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 John Young Author.

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: John Young Author.    John Young Author.  EmptyTue Apr 05, 2011 7:55 pm

I have "They Fell Like Stones" By John Young which was the basis for England's Sons By Julian Whybra. (I Think).

Has John Young published any other articles on the Zulu War? I have just posted the Battle of Khambula on another thread by John Young, which I thought was excellently written. So I’m hoping someone can point me or post some of his other publications. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: John Young Author.    John Young Author.  EmptyTue Apr 05, 2011 8:02 pm

The Battle of Ulundi, Friday, 4th July 1879
Written by John Young, Chairman, Anglo-Zulu War Research Society.

Lord Chelmsford was aware that he must defeat the AmaZulu before his successor, Sir Garnet Wolseley assumed command in the field, and from the intelligence gleaned from a reconnaissance conducted by Brevet Lieutentant-Colonel Redvers Buller, V.C., on the 3rd of July, 1879, he knew he had to strike now, in an attempt to stifle his critics.

At about 6a.m. on 4th July, Buller led his mounted forces; composed of Mounted Infantry drawn from the ranks of the British Army, and his South African irregular volunteers, across the White Mfolozi River by the lower drift and took up position on the bluff that commanded the upper drift.
There was bitterness in the laagered camp that remained on the south bank of the Mfolozi. A battalion must remain in the camp to provide adequate protection should anything go wrong. The duty rosters dealt a cruel blow; the task of protecting the laager fell to the reconstructed 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot, the men who most wanted the chance to avenge the massacre at Isandlwana would be denied the chance.

Brigadier-General Henry Evelyn Wood's "Flying Column" crossed first, followed by Major-General Edward Newdigate's IInd Division. The unopposed crossing was completed by just after 7a.m. The troops laboured through dense undergrowth before reaching the open country of the Mahlabathini Plain. Buller's mounted force scouted ahead in the direction of kwaNodwengu. Whilst Wood's command halted and began forming the front of the square, Newdigate's men completed the formation. Lord Chelmsford had formed a "living laager" from his infantrymen; twelve artillery pieces and two Gatling Guns added to the firepower. Within the hollow square, or to be more accurate the hollow rectangle, were a company of Royal Engineers; reserve infantry companies; a field hospital; ammunition wagons; a battalion of Natal Native Contingent and a contingent of "Wood's Irregulars". Outside of the formation, to the front and on both flanks rode Buller's horsemen. Forming the rearguard were two squadrons of the 17th Lancers and a troop of Natal Native Horse.

The appearance of the square was somewhat cumbersome at first but Lord Chelmsford marshalled the formation into a semblance of order. The band of 13th Light Infantry struck up martial airs and the colours of the regiment were uncased now the advance could begin. The formation moved across the Mahlabathini Plain. As the rearguard passed the kraal of kwaBulawayo the Natal Native Horse put it to the torch. The square moved on, passing the kraal of kwaNodwengu. The huts there almost suffered the same fate as kwaBulawayo, but as the dense smoke rolled along the ground, Chelmsford realised this proved a useful screen for the enemy and quickly ordered them to be extinguished.

Buller's irregular horsemen retraced their steps from the previous day's reconnaissance. The Zulus held back, skirting their movement. Anxious to engage with the enemy Buller sent a small detachment of Baker's Horse forward to provoke the Zulus into attacking. Galled by the gesture, the Zulus rushed the party and attempted to cut them off, but the men managed to extricate themselves without loss.
Lord Chelmsford brought the square to a halt; the regular cavalry from the rearguard withdrew into the formation. At the opposite sides of the square the front right and the rear left, the Natal Native Horse, commanded by Lieutenant William Cochrane, 32nd Light Infantry, a survivor of Isandlwana and Captain Theophilus Shepstone respectively, chided the AmaZulu warriors, endeavouring to provoke an attack. Slowly they withdrew into the comparative safety of the square.

The Zulu forces surrounded the square and the artillery pieces came into action at about 8.45a.m. The infantry were ranked four deep, the front two ranks kneeling, and the rear two standing, in the "Prepare to Receive Cavalry" position. As the Zulu closed every face of the square became engaged. The artillery pounded the oncoming warriors, whilst the Gatlings clawed into the Zulu ranks. Wood urged his men; "Steady my lads, close up, fire low, and not so fast!" The Zulu responded with inaccurate rifle fire and very few casualties were sustained.

Those within the square who had witnessed Zulu attacks in previous actions felt that the assault lacked the ardour, the ferocity of previous engagements. There was a determined rush from the direction of kwaNodwengu of some 2,000 to 3,000 warriors on the corner of the square held by the 21st (The Royal Scots Fusiliers) and the 58th (The Rutlandshire) Regiments. Chelmsford saw the emergency and implored his men, "Cannot you fire faster?" The infantry duly obliged, their concentrated fire destroying the Zulu rush.
Colonel Drury Curzon Drury Lowe had been recalled from Half Pay to assume the command of the 17th Lancers, after the commanding officer had been wounded in a training exercise just prior to embarkation for the seat of war. A spent round struck Drury Lowe and unhorsed him, he made a brief self-examination and satisfied he had not sustained any serious wound he remounted. Drury Lowe had served with his regiment in the Crimea, but had not ridden in The Charge of the Light Brigade, although his brother had. No minor wound would rob him of the chance of participating in a cavalry charge at the head of the "Death or Glory Boys".

The Zulu attacks were by now faltering all round. They fell back, disorganised by the effect of the British firepower. Chelmsford chose this moment to unleash his regular cavalry, he ordered, "Go at them, Lowe, but don't pursue too far!" Drury Lowe led his squadrons out of the rear face of the square, formed, and charged the fleeing warriors. From the front of the square issued Buller's horsemen and a troop of 1st (The King's) Dragoon Guards. A ruthless, relentless and pitiless pursuit commenced with no quarter being sought by the Zulu and certainly none being offered by the British. There were score to settle, Isandlwana was to be avenged. Clemency was thrown to the wind as the Natal Native Horse and African infantry of the Natal Native Contingent and Wood's Irregulars set about butchering the Zulu wounded to a man. The huts that dotted the plain were put to the torch. Cannon pounded the retreating Zulus, before the gunners turned their attention to shelling Ulundi (onDini), King Cetshwayo's own ikhanda.

Shortly after 10a.m. Chelmsford ordered Buller to burn Ulundi. A race commenced to see who would be first enter Ulundi, Captain Lord William Beresford, 9th Lancers, won it. The Zulu 'capital' was set aflame, the fires of its destruction would burn for days. As for King Cetshwayo, he had left Ulundi on the 3rd of July, and had been sheltering a nearby village when he heard of the defeat of his army, he too fled, a fugitive in his own kingdom.

The last pitched battle of the Anglo-Zulu War had been fought.
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PostSubject: Re: John Young Author.    John Young Author.  EmptyTue Apr 05, 2011 8:04 pm

The Last Napoleon
By John Young

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Sunday, 1st of June 1879, in KwaZulu, an independent Kingdom in southern Africa, five European horsemen were riding pell-mell towards another small force of British soldiers, of the five men, one wears the uniform of a British officer, the others in the dress of locally recruited irregular volunteer cavalry. At the head of the other group, is two bearded veteran officers - Colonel Henry Evelyn Wood and Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers Buller, both men hold their country's highest award for bravery, the Victoria Cross. Buller exclaimed, "Why the man rides as if the whole kaffir impi were after him" The British officer reins in before the column. Buller, a bluff, forthright man, asked, "What the devil is the matter, Sir?" The British officer in a faltering voice replied, "The Prince... The Prince Imperial is killed." Buller interjected, "Where?" The officer pointed to a hill on the horizon, at which Wood and Buller raise their field glasses, and through them they saw some twenty Zulu warriors leading away three horses. Buller questioned the officer further, "Where are your men? How many did you lose?" The officer can only blurt out that he does not know. Buller can only reply in total distain for the officer standing before him, "You deserve to be shot Sir...and I hope will be. I could shoot you myself." Wood and Buller in an almost pantomime gesture turn their backs on Lieutenant Jahleel Brenton Carey, of Her Majesty's 98th Regiment of Foot, not wishing to look upon a man they considered to be a coward, a man who would become the scapegoat for the death of the exiled heir to the French Imperial throne.
The story of the life of the 'Last Napoleon' begins at 3 a.m. on the morning of the 16th March 1856. One hundred and one cannon reports announce the birth of an heir to Imperial French throne. The Empress Eugenie had been safely delivered of a son - His Imperial Highness Eugene Louis Jean Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte. The only legitimate son of Napoleon the III. The birth had been a semi-public matter with at least one hundred official witnesses watching that the line of succession was a true one, and that the Bonapartist dynasty was secure.

Napoleon the III was considered by the other royal and imperial families of Europe as little more than an upstart, who had proclaimed himself emperor, only four years before in 1852. In a manner similar to that of the way in which his uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte, had come to power after the turmoil of the revolution. Some gossips actually inferred that Napoleon the III was the issue of an illicit dalliance between Napoleon Bonaparte and his brother Louis's wife, Hortense, the daughter of Napoleon's first wife Josephine.


Napoleon the III had spent his early life as an exile in Austria, spent part of the time with his 'cousin', Napoleon Francis Charles Joseph, the son of Napoleon and his second wife Marie Louise Hapsburg. A young man whose early death and the restoration of the Bourbons would only bear the title Napoleon the II for nine days. Louis Napoleon returned to France and plotted the overthrow of the restored Bourbons. His plot discovered he was forced to flee to America to evade capture. He returned again to France, and was imprisoned for another attempted coup d'tat. After six years in the prison at the castle of Ham, he escaped to Britain, from where he plotted his return.

