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 Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift

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Henry Martini




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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 1:14 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 : 118
Join date : 2017-11-17
Age : 58
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 1:17 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 1:00 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




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 1:08 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 : 77
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 6:15 am

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Julian Whybra




Posts : 3966
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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 5:44 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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Join date : 2021-09-22

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyTue Nov 16, 2021 5:29 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 : 3966
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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 12:35 pm

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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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptySun Jul 24, 2022 12:07 am

Henry martini.
I know it's been a while since an entry to this post. But in Cpl Lyons letter he states he is outside with others, including Cpl Allen, and that he witnessed Pte Cole being shot dead. Was Pte Cole outside?
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptySun Jul 24, 2022 12:22 am

Eddie
According to Hook, Cole suffered from claustrophobia and at one point ran outside the front of the building where he was shot in the head and killed. Cole was not a hospital patient but one of the six 'volunteer' privates who stayed in the hospital to protect the patient and defend the building.
The other five were the two Williamses, Hook and the two Joneses.
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptySun Jul 24, 2022 1:43 am

Julian Thank you.
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Julian Whybra




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Location : Billericay, Essex

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptySun Jul 24, 2022 9:24 am

Eddie
As you have probably guessed, Cole was Hook's co-defender in his hospital room. Cole would have had to run through an internal door into one of the front rooms to exit an outside door on to the verandah.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptySun Jul 24, 2022 10:30 am

Henry
I've decided to re-print here pp. 89-90 from England's Sons which should answer your initial question.  By all means get back to me if you need to.

U.  A Roll of Rorke’s Drift Hospital Patients (fn.1)
                                                               

The number of patients in the hospital at the beginning of the defence is not definitely known.  A number of men from companies other than B coy 2/24th were present at Rorke’s Drift.  The reasons for the presence of most of them can be accounted for.  For the remainder it may well be that they were patients in the hospital but the fact remains unproven (and they are marked ‘POSSIBLE’ below).  The ‘Chard’ Roll of Defenders lists 36 unnamed patients (3 R.A., 5 1/24th, 17 2/24th, 1 90th [fn. 2], 3 N.M.P., and 7 N.N.C.) but quite apart from problems of authenticity, there are many errors in this roll so it cannot be taken as definitive.


1st battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire) (fn. 3)
 
                       25B/135      Private                       William                     Beckett
                       1-24/1861    Private                       William                     Horrigan
                       25B/841      Private                        James Edmund         Jenkins
                       25B/625      Private                        Edward                     Nicholas
                       1-24/1542    Private                       William                     Roy

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire) B coy
 
                       25B/1185     Private                       Edward                     Savage

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire) A coy

                       2-24/2383    Drummer                   John                         Meehan      POSSIBLE
                       2-24/1441    Private                       John                         Lyons         POSSIBLE
                       2-24/1731    Private                       John                         Manley       POSSIBLE
                       25B/1051     Private                       John                         Scanlon
                       2-24/2404    Private                       Arthur                      Sears          POSSIBLE

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire) D coy

                       2-24/1713    Drummer                   Patrick                     Galgey       POSSIBLE
                       25B/987       Private                       Robert                     Adams      
                       25B/1335     Private                       James                      Chick        
                       2-24/1769    Private                       Garret                      Hayden    

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire) E coy

                       25B/82         Lance-Sergeant         James                      Taylor        POSSIBLE  
                       25B/934       Private                       John                        Williams    POSSIBLE

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire) F coy

                       25B/1459     Private                       Robert                     Cole            
                       25B/1065     Private                       James                      Ruck          POSSIBLE

1  Not included in these figures is Lieut. Thomas Purvis 1/3rd N.N.C., a hospital patient, who did not remain to assist in the defence but accompanied Witt to safety.    
2  1123 Corporal James Graham 90th (Perthshire Volunteers, Light Infantry) Regiment was at Rorke’s Drift by accident, having been sent up in an escort to a convoy after recovering from an illness.  See his obituary in The Aldershot News, 4th March 1899.
3  Sergt. Wilson, Ptes. Payton, Desmond, 25B/295 Jenkins, Nicholas and Roy 1/24th had been sent to the rear with prisoners.  See Whybra, Julian, ‘Private David Jenkins and a Contemporary Roll of Rorke’s Drift Defenders’ in Studies in the Zulu War 1879, Volume II, (2nd ed., Writtle, 2013), pp. 59-85.  They were at Rorke’s Drift at the time of the battle.  Roy had been admitted to hospital with a sore throat in the interim. The same was probably true of Nicholas.

