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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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Dave

Dave

Posts : 1605
Join date : 2009-09-21

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PostSubject: Coincidental or Fact.   Coincidental or Fact. EmptyTue Feb 09, 2010 12:01 am

"One party of soldiers came out from among the tents and formed up a little above the ammunition- waggons. They held their ground there until their ammunition failed them, when they were nearly all assegaied. Those that were not killed at this place formed again in a solid square in the neck of Sandhlwana. They were completely surrounded on all sides, and stood back to back, and surrounding some men who were in the centre. Their ammunition was now done, except that they had some revolvers which they fired at us at close quarters. We were quite unable to break their square until we had killed a great many of them, by throwing our assegais at short distances. We eventually overcame them in this way."

"The above is corroborated on all main points by Mehlokazulu, son of Sihayo, who states that he was sent with three other indunas(mounted), on the morning of the 22nd, to see what the English were doing. On reporting to Tshingwayo, he said, " All right, we will see what they are going to do." " Presently," says Mehlokazulu, " I
heard Tshingwayo give orders for the Tulwana and Ngyaza regiments to assemble. When they had done so, he gave orders for the others"

Source: HISTORY OF THE ZULU WAR AND ITS ORIGIN. 1880.



And then this

From No. 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera to his Uncle and Aunt. 1
Rorke's Drift.
19 February 1879
I am very sorry to tell you that we see very hard times of it out here now. We are on the march all the time and we have not seen a bit of bread this last two months, only biscuits all the time and we are often on the road for two or three days at a stretch, that we don't get coffee or tea, only dry biscuit; it is an awful place for water. Another thing, we have to write with powder and water and I had to pay fourpence for this sheet of paper and envelope...

We had a very hard fight for about three hours at a place called Isandhlwana. The Zulus attacked our camp and as soon as we saw them coming, we struck the tents and formed square around the ammunition, and we kept them back for three hours. The General was not with us at the time; he was out somewhere and the colonel that was in command of us (as soon as he saw the Zulus retiring) ordered us to advance after them. We went about 300 yards and they were so many that they came in our rear and took the camp and everything that belonged to us; they came about us so thick that we could not handle our guns and then we knocked them down with the butt of the gun; the Zulus killed about 1841 of our fellows altogether but we ourselves killed some of the volunteers because they were running away and the colonel in command shot himself because he knew he had done wrong. He should not have put us to advance after them and leave the ammunition. However, we killed about 6000 that day. David Davies has been killed.

I have read Julian Wybra states that 1415 Thomas Thomas of Ystalyfera was not at Isandwana. So how would he have known the highlighed.

Or is this just Coincidental.
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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7086
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 51
Location : Down South.

Coincidental or Fact. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coincidental or Fact.   Coincidental or Fact. EmptyTue Feb 09, 2010 12:08 am

Dave I think this is what you read relating to Julian Whybra.

Quote :
Thomas was not at Isandhlwana and his letter cannot be relied upon in any of its comments. To quote from my England's Sons:
2-24/1415 Pte. Thomas Thomas
This 2/24th soldier came from Ystalyfera in Wales. A letter home to his uncle and aunt from Rorke’s Drift, dated 19th February, 1879, is extant in both Welsh and English versions. They were published in Y Gwladgarwr, 18th March 1879; Y Genedl Gymreig, 24th April 1879; and in the North Wales Express, 18th April 1879. From the ambiguity of the content it could be interpreted that the writer participated in the battle of Isandhlwana and it has appeared in print as a letter from a bona fide survivor. In reality, Thomas was out with his battalion as a member of Chelmsford’s reconnaissance on the 22nd January. Thomas is either deliberately not telling the truth or, to be generous, his writing in the first person plural has been taken literally when what he actually intended to convey was the third person plural.


Source: RDVC
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John

John

Posts : 2558
Join date : 2009-04-06
Age : 57
Location : UK

Coincidental or Fact. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coincidental or Fact.   Coincidental or Fact. EmptyTue Feb 09, 2010 12:23 am

No disrespect to Julian. But he does not really say how he came to this conclusion.

He say’s
Quote :
“Thomas was out with his battalion as a member of Chelmsford’s reconnaissance on the 22nd January.”

But wasn’t Coghill supposed to have been with Chelmsford. But remained behind due to a knee injury. Maybe Thomas had a reason to stay behind. Or ordered to stay behind. Who Knows?
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7488
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 73
Location : Cape Town South Africa

Coincidental or Fact. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coincidental or Fact.   Coincidental or Fact. EmptyTue Feb 09, 2010 5:53 am

John
probably the two finest researchers on the AZW are Whybra and Jackson, I would not enter debate with either one.
As far as Im aware a roll call was held at RD on th 23rd Jan. All members of Chelmsfords group and the RD defenders were listed. if TT had survived Isandlawana he would have gone to Helpmekaar and so would not have apeared on that list.
e mail Julian, Im sure thats one of his sources.
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John

John

Posts : 2558
Join date : 2009-04-06
Age : 57
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Coincidental or Fact.   Coincidental or Fact. EmptyTue Feb 09, 2010 7:43 pm

Hi Springbok. You Say.
Quote :
All members of Chelmsfords group and the RD defenders were listed.

I have seen the Rorkes Drift roll call, but don't think i have seen the roll call relating to Chelmsford group, any chance you could post it or post a link.
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Dave

Dave

Posts : 1605
Join date : 2009-09-21

Coincidental or Fact. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coincidental or Fact.   Coincidental or Fact. EmptyTue Feb 09, 2010 9:35 pm

Quote :
but don't think i have seen the roll call relating to Chelmsford group

I to would like to see the roll call for Chelmsford lot.

Dave.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7488
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 73
Location : Cape Town South Africa

Coincidental or Fact. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coincidental or Fact.   Coincidental or Fact. EmptyWed Feb 10, 2010 6:46 am

The roll call/ morning muster is a norm with all regiments. The roll calls from RD, Im told are contained in the Historical Records of the 2nd Battalion, the records of the 24th regiment.
Im presently searching for the ref amongst the mirriard of books for further references.
Regards
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