In 1848, when the tide of revolt swept across Europe, Louis Napoleon was performing a different duty. Fearful that the spark of upheaval might spread across the English Channel, upright men rushed to join the ranks of Special Constabulary of the Metropolitan Police to preserve the British Monarchy, numbered amongst them was Louis Napoleon, the future Emperor of France, born of a family which revolution had brought to the fore, he now did his bit to insure the status quo in Great Britain, by exercising his newly found civil authority. We know for a fact that he arrested at least one man for being drunk on London Bridge. But across the English Channel, Paris was in turmoil, a saviour was needed, and who better than a Bonaparte to save France at her time of need. Louis Napoleon answered the call, before 1848 had reached its bloody end - he was elected by the people of France as President of the Republic of France.

Within four years he proclaimed himself Emperor and announced the arrival of the Second Empire. In 1853, he married Eugenie de Montijo, the daughter of a penniless Spanish duke, whose origins were as equally clouded as his own. This new Napoleon would stand side-by-side with Britain and Turkey against Imperial Russia in the Crimean War, of 1854-55, and thus endear himself to Queen Victoria. Indeed the Queen on hearing that the Empress Eugenie was finally pregnant following a series of miscarriages, advised the Empress to stop riding, which she did and so gave birth to the Prince Imperial.

Within six hours of his birth Louis, or as he was affectionately called "Lou-Lou", was installed as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and within days his name was enrolled on the list of Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard, by the age of six he was promoted to the rank of corporal. He was a physically frail child, and so he in order that he might attain a martial resolve, his education was placed in the hands of General Froissard. Young Louis matured quickly, but he was not without an irrational side to his nature, a trait that many would blame on his so-called tainted Spanish blood.

In 1868, he would visit the cradle of the Bonaparte family, Corsica. However, other events lent a hand to the fate of the Second Empire. The disastrous French intervention in Mexico during the mid-1860's and the subsequent desertion of the Austrian Archduke, Maximilian, to his fate by a firing squad, had done little to for the reputation of Napoleon the III. In an attempt to regain his position and reassert the family name, Napoleon the III declared war against a confederation of German States, headed by Prussia, in July 1870.

The young Prince Imperial was just fourteen years of age when he accompanied his father to the front between Metz and Saarbrücken The Prince Imperial was dressed in the uniform of a sous-lieutenant of the Imperial Guard. The action of Saarbrücken was destined to be the only notable French victory of the entire campaign, and the young prince looked on as sixty thousand French troops put pay to a token force of one thousand Prussians. But it was his debut on the field of battle, the rightful place of anyone who bore the name of Bonaparte. Within weeks the Prussian defeat at Saarbrücken was avenged, the Prussian war-machine rolled relentlessly across France, the professional soldiers of the Prussian forces sweeping the ill-trained conscripts of the French army before them. Napoleon the III found himself besieged at Sedan, with his only option to surrender his forces to save any further loss of life. The Empress Eugenie was forced to flee in disguise from the capital city that her husband's vision had created; already groups were forming from the populace to defend their city. They would in time become the Communards, and suffer great deprivations as they struggled to defend their Commune. Sharing their Parisians' suffering were a number of British military officers who had volunteered their services as first aiders in a unit entitled the English Ambulance, among their number was a French educated officer whose regiment had recently been disbanded, his name was Jahleel Brenton Carey.

A small escort led the Prince Imperial from French soil across the Belgium frontier; he embarked from Ostende for Britain and exile. In England the Prince was reunited with his mother. The Empress rented a house named Camden Place in Chislehurst, Kent. When the Emperor was released from captivity in 1871; he was permitted to join his family in exile. The house became a court in exile, the then Prince of Wales becoming one of the first to be received the Imperial exiles. Her Majesty Queen Victoria pitied their plight, and she was very fond of her former brother-in-arms, but in the 1870's there were still those alive who remembered when the name Bonaparte was the scourge of Europe.

A decision had to be made as to the Prince's education that the events of the Franco-Prussian War had halted abruptly. He had the services of a personal tutor, one Augustin Filon, who suggested that he should embark on course of study at King's College, in the Strand. But the monotony of the academic surroundings proved too much for young Louis, and he only lasted one term. He longed for a military career in keeping with family traditions, but he was an imperial exile in a foreign land, what options were open to him? His mother came to his rescue, using her feminine charm she beguiled the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, the Duke of Cambridge, and obtained for her son the opportunity to attend the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, in south London, where gentlemen cadets of the Royal Engineers and the Royal Artillery were taught the art of war.

Louis entered the Academy in November of 1872, with respect to his studies he was hampered by imperfect knowledge of English, which lead to some moments of near comedy. The Prince also held some violently partisan views on the Academy's professor's rendition of the Battle of Waterloo. But at last he was happy with his lot, but his happiness was shattered in January of 1873, an aide appeared at the door of his classroom, the news was grave his father, Napoleon the III was dying. A carriage hurried Louis the few short miles from Woolwich to Chislehurst, but he arrived too late his father was already dead. Thousands of Frenchmen loyal to the Imperial cause crossed the Channel to pay homage to their former Emperor, who was laid to rest in a side chapel of Saint Mary's Church, Chislehurst. With his father's death they were many in France eager that Louis became the leader of the Bonapartist party, which despite all things still had a voice in the French parliament, but he declined, stating that if the French people elected him in a plebiscite he would return, however, he must first attain his majority as he was still only seventeen, and therefore could not even be considered. So he returned to Woolwich and to his studies.

He graduated in February 1875, he had come first in fencing and riding and seventh overall in a class of thirty-four cadets, he might have came fourth overall had he not been placed second in the French written examination. His thirty-three companions all received commissions into the British Army, Louis had to content with an honorary lieutenancy in the Royal Artillery, after Benjamin D'Israeli had intervened stating that an heir apparent to a foreign throne could not pledge allegiance to the British sovereign, especially if that heir bore the surname of the monster Bonaparte.

Back in France the Republican press mocked him, labelling 'Napoleon the Third and a Half' and 'the Imperial Baby'. Louis ignored the newspaper comments, and when his age group was due to be called for conscription, he submitted his name for the draft, rather suffer the possible disgrace of being declared an outlaw for draft-dodging. Needless to say the Republican Government did not call on his services, but his gesture had not gone unnoticed.

Louis was fast becoming very popular in the right circles in England. A romance blossomed with the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Beatrice. But he was restless - he yearned for action at least once before he settled into a life of privilege on one side of the other of the English Channel. If he had the chance he could prove himself to those who ridiculed, then he felt certain the French people would accept him back as their Emperor, how better for a Bonaparte to prove himself worthy than on the field of battle. In 1877 he volunteered his services to the Austro-Hungarian Kaiser Franz Josef, whose Balkan states where being used as a battlefield for the Russo-Turkish War. Perhaps in an act of atonement to the Austrian Emperor, over the unfortunate involvement of Napoleon III in the "Mexican Adventure", which had led to the death, by firing squad, of Franz Josef's brother, Arch Duke Maximillian, whilst serving as Emperor of Mexico. Franz Josef politely declined his offer.

At the beginning of 1879, there seemed to little in prospect save for possibility of his marriage to Beatrice. On the 11th February, 1879, grave news reached London, without the consent of the Home Government, His Majesty's Governor General of the Cape Colony and High Commissioner for South Africa, Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere had declared war on the independent tribal kingdom of KwaZulu, and three British columns had invaded KwaZulu from the British Colony of Natal on the 11th January. The military commission of the campaign had been placed in the hands of Lieutenant-General Lord Chelmsford, General Officer Commanding Southern Africa, who had recently brought to a successful conclusion the Ninth Cape Frontier War against the AmaXhosa people of the Transkei.

All had gone well to begin with the much-vaunted Zulu impis were defeated in initial skirmishing. However, on Wednesday the 22nd January 1879, Lord Chelmsford divided his main column, Number Three Column, taking with him towards the direction of the Zulu capital, oNdini, or Ulundi, almost two thousand men in an effort to flush out the main Zulu army, which consisted of some twenty-five thousand warriors. Chelmsford left behind him some one thousand, seven hundred British, colonial and loyal African soldiers at his transit camp in the shadow of a mountain named Isandlwana, which lay just seven miles, as the crow flies, from the Natal border and a place called Rorke's Drift. Whilst Lord Chelmsford was hunting for the Zulu army some ten miles off to the east, the Zulu impi was in fact encircling his force remaining at Isandlwana. One thousand, three hundred and twenty-nine troops perished at Isandlwana, less than one hundred white men survived the massacre. Fifty-five officers were amongst the dead, more officers died at Isandlwana than had died in the entire Waterloo campaign of 1815, and not until the horror of the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 would that toll be rivalled.

The news of the defeat brought forth a call for reinforcements, at least two of his former classmates from Woolwich were already in KwaZulu, Louis felt it his duty to volunteer. He pleaded with the Duke of Cambridge to go. He had valid public reasons - he wished to show his gratitude to Victoria, and to fight his first campaign for Britain. There were, of course, other reasons, private and urgent. A military record would endorse his claim to the French throne as nothing else could, but he could not seen for political reasons to side with Britain in any continental war, or either a campaign in the Indian sub-continent in case he caused offence. The AmaZulu presented themselves as the perfect foe, after all no Frenchman could possibly take umbrage at his fighting against a savage nation. Here was his opportunity to prove himself for the entire world to see. The Duke of Cambridge was willing to let Louis indulge, but D'Israeli 'had never heard of anything more injudicious'. Louis's little enterprise was stymied, until his mother entered the fray, the Empress Eugenie took up his cause with Queen Victoria, who obviously was not a disinterested party as for as Louis was concerned. Eugenie's motive must have been political the adventure could do no harm to Louis's credibility in France. Faced with the interference of two obstinate women as he referred to them D'Israeli relented, and with Cambridge's agreement Louis was to be permitted to go to the front as a "spectator" in a private capacity. Cambridge wrote in confidence to Lord Chelmsford stressing Louis's status, but warning the general to keep in check the Prince's spirited behaviour. The French on the hand were outraged. There was an obvious political divide - to the Bonapartist party he was already Napoleon the IV, whilst the Republicans feared him as a threat to their power, but still regarded him as a Frenchman. Now he was deserting his own people to risk his Imperial neck for the hated English in what was referred to at the time as "a petty dispute with some obstreperous blacks at the other end of the world". Louis assured his own party that his reasons were political, and he wished to gain experience and improve his knowledge of the art of war, some would say with a view to practising it on some of his fellow countrymen on his safe return.

