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Lieutenant John Chard: What's our strength? Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: Seven officers including surgeon, commissaries and so on; Adendorff now I suppose; wounded and sick 36, fit for duty 97 and about 40 native levies. Not much of an army for you.
 
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 10:50 am

James,

You gave the game away yourself, when you referred to The Rorke’s Drift Men.

You’ll have tell the designer of your new book jacket that Bromhead was more ginger than shown!

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 10:52 am

This sentence from a recently-published Zulu War book is of particular interest to me because the Salvation Army building is less than a mile from where I am sitting now, and it remains an important base for the modern Salvation Army:

Towards the end of 1879, Annie Elizabeth Foster, the secretary of the Salvation Army in Eccles near Manchester decided to establish The Ladies’ Rorke’s Drift Testimonial Fund, to raise money to buy commemorative bibles to be presented to all the surviving defenders – ‘as a small mark of our high appreciation of the splendid defence of Rorke’s Drift.’ They have a number in the regimental museum at Brecon, and the one presented to Colonel Chard was sold at auction in 2020.


Last edited by Timespan on Wed Sep 14, 2022 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 10:58 am

Well John, neither he nor I are responsible for the colour of Bromhead's hair and you might find one or two things a bit more interesting than that if you ever read the book.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 11:10 am

James,

I will do in time don’t worry as I have it on order.

Rather pre-occupied at present though.

JY



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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 11:12 am

James, without reference to our Aussie mate I did pick up on you straight away.And I do have a collection of your books, more so than any other author, everything from the FA Cup to The Light Brigade ( that being my favourite as I was in the 11th Hussars, much much later than the charge of course).
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 11:27 am

Frank,

But you were in The Charge of Light Brigade, weren’t you?

Sorry going off topic here.  Off Topic

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 12:08 pm

That's my job in the secret service gone then lol.

I was on another site last year but there was too much anti-British sentiment being aired there so I left - but not before having my say about it first of course!

Frank - many thanks for your support of my work, and I did know about your 11th Hussars experience, I think from reading on here as a guest.

John, yes I believe you are having some work done on your house. I am a bit preoccupied too with books on the Titanic and The Great Redan at Sebastopol - Oh, and four grown up children (two still at home) and seven grandchildren (eighth on the way) - oh, not forgetting my wife.

Sorry if I have gone too far off topic.

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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 12:13 pm

Welcome to the forum James.
Kate
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 12:14 pm

I was in the movie if that helps John? I was known as 5th corpse. 🙄
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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 12:25 pm

Thank you, Kate.

Frank - which movie? the cr-p one or the other cr-p one?
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 12:26 pm

James,

Fortunately the last builder left on Monday.

No at present I am pre-occupied in assisting with the fund-raising dinner at Sergeants’ Mess at Dering Lines in October.  Why come along and get David Bromhead to sign your latest book?  Add to that I have tasked with accompanying members of the Zulu Royal House on a visit to the Royal Collection at Windsor, which hopefully can still go ahead.

Frank,

I know you were we’ve previously discussed it.  Your performance was nearly as good as mine in Barry Lyndon!  If you look closely at one stage I was actually shooting at myself.

JY


Last edited by John Young on Wed Sep 14, 2022 1:57 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Missing word)
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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 12:34 pm

John - I consulted some members of the Bromhead family about the book, including the 5th Baron many years ago. I had better let David Bromhead read it first because if he doesn't like it he might bash me over the head with it instead.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 1:14 pm

The other crap one with Trevor Howard, wasnt as bad as Oh What a Lovely War.
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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 2:17 pm

There was one with Errol Flynn in the 30's I think and one with Trevor Howard in 1968 I think. But better get back on the Zulu War.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 2:35 pm

James,

You are still on topic by mentioning the 1936 version, given that Flynn’s co-star’s grandfather died at iSandlwana.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Sep 14, 2022 3:26 pm

Ah, I didn't know that.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Sep 15, 2022 10:16 am

