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Film Zulu Dawn quote: “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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 Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford

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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 9:50 am

Nice breakdown and comparison, but whats missing and is the key element to that front line is the positioning of the NNC and NNH.
I don't believe you can be dismissive on the role they played in the line break up. Essex is very clear that the line was intact and while he was talking to Durnford the NNC broke.
In positioning the various NNC and NNH ( Sikalis Horse ) as per say Laband and Thompson, they are at critical points in the line. They have D company anchoring the right of the line behind Durnford, and that I find very difficult to accept.
In Atkinson Symonds doesn't even have them in the line, French does then seems to adulterate the position. In Symonds sketch he shows the guns a third of the way down the 1/24th line, two more companies of 1/24th and then the NNC advanced on the knuckle. Comparing the map of the Archeological dig and the finds locating the gun position that's a long way out. That map has influenced Laband and Thompson to a very large degree. The Official Narrative basically gives up.
L and T show the following
E coy 1/1 NNC
C Company, Younghusband
4 Coy 2/3 NNC
1 & 2 Coys NNH
F Coy Mostyn
E Coy Cavaye
A Coy Degaucher
H Coy Wardell
G Coy 2/24
5 Coy 2/3 NNC
9 Coy 2/3 NNC
D Coy NNC

Now thats the imperial companies split to hell and gone.

David Jackson is similar with 2/3rd NNC and Shepstone splitting the line between Younghusband and Mostyn and Lonsdale and the more NNC between the 1/24 and Pope.
Those are significant departures from Chelmsfords standing orders.

The break on the knuckle was to my mind a very significant reason for the bugle calls. Essex is talking to Durnford down by that knuckle, he makes no mention at all about the bugles sounding before he comments on the Natives rushing past.
So yes there was a break by the NNC, beyond dispute really.
Was it because of that the recall was sounded? I believe so. at that time, The rate of fire was intense, that's in a statement. And I believe thats when the ammo started to run out and the final charge from the Chest started. So its a matter of sequencing the events to take into account all the know factors from the various witnesses.
Don't forget there was no overall eye in the sky to record what went on, all the statements are made with regard to those areas the survivors could see. Very small segments, so yes there was a Native collapse, yes there was a retreat, yes there was a grouping of the soldiers, yes there was the intense firing and yes there had to have been a slowing of the rate of fire. Fire control must at some point have been slowed to account for the companies being able to make it back to the saddle, and at that point replenish ammunition.

Cheers

PS Sorry for the ramble, its Sunday afternoon and spent the night babysitting a sick grand child. Minds a bit of a swamp.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 1:42 pm

6pdr
You are getting A and E muddled up. But don't fret, so have many historians. E was Cavaye's, A was Porteous's.
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6pdr

6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 3:04 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
6pdr
You are getting A and E muddled up.  But don't fret, so have many historians.  E was Cavaye's, A was Porteous's.

Julian,

#($#(*$&*! Actually, I sort of noticed that when I was trying to decipher Saul David's account in his book ZULU. I was asking myself, how can I have got this wrong when there are so many diagrams that clearly indicate it the other way. At first I thought there were typos in David's account but it occurred to me that HE might have it right...which made everything else wrong?! Help!

- 6pdr
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 4:57 pm

Without making excuses, I really don't want to get involved in this thread - not for the moment - as I've got too much on. When I get some space around the second week of April I hope to join in. BUT, there are some errors in many of the basic premises that early on were remarked upon and that's steered the discussion in irrelevant directions. For example, there is little point in quoting Crealock post eventum stating that Durnford was ordered to take command at the camp when he was not. And again, contributors insisting Durnford should have remained at the camp and taken command is unrealistic if Durnford believed that his orders led him elsewhere. And yet again, blaming Pulleine for adopting a troop disposition that was clearly laid down in Chelmsford's Instructions.
I fear I may have already said too much and be drawn into the debate. I shall try to close my eyes..for now!
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6pdr

6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 5:49 pm

springbok9 wrote:

The break on the knuckle was to my mind a very significant reason for the bugle calls. Essex is talking to Durnford down by that knuckle, he makes no mention at all about the bugles sounding before he comments on the Natives rushing past.
So yes there was a break by the NNC, beyond dispute really.