On the 28th February 1879, he boarded the hired transport ship Danube at Southampton - he waved a fond farewell to his mother, the Empress, who collapsed as the ship left the harbour. Normally, any British ship bound for the Cape of Good Hope, would re-supply at Saint Helena, but the captain rather prudently excluded this port of call for his schedule, for fear of upsetting his Imperial passenger. The ship reached Cape Town on the twenty-sixth of March, and Louis paid his respects to Lady Frere at Government House. His voyage continued to D'Urban arriving on the evening of the thirty-first. Louis had by now donned the uniform of an officer in the Royal Artillery. He presented him to the Assistant Adjutant-General only to be informed that Lord Chelmsford was out on an expedition to relieve a besieged British column at a Mission Station at a place called Eshowe, close to the Indian Ocean coastline of KwaZulu. Louis impatiently waited for his Lordship's return.

Whilst in the appropriately named Royal Hotel, D'Urban, he happened to look outside and see a civilian riding by on grey BaSotho pony, Louis needed a horse as one of his had died during disembarkation and his other was ill. Louis sent his manservant Xavier Uhlmann out to see if the rider, Meyrick Bennett, would part with his mount, initially he declined the offer. Uhlmann pressed the matter, and identified who the intended purchaser was, at which Bennett relented. The horse was called Percy; Bennett warned that it was apt to be skittish.

Louis was taken ill with a fever, but he recovered before Lord Chelmsford returned to D'Urban, flush with the success of a victory over the Zulus at a place called Gingindlovu, which means the place of the elephant. Chelmsford invited Louis to be an extra aide de camp on his personal staff. Louis eventually made his way up country and on the 2nd of May 1879 at a camp named Khambula, he was reunited with two of his companions from Woolwich, Lieutenants Arthur Bigge and Frederick Slade.

Both these officers had fought in the action at Khambula, on 29th March, which had in fact proved the turning point in the campaign - Louis listened avidly as they recounted the battle, wondering when it would be his chance to see some action. Shortly after on the 8th May Chelmsford appointed Colonel Richard Harrison, Royal Engineers, as his Acting Quartermaster-General, despite his title Harrison's task was military intelligence, which to some would appear to be a contradiction in terms. Harrison's staff was limited, he had two officers, Brevet Major Francis Grenfell and Lieutenant Jahleel Carey, and one Lance Corporal, by the name of Martin. Chelmsford decided that a position on Harrison's staff would be an ideal billet for the Prince Imperial. Thereby permitting the General to stop being a royal tour guide, and get on with the matter in hand, defeat the Zulus. Thus Louis was appointed to the colonel's staff. He very quickly found a soul mate in Carey. Thirty-one year old Carey was the son of a Devon vicar, who had been educated at the Lycee Imperial in Paris. As mentioned early, he had served as a first aid volunteer in the Franco-Prussian War. In addition he had previously seen active service in West Africa and Central America. Because of his Parisian education he affected certain French mannerisms, also well speaking the language with a marked Parisian accent.

Louis sought out some wounded Frenchmen who had been serving the volunteer irregular horse units, which had borne the brunt of the casualties at an action called Hlobane, which had been fought on 28th March. All the men he found were survivors from the Paris Commune, determined to seek a new life in southern Africa, now they found the lives again threatened by war. The French press were interested in Louis too, so much so that L'Figaro, sent a correspondent, Paul Deleage to follow his progress, Deleage made his own way to the British encampment, only to discover that the Prince Imperial had been permitted to be a first hand spectator and had embarked on a reconnaissance deeper into KwaZulu. Louis had been allowed, with Colonel Harrison's permission, to accompany a strong probing patrol, of some three hundred veteran volunteer horsemen, both European and African, to test the Zulu strength ahead of the line of march.

Louis was in his element - the opportunity for action had at last come to him. On the 16th of May, as Zulu scouts were spotted on the ridge of the Itelezi Hill, on sighting the patrol they melted back from sight. The reconnaissance commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers Buller V.C., turned to his imperial guest to

point out the stealth of the Zulu warriors, only to see Louis draw his sword, which was the same sword that his great-uncle had carried at Austerlitz, and galloped headlong in pursuit of the Zulus, thus jeopardising the purpose of the mission. Buller despatched troopers after the eager young man, who returned dejected he had not drawn blood. Buller asserted his authority over this spectator with extreme wrath - "Your Imperial Highness, this is a reconnaissance, not a Zulu hunt...- Under no circumstances will I permit such reckless action again. Do I make myself clear, Sir." Sheepishly, the young Bonaparte admitted his error. On his return to the British lines, Buller, brave, reckless Buller, who only weeks before had personally risked his own life to rescue, not once, but three times, unhorsed men from the very clutches of the Zulu, voiced his opinion to his own superior, and to Harrison of the Prince's behaviour.

Despite Buller's objections Louis was soon out again on patrol, this time with Captain William Molyneux, one of Lord Chelmsford's aide de camps. Molyneux asked Louis about his conduct during the previous patrol, enquiring if he thought that "by risking his life in order to grips with a few Zulus whose deaths, after all, would have made not the slightest difference to the outcome of the campaign." Louis replied, "You are right, I suppose, but I could not help it. I feel I must do something." As Louis spoke a shot rang out to their left, nothing was seen, save for a trooper calmly reloading his rifle and continuing with his pace. Molyneux concluded that the man had hit whatever he had been aiming at. Not so the Prince, who again drew his sword and rode at full tilt towards the trooper. Molyneux shouted, "Prince, I must order you to come back." Louis pulled up at once, and turned to face Molyneux, he saluted the officer with his sword, before returning it to its scabbard, then he let fly at the captain, "It seems I am never to be without a nurse."

Sullenly he returned to camp. On his arrival Colonel Henry Evelyn Wood, quipped to Louis, "Well Sir, I see you've not been assegaied yet." Louis replied, "Not yet, but while I have no desire to be killed, if I have to fall I should prefer an assegai to a bullet, for it would show that I had at least been at close quarters."

For his sins Louis was unofficially confined to camp, employed on the less than rigorous duty of drawing maps, a task which he seethed about, how could he accomplish his political purpose and re-establish the Napoleonic dynasty, armed only with mapping paper and a drawing pen?

On Sunday, 1st June, 1879, Harrison gave permitted Louis to verify some of the detail of his maps, by being allowed to traverse the ground in question, in order to select a spot for the camp to move on the following day. Jahleel Carey sought permission to accompany Louis, which was duly granted. Two non-commissioned officers, and four troopers of Captain Bettington's Troop of the Natal Horse furnished an escort. Six African troopers of Captain Shepstone's Native Horse were also assigned to parade at 9.15 a.m., but due to a mistake they reported to the wrong tent. A renegade Zulu was assigned as a guide. Eager to be about his task Louis left without waiting for the extra men to appear. Major Francis Grenfell fell in with the group and travelled with them in the direction of the Blood River, a little over twenty miles off to the east was Ulundi, the Zulu capital. Harrison who was on another mission in the same vicinity came upon the little party, he suggested that their numbers were insufficient, to which Louis replied, "Oh no, we are quite strong enough." Harrison could see other mounted units scouting on the nearby hills - he felt that there was no unnecessary reason to dispute the matter further. Harrison ordered Grenfell to return to camp with him, Grenfell turned in his saddle and said, "Take care of yourself, Prince, and don't get shot." The Prince, replied, pointing to Lieutenant Carey, "He'll take very good care that nothing happens to me."

For hours the small band went about their task, with Louis sketching the localities, seeking an appropriate campsite for several thousand men and their impedimenta. At 3p.m. despite Jahleel Carey verbal misgivings, the patrol rode into a Zulu umuzi, or kraal, close to the banks of the Ityoyozi River. The beehive huts were deserted, but betrayed signs of recent habitation. Louis gave orders for the men to off-saddle their mounts and allow them to be graze. Their Zulu guide was despatched to fetch water so that the white men could have some coffee. Louis lay down beside one of the huts and relaxed, he was in his element, free from the constraints of being made to obey orders, he was now giving orders. Carey and Louis mused over the victories of the 1st Napoleon in Italy in 1796; Louis's mind was obviously wandering towards his own future. The men relaxed over their coffee, and enjoyed a pipe, but no one had deemed it necessary to set a guard.