Two points have been niggling me in Hook’s account of the Anderson incident. Since we’re playing detective, we might as well do it properly and take it to its logical conclusion. Hook’s ‘evidence’ can be divided into two parts.
First, though Hook certainly had one south-facing loophole in his room, it was suggested he might have had a second west-facing one from which he might have seen Anderson fall. I remind you that Hook wrote that he watched the approaching Zulus through the south-facing one but if, for a moment, he did look through the alleged west-facing one, and did see Anderson fall, he could not, even if he were able to distinguish the shots from the general background noise, have known who fired them (Zulu or Briton), nor from where they were fired (garden or north wall). The story of Anderson's desertion and being shot by his own side could only have come from others, making this important part of Hook’s account hearsay.
Secondly, Smith wrote that Anderson’s body was found 150 yards away, making it feasible for Hook to have seen him fall on the Helpmekaar road. However, Symons wrote that Anderson’s was the first body the relieving force found as it rode in on the road from the drift, i.e. the opposite direction. Therefore Anderson could not have been found on the Helpmekaar road. Either he ran (in his feverish state) 150 yards in the wrong direction towards the drift or he ran just 50 yards to the point where the Helpmekaar road branched off. Either way, Hook could not possibly have seen him fall from a mooted west-facing loophole on the diametrically-opposed part of the post.
These two impossibles render Hook’s account inadmissible as eye-witness testimony, second-hand, and something to be discounted in shedding light on the Anderson incident.

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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Sep 15, 2022 11:55 am

Julian

Very interesting points and clearly understandable. 
Are there other accounts that confirm or imply that the bullet came from the garden ?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Sep 15, 2022 11:55 am

Ive just spent the best part of 30 minutes writing a response only to have the gremlins of Google to run of with it.
So of we go again.

A major issue with trying to get to grips with point is the unreliability of the Chard maps, there are a lot of inaccuracies.
The true North is actually pretty close to running along the axis of the buildings not shooting of the front as its indicated
In a series of maps he drew showing the various stages of the battle he indicates ( map 1) the position of the camp relative to Shiyane, positioning the hospital almost passed the western end of the hill. On that same map he shows the line of attack by the Zulu. For that to be true the impi would have had to attack over the foothill rather than the more logical route of the flatter area slightly west.

This map shows the ground around that area

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

In his map 2 he indicates a more or less full frontal attack to the short side of the hospital rather than the rear. An attack on the rear would involve Hook then manning an apropriate firing position, as you suggest to the south. However the maps do seem to suggest he would have been firing from the western side, the opening indicated by Chard.
In this picture of the diorama at Rorkes Drift that firing point is well indicated

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

From that window/loophole this would be the possible view point


[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

The road to Helpmakaar runs of to the right.

When the Riders returned from iSandlwana I would imagine the first thing they would have wanted to do would be to get access to the 'compound'. Riding up from the crossing the ground in front of them would have been strewn with bodies, between 300 and 500 depending of who one reads. Certainly an impediment to access. In addition there was the rocky ridge and the wall built on top with the mealie bags. As Chard was still concerned over a possible second attack, see his statement , I doubt those walls would have been demolished. Its therefore very possible the first men to arrive would have ridden to the west, on Chards map, to the area that the rocky ridge disapeared and the defensive wall was almost non existent. That would have given access into the abandoned area.
In doing that there is every possibility that the body of Anderson was in sight to the west, again Chards directions, towards the road. All this could very easily be in the line of sight from Hook.
I would emphasise that Im still firmly on the fence and acceot that either view point could be the right one. Or possible theres a third answer that Hook did see a certain amount ahd heard about the rest.

I will post the Chard maps seperatly, hopfully Google will not mess around

Cheers
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Sep 15, 2022 11:59 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Sep 15, 2022 12:28 pm

Eddie
No. There's just Hook, Hitch, Smith and Symons as far as I know.
Frank
Given the orientation, this would still not have allowed Hook to see Anderson dropping either 150 yards out on the drift road or 50 yards out at the junction of the drift and Helpmekaar roads.
As for the approach of the column, what you're suggesting is speculation. None of the contemporary drawings showing the approach of LC's column has it arriving on any other road than the drift road.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Sep 15, 2022 12:40 pm

Julian, all speculation Im afraid but its all possible. ( Getting as bad as Omid Scroobie) And yes I fully agree that the men from the column arrived on the track, no road just a traders track, but and herein lies the rub, theres no way they could have got into the compound except as Ive indicated. I shall be at Rorkes Drift in a couple of weeks and take some more photos on the orientation, but yes most definitly Hook would have had the view.

Cheers
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Sep 15, 2022 1:20 pm

Frank
I'm sure that the defenders would just have pulled/pushed down the mealie sacks to allow entrance into the compound (eventually) - I'm sure that initially they would just have clambered over the top to greet their saviours.
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyFri Sep 16, 2022 8:05 pm

Hi all.

Having raised this tread, I hope you have all enjoyed debating the issues raised.
I have to say I am with Julian on the issues discussed so far.
There is a point I would like to raise. Re- Anderson being called back three times by defenders. 