OK, I see your point about the bugle call.  To me the battle was lost at the start because the Zulu right wing was flowing virtually unimpeded to encircle Isandlwana. It was always only a matter of time before some weak spot gave in under pressure...so I am very hesitant to give ammunition to the scapegoat seekers...be they after the NNC, Durnford or even Pulleine (though they almost never do go after Pulleine.)  

Quote :
Was it because of that the recall was sounded? I believe so. at that time, The rate of fire was intense, that's in a statement. And I believe thats when the ammo started to run out and the final charge from the Chest started. So its a matter of sequencing the events to take into account all the know factors from the various witnesses.

Again, fair enough wrt your methodology.  If you start with those assumptions then the bugle call becomes important, especially if you believe, as I do, that the retreat precipitated the pursuit rather than a Zulu charge making it necessary to blow retreat.

Quote :
Don't forget there was no overall eye in the sky to record what went on, all the statements are made with regard to those areas the survivors could see. Very small segments, so yes there was a Native collapse, yes there was a retreat, yes there was a grouping of the soldiers, yes there was the intense firing and yes there had to have been a slowing of the rate of fire. Fire control must at some point have been slowed to account for the companies being able to make it back to the saddle, and at that point replenish ammunition.

All true, but does it REALLY matter whether Cavaye or Porteus' companies were to the left or the right of the guns when that occurred?  I understand that it matters whether a sudden hole in the line was created by a retreating unit...but if you believe what Snook said -- and you do seem to give it credence Springbok -- than this entire discussion is something of a red herring.  For whatever reason -- perhaps Durnford's withdrawal on the right -- the bugle WAS blown and that recall let the air out of the balloon.  The "defense line" was a house of cards waiting for a strong breeze which, one way or another, the Zulu were going to provide.

I hope the sick grandchild makes a swift recovery - for everybody's sake.  - 6pdr
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impi

impi

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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 6:27 pm

Don't recall reading that " recall " was sounded, Curling states that he heard cease fire being sounded. Twice I think. ?
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 6:48 pm

impi
Penn Symons states that 2 survivors told him that the 'cease fire' and the 'retire' were sounded.
Also read Umhoti.
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impi

impi

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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 6:53 pm

Thanks, not heard of that before! What time would that have been during the battle?
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DrummerBoy 16



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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 9:11 pm

Around the time Durnford retreated i think. Melokazulu (?) stated that he heard a trumpet and the British closed up and fired heavily as they fell back on the camp.
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Guest
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Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 9:46 pm

" The official account of the Battle of Isandhlwana. prepared
by the intelligence branch of the Quartermaster-General's
department of the War Office in 1881,lays the blame for
the collapse of the camps defence upon the failure of the NNC
to hold the line, and with the exception of F.W.D. Jackson all
subsequent popular versions have parroted this charge.
However, it has been shown earlier that the NNC were unlikely
to have been in the line at the time of the collapse..
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6pdr

6pdr

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Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 10:10 pm

DrummerBoy 16 wrote:
Around the time Durnford retreated i think. Melokazulu (?)  stated that he heard a trumpet and the British closed up and fired heavily as they fell back on the camp.

Haven't seen you around much lately DB! The thing that strikes me most about Mehlokazulu's testimony is that he is explaining that they got to their feet and charged again BECAUSE the British (& allies) withdrew. He does not pretend that they were inspired by that Induna (who subsequently took a bullet to the forehead -- Xhosa will have the correct spelling) to jump to their feet and charge through the volleys...forcing the Brits to fall back. So I tend to think whatever forced the withdrawal -- it was not the troops driven to ground.
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John

John

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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 10:20 pm

Possibly the lack of ammuntion. Which brings us back to the old question, just how much ammuntion did the troops have, it's stated that they maintained heavy fire,while falling back. My guess it they expended all but a few, at the advancing Zulus.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptySun Mar 16, 2014 10:33 pm

Don't recall reading that " recall " was sounded, Curling states that he heard cease fire being sounded. Twice I think. ?..says impi.

" There was now, no good reason why Zikhali's Horse should
remain, but it was possibly at the moment of Barton's return
to his troops that a bugle blew the ' retirement ' and shortly
thereafter the horsemen availed themselves of this opportunity
to leave the camp".