At 3.35 p.m. Carey suggested to Louis that they should saddle up, Louis replied, "Just another ten minutes." Almost simultaneously the Zulu guide reported that he had seen a lone Zulu on the rise above the kraal. The order was given to saddle-up, but some of the horses had strayed and it was a further ten minutes before all of them could be gathered and made ready. Jahleel Carey mounted independently to the others. The men stood by horses, with Louis facing them, he enquired of the other-ranks, "Are you all ready?" To which the men replied they were. Louis then gave the order "Prepare to mount", at which the men each put their left foot in the nearside stirrup - all were waiting for the Prince's next word of command. As the word "Mount" came from his lips it was drowned by a ragged volley of rifle fire from the surrounding bush, from which broke some forty or so Zulus, yelling their war cry, "Usuthu!" as they came. Trooper George Rogers's horse bolted with the din, stranding him on foot, he managed to load and fire his carbine before falling to a warrior's assegai. Carey and the others rode off towards the river, Trooper William Abel fell from his mount, and his flight stopped by a bullet from a captured British rifle. As for Louis, he struggled to mount his horse and in doing so his sword, Napoleon's sword from Austerlitz cluttered to the ground. His horse, that skittish grey, was dragging him along as he clutched to a saddle holster. He was passed at this point but Trooper Nicholas Le Tocq, a Guernsey man from Cobo Bay, Le Tocq was laying his stomach across the saddle of his galloping horse and could offer the prince no help, save for urging him in French to mount his horse. But fate intervened and the leather of the saddle holster tore, sending Louis crashing to the ground, injuring his right arm. Corporal Jim Grubb looked back to see Louis making off on foot pursued by seven Zulus. The fleet-of-foot warriors gained on their prey and Louis who had run some three hundred yards turned to meet his destiny. One warrior hurled an assegai, which struck the Prince in the thigh. Louis plucked the spear from his leg, and drew his pistol from which he fired two shots, neither of which find a mark despite the close range. Another warrior threw a spear, which entered his left shoulder, and eventually he slumped to his knees. The Zulus closed in on him and he died under a flurry of assegai blades.

With no chance to rally Carey and the others rode on, until they encountered Wood and his men, which takes us back to the beginning of our story. Due to the lateness of the hour, it was decided that it would have been futile to risk any further lives in the dwindling light of an African dusk. Carey and his men rode into camp that night and imparted their sorrowful news to General Lord Chelmsford. In the pre-dawn light of the following morning two regiments of regular British cavalry, several units of volunteer cavalry and a battalion of loyal African soldiers mustered to search for the Prince Imperial. The correspondent from the L'Figaro, Paul Deleage, his eyes filled with tears yelled his abuse and at the officers, with the words, "Yesterday the Prince left this camp with but seven companions. Today a thousand men will search for his body." The search party found his body, where he had died, stripped of all its clothing, the body bore seventeen spear wounds of which one of three could have proved fatal. The body was borne away, and amid great ceremony it was taken back through Natal, and eventually to England. Where an almost state funeral took place at Chislehurst.

Jahleel Carey was found guilty of cowardice by a court-martial convened hurriedly in the field, but so hurriedly was the court convened that no one had thought to swear the members of the court in. Due to this oversight Carey was acquitted and the sentence of the trial overturned.

One year later the Empress Eugenie visited the place of her son's death, and found it marked by a simple cross. Eugenie left Chislehurst, for Farnborough in Hampshire in 1881, and moved the bodies of her husband and son from Chislehurst to a mausoleum she had erected there. Only a simple Celtic cross remains at Chislehurst as a memorial to Louis. Eugenie, herself, lived until 1920, obviously haunted by thoughts of what may have been.

As I close my story I will leave you with some thoughts, ponder if you will if Louis had not died in KwaZulu, then it not inconceivable that he would have been restored by a plebiscite of the French people to his father's throne. Consider also that if he had married Queen Victoria's daughter, Beatrice, then the closest of alliances would have been formed between Great Britain and France, which would have pre-dated the Entente Cordiale by some twenty-five years. And maybe, just maybe, if such an alliance had existed then might not a bloodier, greater war have been avoided. The history of the twentieth century would have been vastly different then, had not cruel fate intervened
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John Young Author.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: John Young Author.    John Young Author.  EmptyTue Apr 05, 2011 8:06 pm

Horror at the Devil’s Pass
The Battle of Hlobane, 28th March, 1879
John Young

By Wednesday, 22nd January, 1879 the plans for the British invasion of Zululand lay in ruins on the blood-soaked battlefield of Isandlwana. It had been the strategy of Lieutenant-General Lord Chelmsford to assault the Zulu capital of Ulundi in a three-pronged attack carried out by No.’s 1, 3 and 4 Columns, supported by the reserve Columns No.’s 2 and 5, and destroy the power of King Cetshwayo kaMpande in one pitched battle. Scarcely eleven days after the commencement of the invasion, elements of No.’s 2 and 3 Columns were outmanoeuvred and massacred at Isandlwana - over one thousand, three hundred British and Colonial corpses littered the field. A like number of Zulus gave their lives in defence of their homeland.
Ronald Campbell

On the same day, No.3 Column under the command of Colonel Charles Knight Pearson, of the 3rd (East Kent) Regiment of Foot, “The Buffs”, defeated a Zulu impi at the battle of Nyezane on the Indian Ocean coast of Zululand. Pearson advanced to his first objective, the abandoned mission station at Eshowe, which he fortified. On 28th January, Pearson received Chelmsford’s despatch concerning the Isandlwana massacre. Pearson’s instructions were to act on his own ingenuity, and, following an officers’ conference, it was decided to defend Eshowe against whatever forces the Zulu might pit against them - and thus began the siege of Eshowe.

With two columns effectively destroyed and another besieged, Chelmsford looked to the only intact forces at his disposal - No.4 Column, under the command of Brevet Colonel Henry Evelyn Wood, V.C., of the 90th (Perthshire Volunteers) Light Infantry and No.5 Column, commanded by Colonel Hugh Rowlands, V.C., formerly of the 34th (Cumberlandshire) Regiment of Foot. Chelmsford directed that most of Rowland’s command be absorbed into No. 4 Column. Wood's command was further reinforced by the arrival of the Edendale Troop of the Natal Native Horse and the 1st Squadron, Mounted Infantry, transferred from the shattered remains of No.’s 2 and 3 Columns respectively.

Wood’s Column became a thorn in the side of the Zulu forces in north-west Zululand, operating from its encampment of Khambula, making effective raids into enemy territory.

The forces which ranged against Wood were a mixed band comprising Zulu; abaQulusi (a subjected indigenous people who had sworn allegiance to King Cetshwayo.); and disaffected amaSwazi, the followers of Prince Mbilini waMswati, “The Swazi Pretender,” who had in turn pledged their fidelity to King Cetshwayo. This hotchpotch banded together still presented a force to be reckoned with and, once organised, they commenced counter-raiding, striking terror into the civilian population - black and white - along the Zulu/Transvaal border.
Robert Barton

Prince Mbilini’s greatest success in the region was the attack on 12th March, 1879, on the encamped wagon convoy under the escort of Captain David Moriarty and a company-strength detachment of the 80th (Staffordshire Volunteers) Regiment of Foot, on the Ntombe River. Moriarty and sixty of his men perished along with a civilian surgeon, three European wagon conductors and fourteen African voorloopers. Mbilini pillaged the convoy's supplies, and made off prior to the arrival of British reinforcements. Mbilini proudly boasted of his victory to King Cetshwayo, who he also begged for reinforcements from Ulundi, to supplement his own forces.

Lord Chelmsford desperately needed a victory to silence his armchair critics in Britain. Reinforcements arrived in the wake of the Isandlwana reverse, and with these troops he turned his attention to the relief of Pearson's besieged column at Eshowe. To coincide with this relief operation Chelmsford ordered Wood to create a diversion in his theatre of operations on 28th March, in the hope that it would draw off some of the Zulu forces besieging Eshowe.

Wood decided on an assault on the enemy stronghold on the plateau of Hlobane Mountain. In the meantime, on 24th March, King Cetshwayo, recognising that Wood had proved to be a greater adversary than any other British field-commander, answered Mbilini's pleas and despatched the main Zulu army under the command of Mnyamana kaNgqengelele, with Ntshingwayo kaMahole - the victor of Isandlwana - as his field-commander.

Wood devised a pincher assault on Hlobane. From the east this would be under the command of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers Henry Buller, of the 60th Rifles (King’s Royal Rifle Corps), and that from the west would be under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel (local rank) John Cecil Russell, 12th (The Prince of Wales’s Royal) Lancers.
map

At about 9 a.m. on Thursday, 27th March, Buller’s force, which was composed of a Royal Artillery rocket party, some four hundred irregular cavalrymen drawn from the following units: the Burgher Force; the Frontier Light Horse; the Transvaal Rangers; the Border Lancers and Baker’s Horse. Also accompanying the eastern assault force were 277 officers and men of the 2nd. Battalion of Wood’s Irregulars, an African levy officered by white officers. Russell's party left some three hours later, it comprised of another rocket party, the 1st Squadron, Mounted Infantry, numbering just over eighty men, the Edendale Troop of the Natal Native Horse - which had acquitted itself so well at the debacle at Isandlwana - of some seventy men. The Kaffrarian Vanguard - forty officers and men. The 1st Battalion of Wood’s Irregulars, numbering some 240 officers and other ranks. Also accompanying this force were some 200 disaffected Zulus, the adherents of King Cetshwayo's step-brother, Prince Hamu kaNzibe. Wood left Khambula with a small personal staff and escort, which included Prince Mthonga kaMpande, a younger brother of King Cetshwayo, who had sought refuge in the British Colony of Natal in 1865 fearing that his own brother might order his death; now was the chance for him to repay the British for their hospitality.
Wood 1879 campaign

The two attacking parties made their way unchallenged towards their respective objectives, and bivouacked. Fires on Hlobane betrayed the enemy’s position. Wood received intelligence that the main Zulu army were heading in his direction from the Royal ikhanda at Ulundi, and he duly placed scouts to watch the possible approaches.

Before resting that night, Wood held lengthy discussions with two men who knew the objective well; Petrus Lafrus Uys, the veteran Boer commando leader who now commanded the Burgher Force, and Captain Charles Potter, of the 2nd. Battalion of Wood's Irregulars, who had traded in the region before the war. Their discussions concluded, Uys spoke prophetically to Wood, “...if you are killed I will take care of your children, and if I am killed you do the same for mine.”

