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 Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants

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90th
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyFri Oct 22, 2021 2:19 pm

90th
That's quite true. Even so, when counting the number of 24th (incl. all the MI and odds and sods detached) there were 607 redcoats - a rough equivalent of 6 coys - but still not enough to provide an effective man per yard basis of a defence.
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barry

barry


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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyFri Oct 22, 2021 3:12 pm

.JW/90th,
Quite true. The numbers quoted are broad brush and are not finite. If there were less available it further illustrates how hopeless the situation was.  Clearly a case of a set up for failure.
So, with all of this in mind, who were the planners around at the time arranging, authorising and indeed allowing this?. Durnford cant be brought in here  because he was not even in town!!
 

regards

barry


Last edited by barry on Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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gardner1879

gardner1879


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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyFri Oct 22, 2021 3:12 pm

Ah Frank those hand written notes from Sheila. I think I know where she got them from.
They are the same notes I got back in 2016 from I think either Emily-Ann Krige at the  Killie Campbell or Pam at Talana (I'd have to check my notes to see which it was). They were donated to the museum by Alan's daughter, Zeila who ended up living at the Mooi River.
Unfortunately the originals have gone missing but luckily were copied by Ken Gillings so the information was not lost.
Kate
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyFri Oct 22, 2021 4:03 pm

Barry
Planning?  I don't see any evidence for it.  I think it was more a case of RESPONDING to any given situation and doing what the British do best (or in this case worst) - MUDDLING THROUGH!
I'm not being anti-British here.  I work best thinking on my feet and making ad hoc descisions.  Muddling through often works out very well in the end - look at Rorke's Drift - but it can get us into some awful scrapes along the way...
How else can anyone explain what Chelmsford was doing.  His moves that morning had been a RESPONSE to the alarm from the Mangeni.  Durnford RESPONDED to Chelmsford's summons without (allegedly) a specific plan of action being directed to him.  Pulleine RESPONDED to the nature/extent of the initial threat he believed he was up against.
I've always thought that the Big Battle that day could have been The Mangeni or The Bashee with Chelmsford or Durnford respectively wiped out and Pulleine left thinking he was the lucky one.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell


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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 9:49 am

In other words an Unauthorised deviation from criteria based standards. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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barry

barry


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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 10:04 am

Hi Frank,
In today Businessspeak it would be called KNEEJERK management. However it was said by some that Brightspark was planning to bring the enemy to battle, and was concerned that he would not succeed at that. However, maybe, and just maybe, the camp was actually sacrificed deliberately. , ie taking away half the force and expecting the 600-700 left to defend successfully was a delusion. Being a senior general He should have known that as his forces were less than minimal, that his circus was doomed.

regards

barry
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 10:06 am

Barry
A deliberate sacrifice? A step too far, I think.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 10:47 am

Ouch !
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 12:12 pm

I think this former cavalry ranker sums it up succinctly.

Had the world been searched for a position offering the easiest facilities for being surprised, none could have been found to surpass Isandula.  It offered a premium to disaster.

Archibald Forbes, correspondent of the Daily News.

JY
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 1:25 pm

Interestingly I was just looking through some of Lord Chelmsford's despatches and found this in his 7th May despatch about the engagement at Gingindlovu:-

"Our casualties are small considering the easy mark the laager afforded the assailants, and, had it not been for the cover afforded the troops by the broad shelter trench, I should have had a much heavier loss"

The cynic in me, as his first battle after iSandlwana, wonders if he is still trying to cover up his mistakes and make excuses for not having a laager. This is him saying to the world:-
"Look I've fought the Zulu directly now and the Laager would have made things worse. It wouldn't have made any difference at iSandlwana so shut up"

Or is it it just me reading too much into it?
Kate:roll:

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 1:29 pm

Oh Kate, you old cynic Suspect
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 2:21 pm

Kate If your still searching for potential laager Commandants have a look at Stafford. He mentions a Commandant Montgomery at one point.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 2:30 pm

Thanks Frank Salute
I will have a look.
Kate Very Happy
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 6:00 pm