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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 5:30 am

Official Complaint

DB 16 is here under false pretences. It should be DB 17..................... Belated birthday wishes Sam.
 Salute 
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DrummerBoy 16



Posts : 110
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 7:29 am

Springbok   Very Happy 

And john if you read what Mehlokazulu said then you're comment makes no sence - he says the British were firing heavily as they fell back on the camp after a bugle
was sounded - no mention of the rate of fire decreasing.

Cheers

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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 7:43 am

6pr
My interpretation of the sequence of events.

Essex is arranging ammunition supplies from the 2/24th wagons ( approx. 400 yards to the line). He then goes back to the line, the 1/24th line, and 'on the way notices a number of the Native infantry retiring.'
He rides up to Durnford, and expresses concern about being surrounded, at that point the Native Contingent broke and rushed passed them.

So the sequence is:
The Mounted force had retired from the Donga
The left horn starts to surround the camp
The NNC break
The impi moves through the gaps.

Curling
'The enemy advancing still, we began firing case: but almost immediately the infantry were ordered to retire.'
Before we could get away the enemy were beside the guns.

Sequence

The enemy were advancing and had to be close to advance on the guns that rapidly.
The 'Orders'/ Bugle call to retire was sounded.
So at that point the gaps had started to appear in the lines.

Higginson
I then saw the men of the 2nd Battalion NNC running and looking for the 24th men I saw that they were retreating also.

Sequence

The NNC had broken.
The 24th were retreating but he makes no mention of a route or break up.

Private Williams

Theres a huge amount of contribution from this statement.
The right was being outflanked and being defended by the mounted men.
The NNC fell back on the camp and at the same time the 'enemy were entering the right of the camp'
at this time 'the firing continuing very heavy, 'No1 company and the remainder of 1st Battalion 24th Regiment together with the 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment were firing volleys into the Zulus.

Sequence.
The NNC had fled back into the camp
The companies had closed up and were firing volleys still.
Melville leaves the camp
Coghill leaves the camp
The artillery rides passed.

Malindi
His evidence is that Lonsdales men were ordered to retire and did so along with a company of soldiers. They got back into the camp together, the soldiers kneeling and firing. Another company doing the same on his left.

Sequence
Lonsdales men weren't part of the original break down but retired a distance before leaving, they did at some point because Lonsdale joined up with the red soldiers.

Mehlokazulu

His evidence perforce is visually restricted to the left horn and the Donga. He observes that the mounted men from the donga saw the left horn outflanking them and retreated onto the camp and then:' I then heard a bugle call and sqw the soldiers massing together.........the soldiers when they got together fired at a fearfull rate. Then they divided and commenced to run.

Sequence
The mounted men retire.
The bugle call
Intense firing
The retreat.
This statement is generally applied to the whole force, I disagree Mehlokazulus view was of the left horn, from his position he couldn't see the chests fighting much less comment on it.

There is a whole host of other statements that can be taken into account but without a full length article rather than a post the above should show my opinion, for what its worth.

Taking all those sequence points tells a story.
The 2nd NNC broke
The companies gathered from extended line to a more compact force and volley fired.
The Impi broke through the gaps
The left horn outflanked the mounted men and entered the camp.
The companies retreated onto the camp area.
The NNC should never have been put into the position they were. Their purpose was in chasing down a defeated enemy not standing in line waiting to be chopped to pieces.
I don't believe the defence line was planed along the lines of Chelmsfords orders. It was to much of a fluid and fast moving situation for Pulleine to handle.
The fighting on the ridge, the retreat and need to support that with Younghusband, Durnford being seen retreating across the plain and again the need for support and then Lonsdales man retreating from there position near the conical copy also in need of support. The guns being shuffled backwards and forwards. All leads to my assumption that the defence line designed itself through the situation at the time.
Just my thoughts.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 7:47 am

DB
Read the above, it makes a lot of sense. Mehlokazulus statement cannot be taken to mean the whole battlefield. He couldn't see the left and I doubt if he could have heard a bugle from there with the terrain, distance and noise of battle. Im pretty sure the bugle he heard was from the 2/24th ranks.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 9:02 am

