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Lord Chelmsford Said .Buller is ‘one of the finest soldiers of the century’, so modest and reticent –that it was difficult to say for what individual deed he had got the Victoria Cross as he had been doing acts worthy of it all along the line
 
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Rorke's Drift A Soldier's Story with presenter Major John Thomas
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24th

24th

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PostSubject: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptyThu Dec 10, 2009 12:02 am

Is it true the Zulu's who fought at Isandlwana were ordered not to kill anyone wearing a Black coat. If. It is what was the reason for this. Even though they were not wearing red coats they were still there to fight against the zulu, So why not kill every body. They killed the horses because they carried the white man into Zululand and they killed the Cattle because they fed the white man in Zululand So why not kill those wearing black coats,
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mons14

mons14

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptyThu Dec 10, 2009 2:11 am

I had understood through my readings that the Zulus were especially focused on the 'Red soldier' and thoes that did not fit that description would have had a slightly greater chance of escape.

It certainly did not make them safe from the slaughter - maybe less of a focus.

However with that said, the climax of battle saw the Zulus stabbing anything that moved. Some were in such a frenzy to kill that they were stabbing at sacks of food, boxes etc. anything that was in their path.
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: red coats - black coats.   Red Coats Black Coats EmptyThu Dec 10, 2009 5:32 am

hi all.
Mons14 , once again I agree, cetswayo certainly had them focused on " eating up the Red soldier ".
Curiously all the officers that survived were wearing the " Blue Patrol Jacket ". All FIVE of them.
CURLING , ESSEX , GARDNER , SMITH - DORRIEN and COCHRANE.
cheers 90th.
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Dave

Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptyThu Dec 10, 2009 10:39 pm

I rode, revolver in hand, right through the Zulus, but they completely ignored me. I heard afterwards that they had been told by their King Cetywayo that black coats were civilians and were not worth killing.I had a blue patrol jacket on, and it is noticeable that the only five officers who escaped—Essex, Cochrane, Gardner, Curling, and myself—had blue coats. The Zulus throughout my escape seemed to be set on killing natives who had sided with us, either as fighting levies or transport drivers.
After getting through the mass of Zulus busy slaying, I followed in the line of fugitives. The outer horns of the Zulu Army had been directed to meet at about a mile to the south-east of the camp, and they were still some distance apart when the retreat commenced. It was this gap which fixed the line of retreat.

I could see the Zulus running in to complete their circle from both flanks, and their leading men had already reached the line of retreat long before I had got there. When I reached the point I came on the two guns, which must have been sent out of camp before the Zulus charged home. They appeared to me to be upset in a donga and to be surrounded by Zulus.

Again I rode through unheeded, and shortly after was passed by Lieutenant Coghill (24th), wearing a blue patrol and cord breeches and riding a red roan horse. We had just exchanged remarks about the terrible disaster, and he passed on towards Fugitives' Drift. A little farther on I caught up Lieutenant Curling, R.A., and spoke to him, pointing out to him that the Zulus were all round and urging him to push on, which he did. My own broken-kneed transport pony was done to a turn and incapable of rapid progress.

The ground was terribly bad going, all rocks and boulders, and it was about three or four miles from camp to Fugitives' Drift. When approaching this Drift, and at least half a mile behind Coghill, Lieutenant Melvill (24th), in a red coat and with a cased Colour across the front of his saddle, passed me going to the Drift. I reported afterwards that the Colour was broken; but as the pole was found eventually whole, I think the casing must have been half off and hanging down. It will thus be seen that Coghill (who was Orderly Officer to Colonel Glynn) and Melvill (who was Adjutant) did not escape together with the Colour. How Coghill came to be in the camp I do not know, as Colonel Glynn, whose orderly officer he was, was out with Lord Chelmsford's column.


Source: Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service
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John

John

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptyThu Dec 10, 2009 11:14 pm

Quote :
Again I rode through unheeded, and shortly after was passed by Lieutenant Coghill (24th), wearing a blue patrol and cord breeches and riding a red roan horse.

He died. scratch
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1879graves

1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptySat Dec 12, 2009 3:16 pm

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1879graves

1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptySat Dec 12, 2009 3:44 pm

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mons14

mons14

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptySat Dec 12, 2009 3:51 pm

Having a blue, black, brown or no uniform at all did not make a soldier safe - all were enemy combatants and were fair game to Zulu. There were hundreds of soldiers other then Red-coats killed at Isandlwana.

They may have had a special interest in the Red soldier, but any man on the field of battle that day was seen as the enemy.
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mons14

mons14

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptySat Dec 12, 2009 6:30 pm

Follow up to my last post...

This is an early Forsyth roll (c1970's) of thoes killed at Isandlwana. I'm not an expert on uniforms, but would suggest thoes members of the 1st and 2nd 24th Regt. seen below were probably the only ones wearing red.

Also take note of the numbers of natives assumed to have died - 471 including non-combatants.

I would conclude that despite orders to kill all in a red coat, any other soldiers (or otherwise) on the British side were also considered targets that day.

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1879graves

1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptySat Dec 12, 2009 6:57 pm

mons14 wrote:

I would conclude that despite orders to kill all in a red coat, any other soldiers (or otherwise) on the British side were also considered targets that day.

Hi mons14
I would have to agree with your quote, If you look at the list of killed, apart from the Royal Engineers & the 24th, all the other units would not have worn red. They were all targets on the day.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptySat Dec 12, 2009 10:34 pm

471 Natives Killed. They wore RED Arm Bands.
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: red coats - black coats.   Red Coats Black Coats EmptySun Dec 13, 2009 5:51 am

hi ctsg.
Dont mean to be picky , but the N.N.C wore red headbands not arm bands . Sad
cheers 90th.
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1879graves

1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptySun Dec 13, 2009 9:39 am

The bulk of the N.N.C. had fled from the field at an early stage, about 12h45 or 13h00, but by this time the Undi Corps were already across the track to Rorke's Drift so that they were forced to follow a more direct route to the Buffalo River which led under the slopes of Black's Koppie. Observing this, Dabulamanzi sent the inDlu-yengwe to attack them in the flank and although many had already cast away their weapons, headbands or any other signs of allegiance to the British in the hopes of becoming unrecognisable, most were discovered and killed although some managed to escape
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1879graves

1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Red Coats Black Coats   Red Coats Black Coats EmptySun Dec 13, 2009 9:44 am

The main elements of the army which was to oppose the centre column concentrated on the Ulundi plain and on 17 January was mustered at the Nodwengu military kraal to receive instruction from the king. As he had no details of the British plan these could be of a general nature only. The army was to move slowly to conserve its energies and to attack by daylight, probably because of the difficulty of communication by night. The warriors were warned not to enter Natal and to kill the soldiers who could be recognised by their red coats.
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