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Subject: Lost and Killed. Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:54 pm
After the battle of Ulundi a Lieutenant Douglas, was tasked with taking some dispatches back to whereever. He lost his way and was apparently killed. Does anyone know the full account of what took place?
Posts : 3191 Join date : 2009-03-03 Location : Devon
Subject: Re: Lost and Killed. Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:14 pm
Lieutenant James Henry Scott-Douglas, who was slain at KwaMagwasa, Zululand, on June 30th 1879, was the eldest son of Sir George Henry Scott-Douglas, of Springwood Park, Kelso, Baronet, M.P. for Roxburghshire, and Dona Mariquita Juana Petronila Sanchez De Pina, his wife. He was born at Edinburgh on May 27th 1853, and passed his early years at Springwood Park. In 1864 he went to school at Blackfriars, under Mr R C Powles, and thence proceeded to St Leonards, where he was prepared by the Rev. J Wright for Winchester. He entered Winchester early in 1869, and whilst there became a member of the school Corps of Rifle Volunteers; thence he proceeded to Llanwenorth, where he was prepared by Rev. G Faithfull for the University. On February 29th 1872, he received from the Duke of Buccleuch a commission as Lieutenant in the Queen's Regiment of Light Infantry Militia, which he joined at Dalkeith for training of that year. In October he began his studies at Trinity College Cambridge, and in the following spring passed his previous examination, thereby qualifying himself for a commission in the army as university candidate; having, however, commenced to read the historical Tripos, and being anxious to more effectually complete his education, he abstained from availing himself of the qualification. About this time he enrolled himself in the university volunteers, and shortly afterwards became a Sergeant of that Corps. At the close of the long vacation of 1875 he had the misfortune to meet with a severs fall from his horse, which brought a concussion of the brain; he was thereby prevented from taking part in the final examination for the Tripos, but the examiners were so convinced, by his previous work, of his attainments, that they conferred on him the B.A. degree with honours. On April the 1st 1875, he was gazetted to the 19th Regiment, being anxious to serve with a Scotch Corps, he was transferred to the 21st Royal North British Fusiliers, joining that Regiment at Portsmouth in January 1876. Shortly afterwards he passed most creditably through a course of garrison instruction, his commanding officer testifying to the manner in which he excelled in tactics and military law. From the School of Musketry at Hythe he came out with an extra first-class certificate' he also obtained a first-class instructor's certificate at the school of army signalling at Aldershot; and on his return to his regiment, performed the duty of Officer-Instructor to it. Lieutenant Scott-Douglas, accompanying his Regiment, left Queenstown for Zululand in February 1879, and arriving at Durban on March the 29th. Proceeding to the front, he was appointed chief of the signalling staff of the 2nd Division of the Field Force, and, applying himself ardently to his difficult and important duties, he succeeded in a short time in establishing a line of communication. By means of flags and the heliograph, from the most advanced post to the rearmost. On the morning of June 30th, he was employed with his signalling party at Entonganeni; before noon a mist came on which obscured the sun and prevented the working of the heliograph, and shortly afterwards an important message arrived which Lord Chelmsford was desirous to have forwarded to Sir Garnet Wolseley. Lieutenant Scott-Douglas, with his signalling party and an escort, immediately set out to carry it to Fort Evelyn, twenty Miles distant; but finding the condition of the horses to be so bad as to preclude the possibility of escape in the event of the enemy being met with in force. He decided not to risk the safety of so large a party, and rode on with only his orderly, Corporal Cotter of the 17th Lancers. Upon his arrival at the fort the officer who commanded it, observing the fatigued condition of the horses and the unsettled appearance of the weather, urged him to pass the night there; but knowing, by the nature of the messages he had forwarded, that the army was to march for Ulundi at daybreak on the following morning, he preferred to return. The start for Entonganeni was made at 3 p.m., and about an hour afterwards a dense fog came on and shrouded the surrounding country. The track, at all times difficult to follow, branches off towards the deserted mission-station of KwaMagwasa; in the obscurity the two horsemen accidentally took the wrong path, and it was not until after they arrived at the mission-station that they discovered their mistake. Hard by this spot, where they dismounted to refresh their horses, they were observed and surprised by a body of some five hundred Zulus, who were marching to join Cetshwayo at Ulundi. Lieutenant Scott-Douglas was able to discharge five chambers of his revolver, and then fell pierced to the heart by an assegai. His body was found some days afterwards by Brigadier-General Wood, lying near to that of Corporal Cotter, who had also stood his ground most gallantly: the two were buried, with military honours, side by side, in marked graves by crosses and sheltered by a luxuriant growth of the wild cactus. 'Of the soldierlike, manly bearing and social virtues of Lieutenant Scott-Douglas,' wrote Colonel Collingwood, 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers, 'I, his commanding officer, cannot speak too highly. He was the ideal type of an officer and a gentleman in the highest sense in which that term can be applied.'