Impi
No-one had a wristwatch and those who had pocket watches were otherwise engaged so times are rarely recorded. Nevertheless from its position in the sequence of events an occasion can be placed and an approximate guide to its timing can be established. (L&Q’s timings of events are in my opinion imprecise at times and should not be relied upon, useful though they may seem to be.)
Umkosana ran down the escarpment to encourage the uMcijo.
MEHLOKAZULU “heard a bugle call, and saw the soldiers massing together”.
At this time Essex met Durnford somewhere to the south of the rocky knoll near the NNC and the latter asked the former if he could get some men together to hold the enemy in the rear.
Pakade’s men flee.
Penn SYMONS learned from 2 survivors that “they distinctly heard the bugles sound ‘Cease Fire’ and ‘Retire’ and the calls being passed down the line”.
HAMER said “When the bugle sounded the retreat, the Kafirs were within 300 yards of us”.
CURLING said “just after the guns began to fire case shot the infantry were ordered to retire”.
MALINDI said “We were then ordered to retire as we were also threatened on our rear by the advancing left of the Zulus, and fall back on camp”.
ERSKINE said “When the Zulus got about 300 yards from me, I saw that the mounted Natives and the whole column to the right of the guns were retreating”.
UMHOTI said “Then at the sound of a bugle the firing ceased at a breath, and the whole British force retired on the tents. Like a flame the whole Zulu force sprang to its feet and darted upon them”.
That’s seven primary-source witnesses to a bugle call ordering the retire.
The sequence is important here, not so much the timing. The infantry cease fire and retire on the camp. Then the Zulus charge. The infantry retired because it could no longer hold its position. The regulation way for infantry to retire was for half the infantry to fall back at a time and this seems to have been attempted for MEHLOKAZULU on the right wing saw “the infantry divide and some commenced to run”.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 9:37 am

Hi Julian
Humm you are getting drawn in aren't you?

MEHLOKAZULU “heard a bugle call, and saw the soldiers massing together”.
If you look at the locations of those witnesses, all except Mehlokazulu were on the Northern side of the camp facing the ridge. I have serious doubts if those bugle calls would have been heard on the other side of the Nkengeni Ridge where he was stationed ( opposite the Donga that is). Its because of that I maintain, wrong or right, that his Bugle call was the 2/24th Popes G company being recalled. That makes a lot of sense to me as being a separate issue to the calls from the North, possibly a relay or more likely the original call then repeated along the line. Brings to mind then the question, would he, Pope, have the authority to order a withdrawl? Or yet again could he have got that instruction from Durnford?
I know where my money lays.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 9:51 am

Frank
My post was in reply to impi's post of yesterday. It took me that long to find the references. It's not a comment on the intervening posts!
I would semi-agree with you. Any bugle call on the 'north' of the line would have been passed down the line (as was recorded) verbally but may well have been sounded again by the time it reached Pope. That said, some of those witnesses were on the far left and some on the far right of the 'north' line and the bugle call MIGHT have been heard by Pope and MIGHT have been heard by Mehlokazulu. There was no wind that day so sound would have carried.
Still trying not to get drawn in.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 10:00 am

An interesting little point, a couple of years back I was sitting on the ridge just above the Donga taking photos. Afterwards I drove into the village near the entrance gate, at the café opposite ( pretty close to the firing line position, there was a roaring party going on, possibly a wedding, anyway the music was really loud Quato.
I drove back down to the donga, couldn't hear a thing. Its that camber on the battlefield that causes sound and vision loss. But yes the signal could have been passed on, either way.
All part of the enigma.
But I do believe that the good Colonel was more involved than merely wandering around in a Donga fixing guns, it was in his character to be involved.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 11:22 am

Frank
Absolutely it was. Didn't he disappear from the donga for that very purpose (to liaise with Pulleine and to make a compact body of the troops, or say as much to Essex, I think it was)? That then begs the question as to WHO was in command of the camp (or recognized as such) when the endgame was being played out, WHAT orders were issued for that period, DID they contradict one another? WHO was obeying whom? All part of the organized chaos.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 11:36 am

I would hypothesize that Once Durnford got to the knuckle and recognised what was happening he assumed control as they say. What we tend to loose track of is the terrain. From the Donga he couldn't see anything of the line. He was seen heading up to the HQ tent. On the way there stopped by Gardner, then down towards the knuckle by Essex. I believe he took control from Puleine on that ride and issued the withdraw orders from the Knuckle. Much speculation of the bugle calls coming from Younghusband and moving along the line, again I would rather think the calls emanated from the centre and moved left and right. Explains a lot that way in terms of the line folding/companies coalescing.
Just thoughts.


