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Zulu Dawn:“Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the track down to Rorke's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders my Lord? Do we move to the drift?”
 
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 Lone grave at Rorked drift

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rthorne



Posts : 1
Join date : 2010-08-29

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PostSubject: Lone grave at Rorked drift   Lone grave at Rorked drift EmptySun Aug 29, 2010 5:03 pm

There is a lone grave in the walled cemetary at Rorkes Drift. According to the stone, it is the grave of Private (more correctly -Trooper) Thorne of the 6th Dragoons who was drowned in the river on 25th Oct 1884. Does anyone know anything about this man who shares my surname other than the above details on his stone. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who can add any details; so also would the regimental museum.
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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7077
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 53
Location : Down South.

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PostSubject: Re: Lone grave at Rorked drift   Lone grave at Rorked drift EmptySun Aug 29, 2010 8:45 pm

Hi rthorne. Welcome to the forum

This head stone is certainly a mystery, in the fact that no one seems to know much about it, which is unusual as is placed in a very historical cemetery. We have discuss this before on this forum, but nothing of interest came to light. There must be a record of the burial. I did read on the RDVC that he could possibly have been one of the escorts when Cetewayo was returned to his throne. If I come across anything I will post.
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Ken Gillings



Posts : 205
Join date : 2009-10-20
Age : 74
Location : Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Lone grave at Rorked drift   Lone grave at Rorked drift EmptySun Aug 29, 2010 9:33 pm

As has been mentioned, the grave is that of Private Thorne of the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, who was drowned when the pontoon was 'upset' on the 23rd October 1884. This was, of course during the Civil War that raged in Zululand between 1883 and 1888, after the British had carved it up into 13 regions, each ruled by a 'kinglet' who had shown some form of loyalty to them during the Anglo-Zulu War.
The Natal Garrison between 1879 (at the end of the War) until 1891 comprised the following Regiments:
CAVALRY: The 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons;
ARTILLERY: H/4 Battery (ie, H Battery, 4th Brigade) RFA;
INFANTRY:
1879-1880 - 3/60th Regiment (KRR);
1880-1884 - 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment (later renamed the 2nd Bn Northamptonshire Regiment - they participated, of course, in the Transvaal War of Independence on 1880-1881 and were involved in the battles of Lang's Nek and Majuba);
1881-1886 - The 1st Bn The Welch Regiment;
1883-1885 - 1st Bn Princess Louise's Regiment (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders);
1884-1887 - 2nd Bn The Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire Regimnent);
1886-1888 - 1st Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers;
1888-1891 - 1st Bn The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment);
1887-1890 - 1st Bn Princess of Wales's (North Staffortshire) Regiment.

I may be in the UK towards the end of July 2011 after leading a tour that will follow the SA Springbok soldier in Italy during WW2 and coincide with the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Delville Wood near Longueval in France. I have produced a 50 minute power point talk on the aftermath of the Anglo-Zulu War (focusing on the Civil War oif this particular era). If members of the forum are prepared to be subjected to it, I'd be more than happy to present it. This messy period in my country's military history has generally been overlooked and has had a ripple effect in KwaZulu-Natal's politics up to recent times.
Regards, Ken
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ADMIN

ADMIN

Posts : 4246
Join date : 2008-11-01
Age : 62
Location : KENT

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PostSubject: Re: Lone grave at Rorked drift   Lone grave at Rorked drift EmptySun Aug 29, 2010 9:57 pm

Hi Ken.
Quote :
"I may be in the UK towards the end of July 2011"
What part of the UK.
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Umbiki

Umbiki

Posts : 131
Join date : 2010-07-04
Location : Gloucester, UK

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PostSubject: Re: Lone grave at Rorked drift   Lone grave at Rorked drift EmptyMon Aug 30, 2010 1:40 am

Ken

I do have an interest in the later Zulu Wars so if it were feasible would be interested in attending any presentation. As you say, a consequence of the AZW that is often overlooked.

U
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Ken Gillings



Posts : 205
Join date : 2009-10-20
Age : 74
Location : Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Lone grave at Rorked drift   Lone grave at Rorked drift EmptyTue Aug 31, 2010 3:25 pm

Admin - Apologies for the delay in responing to your query re my visit to the UK; I have been invited to speak in Kent, Swansea and in London. Nothing firm yet - it needs to lead on from the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Delville Wood in France, hopefully on the 19th July 2011.
Regards, Ken
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ADMIN

ADMIN

Posts : 4246
Join date : 2008-11-01
Age : 62
Location : KENT

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PostSubject: Re: Lone grave at Rorked drift   Lone grave at Rorked drift EmptyTue Aug 31, 2010 5:13 pm

Good news Ken. I live in Kent. So if its goes ahead, I will be attending. I might even buy you a few pints of good old English beer after the event.
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Ken Gillings



Posts : 205
Join date : 2009-10-20
Age : 74
Location : Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Lone grave at Rorked drift   Lone grave at Rorked drift EmptyTue Aug 31, 2010 5:25 pm

Now that's a good enough reason for making certain that I get there...
Ken
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