Buller too was fearful; fearful of discovery and moved his force twice to avoid being found by Zulu scouts. At 3 a.m. on Friday, 28th March, Buller's force commenced their ascent of the difficult slope. To add to their problems a heavy storm broke over them. Flashes of lightning illuminated the ascending force; the rain turned their route into a sodden path, hindering the climb. The storm abated as quickly as it had started and the clambering troops picked their way up through the boulder-strewn track.

Dawn broke and a new horror became apparent. The Zulu were behind prepared barricades and concealed within caves that riddled the mountain, awaiting the assault. From behind their positions, the Zulus opened fire on the scaling troops. Two officers of the Frontier Light Horse, Lieutenants Otto von Stietencron and George Williams, fell dead, two troopers also fell to the fire.
Campbell's Cave

Wood and his escort rode to the sound of the firing. Just below the summit of the mountain plateau they chanced upon Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Augustus Weatherley and his Border Lancers. Weatherley’s unit should have been with Buller, but during the storm they had become separated and now lagged behind. Wood spied a Zulu rifleman level his gun in his direction and he expressed his contempt of the Zulu marksmanship. The Zulu fired, and his bullet found its mark, shattering the spine of Mr. Llewelyn Lloyd, Wood's Political Assistant and his interpreter, who was at Wood's side. Wood attempted to lift the mortally wounded man, but stumbled under the weight. Captain the Honourable Ronald Campbell, Coldstream Guards, Wood’s chief staff officer, came to his aid and carried the dying Lloyd out of the line of fire. Again a Zulu fired at Wood, killing his led mount. The horse fell against Wood, and caused him to stumble.

A gasp went up from his men, fearing their commander wounded. Wood shouted a reassurance that he was not hit, and picking himself up, he made his way downhill to the troops’ position. Angered at being pinned-down, Wood ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Weatherley to assault the position from where the fire was coming. Weatherley in turn, addressed his men, ordering them forward, but only Lieutenant J. Pool and Sub-Lieutenant H.W. Parminter responded to the command. The remainder of the Border Horse refused to assault the position, saying that it was unassailable. Captain Campbell was horrified; this was tantamount to mutiny - if not cowardice.

Campbell was of ennobled birth, the son of the 2nd Earl Cawdor. Such behaviour was unheard of within the class to which he belonged. Uttering his contempt of the fainthearted volunteers, he sprang forward towards the foe, supported by Second-Lieutenant Henry Lysons, 90th Light Infantry and four mounted infantrymen of Wood's personal escort, also drawn from the 90th. The small party advanced in a determined manner, clambering over boulders and through crevices, which led to the Zulu position. The path was so narrow that the advance could only be made in single file. Campbell gained the mouth of the cave first, only to be shot in the head at point-blank. Undeterred, Lysons and Private Edmund Fowler carried the position, forcing the Zulus to withdraw into a series of subterranean passages and, with Lysons and Fowler in pursuit, they killed all those who offered resistance, and put the others to flight.
FA Weatherley

With Lysons covering the cave mouth, Campbell's body was brought down and placed alongside Lloyd, who had succumbed to his wound. Fearful of the bodies being mutilated, Wood decided to bury them on the field. Being the son of a clergyman, he wished to conduct a proper burial service, only to realise that his service book was still in the wallets of his saddle on his dead mount. He ordered his bugler, Alexander Walkinshaw, to recover the prayer book. Walkinshaw, whom Wood described as “one of the bravest men in the Army,” calmly strode up, under heavy fire and recovered not only the prayer book but also the entire saddle.

Wood had the two bodies removed some three hundred yards downhill, to where the soil was less rocky and the Zulus of Wood’s escort dug the grave with their spears, under the watchful eye of Prince Mthonga. Their task completed, Wood committed the two bodies to the ground, reading an abridged version of the burial service from a prayer book which belonged to Captain Campbell’s wife, who was the daughter of the Bishop of Rochester, Kent.

Buller’s force was, in the meantime, quelling any resistance being offered and commenced sweeping along the plateau, capturing cattle as booty. Weatherley’s Border Lancers found their courage, perhaps encouraged by the deeds of a few, and recommenced their ascent.

On the plateau, Buller met with Captain (local rank) Edward Browne, of the 1st Battalion, 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot, who had with him some twenty men of the mounted infantry from Russell’s party. They had scaled the rugged path connecting the Ntendeka and Hlobane. Browne informed Buller that Russell had concluded that it was impossible to ascend the steep escarpment with his entire command. On hearing this intelligence, Buller ordered Captain Robert Barton, Coldstream Guards, commanding the Frontier Light Horse, to take some thirty men of the corps to bury the bodies of their earlier fallen comrades. Barton was also charged with the task of locating the whereabouts of Weatherley and his men. Minutes after Barton’s departure Buller stared aghast at the sight that confronted him on the plain below Hlobane. Approaching from the south-east was a Zulu impi numbering in the region of 20,000 men.

Wood’s attention had been drawn to the advancing impi by the frantic shouts of his Zulu escort. Lloyd had been the only Zulu linguist in Wood’s party and he was dead, but there was no need of an interpreter to convey their urgent words of warning.
Redvers Buller

Buller despatched a note to Barton ‘return by the right of the mountain’, a message which he had hoped would convey to Barton that he should withdraw in the direction of Khambula. Barton had by now located Weatherley, who fell in with Barton. The message reached Barton but sadly, it was misconstrued, and Barton unwittingly led the pitifully small force straight into the path of the Zulu impi. The mounted volunteers were swallowed up by the Zulu host, and swiftly overwhelmed. Weatherley died apparently hand-in-hand with his fifteen-year old son, who had joined his father’s corps as a sub-lieutenant. Only a handful evaded the slaughter. Captain Barton saw Lieutenant Pool had been unhorsed and rode to his rescue. Taking him upon his mount he fought his way clear of the melee, pursued by a number of Zulus. For some seven miles, Barton managed to outdistance the warriors, but his horse floundered under the weight of the two men and the Zulus closed in on their prey and killed the two officers.

In a handwritten report Buller blamed himself for the tragic loss of sustained as a consequence of his misinterpreted dispatch; however, another hand (Wood’s?) has struck out this self-accusation, censoring the transcript which admits to error.

The Zulu defenders on the summit, seeing that reinforcements were at hand, renewed their harassment of Buller’s force. Abandoning the livestock the force had taken as a prize, Buller ordered his African levies to descend first. The levies gingerly scrambled down through the boulders and took to their heels. Some one hundred of the levies were outpaced by the fleet-footed young Zulu warriors and perished. The mounted men found the descent less easy; slowly they picked their path down the steep slope, leading their horses, threatened on all sides by Zulus. This pass between the two mountains would acquire a name, which reflects the horror of the descent - The Devil’s Pass.

Buller had expected to have received some support from Russell and his western party, but due to another misconstrued dispatch (this one from Wood) Russell had evacuated his position. The only assistance that Buller's men received came from Browne and his small body of mounted infantry.
Buller's-rearguard-action

In the turmoil of the retreat, Buller banded together a staunch rearguard, and contested the overwhelming Zulu numbers, which permitted the escape of a great number of his men. Soon the weight of the numbers of Zulu pressing the rearguard forced Buller to abandon his position, and fight gave way to flight. The Zulus captured men, hurling them to their deaths off of the mountain. Others rather than share this fate turned their own weapons on themselves. In the chaos several men lost their mounts. Buller rode back time and again and snatched men from the very jaws of death. His fearless example was followed by Browne, and by Major William Knox Leet, of the 1st Battalion, 13th (Prince Albert’s Own Somersetshire) Light Infantry.

Commandant Uys, who had earlier implored Wood to take care of his children, turned and saw one of his sons surrounded by Zulus. He rode back in the mass of warriors and extricated his son from his predicament, only to be speared in the back by a Zulu who leapt onto his horse before he could make good his own escape.

With further resistance futile, the British and Colonial forces abandoned the field, it was about 12 noon. Seventeen officers and eighty-two white troops were dead, as were some one hundred African levies. Of the Zulu, there is no accurate number of losses known. Four Victoria Crosses were eventually awarded for the action at Hlobane. The recipients were Buller, Leet, Lysons and Fowler. Five Distinguished Conduct Medals were also awarded, including one to Wood’s redoubtable Bugler Walkinshaw.

As a postscript to honours and medals awarded for Hlobane, there was at least one other officer recommended for the Victoria Cross, who is worthy of mention; Veterinary Surgeon 1st Class Francis Duck, of the Army Veterinary Corps. Duck was recommended for the Victoria Cross by Buller for his gallantry in action during the retreat towards the Devil’s Pass when he took a dead man’s rifle he volunteered his services with the rearguard and rendered excellent service at a most critical moment, only to have his name struck out by the Commander-in-Chief on the grounds ‘…that he had no right to be there.’
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John Young Author.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: John Young Author.    John Young Author.  EmptyTue Apr 05, 2011 8:08 pm

The Defence of Rorke's Drift
A fully detailed account written by John Young, Chairman, Anglo-Zulu War Research Society

"First comes the trader, then the missionary, then the red soldier." Words spoken in 1879 by King Cetshwayo kaMpande, when alluding to his Kingdom's war with the British, but words that are equally appropriate to the development of Rorke's Drift.

In 1849 a trader named James Rorke purchased a tract of land measuring a thousand acres on the banks of the Buffalo River in Natal. The river formed a natural border between British governed Natal and the independent Kingdom of KwaZulu. Apparently, Rorke was the son of an Irish soldier who had served in the Eastern Cape. James Rorke himself had allegedly seen service in the Seventh Cape Frontier War. On the river at the point close to where Rorke settled was a natural ford across, or as it is referred to in South Africa - a drift. A drift, which in time would bear his name.