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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 12:25 pm

Of course, 'taking control' presupposes that Pulleine was aware that Durnford had done so.  As far as Pulleine was aware, Durnford was out on the right of the line commanding his natives (and, although technically superior in rank, not in a physical position TO command) and HE, Pulleine, was the one in the HQ tent or on the firing line and de facto in command.
Did Durnford have time to send a messenger to Pulleine?  Had Pulleine already begun to pull back the line while Durnford was preparing to do so?  I rather think he was, since things seemed to have moved almost too swiftly at that precise moment, and if anyone was in a position to be aware of the extended nature of the perimeter, Pulleine was...


By the by, your use of the word 'knuckle' reminded me how misleading all this terminology can be for those forum members not familiar with the historical terms used for the battlefield and what that particular 'word-picture' might conjure up in their minds.  I've stopped calling that position the 'knuckle'.  The line was a curve by the time that Pope moved south of the Conical Koppie.  It couldn't have remained a right angle leaving that whacking great hill hanging between the two wings of the 24th.  The term 'knuckle' implies a knuckle shape and was convenient once, in the era of Morris but, although I know what you mean, it's just too misleading a term now and something of a misnomer. I use 'rocky knoll' instead. Do you know what the battlefield guides refer to it as?
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 12:55 pm

" Durnfords return to camp was critical to its survival.
it most likely placed Pulleine in an awkward situation,
for the former would now assume overall command,
but it appears that in the excitement of the moment
Durnford either failed or deliberately avoided to clarify
this issue with Pulleine. the vital decision to draw in the
line of defence was left when it was too late. it would
have been imprudent of Pulleine to act independently
of Durnford and order a move which at this stage would
of isolated Durnford on the right. it is possible that Durnford
had considered such an order, but, no doubt most satisfied
with the fact that his small force was holding the Zulu
left, gave no thought to the danger to the camp as a
whole. there seems to be an appalling lack of
communication between the two Colonel's.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 2:45 pm

Les
Couldn't agree more.
Julian
Im going to respond fully to you tomorrow. I started at one point to write an essay on this subject and on Durnfords movements around the battle fields. I did haul it out once upon a time to discuss with 6pr. Let me do so again. Ive never ever agreed with the concept of a curve on the line. Looks great on a drawing but doesn't work on the rocky Ridge area. Ive heard the 'knuckle' described as a hinge, arrow head and a forward position. Still prefer 'knuckle'.


Cheers

PS

John
Sorry mate your original discussion has been hi Jacked.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyMon Mar 17, 2014 11:26 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
" Durnfords return to camp was critical to its survival.
it most likely placed Pulleine in an awkward situation,
for the former would now assume overall command,
but it appears that in the excitement of the moment
Durnford either failed or deliberately avoided to clarify
this issue with Pulleine. the vital decision to draw in the
line of defence was left when it was too late. it would
have been imprudent of Pulleine to act independently
of Durnford and order a move which at this stage would
of isolated Durnford on the right. it is possible that Durnford
had considered such an order, but, no doubt most satisfied
with the fact that his small force was holding the Zulu
left, gave no thought to the danger to the camp as a
whole. there seems to be an appalling lack of
communication between the two Colonel's.  

All the indications of a bad officer! Durnford had no choice but to return to the camp. Is it clear that he took command back again. I thought he couldn't find Pulleine? I think is been posted beford, but Durnfords comment to Pulleine was if Zulu's were seen, they should be attaked!
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 9:36 am

My take on Durnfords movements and actions after the Donga was abandoned.

Durnfords movements around the Battlefield
When the Donga was abandoned Lt Harry Davies was on his way back from the saddle with ammunition. He comments that he saw Col Durnford ‘near the place the guns were in the morning.’ That place is fixed in an earlier part of his statement as to the front  of the Carbineers lines.
Note:
The artillery park was adjacent to the Carbineers line and its quite possible that having just arrived that morning in camp Davies didn’t differentiate between the two.