Anderson conscious of the consequence of his fellow troops departing, leaving the defenders to certain death, jumps over the defences, shouting to his men to come back, your leaving us to die, or words to that effect. At that point the Zulu commence the attack.
The defenders shouting simultaneously, come back you'll get yourself shot, or words to that effect, Zulu from the garden-bang! 
Just a thought.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyFri Sep 16, 2022 9:21 pm

Eddie
There's something more than a little poetic about being thrice called upon to return - amid all that clamour and shouting, someone was counting the shouts? Really? And Hitch heard it from the roof of the storehouse? Was it one person shouting or three?
It just doesn't quite ring true to me - that said, I have no doubt people were shouting!
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 12, 2022 10:37 pm

There is some other points I would like to raise on this subject.

For a defender to shoot Anderson you would expect either Chard, Bromhead or a senior non-commissioned officer would have given the order to do so. Where in any statement is any such action mentioned, by any of them.
A junior soldier or member, would not have taken it upon himself to do so, not knowing the consequences if he did.
Also shooting Anderson alone having let the other NNC members leave, again, just doesn't make sense. They might as well have let him go with his men.

Another defender, I believe Gunner Howard if I remember rightly, ran out of the hospital into the bush, he could have been shot by the defenders for deserting also.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 9:20 am

Eddie
But Howard ran out in the dark.
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 9:45 am

Julian.

Yes of course it could have been dark, it could also have been lite up by the hospital fire. However, I was just stressing a point that there were other opportunities to shoot, and why just shoot one man. There were numerous NNC fleeing, one would have thought if an order was given to shoot them, that more would have fallen.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 10:35 am

Eddie,

You have to consider Gunner Arthur Howard’s escape route.

He exits from the front of the hospital - which is undefended - goes over the barricade which is unequally undefended. So who do you contend witnesses his flight to supposed safety?

I imagine his dark blue Royal Artillery uniform was an asset in his concealment as well.

As to whether any of the levies of the Natal Native Contingent were shot whilst they were deserting, given the sentiments of the time, do you think they would even warrant a mention? Just my thoughts on the subject, not based on any evidence.

JY

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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 11:22 am

Eddie
I was about to reply in the same way as JY. I don't think the Howard analogy works. As for the NNC, well, JY has covered that. The only other opportunities would have been Henderson and Hall but they weren't really 'deserting'. They simply found themselves cut off from returning, according to Hall's own reports. There was no-one else.
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 12:46 pm

Thank you John/Julian.

I do understand both your views, and we can understand the Henderson and Hall incident of them riding through.
I wanted to express my view that the defenders would not, in my view, have shot Anderson without orders.
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John Young

John Young


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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 1:42 pm

Eddie,

Who is to say it was a soldier that fired the fatal shot? There were defenders present who were not subject to military discipline.

JY
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 2:40 pm

And when it comes down to it, who is to say it wasn't a Zulu concealed in the garden?
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 2:44 pm

Admittedly John, but unlikely I think.
It is also very unlikely in my opinion, that only one man out of all the NNC would have been shot, if an order to shoot was given, unless he ordered his men to run away, but we don't know that.
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 5:15 pm

Another point I would like to make is that, with the greatest respect to him, Hitch was illiterate and even unable to sign his name on his enlistment papers.
This would suggest his letter to have been written by someone else, and not all his words at all, and maybe hearsay.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 6:09 pm

Eddie,

It was not uncommon for soldiers to dictate their letters home and another to write their spoken words.

In the case of Pte. Hitch V.C., he gives his statement to a journalist whilst recovering at Netley Hospital, Southampton.

The handwritten piece in the Museum at Brecon appears to have been compiled at some time subsequent to the Defence of Rorke’s Drift.

JY
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyThu Oct 13, 2022 6:26 pm

Thank you John.

I am going there soon, I will have a look.
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 18, 2022 10:24 am

Does anyone know if Corporal Anderson 's family ever received a Anglo-zulu war medal in respect of his service.

Is there a Anderson medal in circulation?
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 18, 2022 11:59 am

Eddie,

According to the Medal Roll there was a Corporal W. Anderson, who served in the 1st Battalion, 3rd Regiment, Natal Native Contingent, who was entitled to the medal.

There is no Corporal Michael Anderson of the N.N.C. listed on the Medal Roll, interestingly there is a Captain William Stevenson, who appears to have served in the reformed 2nd Battalion N.N.C. Whether he is one and the same as the one who decamped from the Mission Station needs further investigation.