Rorke traded his merchandise across the Buffalo to his near neighbours the Zulus. The Zulus proved to be eager customers prepared to barter for anything the trader might offer; trinkets, liquor, beads, cloth - guns! There was the passing trade, whites on hunting expeditions. Rorke set about establishing himself in two large buildings nestling under the western end of a hill, known to the Zulu as Shiyane, the eyebrow. The buildings were brick and stone built, with thatched roofs, and wide stoeps or verandas. One of these buildings served Rorke as a house, the other a store for his merchandise. The Zulu called Rorke's store - kwaJimu, Jim's place. Thus established, Rorke married but it was lonely life; the nearest Europeans were at Helpmekaar, which was then only a small clutch of houses. New settlers opened- up the country and soon settlements sprung-up - Dundee, Newcastle and Utrecht, the towns' names reflecting the origins of the settlers. James Rorke became a respected member of the scattered frontier community. In the wake of the Langalibalele uprising, local volunteer forces were formed from within the male population; Natal was then a Colony, rather than a part of the Cape Colony. Rorke volunteered, and became a First Lieutenant in the Buffalo Border Guard. One of the tasks of the Buffalo Border Guard was to prevent the running of guns into KwaZulu, a task that Rorke must have found difficult to enforce.
In July, 1875, "then comes the missionary." Karl Titlestad, a Norwegian missionary, was anxious to purchase from Rorke his trading post with a view to using it as base to preach the Gospel to the Zulus. Rorke was keen to accept the offer, but he did not live long to realise the profits. He died on 24th October, 1875 at the age of forty-eight at his trading-post after a very short illness. Some contend he shot himself in a rage. His widow eventually sold the trading post to the Norwegian Missionary Society in 1878. A Swedish missionary, Otto Witt, took up the incumbency of what was now a Mission Station. Rorke's store was transformed into a makeshift church. Witt also decided to rename Shiyane, which he called Oskarberg in honour of the King of Norway and Sweden. Witt endeavoured to spread the cause of Christianity across the Buffalo River to the so-called heathen Zulus. But King Cetshwayo was wary of the methods employed by all missionaries, the king preferring to consort with European traders; his eye was on worldly goods, rather than heavenly wealth.

Reverend Otto Witt

Under these adverse conditions Witt laboured to convert the Zulus in the vicinity of Rorke's Drift. Across the Buffalo River, were the umuzi of the Chieftain Sihayo kaXongo. Sihayo was a personal favourite of King Cetshwayo, who had supported the uSuthu faction which had led the king to power, and who had fought at the side of the king in the bitter war of succession. But Sihayo was a progressive man for his time; he opted to wear European dress, and shared the Witts' hospitality at their dinner table. Sihayo had wide-reaching network of trading links extending throughout Natal, Swaziland and Mozambique. He had at his disposal horses, wagons and firearms. And he also had two unfaithful wives. It was the incursion into Natal in July 1878, and the ultimate fate of those two women, which Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, abetted by Sir Theophilus Shepstone, used to give as one of the reasons for the Ultimatum delivered to the Zulu delegation on the banks of the Lower Tugela River, under the wild fig tree close to the Indian Ocean, on 11th December, 1878. An ultimatum, which Frere knew King Cetshwayo, could not accept, and would lead to one path - war! Frere in his guise as Commander-in-Chief, Southern Africa, placed the conduct of the war in the hands of Lieutenant-General Lord Chelmsford, General Officer Commanding Southern Africa.


A contemporary 'colourised' photograph showing the ponts at Rorke's Drift
"Then comes the red soldier." Lord Chelmsford attached his headquarters to Number Three Column. The Column mustered at Helpmekaar in December, 1878, waiting in vain for a response from the Zulu sovereign. When it was deduced that no response would be forthcoming Number Three Column moved on to Rorke's Drift and pitched camp. The former trading post, come mission-station, was ideally situated as an advanced commissariat supply depôt to support an invasion. Consequently, Witt had his mission-station requisitioned.

The church was pressed into service as a store, and Witt's house transformed into a hospital, to house a few sick and injured men. Witt made arrangements for his wife and daughter to go and stay with friends at Msinga, whilst he remained to keep a watchful eye on his mission-station. Ponts were employed at Rorke's Drift, under the supervision of a civilian ferryman named Daniells. Shortly after dawn on Saturday, 11th January, 1879 the British, Colonial and African elements of Number Three Column began crossing the flooded waters of the Buffalo River into Zululand. The invasion was underway.

Left behind in command at Rorke's Drift was Brevet Major Henry Spalding, of the 104th Regiment, Lord Chelmsford's Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General. One of his many tasks was to keep open the lines of communication and supply between the advancing column and Helpmekaar.

In charge of the stores depôt at the mission-station was Assistant Commissary Walter Dunne of the Commissariat and Transport Department. Two locally recruited volunteers; Acting Assistant Commissary James Langley Dalton and Acting Storekeeper Louis Byrne, and Second-Corporal Francis Attwood of the Army Service Corps assisted him in this task.

The patients of the improvised hospital were under the care of Surgeon James Henry Reynolds of the Army Medical Department, aided by three other-ranks of the Army Hospital Corps and a civilian servant. Three of Reynolds's patients were casualties from the first clash with the Zulus at Sokhexe, wounded in the assault on Sihayo's Kraal. The others, some eighteen or so were members of the Column who were suffering from various ills and injuries.

2nd Battalion of the 24th Regiment of Foot, taken in September of 1879 at Pinetown

The garrison at the mission-station was formed by 'B' Company, of the 2nd Battalion, of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot. The Company was under the command of Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead. Bromhead was a popular officer, but it is said that he was afflicted by deafness, so deaf was he that it was alleged that he failed to hear commands on parade, and it was for that reason his company were chosen for the less than arduous task of protecting the supply depot.

'B' Company's senior non-commissioned officer was Colour Sergeant Frank Edward Bourne. Bourne was a twenty-four year old, short man who had risen to his rank within seven years. He, like many of the men in 'B' Company, had seen action before but this was only on a limited scale in the Ninth Cape Frontier War.
Number Three Column was camped on the Zulu side of Rorke's Drift, prior to any further advance into the enemy's territory. The supply of the Column was hampered when one of the ponts employed in ferrying across essentials had broken down. A small advance party of one officer and five other-ranks of the 5th(Field) Company, Royal Engineers, were hurried up-country from the port of Durban, where they had only landed on the 5th of January. The party arrived at Rorke's Drift on 19th January, the officer leading the party being Lieutenant John Rouse Merriott Chard. The following day, Monday, 20th January, Lord Chelmsford and his headquarters accompanied the advance of Colonel Richard Glyn's Number Three Column, to the temporary staging-camp at the base of the mountain of Isandlwana. Lord Chelmsford had ordered up to Rorke's Drift part of Brevet Colonel Anthony Durnford's Number Two Column to support the offensive thrust into Zululand. Durnford's force arrived at Rorke's Drift late in the evening of the 20th, and encamped on the Zulu bank only recently vacated by Number Three Column. At the same time Lord Chelmsford had ordered that 'G' Company of the 1st Battalion, 24th Foot, should vacate their position on the lines of communication at Helpmekaar, when relieved by 'D' Company of the 1st/24th which was marching up from Greytown, and entrench a position covering the ponts at Rorke's Drift. In the meantime a company of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, Natal Native Contingent under the command of Captain William Stevenson, would supplement the garrison.
Lt. J R M Chard in civilian dress


On Tuesday, 21st January, a two-pronged reconnaissance, led respectively by Major John Dartnell, Natal Mounted Police, and Commandant Rupert Lonsdale of the 3rd Natal Native Contingent, left the camp at Isandlwana to probe for Zulu forces in the vicinity of the Mangeni Valley, some twelve miles south-east of Isandlwana. When Dartnell and Lonsdale linked-up they confronted a small force of Zulus, near the Mangeni Waterfall. Fearing they were in contact with the main Zulu force, gallopers were sent back to Isandlwana appealing for reinforcements. But as we know with hindsight, these were not the main Zulu impi, but what many historians describe as a lure to entice a division of Number Three Column. A response, which was exactly what, the Zulu izinduna got. The British response and the consequent disaster at Isandhlwana are dealt elsewhere on this website, but how that affected the garrison at Rorke's Drift must be explained. Late in the evening of the 21st, Lieutenant Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien, of the 95th Foot, was ordered to convey the General's orders to Durnford at Rorke's Drift, the order was to move up to Isandlwana. John Chard also received orders from the General's Headquarters ordering his men up to Isandlwana, but the order was somewhat vague as it was unclear whether Chard himself was to go forward.

Early in the morning of Wednesday, 22nd January, 1879, Chard sought permission from Major Spalding to go to Isandlwana to clarify the matter. Shortly after eight o'clock Chard rode into the camp, his men were following behind in a wagon. The camp was alive with excitement, Zulus had been sighted on the Nquthu Plateau to the left front of the camp, and the troops were forming-up in readiness. Chard was informed his men were to be attached to the Column. However, he was required to return to Rorke's Drift and entrench the position overlooking the ponts on the Natal bank. Accordingly, Chard rode back along the track towards Rorke's Drift; here he encountered Durnford at the head of his part-column moving up to Isandlwana. Chard acquainted his fellow Royal Engineer with the intelligence regarding the presence of Zulus on the Nquthu Plateau. Chard's sappers had fallen in with the mainly mounted force, he ordered his Corporal and three Sappers off of the wagon and gave them orders to join the force at Isandlwana. Then he ordered his batman, Driver Robson and a mixed-race wagon driver to turn the wagon, which contained tools, and return with him to Rorke's Drift in order to entrench the position. Upon his return to the mission-station Chard reported to Spalding.

