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 Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake

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gardner1879

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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptySun Jul 24, 2022 1:24 pm

An interesting little story of mistaken identity

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Belfast Telegraph - Friday 25 April 1930
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gardner1879

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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptySun Jul 24, 2022 2:10 pm

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Hes not on this later memorial. Photo on a visit there in March 2018
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1879graves

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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptySun Jul 24, 2022 6:39 pm

The September 1930 edition of The Nongqai revealed that Sergeant John William Unger of the Natal Native Contingent who was listed as being killed at Netzine on 22.1.79 infact was not killed – he died in 1932: “BURIED” in a Zululand cemetery for over 50 years, and with his tombstone greying with the storms, ex-Sergeant J.W. Unger, whose name fills and honoured place in the lists ofr the glorious dead, told me a little bit of his adventurous life the other day. He will be 80 in October, but until a few months ago he was as hale and hearty as many of only half his years. Recently, however, he has been compelled to live quietly indoors. A tombstone bearing his name stands in a little cemetery not far from Eshowe, where Zulu War victims were buried. “I was born aboard a sailing vessel out at sea.” Ex-Sergeant Unger told me. “I landed at Durban, and decided to make South Africa my home. A year and a half later I joined the Brough Police, and when the Zulu War broke out, in 1878 (sic), I sent in my resignation, but was granted six months’ leave instead. Then I went to Maritzburg and joined the Natal Contingent, and moved into Zululand. One day when I returned from patrol, I found that all my kit had been taken. My cooking pan, my bag, and other things bearing my name, had gone. This was just before the battle of Isandhlwana. I moved about the country taking part in several engagements, and when the war was over I returned to re-join the Borough Police”. Long afterwards, Unger said, he heard of a grave bearing a stone on which was his name among those of the men killed in the Zulu War. It appears that his kit was taken by a man named Gosh, who was killed in an engagement. Sergeant Unger’s name appeared on the things which were believed to belong to Gosh. Hence the mistake. I asked Unger whether he had ever attempted to have the tombstone bearing his name removed, and he replied: ‘When I was young I did not think about it, as there were too many other things to worry about. Now, I am old, and it has been there so long, I do not mind.”
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John Young

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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptySun Jul 24, 2022 9:52 pm

Included in Casualty Return for the Battle of Nyezane, 22nd January 1879.
Killed in action:
Sergeant Emil Unger, N.N.C.
Corporal Carl Goesch, N.N.C.

So both Unger & Goesch perished in the campaign.

JY
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Julian Whybra




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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 11:51 am

Is there any indication anywhere of who the man was who stole Unger's identity?
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gardner1879

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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 11:54 am

In Graves post above it looks like a man called Gosh or as John has shown Goesch.
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Julian Whybra




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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 11:57 am

Kate
Thanks. Sorry, I missed that in Graves's post. So the Casualty Return is wrong then (as per JY's post)?
Or...
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gardner1879

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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 12:08 pm

Hmm yes. Because if he was killed identifying as Unger why would they have Gosh/Goesch's details as well?
scratch
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John Young

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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 1:01 pm

Note that the Sergeant killed at Nyezane was Emil Unger, and not J. W. Unger.

Looks like a yarn-spin by J. W. Unger to me.

JY
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gardner1879

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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 1:31 pm

Sgt Emil Unger 1/2nd NNC and Cpl Carl Goesch 1/2NNC were both killed at Nyezane according to Ian Knight in 'Fearful Hard Times'
They were in the party advancing with Lieut Raines when they were ambushed just beyond Wombane

Interestingly Ian says that Emil, a native of Switzerland, had left his job with the Durban Police in order to enrol in the NNC
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Julian Whybra




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Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake   Sergeant Unger Durban Police and the Eshowe mistake EmptyMon Jul 25, 2022 2:53 pm

Right, that's that cleared up then!
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