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 Mangeni recon on the 21st

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aussie inkosi

aussie inkosi


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PostSubject: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyFri Jul 21, 2023 4:45 am

I have been researching for my Panoramas and depending on the sources I am getting different answers. So I thought to put it to Frank and Julian seeing you both have more knowledge in this area, or any one else please.

Question 1. Rupert Lonsdale was the over all commander of the recon on the 21st which covered the Malakatha, Hlazakazi and Mangeni

once reching the base of the mountains it split into 3 portions

1st Portion covered the base of Hlazakazi and marched towards Mangeni reaching their around early afternoon this was
3dr Regiment NNC, 2nd Battalion Cammander R. L. Lonsdale

2nd Portion covred the Heights of Hlazakazi this captured the Zulu cattle
3dr Regiment NNC, 1st Battalion. I found in Harfords testimony he was a part of 1st Battalion was he the cammander or was Hamilton Browne ?
So what I am saying either Harford was total commander of the 1st Battalion or was it Browne the other I presume was second in charge. can you please clarify.

3rd Portion coverd the Mangeni Valley were the Mangeni stream is this was commanded by Major Dartnell which was the mounted section covered the following troops
Natal Mounted Police 91
Natal Carbineers 28
Newcastle Mounted Rifles 22
Buffalo Border Guard 16
Was there a party of Mounted Infantry with them if so how many and who was in command
I need to know the comanders of these individual groups seeing Bradstreet is at Isandlwana.

Also Hamilton Browne on the morning of the 22nd returns to camp how many company's does he take with him 1 or the full 8 of the 1st Battalion

Also after reading Harford testimony later in the afternoon he finds himself on Isephezi with Dartnell following on in the afternoon when was the very first sighting of Zulus seen before they head to Isephezi or during because it seems Dartnell comes across an impi during the approach to Isephezi, because it seems Chelmsford was informed during the afternoon of the 21st of the initail Zulu presence at Mangeni while Chelmsford was at the Camp at Isandlwana.

I am trying my best to understand this important part of this battle with limited sources. I think it would be a good idea to dig hear we all might learn a thing or two

Many thanks in advance

Inky.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyFri Jul 21, 2023 5:27 pm

Aussie

Answers in order of asking:

Commdt. Browne was o/c 1/3rd N.N.C.
Capt. (local rank) Harford was Staff Officer to Commdt. R. Lonsdale who was o/c 3rd Regt N.N.C.

I.M.I. not present.  They went out with Chelmsford.

Highest ranking officers of individual units:
NMP o/c Inspector G. Mansel
NMR o/c Lieut. C. Jones
BBG o/c Lieut. W. Smith
NC o/c Capt. T. Shepstone (also in overall command of the Natal volunteers)

Browne returns with the 8 remaining coys of the 1/3rd

"Also after reading Harford testimony later in the afternoon he finds himself on Isephezi with Dartnell following on in the afternoon when was the very first sighting of Zulus seen before they head to Isephezi or during because it seems Dartnell comes across an impi during the approach to Isephezi, because it seems Chelmsford was informed during the afternoon of the 21st of the initail Zulu presence at Mangeni while Chelmsford was at the Camp at Isandlwana."
In the enthusiasm of your writing you have produced one long uninterrupted sentence.  I am unable to work out the sense let alone the question.  No offence intended.  Please re-phrase, make your meaning clear (and your question) and I'll do my best to give you an answer.


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Fri Jul 21, 2023 11:05 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyFri Jul 21, 2023 10:48 pm

One error in your post: the o/c of 2/3rd N.N.C. was Commdt. E. Cooper.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyFri Jul 21, 2023 11:04 pm

The numbers of colonials that you posted are not quite right.
Natal Mounted Police - there were 3 officers and between 70 and 90 men on the Mangeni. It is not possible to give a definitive number.
Natal Carbineers - there were 2 officers and 28 men on the Mangeni.
Newcastle Mounted Rifles - there were 2 0fficers and between 6 and 12 men on the Mangeni. It is not possible to give a definitive number.
Buffalo Border Guard  - there was 1 officer and between 4 and 11 men present on the Mangeni. It is not possible to give a definitive number.
Natal Volunteer Force - there was 1 officer on the Mangeni.
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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySat Jul 22, 2023 2:13 am

Many Thanks Julian

The numbers I used for the mounted troops I got from For God, Queen and Colony by Terry Sole like you said its not possible to give a definitive number, thanks again for the highest ranking officers.

Sorry about enthusiasm. I will go through it again
When and where was the first sighting of Zulus spotted [ I have went through J. P Symons account around 10 times ]. This is what I found first I will include a photo of the location it may surprise you

"We stood to our horses and mounted rode at a smart pace over very stony ground and PASSED THE SCENE OF OUR FIRST HALT TO DECEND BY THE SAME TRACK WE HAD CLIMBED THE HILL IN THE MORNING and then crossing the wagon road marched directly towards the enemy whom we had saw from the hill top but who was now invisible from our low position."

straight after this trooper Parsons fire his revolver by accident. So the location according to Symons.

