On 9th April Captain Wynne died. The fever that wracked his body finally killed him. For days he had been driving himself on, suffering from a burning head, aching eyeballs, chilled skin and aching bones. He had the most awful nightmares.
' I had a most disturbed night last night, I could not sleep except by short snatches, and my brain went working upon what is before us to do here. When I did go off I had horrid nightmares. The waggons were going helter skelter along our new road, tumbling over the embankments, while I was pursued by Zulus five times magnified in the midst of the fracas. In the morning I felt certainly not so well as the day before, nor do I seem to have made any improvement.'
14th March, letter to Mrs Wynne
Lieutenant David Charles Courtney RE was with Captain Wynne at Eshowe (Ekowe). Courtney's diary of events records the ill-health amongst the company:
14 Friday (March) - Work in and about the fort....Rations reduced except meat increased to one-and-a-half pounds. Wynne still seedy - we now have 16 sick out of a total of 95.
16 Sunday - Church at 6.45 & collection for sufferers in present war. Walked to Rocky hill in afternoon with Main and Willock. Coker Middy [Midshipman Coker] of Active died at 10pm from dysentery - Runner went to Tugela took newsletter, though we had one done up in a cartridge.
17 Monday - Coker buried at 10am.....2 men died in hospital....
21 Friday - Work on road 7.15 to 12.39 - Wynne very bad. Willock down with fever....
24 Monday - Fine day - Wynne and Willock better worked in fort chiefly sod revetement. Telegram "Lady Frere sends best wishes to garrison merely interested in their welfare"...
25 Tuesday - Working hours altered....Wynne had congestion of the lungs Willock better - signals to and from Tugela.....
27 Thursday - Willock and Wynne both better. Davison of 99th died of fever....
31 March - Wynne & Willock better but Wynne's lungs are affected and the doctor is still anxious about him.....
7 April - Left bivouac at 8am - (first sending on Wynne & Willock) reached Tugela at 10am Camped and rested....Doctors think Wynne very bad. Driver Spiers died, 15 men sick sent to Hospital at Fort Pearson.
10 April, Thursday - Wynne died last night at 8pm - I crossed the drift at 6am hoping to see him but Capt Robinson met me & said that all was over - had coffin made & buried him at 12 noon reading service myself........
Warren Wynne died on his 36th birthday. He left behind a wife, Lucy Parish Wynne, and sons aged five years, two years and seven months.
The grave is in Euphorbia Hill cemetery, overlooking the River Tugela and the remains of Fort Tenedos. The inscription reads:
In loving memory of
Warren Richard Colvin Wynne
Captain, RE, CRE at Ekowe
Died at Fort Pearson, Tugela, on his birthday, April 9th, 1879,
of fever, contracted during the defence of Ekowe.
I believe in the Resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.
Them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
He is not dead, but sleepeth.
Christ's faithful soldier and servant unto life's end.
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori