo. I'm trying to make all this fit as I'm always open to new ideas.
Just thinking though whilst I wait for the picture, you quote Mehlokazulu above.
In his 27th September account it states right at the beginning (my emphasis in bold):-

Q- Where did you sleep the night before the battle?
A- In a valley rising from the Nqutu range and running eastwards towards the King's kraal. It abounds with scrubby bush and small stones

The next two questions just refer to Chelmsford and orders of attack. 4th question:-
Q- Who attacked you first?
A- Three mounted troops-white and black- attacked us.(Durnford) The Zulu Regiments were ALL  lying in the valley I have mentioned, but the Umcityu made their appearance under the Nqutu range, and were seen by the mounted men of the English forces, (Roberts and Raw) who made at the Umcityu, not seeing the main body of the army. They fired, and all at once the main body of the Zulu army arose in every direction , on hearing the firing.

(Read a certain way, I think what Mehlokazulu is describing here is two separate incidents. The first being the three mounted troops of Durnford heading north around Ithusi and running into them and the second being Robert's and Raw encountering the Umcityu at the mouth of the Ngwebeni which is 'under the Nqutu range'
This then ties in with the answer to his next question which describes Durnford falling back along the plain)

Q- tell the story now
A- The mounted men retired very slowly on seeing the Zulu army (Roberts, Raw and Durnford). On seeing the English troops retiring (Roberts and Raw) the Ukandapenvu regiment called also the Umcityu advanced. The mounted men retired and advanced four times (Roberts and Raw); we just went on and they retired before us (Durnford) our Zulu army appearing to become more numerous every moment; we never stopped in our advance.
Either way he seems to be saying that all of the regiments were in that valley (the Ngwebeni?) with the Umcityu leaving it first.
Kate Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyFri Sep 24, 2021 1:39 pm

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Posted on behalf of Aussie Inkosi
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptyFri Sep 24, 2021 2:02 pm

"Hi Frank
Those aerial photos can you post them Frank I would think many more of us would love to see them. Frank I think your wrong the night time picket was placed between Mkwene and the camp according to Military survey map and Barry relieved them if I am not mistaken I think it was Erskine"
Inky
Erskine arrived at the camp some time after 11.
There were complains of the piquets not being relieved, Lonsdales in particular.
Scott was ordered to 'draw in your piquets'

So again, its possible the piquet moved closer to the camp from the EAST of Mkwene, off the ridge. ie: Closer to the camp. Tahelane was more to the west Kate. There is what seems to be two smaller tracks from plain to ridge, one up the front of Tahelane, not close to Mkwene. and one closer to the Notch (With a big N). So yes its more than possible that the minor track was guarded.
Its highly probable that there was also a vedette at Mkwene as well, Mansell had one posted there the day before.
The Narrative shows a vedette on Mkwene but no piquet. It also shows a'Detached Outpost by Night (Native Contingent) around half way up the slope.
Alright for you plowing through the gloop your about 2 foot taller than me. Rolling Eyes

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 1:17 am

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Hi Kate
The answer to your first question 
Q- Where did you sleep the night before the battle?  My Answer remember sleep the night before the battle Ngewbweni valley

Second question
Q- Who attacked you first? Here Mehlakazulu mentions the Uncityu he himself says they moved to the Nqutu ridge they were discovered in the dead ground I showed you Barker also confirms this location

When Mehlakazulu mentions they were all in the valley not at the time of the discovery first thing in the morning they were but you have Higinson and co seeing 5,000 moving behind Isandlwana plus Barker sighting 5,000 in the dead ground I showed you, things changed as the morning progressed
The question to Mehlakazulu is Who attacked you first? So I interpret this Who attacked Mehlakazulu regiment first this is clearly Durnford Jabez Molofi draw a map of were they came in contact with the right horn you can find it in Zulu Victory page 207 the exact place they made the U turn was pass the 2 dongas infront of Qwabi and further up there is a massive donga the same one we needed to get out of the bus on Ians tour remember before Durnford reached there So as Mehlakazulu says it was the sound of the gunfire from Raw and Roberts discovery that allerted them plus I maintain the Zulus had screens on eithier Nyezi or the small hill infront of it, they would have seen Durnfords approach and warned the left horn behind hence them meeting Durnford at that massive donga but the gunfire from the discovery happend before Durnfords approach hence the left horn advanced to that massive donga remember Scott on Amatushane saw the advance of the leftt horn and tried to warn Durnford of that.

your third question.  Facts, are there was an action around Mkwene for around 30 minutes before the chest arrived Frank can confirm this. My version explains it perfectly plus you have Barker confirming sighting this same army in the dead ground under the present day bunch of trees the discovery happend there please explain then the late arrival of the chest 30 minutes after the first action when all left the valley at the same time.