PASSED THE SCENE OF OUR FIRST HALT TO DECEND BY THE SAME TRACK WE HAD CLIMBED THE HILL IN THE MORNING and then crossing the wagon road marched directly towards the enemy

Frank you have been there more than I is this gully, hill the location of there first halt in the morning[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

It would seem the Zulus are on a hill, I always thought this hill was Magago opposite Muditchane but thats miles away ?
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySat Jul 22, 2023 10:09 am

AUSSIE
The problem with unit numbers is that while there were contemporary lists of men killed at and escaped from Isandhlwana there was no such list for those that went out with Chelmsford to the Mangeni.
Consequently there are mismatches between the numbers of NMR, BBG and NMP who crossed into Zululand and the reported numbers from various sources who returned with Chelmsford.  
My Section Kiii pp. 21-3 England's Sons (10th ed.) tries, by looking at individuals' whereabouts where known, to provide accurate figures.  For example, while some writers have assumed that Lieut. Dixon was not on the Mangeni, I found from soldiers' letters that he was.  Similarly I found that Capt. Smith was not.
I am reasonably certain that a patrol of NMP of about 20 men returned to Natal and the total on the Mangeni was about 70 men and not 90. I would suggest you look at these pages to get an idea of the problem and of the reasoning behind the numbers I gave you.
While it can be stated with certainty that a given number of men WERE on the Mangeni there is a substantial number of men whose whereabouts on that day is simply not known.  It could be argued, well, where else would they have been?  Doing this, however, presents a mismatch with the number where it is known, and some, therefore, must have, for whatever reason, returned to Natal.  And this is why I gave you max. and min. numbers for three of the units.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySat Jul 22, 2023 12:31 pm

As to the "very first sighting" of the Zulus on the 21st, that would be by the NMP who, after the Carbineers had separated from them, had taken the track to where it crossed a nek and descended towards the Mangeni around which there was a 'horseshoe' of hills.  On their immediate left, above the nek, was Mdutshana.  On it they saw:
"a body of Zulus on a hill to the left of the road to the number of seven or eight hundred; one of their (i.e. the NMP's) scouts told us that upon another hill he saw several thousands of them."  
That other hill might well have been Magogo, where Zulus appeared a short time later, or possibly Silutshane if the scout had ventured farther.  
That is the first time that the Zulus in any large numbers were reported.  I'm sure Frank will have a photo of the suggested location that they were seen from.  
I can find no reference to the time that this occurred other than it was before the NMP re-joined the NC and settled down to brew tea on the banks of the Mangeni.  One can hazard a guess.
Is this the episode you are seeking information on?


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Sat Jul 22, 2023 12:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySat Jul 22, 2023 12:32 pm

There is a map on page 16 of Ian Knight's Zulu which shows the approximate location.
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySat Jul 22, 2023 1:36 pm

Question 1. Rupert Lonsdale was the over all commander of the recon on the 21st which covered the Malakatha, Hlazakazi and Mangeni

Lonsdale was senior officer of 1 & 2 NNC but Dartnell was the de facto commander of the expedition it he who was accompanied by the HQ officers Gossett and Buller who would later return and report to Chelmsford on the days events along with Dartnell's report. Dartnell left some 2 hours after Lonsdales infantry which itself left at 4-30am. It was a three hour march for the infantry to reach the Ndwene stream. Here they split with Browne taking the laft side and Cooper the right. At noon 2/3 NNC stopped for lunch and were met shortly afterwards by the 2/3NNC who were making better time and approached them from the east. I guess this was in the vicinity of KwaMfeka. There was no movement through the Mangene Valley below the falls.

The mounted men proceeded in the diretion of Mangene falls on the northern flaknk of Hlazikazi, Shepstone with the Carbineers went over the top of the hill and Dartnell presumably proceeded according to plan via "Upindo and Isiluwane" possibly Phindo and Silutshana? (Frank will probably know for sure).

By early afternoon mounted commanders of all forces met probably somewhere in the direction of Milne's Hill (I cannot recall the Zulu name). Dartnell had encountered a force of Zulus after crossing the Mangene above the falls, the NNC had seen no Zulu force, had some seized cattle, intelligence and the NCO's were exhausted.

At this point it is worth recalling the mindset of the camp officers the evening before the reconnaisance expedition set out recorded by NN. "we were certain that any force, other than that which we were going to attack the next day, must come from Ulundi" this is distinct from the supposed "large force of Zulus" of Taku-Ka-Mazungeni and Matyana Ka Usityaguza "known to be 10 miles distant straight down the valley".

10 Miles down the valley does not cross the Mangene River, I do not kow what a Zulu strongold looks like, other than one that looks like the general area of Sirayo's location. That being so there is a prime loction for the site of "Ngnaba Ka Mazungeni" often it seems to me termed at "Matyana's stronghold" being close to Milne's Hill.

Putting this together logically then we can reach a tentative mindset after this al fresco meeting.

1, There was no refuge taken by a large force of zulus with women children and cattle in "Ngnaba Ka Mazungeni". i.e camp side of the Mangene stream.

2, Any large force of Zulus not of Matyana must therefore be part of the main force from Ulundi.

The rest as they say is history, as additional reports come in of increasing numbers of Zulus overnight of the 21st the more Chelmsford becomes convinced of this mindset, by 1-30am he cracks and decides to move with full force.