Captain Alan Gardner stationed with Col Pulleine had observed the mounted men retiring and rode across, possibly instructed by  Col Pulleine to enquire why, immediately afterwards Col Durnford met him and replied that ‘the position was to extended and he wished to gather the men together.’

The next sighting of Col Durnford is by Captain Essex: ‘I rode up to Col Durnford who was near to the right ……………but while he was speaking, those men of the Native Contingent who had remained in action, rushed past us in the utmost disorder, thus laying open the right and and rear of the companies 1st Battalion 24th Regiment on the left.

Durnford was among the last to leave the Donga, from his position he could not see main firing line and would have had to have ridden across the face of the camp for some way to do so. In passing the front of the camp this would have been the sighting by Davies. The Mounted men had however followed the line of the road back towards the saddle, dismounting to fire on the left horn as they did so. This meant that they and Durnford were on divergent courses therefore for Gardner to have spoken to both the men and later Durnford he would have ridden to the road to intercept them and then turned back to catch up with Durnford.

Gardners sighting therefore would have been before Davies. This establishes the line of Durnfords ride to the camp, passing behind Popes line, its possible that it was here Pope is said to have shouted out that ‘they were giving it to them thick and fast’. Gardner and Essex being the only two survivors from the line, its possible that it was he who passed on the remark to Symonds later.

Captain Essex observed that on his way back to the line after loading ammunition he ‘found the that the companies, 1st Battalion 24th Regiment before alluded to ( E and F ) had retired to within 300 yards of the camp occupied by the Native Contingent. On the way I noticed a number of Native Infantry retreating in haste towards the camp.’

These retreating infantry could not have been Lonsdales men as they retreated with ‘a company of soldiers’ ( Malindi.) And as he specifically mentions infantry it would eliminate Zikalis Horse. This would then tend to confirm that there was a Native Contingent force in the line.

There was a concerted rush then towards the line with the guns virtually over run as the retire was sounded.  There was an imperial company either side of the guns, as initially formed up with the NNC in front as a knuckle or outpost buttress. As the impi rush seems to have been directed towards the guns area I would speculate that the NNC under Nourse was the unit that broke through the 24th ranks and caused the reformation leaving the RA in a vacuum.

The signal for the close ranks had to have been a pretty fast reaction and I would therefore speculate that the officer responsible was close to that action, not up on the hill behind the tents in the HQ area.

The question then arises who would have called for the signal. We don’t know where Pulleine was, although there is a reference that he was heard to say, ‘What a fool a fellow is we should have stayed quite to let them come and get a sound Thrashing.’ Or words to that effect.  From the available evidence shown above however we do know that Durnford was in the vicinity and with his stated intention of  ‘getting the men together’ its therefore not to speculative to attribute the actions to him.

A further point in this regard is the position of the bodies found in subsequence days. Durnfords was with a large group on the side of the koppie. That group includes, the Carbineers and significantly Captain Wardell and Lt Dyer who were stationed close to the guns. Agin speculative but eminently possible that Durnford fought his way back to the koppie with H company from that position on the line.  Whilst the mentions of Pulleine’s body have been above the tent line around the officers tents ( Hamilton Brown).  Possibly suggesting that Pulleine was either at the HQ tent area or at the top of the line, in the area of Younghusband. That again could be clarified by Alan Gardners ride to find out why the Mounted men were withdrawing from the Donga. As he had stationed himself with Pulleine he would have been ordered down there by him and that Donga area is not visible from the defence line, therefore it positions Pulleine at a higher location,  ie: the HQ tent.

My summary therefore would be that Durnford assumed de facto control of the line in ordering the bugle call that contracted the line and the subsequent withdrawl and retreat. Quite probably considering the separation distance without the knowledge or co operation of Pulleine.
We do know of course that Col Durnford was no stranger to emphasising his rank to achieve an objective. The case in point of the two carbineers sent to warn him about the Zulu advance by Lt Scott, when he ordered them to return and tell Scott to join him they demurred and said he had orders from Col Pulleine. Durnford is said to have replied: " I am Col Pulleine's senior, you will please tell Lt Scott to do as I tell him.