As yet Captain Rainforth's 'G' Company, 1st/24th, had not arrived. Unbeknown to Spalding 'D' Company, 1st/24th had been delayed by bad weather en-route, and had not reached Helpmekaar Spalding was concerned as to the whereabouts of Rainforth's men and penned a camp order deploying one N.C.O. and six other-ranks as a pont guard. This small number were be augmented by fifty of Stevenson's N.N.C. Having done so he decided to ride to Helpmekaar and ascertain the delay of the reinforcements. Almost as an afterthought he consulted a copy of the Army List, to establish who would command the post in his absence. The command devolved to Chard, whose seniority pre-dated Bromhead's by three years. This done Spalding rode out, and with it him went his chance of military glory.

Chard went down to the ponts and settled down in his tent for lunch. At about 12.30 p.m., cannon-fire was heard from the direction of Isandlwana. Surgeon Reynolds, Otto Witt and the Reverend George Smith, a local Anglican missionary and Chaplain of the Weenen Yeomanry, a local volunteer unit, who was serving as a volunteer Chaplain to Number Three Column, climbed to the top of the Oskarberg and peered through a telescope towards Isandlwana. They could see through the heat haze what was obviously a battle taking place.

On the Natal side of the Buffalo, the three observed four horsemen riding at the gallop towards the mission-station, fearing that the riders might require medical assistance Reynolds made his way down to the post, leaving Witt and Smith on the hill top. Bromhead and Chard were also aware of the approaching horsemen, and must have sensed that something was amiss. A rider rode up to Bromhead and Dunne of Commissariat, and blurted-out, "The camp is taken by Zulus!" Dunne peered across the river and saw a number of Natal Native Horse riding towards Natal. At the ponts two white horsemen from the Zulu bank, who asked to be ferried across, were hailing Chard. One of the horsemen was Lieutenant J. Adendorff, of the 1st/3rd N.N.C.; he imparted the dire news to Chard, his companion, Lieutenant Vaine rode on to pass the word to Helpmekaar.

Reverend George "Ammunition" Smith from the Royal Army Chaplains Department's Collection


Bromhead dispatched a message to Chard calling him back to the mission-station. Word of the disaster spread amongst the small pont-guard, Sergeant Frederick Millne of the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Foot, 'The Buffs', and the civilian ferryman, Daniells, volunteered to moor the ponts mid-stream and with the pont-guard defend the crossing. Chard was heartened by the offer, but politely declined it.

Upon reaching the post Chard and Bromhead found it difficult to comprehend the disaster, which had befallen the camp at Isandlwana. A hurried officers' conference was called, it was James Dalton, who brought the two lieutenants to reality. Stressing that the only option should the Zulus attack the post at Rorke's Drift would be fight - not flight, and with the words, "Now we must make a defence!" he motivated the others into action. A dribble of survivors from Isandlwana, paused and attempted to impress on the garrison the futility of a defence. But the men busied themselves preparing barricades from the stores at hand, and ignored their pleas. Only Adendorff elected to remain. A party of Natal Native Horse of about one hundred men rode up, under the command of Lieutenant Alfred Henderson, who placed his men at Chard's disposal. With Henderson was the meat contractor of the Natal Mounted Police, Bob Hall. Chard ordered Henderson to deploy his men in mounted screen behind the Oskarberg, protecting the approach from Fugitives' Drift. The time was about 3.30p.m. The Reverends Witt and Smith had now come down from their vantage point on top of the Oskarberg. They had distressing news; the Zulus were crossing upriver in force. Witt fearful of his wife's safety at nearby Msinga, decamped taking with him a wounded N.N.C. officer from the hospital. To protect the remaining hospital patients Lieutenant Bromhead had detailed a hospital guard of six men; Privates Alfred Henry Hook, Robert Jones, William Jones, John Williams, Joseph Williams and Thomas Cole. Many of the hospital patients were able to bear arms and the hospital was loopholed in readiness to receive an attack.

Infantry picquets were deployed in skirmishing order on the lower slopes of the Oskarberg, and the pont guard withdrawn to the post. At 4.20 p.m. the crackle of musketry was heard from the position where the Natal Native Horse were deployed, and black horsemen galloped past the now fortified post. Henderson paused and spoke to Chard, he stated that his men would no longer obey orders, and he could not convince them to stand and fight. But their desertion must be considered in the light of their previous actions at Isandlwana, where they had fought virtually from first to last before quitting the field, now they were low on ammunition. They must have thought that a fort built from biscuit boxes and mealie sacks, could do little to deter the Zulus flushed with the success of Isandlwana. Trooper Henry Lugg, a patient in the hospital, heard Bob Hall's famous warning as he too rode by - "Here they come black as hell and as thick as grass!"

Stevenson's untried, faint-hearted N.N.C. company having witnessed the retreat of the Native Horse decided that enough was enough, and opted to quit the post. Stevenson and his N.C.O.'s led the way. Outraged by this defection a number of shots rang out after them, fired from the front of the post, one of them finding its mark in the back of Corporal W. Anderson.

From a position on top of the store's roof, Private Fred Hitch shouted he could see some four to six thousand Zulus advancing towards the post. One wit, Private Augustus Morris, retorted from below, "Is that all?"

Chard withdrew the infantry picquets and the Zulus came in sight. Ranged against Chard's command of scare one hundred and fifty men, were over four thousand warriors drawn from the amabutho-regiments of the uThulwana, the iNdlondlo and the uDloko, all these men were in their forties and wore the isicoco of a married man. The iNdluyengwe were an unmarried regiment, its ranks filled by men in their later twenties. These regiments had formed the uNdi corps had been the Zulu reserve at Isandlwana, their only contribution to that battle had been to harry the fugitives on the trail leading to the Buffalo River. The commander of the Zulu force was Prince Dabulamanzi kaMpande, the half brother of King Cetshwayo. Keen for his share of the glory, which would cover those who had fought so well at Isandlwana, Dabulamanzi heeded the cry "Let us go and have a fight at Jim's!" and contrary to the king's orders to act only in the defence within the borders of KwaZulu, he led his men across the Buffalo and into Natal.

The first Zulu assault was directed towards the rear of the hospital, a mass of warriors from the iNdluyengwe loped towards the building, Trooper Lugg of the Natal Mounted Police recounted, "I had the satisfaction of seeing the first man I fired at roll over at 350, and then my nerves were as steady as a rock..." he continued, "...There was some of the best shooting at 450 yards that I have ever seen."




Rorke's Drift, as the Zulu's would have first seen it


Looking up the incline to the Hospital, and the steep ledge

Private Hook at the other end of the hospital, stated how the Zulus were checked by the fire from the hospital and that from the storehouse, and forced to take cover less than fifty yards from the rear wall. The warriors crept forward and took up positions behind the ovens and cookhouse.

Others swept wide of the hospital and launched an attack on the side of the hospital and the barricade to the front of the hospital. Some Zulus took up position in the broken terraces and caves of the Oskarberg and began shooting down at the post, at this time their inaccurate fire proved more of a nuisance than a threat. Hiding inside one of the caves was Chard's mixed-race wagon driver, who luckily survived to give testimony to accuracy of the defenders' return fire.

Inside the hospital, Private Thomas Cole, allegedly nerved by an attack of claustrophobia, fled from the room he had been detailed to defend with Hook. He emerged from the veranda and moved towards the front wall which was under attack, however, his progress was stopped by a bullet in the head, the bullet continued in its trajectory and smashed the nose of Private James Bushe. The Zulus appeared to be gaining the advantage at the barricade in front of the hospital, a timely bayonet charge led by Lt. Gonville Bromhead, put pay to this, causing the warriors to retreat. Undaunted, again and again the Zulus pressed home their attack, countered each time by Bromhead and his bayonets. Reinforced by the deployment of warriors of the other regiments, the Zulus rushed towards the side and front of the hospital barricade, compelling the defenders to abandon this position. With great haste a line of boxes was thrown-up, a dogleg connecting the eastern end of the hospital to the front wall, from this position the defenders raked the warriors who endeavoured to force their way into the front of the hospital. Chaplain Smith witnessed this, "...such a heavy fire was sent along the front of the hospital that, although scores of Zulus jumped over the mealie bags to get into the building, nearly every man perished in that fatal leap."

Colour Sergeant Bourne was moved by the courage of the Zulus, he later recounted, "To show their fearless and their contempt for the red-coats...they tried to leap the parapet, and at times seized our bayonets, only to be shot down. Looking back, one cannot but admire their fanatical bravery."

On the rear wall the aim of the Zulu riflemen was improving, Corporal John Lyons was struck in the neck by a musket ball, (that very ball is on display at the Museum of the South Wales Borderers, Brecon.) thus wounded he encouraged his fellow corporal, William Allan, "Give it to them, Allan, I'm done; I'm dying." Allan replied, "All right Jack." Before a bullet too struck him in his right arm. Lyons saw Chard and implored him for help, Chard and some others dragged him to safety, and to the care of Surgeon Reynolds.

A defensive line was being constructed linking the western end of the store to the northern barricade in front of the store. James Dalton the architect of the defences fell severely wounded in the upper body. Manning this secondary line of defence was Bromhead, Private Hitch and five others, but they exposed to rifle fire from both the front and back of the post. Of this group only Bromhead remained unscathed, four of the men were killed, and Hitch and the other wounded. The slug, which struck Hitch's right shoulder, shattered the shoulder blade into thirty-nine pieces. Seeing Hitch's plight Bromhead, handed him his revolver in order to defend himself.



The Defence of Rorke's Drift

The bullet-swept yard between the two buildings was now untenable, and the hospital defenders were cut off from the newly formed line of defence. Corporal Christian Ferdinand Schiess, a Swiss serving in the N.N.C., crept out along the abandoned front wall, and dropped down over the barricade, over the rocky ledge and killed three Zulus whose fire had been exacting a toll on the defenders.