Of course there is much more nuance to this and it is dependent upon knowing exactly and reliably (which I do not claim to know for sure) where "Ngnaba Ka Mazungeni" is. Does anybody know?
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySat Jul 22, 2023 4:03 pm

I always understood Matyana's Stronghold to be atop Nkabane on the south-eastern edge of the 'horseshoe' of hills around the Mangeni (but am happy to be corrected).
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySat Jul 22, 2023 4:06 pm

Nkabane is shown on a map in Zulu Victory (L&Q) on I think it's page 89 (but it'll be in the index).
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Tig Van Milcroft




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySat Jul 22, 2023 8:11 pm

Thanks for the reference Julian, spot on, P89.

If as seems likely Nkabane is the site of "Ngnaba.." it is some 12 miles as the crow flies from camp. The position is clear and visible form a considerable distance and there would have been signs of occupation visible, so it probably holds that there was no refuge at that time for women, children and cattle, at least I can find no reference to such. I think on reconsidering the sources that the Carbineers and NMP did not actually cross the Mangene at least I can find no direct reference, that said there may well be one.

We do know that the NMP (from "The Mounted Police of Natal" p52) did not see any Zulus until after they met with the leadership of the NNC and Carbineers. We also somewhat unfortunately know from Stalker "Natal Carbineers" that "Major Dartnell with his party having found the enemy in considerable strength, pursued his reconnaisance no further, and rejoined the Carbineers" (p91) who were with the NNC. Browne reports (p120) that as evening was "drawing on" two men rode up to ask Browne with his contingent to "Come and support him as he had 300 Zulus in front of him". Where is the truth of the matter?

We can probably assess as Browne states that his position was 7 miles from camp, high up on Hlazikazi and some three miles from Dartnell's chosen position, the context suggests that he was not present at the discussion between Dartnell and Lonsdale. Dartnell's chosen posiiton it seems was directly opposite the Magogo hill described as "a ridge near the isipezi mountain" which closely matches in my view the well chosen position occupied by the Zulus which was the focus of Mansell's later in the day mounted advance which provoked a Bulls Horn reaction from the Zulus.

Considering the route taken by Dartnell and the NMP, according to NN he was to proceed by way of "Upindo and Isiluwane" roughly a similar route to the one Russell took the previous day, if these names refer to Silutshane and Phindo, maybe somebody could offer an opinion on this I am uncertain. At least we know they covered "a considerable extent of the country during the morning without getting a glimpse of the enemy" I think we can be fairly sure that some Zulus were detected on Magogo say by 2pm, it must be so if Gossett and Buller were to inform Chelmsford by 4pm near to camp of the fact, and that Dartnell intended to Bivouac to stay in contact with the enemy. There does not seem to be a direct reference to any request for Imperial troop support.

So Dartnell is of the view that he faced a force of Zulus that he could attack successfully the following day with his force. That this is so must indicate that he did not consider this force to be part of the Ulundi army.

By 6-00pm having witnessed Mansel's manouevre on Magogo NN was estimating some 2,000 Zulus, and following disruption in the NNC ranks in the late evening prompted a message to Chelmsford from Dartnell to the effect that the stiffening of two companies would be helpful in dealing with the Zulu force in front of him, but not essential, he intended in any case to attack at 6-00am. (HMPN p54). This was perhaps the message actually received by Chelmsford at 1-30am, it also explains in some degree, why he felt it necessary to react so precipitously.

Refer back to the mindset, Dartnell is of the view that he has sufficient force to risk an attack on a strong Zulu position at 6-00am.

Chelmsford is of the view that he should go immediately to Mangene to support Dartnell with all the mobile forces he can venture out with whilst leaving the camp sufficiently protected.

It is likely that the two men were reading differing things into the information, a conscious bias. Dartnell with his 300 or so rifles that he was facing an independent force of up to 2,000 Zulu, Chelmsford with his view that any independent force was most likely to be the main Zulu army sent from Ulundi. In the event Dartnell, respected, courageous soldier and leader, was reading the situation correctly.
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aussie inkosi

aussie inkosi


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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 4:02 am

Julian Whybra wrote:
I always understood Matyana's Stronghold to be atop Nkabane on the south-eastern edge of the 'horseshoe' of hills around the Mangeni (but am happy to be corrected).

Yes your correct Julian the Major has always placed Matyana's Stronghold on Nkabane hill.

Here is a Panorama the major annoitated for me about 8 years ago

indicated by a J

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aussie inkosi

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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 4:13 am

Thanks Tig for your knowledge the source I am using is Trooper J. P. Symons diary I would love to go through the sources you use .