Some thing to kick around.

Cheers


Last edited by springbok9 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 10:07 am

Very plausible and laudable.
By the way, it was Essex to whom Pope shouted the remark (see p. 38 no. 28F)
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 10:49 am

Hi Julian
Ive just looked through Symonds original document. He doesn't mention who told him but says; 'AS every word spoken by a combatant officer during an action is of interest as giving some clue to the fight, it may be mentioned that Lt Pope was heard to say that he considered himself fortunate etc etc......... I don't see a reference to Essex.
What is the page reference you posted?

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 11:08 am

Frank
Sorry, I missed off the title - England's Sons.
Here is the reference and footnote:

(F) A remark made to Capt. Essex by Lieut. Pope 2/24th on the battlefield of Isandhlwana and recorded by Capt. W. P. Symons 1/24th, who had it from Essex, in a note to Pope’s family. The note is in possession of Lieut. Pope’s descendants.

Jackson saw the note on a visit to Pope's descendants in the late 50s, recorded it word for word, and was the first person to publish the wording.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 11:14 am

Thanks Julian, clears that up, I got the original wording from Symonds via Frank Emery.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 12:44 pm

Frank
I really appreciate your thoughts on Durnford's movements. I have comments to make on them that deserve a proper airing and explanation but I am just too busy at the moment to do them (and you) justice. I also need to give myself space and to contemplate seriously what you wrote before I put pen to paper. I hope to do this later on as I wrote earlier. At the moment I just have too much, physically, to do. In no way does this diminish the quality of your posting nor my regard for it.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 5:20 pm

Curling said that Coghill told him that Col. Pulline had been "shot," Gyln said he found his body as he searched the camp areas and so did Hamilton-Browne.

Annoying we'l never know what happened to him  scratch 


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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 6:08 pm

Hamilton Browne reputable saw Pulleines body riding back to the saddle from his own tent site, shortest way to do that is along the back of the tent area passed the HQ area. Glyn reports he saw the body walking from the saddle, If Glyn was walking to see his own tent that would put him in the same area. Conjecture I know.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 7:08 pm

Where is this account that states, Glyn found Pulleine's body?

Browne's account I have seen.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 8:28 pm

Where was "Pope" supposedly killed, was it on the Nek of Isandlwana!
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 8:53 pm

Yup

Zulu says two officers came forwards firing revolvers wearing eye glasses, one was shot down and the other killed by a combination of a throwing spear and being
stabbed to death. Pope and his second in command both wore eye glasses.

Gyln finding Pulline's body is in a few books i think - Snook and Knight reference it i'm sure  scratch 




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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 8:58 pm

The time would have have been close to 1 p.m.
Lieutenant Henderson was now sent back by
Durnford to collect ammunition for the Hlubi.
Lieutenant Harry Davies took 15 Edendale men
with him to collect some for his troop, leaving
his sergeant major simeon kambule in command
of the rest of the edendalers. after hunting a-
round unsuccessfully for the wagons which vause
had brought into camp, Davies eventually found
200 rounds in a box in the carbineers camp and
was preparing to return with it when the left
flank of the british line was seen to be penetrated,
and the Zulus were soon fighting among the tents
of the NNC.

The sight of Zikhali's mounted men leaving the camp,
and then the close proximity of the Zulus, were to
much for the NNC, who despite the curses and threats
of their officers, threw down their arms and ran.


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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 9:06 pm

It appears the men were stood down for dinner, just after Durford left the camp. What time would this have been approximately, and would they have returned to the camp for dinner.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 10:01 pm

impi wrote:
Where was "Pope" supposedly killed, was it on the Nek of Isandlwana!


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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyTue Mar 18, 2014 10:03 pm

impi wrote:
It appears the men were stood down for dinner, just after Durford left the camp. What time would this have been approximately, and would they have returned to the camp for dinner.

According to Brickhill, Durnford rode out around 12:00. So yes around dinner time.
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Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyWed Mar 19, 2014 6:00 am

Impi
There is an account of the body of Pope being found and its position marked with an item, I think it was an old iron. That unfortunately subsequently disappeared.