Is this the reference you had in mind Frank?:-

"Then, it having been decided to make Krantzkop the headquarters, we trekked out of Maritzburg on December 24. It was a ‘tango’ outfit. Most of the oxen, which were from the Free State, were not properly trained, while the drivers and voorloopers were inexperienced. Those who have had anything to do with ox transport can well imagine the difficulty that was experienced in getting the column moving with the loaded wagons. The commandant in charge, the late Captain Montgomery, of Mid-Hlovo, only too glad of my assistance and experience placed me in charge of the transport.
On arrival at Krantzkop, the unacclimatised Free State oxen began to die like flies from redwater with the result that by the time the Natal Native Contingent was up to strength there were very few of these animals left."

Kate:D
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 24, 2021 6:34 pm

Thats the one I had in mind Kate but not to sure it fits the bill other than showing there were experienced men on hand.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 26, 2021 4:02 pm

Commdt. Montgomery: Thus far (Kranz Kop), and no farther.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 26, 2021 6:07 pm

Hi Julian
The point I was hopining to have made was that Montgomery recognised that he had experienced people to delegate to rather than having the requisite knowledge himself.

Cheers
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 26, 2021 6:27 pm

I think I've found who was responsible for Woods successful Laagering at Kambula.

Civilian Contractor Fred Struben thought not shown as a Laager Commandant or Head Conductor seems to have been responsible for making the 'Laager impregnable' after recieving news about the disaster at Hlobane.
It seems a laager of sorts had already been formed but Fred finished it off.
He was positioned in the smaller cattle laager during the battle.

Fred seems to have been in command  of transport in Woods flying column during the second invasion-
"Fred Struben had a hard task to keep the military transport going..."

Then on the right bank of the Umvolosi-
"Fred Struben having completed the construction of the laager in the late eveing.."

Re Commandant Alexander Montgomery Esq  1st NNC he was formely a Captain in the 7th Fusiliers, travelled to SA taking up a farm near Mid-Lovo named 'Ismont'. He was a member of the local gentry, Justice of the Peace and dabbled in politics, I can't find any reference to him being a skilled wagon conductor.
He  remained at Kranz Kop. I can only find two conductors attached to Durnford's column McMarthy and Nolan both killed at iSandlwana.

The British medical Journal 27th December 1879 states in relation to transport:-
"The truth is, that the campaign suffered from want of brains to guide it"
Nuff said
Kate Very Happy
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 26, 2021 8:36 pm

The conductor's name was given as McCarthy but in fact he was called McAthie.
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 26, 2021 8:43 pm

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 28, 2021 1:11 pm

Quote from David Jacksons 'The Sources Re-examined'. p11
" Moreover the manuuvring of the wagons required the supervision of a skilled 'laager commandant'. and successive attempts by Clery to engage a suitable civilian for the post had proved fruitless."
Kate it could therefore be usefull to look at PRO W.O 33/34 pp299-304

Frank
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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyMon Nov 01, 2021 11:38 am

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

Source DNW"
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90th

90th


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PostSubject: Laagering of Wagons at Isandlwana    Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyMon Nov 01, 2021 1:07 pm

Hi Pete
Seems to me DNW have confused Durnford and Pulleine , Pulleine was hardly going to ride up with an Auxiliary force ! , that would be Durnford I'd expect .
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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyMon Nov 01, 2021 2:24 pm

Or Horne was confused. Shocked
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyMon Nov 01, 2021 2:30 pm

Statement is as given by Horn.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyMon Nov 01, 2021 3:39 pm

In the original it is Horne that was confused.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants   Laagering of Wagons at iSandlwana and Laager Commandants - Page 2 EmptyMon Nov 01, 2021 10:13 pm

An extract From a Natal Newspaper:-

"With Colonel Wood's Column"
Blood River Zululand 7th Jan 1879
"...The wagon train of 141 wagons took some time to get into order not withstanding the admirable regulations and arrangements made by the commandant and carried out energetically by Captain Vaughan"

Further proof Wood had a Laagar Commandant with is column.
Thanks for the lengthy post about Horne Pete Salute  
Kate Very Happy
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