Using only Symons point of view is insufficient.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 8:39 am

Tig
Two points to raise. I don't usually cite secondary sources as information but I recall that Knight's 'Zulu', p. 15 makes reference to (1) the request received by Browne (your 'Where is the truth of that matter?') and (2) the NMP DID see Zulus before they met with the leadership of the NC (but not the NNC).
I'm not at home at the moment so can't check my sources but I do happen to have a copy of Knight's book in my car.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 9:19 am

Aussie, the three sources I quote from are In Zululand by Norris Newman, I think the most reliable of them all, at least for what I refer to as "mindset" he was a journo, he was there and these insights were his professional bread and butter. The History of the Mounted Police of Natal, written much later but whilst Dartnell was still alive, so I think it unlikely that a man of Dartnell's mould and experience would let much inaccuracy pass. The third is the Natal Carbineers, by Stalker written in 1912.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 9:24 am

Aussie, sorry forgot to add Hamilton Browne Lost Legionary published I think 1924, I am not so confident of some of what he recounts, but his testimony cannot be ignored. Also I do not have a copy of Symons Diary....yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 9:42 am

Thanks to the three of you who wrote to me yesterday and overnight stating that 'For Queen and Country' says that Lieut. W. C. Smith was NOT on the Mangeni but away in Natal fetching slaughter cattle.
However, the author made a simple error and confused two Smiths.
Symons (a primary source) states that the officer who returned to fetch slaughter cattle was CAPTAIN [Thomas Patterson] SMITH – the o/c the BBG in the field at that time – not his nephew Lieut. William Craighead Smith.
Captain Smith was much maligned by his men who were glad he had absented himself on this pretext - he went too much by the book but was not much of a soldier and there were even suggestions that he was rather too keen to return to Natal. On his departure, his nephew became o/c for the interim and WAS thus on the Mangeni. Other sources firmly place Lieut. W. C. Smith with the returning column.
I refer you to England’s Sons (10th ed.) Section Kiii for the details.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 9:46 am

Julian, there seems to me some truth to all reports, it as always is a question of who where and when. As to Browne and the meeting between Dartnell, the NC, and NNC leadership I think part of the leadership of the Carbineers and the NNC went to meet Dartnell on the NE side of Hlazikazi after lunch, I have a feeling this was Lonsdale and did not include Browne or maybe Cooper. I also think that Dartnell left Mansel out on reconnaisance whilst he met, it would make no sense to stop after all, unless operationally necessary or to move the NMP to where the NNC were. I think the Zulus were spotted by Mansel's troopers at the same time of after the initial meeting between the unit commanders where probably the meeting place of all the seperate groups was agreed.

Aussies question as to where this position was is a good one the answer to which will inform as to why Dartnell does not believe they formed part of the Ulundi Army. It must, after all, be his "mindset" since he would not attempt to take on such a force. Dartnell seems to me to be a very formidable man, as does his subordinate Inspector Mansel, and very professional, the example of Trooper Parsons is a good illustration of the standards expected of the men serving I think that same level extended into the NMP leadership as well.

Gosset and Buller were also present, their view may have differed from that of Mansel and Dartnell, I suspect that it may have done.

By 1-30am the following morning Chelmsford clearly believed that the force in front of Dartnell was either the van of the Ulundi Army or the Army itself. The NMP account and the Carbineer account of the events did not reach the same conclusion.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 9:54 am

Indeed, 'All is true' to quote Balzac. I can't comment at the moment - away from home! But will explore when I get home.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 2:56 pm

What Norris-Newman actually says is:
"At about 4 p.m. we reached the top...our Commandant and Harford...rode off to Major Dartnell to hear what they had done.
a long time seemed to elapse before Harford came back with the important news that the mounted force, accompanied by Major Gossett ...had come across a large body of the of the enemy (considerably over 1,500) on a neck of the Upindo Hill, due east from us, where they held a very strong [position in a krantz, taunting our few mounted men, who, of course without infantry could do nothing. They therefore rode back to the Idhlazakazi, and me the Natal Carbineers, and later on our two battalions."
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 4:19 pm

Julian, That concurs.

Browne was not present at the meeting. By the time NM reached the top of ???? probably the ridge of Hlazikazi at the SE end above and some distance from the position "go on a few miles" near to where they would later Bivouac, Gosset was already reporting these "facts" to Chelmsford. NN later reports this number being 2,000 zulus when he moves with the NNC to the position on Hlazikazi opposite Magogo.

Milne was it seems with Chelmsford when Gossett and Buller made their report around 4pm, he records that food was sent and that Dartnell should "attack if and when he thought fit".

L&Q seem to me to mix this up a bit, they report p139 of Zulu Victory that Buller and Gossett set of to advise Chelmsford of Dartnell's decision to stay out for the night after Mansel and the NMP faux attack on the Zulu posiition that NN describes on p51 and definitively times at just before 6pm.

Aussies question therefore is where is the "neck of Upindo hill, presumably Magogo, though it is separated from Phindo ridge by the upper reaches of the Nondwene stream bed, this would not be obvious from NN's vantage point.

The timing of the contact with the Zulus R&Q p138 states with no reference that Tpr Parson's shot was heard by the Carbineers who with Shepstone were at that time atop Hlazikazi there is a reference to "M/S Tpr W J Clarke KCAL" they also it seems have Drummond who they also state met with Chelmsford at 4pm near camp firing shots at antelope on the slopes of Hlazikazi p138. On hearing Parson's shot the NNC moved to make contact with the NNC "who they new were behind them" following this the Carbineers must have made contact with Lonsdale and the NNC then set of with Lonsdale and Harford to meet ASAP with Dartnell. There is quite a lot to unpick here as to indetifying the times.