Durnford asked Pulleine to stand the men down when he arrived in the camp, I think it was so they could take breakfast. ( Essex puts the time at 11)
Private J Williams says the companies were stood down to parade in front of there own camps and then stood down to eat but ordered to keep on their equipment
Private Bickley , Private Dillon/Wilson say the same

Hope that helps

Cheers



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Julian Whybra



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Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyWed Mar 19, 2014 9:35 am

Wilson.
Dillon was a misprint.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyWed Mar 19, 2014 10:07 am

Yes I know, but just in case I thought I would put up both.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyWed Mar 19, 2014 1:52 pm

The NNC still in the line were now most likely
instructed to join the NNC companies in reserve!.
Source..
Chelmsfords papers, 6807/386/8/file 58: account
of Isandhlwana by private Malindi, num 9 co,1/3rd
NNC,obtained by hamer, 15th march 1879. from
the scant information available it appears that at
first Pulleine had placed the NNC troops according
to the plan outlined in the circular to commanders
dated 23rd of december 1878,namely, that in the
event of a Zulu attack they were to be placed on
the flanks of the imperial infantry. there is no
evidence which supports the popular idea that the
NNC were on the knuckle or centre of the british
line at the time of the british collapse. the error
seems to have been caused by the poor sketch
by captain essex of the troop dispositions. on
closer inspection of this map, it can be seen that
he puts them on the right flank but also admits
that he was not certain where they were.( see
Chelmsfords papers, 6807/386/8/file 26 ).
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyWed Mar 19, 2014 1:59 pm

The time line is open to interpretation,
but not by much, this information has
been in the public domain for well over
a century! i suggest that no one really
knew what was occurring on the 22nd.
no one had an overview of events
as they rapidly unfolded, to many what
if's for my liking, to many people trying
to fit square pegs in round holes!
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyWed Mar 19, 2014 2:44 pm

Les
Are you suggesting that the various events are not open to interpretation?
Your quite right we don't have an all encompassing video from a helicopter that going to place everything into its correct place BUT: There are a lot of conclusions that can be drawn looking at available evidence and in particular critical looks at the timing aspect. You have KIS timeline of Durnfords foray. That's an entirely new look at that aspect. Keiths and Ron Locks time lines for the MFHT have been around for 135 years as you say, but no body has looked at it critically and tested it on the ground.
There is a new breed of historians that aren't prepared to accept Morris, French etc and are more questioning of the hoary old myths.
Its debatable but I believe that the maps produced straight after the battle were based on Hammer ( The Narrative) Newman and Symonds. All of those show the NNC on the Knuckle. Testimony from survivors, see my last essay, prove that there was a detachment of NNC in line. Staffords testimony plus many others refer to the break and the inability of the officers to halt them.

I don't believe that Pulleine placed the NNC and NNH at all, I don't believe he placed the imperial troops either. The exception being the companies either side of the guns in their second position. The line was formed as the regiments retreated and effectively in the order they appeared on the scene.

Bottom line is I have to dispute your claim that there is no evidence that the NNC were on the knuckle.

Cheers Mate
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 EmptyWed Mar 19, 2014 3:01 pm

Frank
I can't this leave alone, damn it!
When you write that there is no evidence that the NNC were not on the knuckle - by the same token - there is no evidence that they were on the knuckle.
It IS an unlikely place to position soldiers of a nervous disposition (that is, in front of big guns) even if it's where the ground falls away. In addition the two British companies (A & H) were placed either side of the guns and in line with them as a support - no mention of NNC being in front. No mention either from Curling or Tucker of the NNC being in front of them.
Personally I'm inclined toward the notion that the NNC were placed as per Chelmsford's diagram/instructions and that AS A RESULT (my emphasis) of Pope's movement to the right to cover Durnford's men and Wardell's withdrawal to 'close the gap' between them, Lonsdale's NNC ended up being drawn into the line by default. Again, due to Pope's movement, Barry's coy (the infamous Pakade's men), to Lonsdale's right, placed there out of harm's way (or so it was believed) ended up between Lonsdale and Pope, although further back in support as it were.
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PostSubject: Re: Chelmsford, Pulline. & Durnford   Chelmsford, Pulline. &  Durnford - Page 8 Empty

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