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Subject: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:14 am
Its been interesting to piece together the fight at Rorke's Drift for the Hospital. I have created a slide layout for the hospital and have tracked each man through it, confronted by the mysteries and unknowns. Here is one of them I find interesting.
There are definitely 2 and potentially 3 unnamed patients who were in the hospital at the time of the fight and not well enough to man the barricades or hospital loopholes. 2 of them were in the room with John Williams. These two unnamed patients follow him through the mouse hole in the wall. There is potentially a 3rd man depending on where you think Pte. Jenkins and Adams were killed and when.
So let's just stick with the 2 certain patients with John Williams. Let's suppose that whomever they were, they were reported on the Chard Roll as being at Rorke's Drift. My first thought was to clear all of the people who are not B/2/24 personnel. In doing so, I am able to account for all non-B company personal in locations outside of the hospital except for these 4 blokes:
1/24th Pte. Payton T. Pte. Turner H. Pte. Wilson E.
90th Inf. Cpl. Graham James - I did find a mention of James as a recovered patient in "Like Wolves on the Fold". Recovered seems to indicate that he would have been well enough most likely to man the barricade but there is no source material provided to substantiate this.
Of course this presumes that all of the rest of the B/2/24 men were fit for duty and outside the hospital for the time being and that there would be no other reason for 1/24th men who were not in the hospital to be there.
So, does anyone have any information on the 3 privates from 1/24 who seem to be unaccounted for?
Thanks in advance. Best.
Posts : 97 Join date : 2017-11-16 Age : 56 Location : Epsom, Surrey
Subject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift Sat Oct 09, 2021 12:17 pm
Hi Henry, Sgt (not Pte) Edward Wilson and Pte Thomas Payton were part of a prisoner escort which also included Pte’s Patrick Desmond, David Jenkins and William Roy. Several but not all of the 1/24th men were from G Coy. Pte Henry Turner was from H Coy, Pte Beckett from A Coy and Pte’s Roy and Waters from E Coy I believe.
From my reading I understand the 1/24th men in the hospital were Pte’s Roy, Becket and Horrigan (who were all capable of using a rifle) and Pte’s James Jenkins and Edward Nicholas (who were less fit I think but may still have had rifles). The others were all outside presumably or maybe some in the Storehouse.
Posts : 7 Join date : 2021-09-22
Subject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:00 am
Thank you for the reply Phil!
So, we: * know that Desmond fought in the storehouse with Tpr Lugg. * David Jenkins is believed to be the soldier to have pulled Chard down in the yard as a zulu took aim at him
We know that: * Roy, Beckett and Waters were in the Hospital
Can we presume that: * Since Desmond and D. Jenkins were healthy and fighting, that Wilson and Payton would also be? * Anyone know what companies Desmond, D Jenkins, Wilson and Payton were from of the 1/24th? Same G company perhaps? * Any more details on the prisoner escort - when did it arrive at RD?
This would leave Pte. H. Turner out in the cold - if he was not part of the Prisoner Escort and part of H Coy then perhaps he was one of the un-named Patients in the hospital?
The next set of suspects would be the fellows of 2/24 but not of B Coy: Accounted for: * Adams, R - D coy - KIA in the Hospital * Connolly, J - C coy - KIA in Hospital * Hayden G - D coy - KIA in Hospital * Maxfield, R - G coy - KIA in Hospital * Cole Robert - F coy - We know he fought in the Hospital * Partridge, W - G Coy - Colour-SGT Bourne's Batman
Unaccounted: * Chick, James - D Coy - Both Chick and Scanlon were hospital patients and were KIA - gunshot wounds as I understand it, which suggest they were out of the hospital at the time of death. That doesn't prove anything since the 2 un-named patients seem to have made it out of the hospital perhaps to die somewhere else on the defensive line. Hook talks about finding a body slumped over the parapets which was unknow to him by name - surely he would have know all the B coy men - could be either Chick or Scanlon * Scanlon, J - A coy KIA * Cooper, W - F coy * Evens, F - H Coy * Galgey, P - Drummer D coy * Lyons John, Pte 1441 A coy * Manley, J - A coy * Meehan, J - Drummer A coy * Sears, A - A coy * Taylor, James - Lance-SGT E coy * Williams, John Pte 934 E coy
Posts : 7 Join date : 2021-09-22
Subject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:08 am
By the way - I would think that if a soldier escaped the hospital only to be killed somewhere else in the defense (Chick and Scanlon) that that would have been news worthy...
From what I have read - there were a lot of other patients in the hospital but they were healthy enough and capable enough to bear a rifle. So, theoretically, all of these men could have been patients - just which ones were not able to soldier on and were left in the hospital is the question.
Could you speculate that a Drummer or a Lance Sgt would have been mentioned as well? That a patient left as unknown would have to have been a Pte and not of B company since John Williams does not name them - are they not known to him by name then...
Posts : 8220 Join date : 2009-09-21 Age : 75 Location : Cape Town South Africa
Subject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:15 am
Subject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:44 pm
Henry Can I refer you to Studies in the Zulu War vol III 'The Prisoner Escort at Rorke's Drift' and vol II 'Private David Jenkins and a Contemporary Roll of Rorke's Drift Defenders'. The 1/24th prisoner escort was held up at RD when Roy became ill. There were several other 1/24th men at RD. This table should help identify all the men's companies:
1st Battalion 24th Regiment Men at Rorke’s Drift
No. Name Coy Notes
25B/135 Pte. BECKETT, William A hospital patient, dw 25B/568 Pte. DESMOND, Patrick G prisoner escort, slw 1-24/1861 Pte. HORRIGAN, William G hospital patient, kia 25B/295 Pte. JENKINS, David G prisoner escort 25B/841 Pte. JENKINS, James Edmund D hospital patient, kia 25B/625 Pte. NICHOLAS, Edward D hospital patient, probably prisoner escort, kia 25B/372 Pte. PAYTON, Thomas G prisoner escort 1-24/1542 Pte. ROY, William E prisoner escort and hospital patient, mid 25B/104 Pte. TURNER, Henry H Storeman 1-24/447 Pte. WATERS, John E hospital orderly, svw 25B/56 Sergt. WILSON, Edward G prisoner escort
kia = killed in action; dw = died of wounds; slw = slightly wounded; svw = severely wounded; mid = mentioned in dispatches
It is my belief that Pte. Nicholas above was the sixth member of the prisoner escort party though this cannot as yet be proven.
Can I also refer you to England's Sons 'A Roll of Rorke's Drift Hospital Patients' pp. 87-88.
Sergt. Wilson Desmond, D Jenkins, Wilson and Payton were from of the 1/24th
Posts : 7 Join date : 2021-09-22
Subject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift Tue Nov 16, 2021 4:29 am
Hi Julian! I actually just got ahold of a copy of your book "The Roll Call"!
Thanks for your post. So, the new information I gleaned from it is a reason perhaps that Turner was at RD. If his role was a storeman, that sounds like someone who might have been detailed to RD given its function as a supply depot vs perhaps being sick and left in the hospital.
If this is true then I think it rules out the likely possibility that the other two patients were 1/24 men leaving the men of non-B companies of 2/24 (my most likely suspects) and of course the B co. 2/24 men.
I would think it unlikely that Nicholas would have been part of the prisoner detail. This seems to have been a task detailed to company G under Sgt. Wilson's supervision.