Posts : 4250 Join date : 2008-11-01 Age : 62 Location : KENT
Subject: Re: Lost and Killed. Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:46 pm
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Photo:Copyright John. Young Lieutenant James Henry Scott DOUGLAS - Royal Scots Fusiliers killed in action at Kwamagwasa, Zululand, 30th June 1879. Aged 26. Son of Sir George Douglas, MP, and Dona Sanchez de Pina. Born in Edinburgh.
Posts : 1858 Join date : 2009-03-25
Subject: Re: Lost and Killed. Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:58 pm
Nice Photo. You beat me to it Pete. However found this.
An extract from : Zululand and Cetewayo; containing an account of Zulu cystoms, manners, and habits, after a short residence in their kraals, with portrait of Cetewayo, and 28 illustrations from original drawings
"An Induna came in with Lieutenant Douglas's sword, saddle bags, and watch ; also the helmet of the trooper who was killed with him. It made one feel very melancholy to look at the half rusty sword, with the marks of blood on the blade, showing how gallantly its owner had defended himself. Lieutenant Douglas, was riding from Ulundi with despatches to the coast after the battle, when, losing his way in a fog, he was surrounded and killed. Archibald Forbes, who rode the same night to Rorke's Drift, luckily escaped."
Posts : 3191 Join date : 2009-03-03 Location : Devon
Subject: Re: Lost and Killed. Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:22 pm
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Corporal Cotter & Lieutenant Scott-Douglas Graves, Kwamagwasa, Zululand
Saul David 1879
Posts : 527 Join date : 2009-02-28
Subject: Re: Lost and Killed. Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:36 pm
Nice one 1879Graves. On the ball as normal.
"Lt James Henry Scott Douglas was born in Edinburgh on 27 May, 1853, the son of a Scots MP, and was educated at Winchester and Cambridge. Before proceeding to Cambridge he received a commission in the Queen's Regiment of Light Infantry Militia, but after graduating he was gazetted to the 19th Regiment on 1 April, 1875. However, as he was anxious to serve with a Scots regiment he transferred to the 21st Regiment, the Royal Scots Fusiliers. The regiment arrived in Durban on 29 March, 1879, and proceeded to the front where Lt Scott Douglas was appointed Chief of the Signalling Staff of the Second Division of the Field Force. On the morning of 30 June, 1879, he was employed with his signalling party at Entonjaneni but before noon a mist came down and prevented the working of the heliograph. Shortly afterwards Lt Scott Douglas was required to carry an important message from Lord Chelmsford to Fort Evelyn about 32 km away and decided to be accompanied only by his orderly, Cpl W. Cotter of the 17th Lancers, instead of a large party in view of the condition of the horses. The officer in command of Fort Evelyn tried to prevail on Scott Douglas not to return that afternoon in view of the fatigued condition of the horses and the unsettled weather, but Scott Douglas, knowing that the army was to march on Ulundi the following day, preferred to return. The start for Entonjaneni was made at about 15h00, and about an hour later a dense fog caused Scott Douglas and Cotter to take the wrong road to the deserted mission station at Kwamagwaza where they were surprised and killed by a party of Zulus at dawn the next morning, 1 July, 1879. Their bodies were found some days later by Brig-Gen Henry Evelyn Wood with every indication that the two had defended themselves most gallantly. Col W.P. Collingwood of the 21st Regiment wrote, 'Of the soldierlike, manly bearing and social virtues of Lt Scott Douglas I, his commanding officer, cannot speak too highly. He was the ideal type of officer and a gentleman in the highest sense in which that term can be applied.'