JY
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 18, 2022 12:04 pm

That Corp. W. Anderson is your man, Eddie. He erroneously appears (along with a few others) in the Isandhlwana casualty roll.
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 18, 2022 12:54 pm

John/Julian

Thank you, I had noticed he had been referred to as William.

The reason I ask this, is that I know of no one as a deserter receiving a medal. If he in this case received a medal, is it not an indication of his innocence.
There were deserters who never received medals, and one we know of having his DCM withdrawn for the same thing.

Just a thought.

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 18, 2022 2:03 pm

Eddie,

Here’s a few names I’m going to throw at you that do appear on the Medal Roll.

Lieutenant Henry Hollingworth Harward, 80th (Staffordshire Volunteers) Regiment.

Lieutenant Jahleel Brenton Carey, 98th (The Prince of Wales’) Regiment.

The accounts of those officers leaving the field are well-known.

Corporal John Wilson, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, Natal Native Contingent, who had been present at Rorke’s Drift during the defence, is subsequently recorded by Lieutenant Henry Charles Harford in his role as Adjutant to the N.N.C., as having “bolted” from the post after the action. Yet he appears on the Medal Roll.

Lieutenant John Maxwell, also of 2nd/3rd N.N.C. states/alleges that Lieutenants Walter Higginson, T. Vaines & Gert Adendorff found to be in Pietermaritzburg after iSandlwana placed under arrest and ordered back to Rorke’s Drift. Had they all deserted their posts as Maxwell states? Again all three appear on the Medal Roll.

JY
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 18, 2022 3:55 pm

Thank you John, very interesting, it does suggest some were issued medals.

In the case of Howard he was acquitted, even though he resigned later, so would be entitled to a medal.

In the case of Carey wasn't he accused of just that, leaving the field. Not just that, Carey and all attempted to flee, including the Prince Imperial, but got caught up in his stirrups, wasn't he cleared of any wrong doing by the Court Marshall giving him the benefit of doubt, and would have also been entitled to a medal. Although it affected his later career.

In the case of Cpl Wilson, I don't know in what context he was said to have bolted, though it was implied that the battle had just ended, say 4am getting light.
Could it be that knowing Anderson was killed, Scammell and Schiess seriously injured and being attended to, that he being the only able bodied man from the NNC he decided to team up with the remainder of the NNC at Helpmakaar, before the column arrived that morning.
Did he continue to serve after the event, if so he would have been entitled to a medal, if not, would he have been charged with the offence, was he? If so, and found guilty of desertion he would not have received a medal.

Also in the case Higginson, Vaines, Adendorff, wasn't that an initial allegation and later found not to be the case and dropped? And all three served on, entitling them to medal.

In any case, you have made a good point that others received medals also.

Cheers Eddie


Last edited by Eddie on Tue Oct 18, 2022 5:23 pm; edited 6 times in total (Reason for editing : Spacing and extra information)
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 18, 2022 11:21 pm

Eddie,

I will address your comment that Harward was acquitted first.

H. H. Harward was tried by general court-martial at Fort Napier, Pietermaritzburg, on 20th February 1880.

Two charges were brought against him.

1, Of having misbehaved before the enemy, in shamefully abandoning a party of the regiment under his command when attacked by the enemy, and in riding off at speed from his men.

2, Of conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline in having, at the place and time mentioned in the first charge, neglected to take proper precautions for the safety of a party of a regiment under his command when attacked.

Although Harward was found "Not Guilty" the findings of the court-martial had to confirmed by Sir Garnet Wolseley, then serving in the dual role of General-Officer-Commanding and High Commissioner of southern Africa.  Wolseley disapproved of the findings and refused to confirm them.

Wolseley informed His Royal Highness Field Marshal George, Duke of Cambridge, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of his concerns regarding Harward's actions, in which he concluded in no uncertain terms that Harward had betrayed the trust between an officer and those under his command.

On 13th May 1880, the Duke of Cambridge issued a General Order, which expressed that Wolseley's remarks were to read at the head of every unit in the service of Queen Victoria.  Harward had resigned his commission two days previously.  

You may not be aware that one of Harward's defences  was that he was the only one who could ride on that side of the river.  Which I have always found to interesting as a least one of the survivors was a mounted infantryman.

In the case of J. B. Carey.  A hastily convened field court-martial found Carey guilty of misbehaviour before the enemy and sentenced to be cashiered from the Army. However, therein lies the rub.  So hastily was the court-martial convened that the officers of the court were not sworn in.  When the case was brought before Deputy Judge Advocate General James C. O'Dowd for confirmation he noticed this omission thereby invalidating the court-martial and its findings.