1, If Drummond was with the NNC, then the timing must be shortly after noon, so that he could depart with Gossett (if indeed he did). Allow for Carbineers to meet up with NNC then travel to meet with Dartnell then arrive by 4pm near to camp.

2, W J Clarke may state some info as to timing of first sighting by reference to the Carbineers movements.

3, Browne's account seems the less reliable of the accounts.

4, To my reading it is clear that the 1,500 Zulus of NN which became 2,000 Zulus were the same Zulus, not two distinct groups.

5, There was no material change to the tactical situation between 6pm and 8pm by which time the expedition had combined and were in Bivouac.

6, At this point in time there could be no possibility of identifying any additional Zulu forces being present, it being very dark, thereby precluding any new informaiton regarding numbers overnight.

7, The Zulu numbers reported to Chelmsford @ 4pm were reasonably accurate.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptySun Jul 23, 2023 4:44 pm

I have a copy of the Clarke doc which I'll look at tomorrow when I get back and report.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyMon Jul 24, 2023 8:32 am

From the autobiography of 249 Trpr. William James Clarke NMP, later Chief Commissioner Natal Police, ‘ My Career in South Africa’, pp. 21-22:
“On the 21st January, we were paraded at 4 a.m., …we had marched about 10 miles …we met the 16 companies of the NNC … we off-saddled for a few minutes and were then marched on towards the Isipisi Mountain on which we could see the heads of several natives moving, about half a mile away.  One of the Police, Trooper Parsons, thought it safer to load his revolver but he fired off one shot in doing so, his horse shied and threw him and he was ordered back to camp where he was killed the following day.  We formed up in column of troops and dismounted, while Inspector Mansel with six men, went up the hill to see whose heads were moving. The Zulus at once advanced in dense masses and tried to surround our men but they retired and as Major Dartnell considered that we were too small a force to attack such an immense body, we fell back to the hill on which we had left the NNC and were there ordered to bivouac for the night while a message was sent to camp to Lord Chelmsford telling him we were in touch with the enemy and asking for reinforcements."
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyMon Jul 24, 2023 10:10 am

Julian, This reads (the ... makes timing uncertain) as though they rode 10 miles, which would get them to Magogo. Then met 10 Companies of the NNC, then marched towards "isipezi" presumably by way of the col between Magogo and Silutshana, where Chelmsford famously had breakfast, or perhaps, and possibly more likely, the southerly flanks of Magogo.

Here we have our first problem, it is claimed (L&C p138) ,albeit unreferenced, that Parsons shot was heard on Hlazikazi by the Carbineers, who stated that the NNC were "behind them". If we discount this this we are left with timing issues as to the report from Gossett to Chelmsford at 4pm. Milne's record "attack if he thought fit" infers strongly that Dartnell had encountered Zulus before 2pm.

If we ignore the hearing of the shot, we are still left with the record of both the Carbineers and the NNC being aware of contact with Zulus before all groups meet up which makes Clarke's report difficult to tally. The report of Gossett to Chelmsford tallies with the Carbineers and the NNC and the timing of first contact being before 2pm.

NN reports observing Mansel and the troopers approaching the Zulus after he was aware of first contact with them (p51)

Assessing Clarke's recollection, 10 miles for a horseman of NMP experience would probably be a speed greater than a  min of 5mph. If so covering 10 miles would be 2 hrs, assuming Dartnell left 2 hours after Lonsdale, he would arrive at Magogo by 9-00am. If so, much may have happened between that time and when Clarke would have met the NNC which was when "evening was drawing on". NN states the intended route of the NMP it is possible and given these timings possibly likely that the area around Silutshana and Phindo (i.e. Nondwene stream) behind Magogo was covered. Unfortunately Clarke's description of events does little to help with location or timing.
Clarke appears to have concacanated events in the wrong order. If there are other readings of the situation it would be very useful in better understanding these events.

This does not mean that Clarke's account is wrong or even inaccurate, but it may be misleading.

Close reading of NN possibly suggests that Major Gossett was the first to spot a Zulu force, (NN p50) it is possible and sensible for a reconnaisance force to split up to cover more ground and potentially to provide mutual support in doing so. (I have no evidence to support this at all) I can imagine one led by Mansel and one by Dartnell accompanied by Gossett, if Clarke was in Mansel's group and Gossett's group spotted the Zulus, a trooper in Mansel's group could feasibly report at Clarke does.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyMon Jul 24, 2023 3:25 pm

Tig
The ... contain nothing of usefulness re timings hence their omission. Clarke died in 1936 but retired in the 20s - I suspect his autobiography might have been written in time for the 1929 commemoration which is why it was placed with the other commemorative accounts in the KCAL. So, in assessing his account a balance has to be made between the effect of his age and his powers of observation and experience in recording evidence as a policeman.
Clarke mentions that the going on his horseback was difficult and they moved at a slow pace which will put all timings back somewhat.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 12:32 am

Julian, I must agree, Clarke provides inferred timings, and recounts events. For timings were must revert to where sources converge.

With that in mind, postulate the following as an estimate of the timings.:-

1, The first encounter with the Zulus occurred some time before Mansel and Robinson approached them.

2, The Carbineers had had time to make contact with the NNC and then join up with the NMP.