89

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire) G coy

                       25B/623      Sergeant                    Robert                     Maxfield
                       25B/906      Private                      John                         Connolly  
                       25B 1410    Private                      William                    Partridge   POSSIBLE

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire) H coy

                       25B/953      Private                      Frederick                  Evans        POSSIBLE
                       25B/954      Private                      Thomas                    Evans        POSSIBLE

Royal Artillery N Battery 5th Brigade

                       458             Bombardier               Thomas                    Lewis
                       1643           Gunner                      Abraham                  Evans
                       2077           Gunner                      Arthur                      Howard

Natal Mounted Police

                       219            Trooper                      Robert Shedden       Green  
                       280            Trooper                      Sydney H.                Hunter
                       271            Trooper                      Henry                       Lugg

1st battalion, 3rd Regiment Natal Native Contingent

                                         Corporal                     Jesse Handcock       Mayor
                                     Private (African)     name unknown (a native of Mkungo’s isiGqoza)

2nd battalion, 3rd Regiment Natal Native Contingent (fn. 4)

                                         Corporal                     William                   Anderson
                                         Corporal                     William                   Doughty    
                                         Corporal                     Ferdnand Christian  Schiess
                                         Corporal                     John                         Wilson

TOTALS                                         25 definite     11 possible hospital patients     36 total

4  Bourne’s Roll is specific in not naming Corporal Carl Scammell 2/3rd N.N.C. a s a hospital patient.      

90
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu Aug 04, 2022 12:17 am

Hoping the roll I have is the correct one.

1st Battalion 24th Regiment

All are listed as either Prison escorts or hospital patients with the exception of 'one':- Pte Turner Henry 25B/104. Can we assume that he is a"Possible" until evidence arrives?

RA, N Battery 5th Brigade:

All are listed as Hospital patients with the exception of Gunner Cantwell John 2076. (DCM).
In the absence of any Artillery peace or equipment, and his fellow gunners in hospital as patients, is it not "Possible" that he was a patient too? Evidence depending?
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu Aug 04, 2022 2:31 am

The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser July 4th 1879.

Extracted from Pall Mall Gazette.

Small snippet from the article states that: of the total killed five were hospital patients.

It also goes on to say: The names of those who especially distinguished themselves must be mentioned, John Williams, Hook, William Jones, Robert Jones , all of the 2-24th Regiment that had been posted in the hospital. This could mean that Pte Cole was not assigned and a "Possible" patient.(or could mean all those posted in the hospital that survived were 2-24th)?
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu Aug 04, 2022 2:55 am

A bit confusing but in the Aberystwyth Observer and Monmouthshire News, dated Saturday, June 14 1879. In an article of letters sent home, John Waters indicates that he was an Orderly at the hospital.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu Aug 04, 2022 9:42 am

Eddie
Turner H coy was the storeman at RD.
Waters E coy was the hospital orderly at RD.
Cantwell was the artillery storeman at RD.

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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu Aug 04, 2022 1:33 pm

Julian
Thank for updating me on Turner and Cantwell . I did find evidence Waters was an orderly.

Hope you find evidence for the remainder soon.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu Aug 04, 2022 4:23 pm

I have evidence for all of them.
Forgive me, I wasn't sure if you knew, but this has already been done, published, and placed in the public domain.
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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu Aug 04, 2022 10:10 pm

Thank you Julian

When expressing that I hope you find evidence for the remainder soon, I was referring to the eleven possible's on your list above. Hopefully finding the evidence to prove them definite patients.
Forgive my ignorance, as I was attempting to assist you in adding information to your list if possible.
Cheers Eddie
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift   Unknown Patients at Rorke's Drift EmptyThu Aug 04, 2022 11:29 pm

Eddie
Not at all.  I didn't mean to spoil your fun.  I just didn't want you to overlap with what's already known and waste your time (that said, doing your own research is always fun and worthwhile and double-checks others' research).  You carry on.
The 11 you mention I still can't account for on an individual basis as patients, however, if included they do bring the tally up to 36 hospital patients as per the 'Chard' Roll.
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