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 Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift

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Henry Martini




Posts : 7
Join date : 2021-09-22

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PostSubject: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyMon 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.


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Herbie




Posts : 97
Join date : 2017-11-16
Age : 56
Location : Epsom, Surrey

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptySat 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.

Regards
Phil
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Henry Martini




Posts : 7
Join date : 2021-09-22

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu 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
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Henry Martini




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Join date : 2021-09-22

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu 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...
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell


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Age : 75
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu Oct 14, 2021 5:15 am

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Julian Whybra




Posts : 2862
Join date : 2011-09-12
Location : Billericay, Essex

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyTue 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
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Henry Martini




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyTue 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.

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Julian Whybra




Posts : 2862
Join date : 2011-09-12
Location : Billericay, Essex

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyTue Nov 16, 2021 11:35 am

Henry
The Roll Call dates from 1990 and is out of date (bad news)! England's Sons is its replacement and up to date (send me your e-mail via pm and I'll help you out).
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