Carey got away with it on a technicality.

Wilson you are privvy to all the information I have, Harford records his name as a defender and adds the word "Bolted" next to it, where was Wilson?  He was clearly absent when Harford is recording details of next-of-kin.

As to three Lieutenants of the N.N.C., it is Maxwell, a fellow officer that makes the allegation, was it unfounded?  Personally, I have no idea so if you can point me in the right direction in which you established it was not the case I would be grateful to read it.  Suffice to say that all three were present when Harford records his list of officers and non-commissioned officers of the N.N.C. at Rorke's Drift shortly after the action.

JY
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 19, 2022 1:52 am

Thank John for answering in so much detail.

My point was not to suggest guilt either way. It was to make a point about the entitlement of and issuing of medals, to known  deserters.

You have kindly gone into so much detail, but I'm afraid none were recorded as deserters, even though you detail the above information. Even after everything that occurred they were not recorded as deserters on their recorders, so were entitled to and received their medals as non deserters. Their names were mud and careers dismantled, but by May1880 I would assume Howard had already received his medal.

In the case of Cpl Wilson we know the same details, however, absent as you mentioned above (maybe for a while) is not the same as desertion in the face of the enemy, and he also was in receipt of his medal. After all he defended all night long, and maybe he did what I suggested.

All the other officers mentioned above you wonder if it was unfounded, so here again their records are not effected and are all issued their medals as non deserters.

My original point was to suggest, if Cpl Wilson was known to be, and proved to be a deserter in the face of the enemy, at that time, would he have been in receipt of a medal.
The records of the personnel mentioned above were not effected so were issued as not proven at the time.

We know Cpl Wilson's records suggest he was entitled to a medal and maybe his family were in receipt of it.
May this suggest his innocence? It is not known for such a deserter to be issued with one, not one who deserts in the face of the enemy, as is suggested in this case.

Ask yourself, if you were a defender or survivor of Isandlwana being detailed to bury the dead at Rorke's Drift, would you want a known deserter to be buried beside your mates who had just gave their lives so heroically, and to be immortalised along side them?. I know I wouldn't.
Is it at all possible that he is buried along side them as a heroic defender and included on the rolls because he was one, and that rumours were rife and misunderstood after the nights confusing events?
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 19, 2022 10:04 am

Out of interest, Adendorff was still at the Drift on 24th Jan when he was sketched by Harford.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 19, 2022 10:59 am

Julian,

Which is why I choose my words carefully when referring to Maxwell’s remarks.

Eddie,

You do know there was a wanted deserter who took part in the action at Rorke’s Drift? There is some unfounded speculation that one of the Victoria Cross men was a deserter from his former unit.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 19, 2022 7:57 pm

Thank you Julian

John thank you. Yes Cpl McMahon was a bit of a lad with drunkenness, absence and theft, but not a deserter in the face of the enemy. Had his DCM removed because of continuous absence and theft. He had his punishment and was still in possession of his SA medal because he was not a deserter.
English Son's page 96, McMahon had his DCM removed on 29th January 1880 for continues absence and theft.

You say also unfounded, that a RD defender, VC man was a deserter from his former unit. Once again unfounded so he also would have kept his medal.
It is my assumption that a deserter in the face of the enemy, not an absentee, would not have been in possession of the medal if found to be so. Probably shot more like, as was executed in WWI, and in Anderson's case if he was indeed found to be running away.
None have been found to be so (on record) in the cases mentioned, so this leaves Anderson and our debate. Was he an heroic defender and buried with the remaining brave defenders. Was he a deserter? The latter does not ring true, he would surely not be buried side by side with the brave, and immortalised, had he been so.

Even civilian Alexander Louis Byrne is buried separately away from the other defenders, surely Anderson would have been too.


Last edited by Eddie on Thu Oct 20, 2022 2:57 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Add text)
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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 19, 2022 8:10 pm

Frank you said you were not quite sure as to whether you believed in his guilt at present.
Do you believe he would have been buried with the other deceased defenders had he been a deserter. Does it ring true for you.?

Kenny what is your view on Anderson being buried side by side with the other Defenders?
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Eye Witness RD   Eye Witness RD - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 19, 2022 8:14 pm

Eddie,

Wrong man, read what I said there was a wanted deserter who fought at Rorke’s Drift. I was not referring to 2nd Corporal McMahon at all.

JY
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