3, The carbinners had to travel some three miles from the point of contact with the Carbineers (NN) across Hlazikazi to meet with Dartnell and the NMP.

4, The Carbineers made contact with the NNC shortly after their al fresco lunch, which they took at noon. It would take the Carbineers some 45-60 minutes to reach Dartnell from their position.

5, It seems reasonable to propose that the Carbineers met with the NMP around 1-30pm. The Carbineers met the NNC (according to Holt
HNMP p53) shortly after lunch, and having off saddled "for a while"..."received a sudden orders to move in an easterly direction"

6, NN reports (p50) that at 4pm the NNC were at the crest of the Hlazikazi ridge where they saw the cavalry, "some distance off". Lonsdale and Harford went to meet Dartnell (I do not yet have access to Harford's account), Harford later returned with the latest news. Which was that "...Major Gossett A.D.C. had come acroess a large body of the enemy (considerably over 1,500) on a nek of Upindo Hill".

7, NN recounts that the NNC then had to march "on a few miles" to the NE edge of Hlazsikazi at which point "3 miles off" the saw "a large body of Zulus, about 2,000 strong. "...we waited very patiently then saw a small body of volunteers detached and gallop up to within 800 yards of the Zulus..". This timing agrees well with other accounts, it would take the NNC a 90-120 minutes to move "a few miles" placing them at the point of observation at approximately 6pm of the NMP and Carbineers gallop up to the Zulus.

8, The orders to the Carbineers shortly after lunch, seems to me to confirm that the Zulu had been spotted prior to that, giving a first sighting time of around noon or earlier. The call to the Carbineers would be the natural response to that circumstance. It would take up to 60 mins for a message to get from Dartnell to the Carbineers and the NNC. Though there is a question as to why the sighting was not communicated to the NNC, there may be other explanations.

9, The message Gossett took to Chelmsford in terms of Zulu numbers and location would be a reasonably accurate respresentation of the situation in front of Dartnell at the fall of night.

10, There was further nuance obtained by the feint attack. Importantly the tactical ability of the Zulus was demonstrated, the lack of firing on the NMP demonstrated that the Zulus were holding position but were not attempting offensive action. The main question for all Imperial forces at Mangene was, were the Zulu part of the Ulundi army or a separate and independent force? The fact that Dartnell stayed suggests to me he thought the latter, Gossett having left earlier may have reached a different conclusion.

The importance of the Mangene expedition, is not so much what happened, but what the consequences were. Chelmsford, lost the Battle of Islandwana because he moved the strongest part of his force to Mangene the following day. Events demonstrate that Dartnell's position was stronger overnight than it was at dusk, though he did not know it, and he was still prepared to attack the Zulus at dawn on the 22nd, not a proposition I would suggest he would have considered if he thought the Zulus in fornt of him were part of or supported by the Ulundi army.

Much has been written about the various messages sent and received overnight by Chelmsford, no actual messages have survived for scrutiny, all contents were recounted by officers close to Chelmsford. These accounts should be challenged.

All accounts I have read of the Mangene standoff by or about the people that were there, none agree with the tenor of the messages attributed to Dartnell by Column HQ. The most surprising account is that by Norris Newman a man used to recording events as they were he has this to say.. "just after dark (i.e. between 7pm and 8pm) Lt Walsh arrived with 20 mounted infantry...few blankets, tea, sugar. (On another thread these later comings and goings are dealt with in some details.) He states that Lt Walsh "brought the news that the general would be with us at daylight. (p53).

It is argued that NN conflated things. Perhaps it is so, but all arguments to this effect are by necessity nebulous. I find it increasingly hard to reconcile the view that the official and Column Command's narratives present and those of every first hand account of the actual situations at Mangene recorded by those that were actually there. They are unbalanced and incongruous. Both cannot stand, "History" discounts the Mangene accounts in favour of the "official" account. I do not.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 9:41 am

For your info.
Harford with the NNC:
"We arrived at a beautiful spot where a stream that ran through the valley above us dropped over a precipice in a most picturesque waterfall, and on getting up into the valley...the Battalions separated, Lonsdale with the 1st Battalion 3rd NNC taking the left of the stream and I with the 2nd Battalion the right...All the kraals that we came across were empty, and no Zulus were seen by anyone.
About midday a halt was made for a frugal meal and a rest...At the head of the valley the two Battalions got together again, somewhere between 4 and 5 p.m. and went on to the Isipezi hill, Lonsdale riding off to see Major Dartnell who was with the mounted Police a mile or so to our left.
The sun was full setting as we reached the top of the Isipezi, and as we got to the ridge the Natives, with their sharp eyes, at once spotted a lot of Zulus on the opposite hill, across a very steep and rugged valley about 800 or 900 yards off in a straight line. The men were ordered to keep well out of sight below the hill, and...Hamilton-Browne, Cooper and I watched the Zulus stealthily moving about, their outline being well defined against the clear evening sky. Before long Major Dartnell joined us with his mounted men; they had also seen the enemy and had found them to be occupying a very strong position, and as it was still daylight he called for volunteers to go over and try to draw the Zulus out in order to see what sort of force confronted us.
Instantly a number of men jumped on to their horses and were off, with orders on no account to engage the enemy but simply draw him out and then gallop back. The manoeuvre was most successful; scarcely had our men crossed the valley and got up to within some 800 yards of their position than a regular swarm of Zulus, that we estimated to be over 1,000 men, swept down upon them in their horn formation and tried to surround them. Our men got back as hard as they could; no shots were fired and the Zulus returned back over their hill again. A council of war was now held, and Major Dartnell decided that the troops should bivouac on the spot, a message being sent to the General at once by Lieutenant Walsh...with his three mounted infantrymen to explain our position and asking for reinforcements and food. It was very evident that we were opposite a very large impi, if not the whole Zulu army." pp. 24-5 Child edition

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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 12:12 pm

Thanks for the post Julian, I have not read the full Harford accounts.