The latest photo are the movements of the right horn at 930am confirmed by the videetes on Mkwene

Also you are the confusing the Ukandapenvu and the Umcityu as the same regiment not the case .
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 2:55 am

Hi Kate 

Lets brake down Mehlakazulu comment

1.“ The Zulu regiments were all lying in the valley, I have mentioned { the Ngewbeni valley },  but the Umciityu made their appearance under the Nqutu range, 2.and were seen by the mounted men of the English forces , who made for the Umcityu , not seeing the main body of the army. 3. They fired, and all at once the main body of the Zulu army arose in every direction , on hearing the firing.  4.The attention of the English mounted troops was drawn to the few men who had exposed themselves under the range,5.  and before these mounted men knew where they were the main body of the Zulus got up and swarmed in every direction”


1.      The Zulu regiments were all lying in the valley, I have mentioned { the Ngewbeni valley },  but the Umciityu made their appearance under the Nqutu range,  We need to locate the Nqutu range where is it Kate ? remember he says but { but they moved under the Nqutu range } there no longer in the valley they moved



2.and were seen by the mounted men of the English forces , who made for the Umcityu , not seeing the main body of the army. Then he states once appearing under the range the Mounted English men went after them { this is Raw and Roberts } he repeats himself again Raw and Roberts did not see the main army they saw the Umcityu its simple to understand and they saw them under the Nqutu range


3. They fired, and all at once the main body of the Zulu army arose in every direction , on hearing the firing.   what arose the main army was the sound of the gunfire and it came from the Nqutu range


4. The attention of the English mounted troops was drawn to the few men who had exposed themselves under the range   these few men he is refering to is the Umcityu, he repeats and confirms here that the discovery took place under the Nqutu ridge.


5. and before these mounted men knew where they were the main body of the Zulus got up and swarmed in every direction”      after the discovery took place this alerted the main army in the valley beyond



The reason we have trouble understanding is because its been our belief that the army was discovered all together in the same spot being the valley. They moved up we have countless British sighting confirming this
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 10:05 am

In haste Inky
but the uKhandempemvu are also known as the uMcijo.
Mehlokazulu himself says it in his statement.
Kate Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 10:47 am

I have provided the data from the Zulu Headman a second to none source

Regiment Corp name   umCityu consisted of the following 3 Regiments

umCityu Regiment  2,500 warriors
Unqakamatye  also known as the uKandenpemvu. Regiment 5,000 warriors
Umtulianzwi also known as the umCijo Regiment  1,500 warriors the Leader of this regiment is 
Vumandaba kaNtati you can confirm this in Ians books

All 3 of these regiments were present at Isandlwana
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 1:22 pm

I have a copy of a map marked:

MILITARY SURVEY

No.2.

of the

COUNTRY AROUND ISANDHLWANA


The map, which was sourced (confidential) from Durban, and signed by Captain Anstey dated

13. 7. 99. was forwarded to the late Ron Lock and myself.

Marked in the right hand portion of the map, was an annotation in ink handwriting of a detailed outline of the battle.

It includes all the Zulu regiments present together with their positions during the attack.

They are shown as Uve, Udhloke, Undi, Ngobamakosi, Umbonambi, Umcityu, Nokenke, and the Nodwengu.

The critical question for Ron and I, was whose handwriting was reflected on the map? He with such an intricate knowledge of the battle? Obviously someone present or nearby to the battle.

We then obtained, for handwriting purposes, letters or messages of all the Commanders and leading personalities present. We then sent a copy of the originals, (together with the copy on the map,) in order to attempt to identify the handwriting of the map writer. This was sent to a sourced international handwriting expert. The answer received was within a day or so, and quote: 'The handwriting was that of Wood.'

The 'X' that marked the spot where the Basutos
first fired on the Umcityu is also identified.