Posts : 747 Join date : 2009-10-18
Subject: Re: Lost and Killed. Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:30 pm
Thanks to all for the replies over whelming, 1879Graves. Really don’t know how you find these graves so fast. And my next question would have been who was the soldier who died with him.
S,D I think your find, your post is already included in 1879Graves post. (By thanks anyway.)
Posts : 1604 Join date : 2009-09-21
Subject: Re: Lost and Killed. Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:12 pm
By Bertram Mitford: Lieutenant Scott-Douglas and Corporal Cotter. Thanks for link 24th.
I attended one of the services, part of which was performed by a stalwart native cleric, who also led the singing with five hundred-lung power ; a good many people attended, the men being placed on one side of the room, the women on the other, and seemed to enter into the thing, the singing especially. Near Kwamagwaza are the graves of Lieutenant Scott-Douglas and Corporal Cotter, who met their deaths there under the following circumstances.
On the afternoon of July 1, 1879, Lieutenant Scott-Douglas and an orderly started from Fort Evelyn on despatch duty to Fort Marshall, Whether baffled by the darkness, overtaken by a mist, or com- pelled to leave the road for the purpose of evading stray parties of the enemy, nobody knows or ever will know ; anyhow, they missed the way, arriving at length at Kwamagwaza. There, it is supposed, they remained, hiding in the ruins of the mission buildings during the whole of the next day, owing to the vicinity of hostile bands.
Let us imagine
"The position of these unfortunate men. Far from human aid, in the heart of an unknown and savage country ; no friendly bush or rocks to conceal their movements from the eagle glance of the enemy's scouts, who from many a commanding eminence would sweep the bare treeless hills and valleys ; forced to lie close in the daytime, and at night hardly daring to move lest they should lose themselves yet more. Only two — alone, lost and without food — surrounded by ruthless foes with the glance of the hawk and the movements of the Ipanther, what chance had they ? On the morning of the 3rd they evidently tried to retrace their steps, starting back by the way they had come, but not to go far. Cresting the ridge which runs right across the station about half a mile from the ruins, they were fated to fall in with a large body of Zulus from the Empandhleni district who were on their way to join the im'pi at Ulundi. These immediately gave chase. The doomed men fled for about a mile along a spur, then, dismounting, abandoned their horses and plunged into a deep grassy ravine,presumably with the intention of hiding. Fatal move flight alone could have
Subsequent inquiries proved beyond doubt that they met their deaths, not on the 2nd, as was at first supposed, but on the 3rd ; for the band that killed them did not reach Ulundi in time for the battle, which took place on the 4th. Had it left Kwamagwaza on the 3rd, it could easily have done so, saved them, for wliat possible chance had they of baffling by conceahnent those human bloodhounds trained in all the signs and sounds of the wilderness, able to track them by a displaced blade of grass or the disturbed note of a startled bird. On reaching the bottom of the valley they appear to have separated and taken different directions, for their bodies when discovered were lying some distance apart.
I visited the spot where that of Lieutenant Scott-Douglas was found ; a deep narrow ravine, one side a smooth round slope, the other covered with mealies and tall grass, while through a line of tangled bush dotted with tree fern, plunging from rock to rock, a mountain stream hurled its clear waters down with a pleasant murmur ; and there, beneath the arching feathery fans of two spreading tree ferns, the unfortunate officer met his death. Standing there I could picture the whole scene. The desolate ravine, alive with grim dark figures and flashing spears glancing through the long grass the hills echoing with exultant shouts as nearer and surer those pitiless savage warriors closed in upon their prey securely trapped in that lonely defile and the doomed Briton at bay, his back to the hill, the branched canopy overhead’ and the bounding watercourse at his feet. Then the wild ' Usutu ' pealing in ferocious triumph a sudden rush and all is over. Whether exhausted and worn out by hunger and the hard despairing race for life, or in the hope that he would be spared, it does not appear that the unfortunate officer made much resistance. But that he died facing his relentless foes there can be no doubt."
Extract from: "Through the Zulu country; its battlefields and its people"