Having read the post there is little in it that directly contradicts the sequence I set out above. Issues do though stand out as flags.

Firstly Harford does not record himself as going to meet Dartnell with Lonsdale, he has Lonsdale riding off without him.

Secondly Harford is mixing up Isipezi with Hlazikazi. He states "as we reached the top of the Isipezi, and as we got to the ridge the Natives, with their sharp eyes, at once spotted a lot of Zulus on the opposite hill, across a very steep and rugged valley about 800 or 900 yards off in a straight line. (Harford, Henry. The Zulu War Journal . Coda Books Ltd.. Kindle Edition. ) Just found it on Kindle! Isipezi was 10 miles away as the crow flies it is inconceivable that Harford was there.

The earliest point at which (if the NNC followed the modern route from kwaMfeke towards both the Ridge and Dartnell's position) would be some three miles distant from Kwa Mfeke.(-28.449610°, 30.743956°) at this point Dartnell's bivouac position is approximately 1 miles away. The Zulu posiiton on Magogo would be 3 miles away.

Thirdly is chronology "At the head of the valley the two Battalions got together again, somewhere between 4 and 5 p.m. and went on to the Isipezi hill," (Harford, Henry. The Zulu War Journal . Coda Books Ltd.. Kindle Edition).  There is an error here I think, the troublesome "and" remove it and makes sense. "At the head of the valley the two Battalions got together again, somewhere between 4 and 5 p.m. went on to the Isipezi hill," To break this down.

1, At the head of the Valley, this must be the Ndwene valley. The head of the Ndwene is the vicinity of Kwa Mfeke. (-28.444584°, 30.700750°) This was, in the context, after the midday stop. Harford is with Browne. (About midday a halt was made for a frugal meal and a rest, as most of us, and especially the Europeans who were on foot, were very nearly dead beat.) Harford does not say that his battalion made any move from Kwa Mfeke, this would accord with NN's account of the meet, "1/3 NNC...approaching us from the east"


2, To cover the three miles to the Hlazikazi ridge would take around 90 - 120 minutes, if they left kwaMfeke at 4pm they would arrive at the ridge position by 6pm in time to watch the dusk set over Magogo.

So the chronology seems not to fit, but actually can fit with no inherent contradiction.

Harford goes on to say "A council of war was now held, and Major Dartnell decided that the troops should bivouac on the spot, a message being sent to the General at once by Lieutenant Walsh (Somerset Light Infantry), with his three mounted infantrymen to explain our position and asking for reinforcements and food." Harford, Henry. The Zulu War Journal . Coda Books Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

NN contradicts this by saying that Lt Walsh with 20 mounted Infantry arrived "shortly after dusk" (p53), other reports suggest just before dusk, when the sun is going down depending upon ones position, both could be correct. It is also believed that Walsh was the bearer of the 1-30am message from Dartnell to Chelmsford. We do know that Capt Davey left the bivouac at this time and returned later that evening.

It is likely in my view that Davey was sent to get Chlemsford confirmaiton of his plan to attack the following day by Dartnell, since at this time he had had no confirmation from Chelmsford that consent had been given. Davey left just before Lt Walsh arrived in camp who presumably brought that confirmation, the alternative would have forced Dartnell to make other arrangements than those that he did the following morning. We do know that Davey returned "late in the evening" to the Bivouac having delivered his message to camp.

It follows that any additional information later provided to Chelmsford from the Bivouac must be based on intelligence received after Davey left. The only material change in circumstance at the Bivouac site was the later disturbances in the ranks of the NNC, there could be no information as to Zulu numbers after darkness fell. Accounts of a sudden large increase in Zulu numbers seems to me to be a complete "red herring" there is no local reference at the Bivouac to support such a supposition, let alone a report to that effect.

Harford is seems rewrote some of his contemporaneous notes for posterity, which parts I do not know.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 1:37 pm

Yes, I realized the Isipezi-Hlazakazi mix up and should have annotated it.
Re Davey, have you read Clements's take on these events?
If not, I'll post.
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 1:41 pm

Julian, I have not seen Clement, would be grateful if you would post. Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 3:29 pm

W H Clements joined the NMP after the war and spoke with many of those involved.  His book was published in 1936 and contains many gems, though again it is a case of balancing age with the memori of his experiences.  It is sometimes disjointed and rambling but there are specific events which are recounted with undeniable clarity.  His take on the incident we're examining gives some food for thought:
"Having spied out the approach to the glen [where Nquaba-Ka-Mazungeni was to be found], the General ordered the Natal Native contingent, Carbineers, and Natal mounted Police to thoroughly search the country round about the glen, preparatory to making an attack in force the following day.
These contingents, in course of this operation, captured a Zulu who admitted the chiefs [Taku-Ka-Sininingo and Matzana-Ka-Usitya-guga] and their tribes were hidden in the glen, and also volunteered the information that they were only awaiting the arrival of the King's armies, expected momentarily, to make a general attack on the whiter invaders.  Not one would be saved from death, the prisoner added.
Major Dartnell, who was in command of this reconnoitring force, got in touch with a considerable force of Zulus later in the day, who apparently came from the vicinity of this mysterious glen, and was making arrangements to give them battle, when colonel Lonsdale, who having recovered from
his fall, had resumed charge of the Natal Native contingent, represented to him that his Natives were too tired and hungry to be relied on at that late hour of the day, and, as the mounted force was too small to attack alone so large a force of the enemy, Major Dartnell decided to bivouac with his entire command on the spot, and make his attack the following morning at daybreak.
Captain and Adjurtant E. N. [sic] Davey was sent back to the main camp at Isandhlwana with instructions to report to Lord Chelmsford what had transpired and ask the General's approval of Major Dartnell's plan, at the dame time making a request that a company or two of the 24th Regiment might be sent out to him at daybreak to instil confidence in the Native contingent, who were exhibiting unmistakable signs of fear."


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Tue Jul 25, 2023 5:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 4:24 pm

Julian,

The Zulu War obviously lasted longer than I always thought, as Trooper W. H. Clements was not attested in to the Natal Mounted Police until 25th February 1885!

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 4:42 pm

Julian many thanks for this interesting reading. It raises a few questions.

In my earlier posts I was interested to check with others the exact position of "Matyana's stronghold" my preference based on my reading rather than any other personal knowledge or insight was a position on the flanks of Phindo a little eastward of the posiiton where the NMP would face theZulus on the morning of the 22nd. The response from others was the hill of Nkabane, if we continue to assume Nkabane was indeed Matyana's Stronghold there is a sliver of a chance that Dartnell with his local troops and Chelmsford separately with his staff understood Matyana's stronghold to be different places. In that event his reconnaisance could not complete until he had investigated ground past the Mangene stream. Just a thought.

Clements refers to Chelmsford's recce of the 20th January. Chelmsford (dispatch 27th Jan) clearly believes Matyana's stronghold to be in the depth of the Mangene valley below the falls. He travelled down the wagon track on the flanks of Hlazikazi as far as a place called Matyana's stronghold. "A deep valley, full of caves, with three precipitous sides over one of which a small river flows" this can be no other than the Mangene Falls valley. An excellent place to hide and almost inaccessible to european troops.

Chelmsford sends out Dartnell the following day, as he reports, part of the force goes not to the Mangene valley but to the Malakatha, thence to the head of the falls.

Chelmsford seems to confirm that Dartnell was unable to reconnoitre of the country beyond the Mangene stream, this would be the case if either the Zulu were defending the opposite side, or they held a position that would threaten the flanks of any advancing force, Zulu occupation of Magogo would infer the latter case.

Chelmsford says of Dartnell that "he called up two Battalions Native Contingent." he knew this he says "at about 3-00pm". I am not sure that collecting ones force together in the face of the enemy would infer he "called up" though this he certainly in effect did. Chelmsford also implies that Dartnell would only attack if stiffened with 3 companies of Imperial troops. My understanding was that he was intending to attack on the morrow in any case. Lt Walsh in the event brough the response, and we know Dartnell did indeed intend to attack on the morrow with no Imperial supporting troops.

Clements refers to Zulus emerging from this "mysterious glen" infers to me that he had no knowledge of it, hard to believe if you were on the slopes of Hlazikazi.

As to his record of Davey being sent back to camp with that message "Davey was sent back to the main camp at Isandhlwana with instructions to report to Lord Chelmsford what had transpired and ask the General's approval of Major Dartnell's plan, at the same time making a request that a company or two of the 24th Regiment might be sent out to him at daybreak to instil confidence in the Native contingent, who were exhibiting unmistakable signs of fear."

According to Chelmsford he had received the request for three companies at 3pm, Dartnell must have been very confident if he had scared men and needed less troops in support? We also know that Davey left before Walsh arrived so this account must be spurious and based upon hearsay. At the point Davey left there had been no camp disturbances he even possibly returned before they occurred, "late at night".
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Julian Whybra




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Mangeni recon on the 21st Empty
PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 5:20 pm

John
Well-noticed!  Thank you.  Post duly amended.  Clements nevertheless records in his preface his rubbing shoulders round the campfires and being a party to anecdotes from Isandhlwana survivors and members of the column on the Mangeni.  In later life he also spoke with many of those involved.
Clements would certainly have had no personal knowledge of the 'glen'.
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John Young

John Young


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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 5:55 pm

Julian,

Got to keep you on your toes!

JY
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Mangeni recon on the 21st   Mangeni recon on the 21st EmptyTue Jul 25, 2023 6:39 pm

And right pleased I am that you do.
(Mind you, I'll reciprocate!)
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