It also marks the initials D.H. (sic) as the approximate position of Colonel Durnford,
when the Hlubi hearing the fire of the Umcityu, persuaded him to retire.

Kind regards,

Peter Quantrill




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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 1:44 pm

Aussie,

A few questions and problems.

1. You say the early Zulu movements were a screen of sorts. I have numerous issues with this. First, take a look at the statement of a deserter from the Nokenke in the Natal Witness, Feb 24, 1879. He is clear that this movement was not command-directed and was triggered by the sound of firing from the direction of Chelmsford's force; the warriors believed their own left wing had been engaged and they were "soon told it was the white Troops fighting with Matyana's people some 10 miles away to our left front, and returned to our original position..."

Far more importantly, a screen serves a very clear and immediate tactical purpose. There is a 3+ hour gap between large masses of warriors appearing on the Nyoni and the materialization of the main Zulu attack. Why this delay? Tactically, it makes little sense.

2. What intent do you believe can be drawn from the model of the Zulu maneuvers you present? What was Ntshingwayo trying to accomplish?

3. Do you have a map of your theory?

All interesting stuff and I'm always keen to see new theories, even if they don't necessarily match my own.



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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 2:37 pm

Hi Peter Q. good to hear from you, its been a while.
Regards

frank
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 2:49 pm

Hi Michael

1.I am not saying the early movements were screens but what I am saying those regiments that moved forward one being the umCijo and Nokenke used screens to conceal there own regiments location the one in particular being the one in the dead ground we have been talking about above.

Yes I am aware the movement of the umCijo and Nokenke regiments happened by the gun fire from Mangeni but that was not the case for the 5,000 Higginson and others from Mkwene witnessed at 930am that was a deliberate and planned move behind Isandlwana.

Your second point of Zulu intent with there maneuvers.  There is strong evidence there was an army in the dead ground mentioned above Trooper Barker confirms this all the experts have been avoiding this for far to long.  So if an army was there then why did the Zulu feint a retirement for what purpose ?, Remember it was this retiring move that got the British to leave the camp, is that what the Zulu wanted ?

All this started from a map Ron Lock and Peter Quantrill used years ago its the understanding of the use of terrain for military purposes that will reveal this battles hidden mysteries
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 2:59 pm

Hi  Peter Quantrill  I sent you a private message.
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 3:11 pm

Welcome to the forum Peter.
I have read all your and Ron Lock's books.
Ron was a great help to me when I was researching 'Rifle and Spear with the Zulu' and I was really sad when I heard of his passing. He is sorely missed within the AZW community.
Good to have you on board and interested to hear your current views on the subject.
Kate Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 4:14 pm

Kate. Peter & Ron have been members of the forum for many years. Hope your well Peter.
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PostSubject: Re: Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene   Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySat Sep 25, 2021 4:47 pm

(Sorry just saw it was post number one for him so thought he had just joined.)

Okay so if we accept  the right horn has moved early and its movements are seen between 7am and 9.30am by Barry's picquets moving east to west to the north of Mkwene. So far so good.
At 1200pm  Essex talks of the formation moving in front of him like a horn from right to left (east to west) which means the right horn must have remained stationary for approx 2 hours from 10am till noon. somewhere north of Mkwene.

Now imagine Raw and Robert's coming up the Tahelane spur at approx 11am and talking to Barry, Vereker and other men who had seen and reported on the early movements of the Zulu.

Heres the big question:----

Would Raw and Robert's have then set off east along the Nqutu plateau towards the Ngwebeni valley if the 5000 Zulus of the right horn was north or west of them?

Surely Barry and his mob would have informed Robert's and Raw where the Zulu were and they would not have set off in an easterly direction with Zulus to their rear; Zulus who could then potentially cut off their escape route back tot the camp.
Barry goes with Robert's and Raw, would he really do that if there were Zulus behind him?

I've no idea who those early Zulus were but I don't think it was the right horn.
Kate Very Happy
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PostSubject: Capt Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene    Captain Barry and his Picquet at Mkwene EmptySun Sep 26, 2021 2:59 am

Hi Frank
Mkwene was a day and night Piquet position , Capt Barry and his piquet had been on Mkwene for 36 hrs , was supposed to be relieved by Capt Krohn's Co on the morning of the 22nd but it didn't happen .
90th Salute
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