Before night fell, some of the defenders could see a cloud of dust rising from the road that led to Helpmekaar. A cheer went up from the defenders it could only mean one thing, a relief force from Helpmekaar. It was in fact Spalding at the head of the two 1st/24th companies from Helpmekaar. Some three miles distant from the mission-station, Spalding was confronted by a number of Zulus who deployed in an attempt to surround his two hundred or so men. Spalding was convinced that the post at Rorke's Drift must have shared the fate of Isandlwana, and withdrew on Helpmekaar.

Then, there began in earnest a battle within a battle, the defence of the hospital, and what must be amplified at this time a defence conducted purely by private soldiers, not one of the hospital defenders was a non-commissioned officer, there was a sergeant present, Maxfield, but he was delirious with fever, and thus cannot be considered to have performed any active role in the defence.

The Zulus launched a concerted attack on the hospital, assaulting the western end room held by Privates John and Joseph Williams. With them in this room were Private William Horrigan and two other patients. With bullet and bayonet the two aided by Horrigan held the room, which had no means of exit save for door leading to the outside and to the Zulus. John Williams seized a pick-axe and began knocking a hole in a partition wall, then the Zulus grabbed hold of Joseph Williams's rifle and manhandled him out of the room, spread-eagled him and assegaied him. With the door undefended, the warriors poured into the room, killing the two hospital cases, just in time John Williams and Horrigan escaped through the breached wall. The roof of the hospital was now ablaze, and a choking smoke filled the small confined room. Pressed by the Zulus Hook left his room, leaving behind much to his chagrin the wounded N.N.C. private, Hook heard the Zulus questioning the private before putting him to death.

Hook found himself in a room containing nine sick men, until John Williams, who informed Hook of Joseph Williams's fate, Horrigan was dead, joined him also, he had stumbled in the wrong direction after exiting the escape hole and blundered into some Zulus in the smoke and confusion. John Williams knocked a hole in the wall of this room, whilst Hook held off the Zulu challenge. A flung assegai struck Hook's helmet, the blade grazing his head, so confined was the space that only one Zulu at a time could attempt to engage Hook, who met each attack in turn. In the meantime, John Williams had succeeded in evacuating all but one of the sick, Private John Connolly, who was recovering from having dislocated his knee. Hook left his post and dragging Connolly behind him escaped through the hole, dislocating his knee again in the bargain.

Others decided to take their chances outside, Privates John Waters and William Beckett hid for a short time in a wardrobe, before rushing outside. Beckett was seen by a Zulu, who stabbed him in the stomach, inflicting a wound that would prove to be fatal, he staggered off and collapsed.

Waters was luckier, he had equipped himself with a black cloak, and covering himself with it hid in the long grass. He changed position and moved to the cookhouse, only to find it occupied by Zulus. Rather than risk detection should he move, he decided to remain where he was.


"Vote of Thanks"


Gunner Arthur Howard went out over the northern parapet at the western end of the hospital, and ensconced himself among the Zulu corpses.

Back inside the hospital John Williams and Hook, forced their way through a side wall of a room which was resolutely defended by Privates Robert and William Jones, they too had held of a fierce onslaught of warriors. Robert Jones had been slightly wounded by an assegai that had grazed his abdomen. The remaining four soldiers of the hospital guard saw that they only option was to pass the patients out of a high window in the rear south-eastern room out into the bullet-swept yard. Seeing their plight the wounded Corporal William Allan and Private Frederick Hitch rushed to the window to render what assistance they could, whilst from the second line of defence the defenders kept the Zulus' heads down. Trooper Sidney Hunter of the Natal Mounted Police stumbled to the ground having exited the window, disorientated, he hesitated long enough for a Zulu warrior to leap the abandoned mealie bag defences and assegai him, before him too fell to the rifles of the defenders.

Now only one patient remained in the hospital, the fever-ridden Sergeant Robert Maxfield. Robert Jones made one last gallant rush in an attempt to save him, Jones returned to the room only to see Maxfield being stabbed to death. Jones sadly left him to his fate, whilst he made good his own escape.

Chard's command was now confined to the small area in front of the storehouse. Surgeon Reynolds was now treating the wounded on the veranda. Chaplain Smith went around the defenders praising the Lord and passing the ammunition, rebuking as he did so the oaths of the defenders. One retorted that, the Padre should keep to prayer whilst he busied himself in sending the Zulus to Hell.

Walter Dunne of the Commissariat Department busied himself in building a last redoubt of mealie sacks, eight feet high. The Zulus pressed the defenders from the cattle kraal, which was situated to the left front of the store. The burning thatch of the hospital illuminated the dark night, helping the soldiers to pick their targets. The insistent attacks of the warriors probed the small perimeter, but each time the Zulus were driven back. As the night wore on the attacks lessened in their ferocity.

First light on Thursday, 22nd January, 1879 brought the defenders a sight of utter devastation; hundreds of Zulu dead ringed the post, the air reeked of burnt flesh from the hospital - but the Zulus were gone. In the last few hours they had begun to slip away back across the Buffalo River, and into KwaZulu, now only the dead and wounded remained, save for one who stood up and fired at the post, before he too loped off.

Private Waters and Gunner Howard emerged from their hiding places, and regained the safety of the post. Chard ordered out some small patrols to assess the situation, Private Hook and Trooper Lugg both had close calls when they were separately attacked by warriors feigning death. Hook bayoneted his opponent, whilst Lugg stabbed his with a knife.

Chard called an officers' conference, fearing further attacks he ordered the ruin of the hospital to be pulled down to clear a line of fire. A tally was taken of the ammunition; it revealed that out of a store of some 20,000 rounds only nine hundred were left. At 7 o'clock a large body of Zulus were seen to the southwest, Chard recalled his patrols and ordered the demolition operations stayed, but the Zulus made their way back towards the Buffalo. From their position the Zulus could see the approach of Lord Chelmsford's force, which had spent the night on the bloody field of Isandlwana.

British lookouts perched on the storehouse roof, peered towards the drift. Galloping towards them was a detachment of mounted infantry, cheers erupted from the defenders. Rorke's Drift had been relieved.

Of the one hundred and fifty, or so, of the defenders, fifteen had died outright, two others would died from their wounds, and sixteen others had been wounded.

Eleven of the defenders were awarded the Victoria Cross, and five others were nominated for the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Queen Victoria summed up the action, when she stated, "The Defence of Rorke's Drift is Immortal."
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PostSubject: The Last Napoleon   John Young Author.  EmptyTue Apr 05, 2011 8:28 pm

The Last Napoleon.

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Sunday, 1st of June 1879, in KwaZulu, an independent Kingdom in southern Africa, five European horsemen were riding pell-mell towards another small force of British soldiers, of the five men, one wears the uniform of a British officer, the others in the dress of locally recruited irregular volunteer cavalry. At the head of the other group, is two bearded veteran officers - Colonel Henry Evelyn Wood and Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers Buller, both men hold their country's highest award for bravery, the Victoria Cross. Buller exclaimed, "Why the man rides as if the whole kaffir impi were after him" The British officer reins in before the column. Buller, a bluff, forthright man, asked, "What the devil is the matter, Sir?" The British officer in a faltering voice replied, "The Prince... The Prince Imperial is killed." Buller interjected, "Where?" The officer pointed to a hill on the horizon, at which Wood and Buller raise their field glasses, and through them they saw some twenty Zulu warriors leading away three horses. Buller questioned the officer further, "Where are your men? How many did you lose?" The officer can only blurt out that he does not know. Buller can only reply in total distain for the officer standing before him, "You deserve to be shot Sir...and I hope will be. I could shoot you myself." Wood and Buller in an almost pantomime gesture turn their backs on Lieutenant Jahleel Brenton Carey, of Her Majesty's 98th Regiment of Foot, not wishing to look upon a man they considered to be a coward, a man who would become the scapegoat for the death of the exiled heir to the French Imperial throne.

The story of the life of the 'Last Napoleon' begins at 3 a.m. on the morning of the 16th March 1856. One hundred and one cannon reports announce the birth of an heir to Imperial French throne. The Empress Eugenie had been safely delivered of a son - His Imperial Highness Eugene Louis Jean Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte. The only legitimate son of Napoleon the III. The birth had been a semi-public matter with at least one hundred official witnesses watching that the line of succession was a true one, and that the Bonapartist dynasty was secure.

Napoleon the III was considered by the other royal and imperial families of Europe as little more than an upstart, who had proclaimed himself emperor, only four years before in 1852. In a manner similar to that of the way in which his uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte, had come to power after the turmoil of the revolution. Some gossips actually inferred that Napoleon the III was the issue of an illicit dalliance between Napoleon Bonaparte and his brother Louis's wife, Hortense, the daughter of Napoleon's first wife Josephine.

Napoleon the III had spent his early life as an exile in Austria, spent part of the time with his 'cousin', Napoleon Francis Charles Joseph, the son of Napoleon and his second wife Marie Louise Hapsburg. A young man whose early death and the restoration of the Bourbons would only bear the title Napoleon the II for nine days. Louis Napoleon returned to France and plotted the overthrow of the restored Bourbons. His plot discovered he was forced to flee to America to evade capture. He returned again to France, and was imprisoned for another attempted coup d'tat. After six years in the prison at the castle of Ham, he escaped to Britain, from where he plotted his return.

In 1848, when the tide of revolt swept across Europe, Louis Napoleon was performing a different duty. Fearful that the spark of upheaval might spread across the English Channel, upright men rushed to join the ranks of Special Constabulary of the Metropolitan Police to preserve the British Monarchy, numbered amongst them was Louis Napoleon, the future Emperor of France, born of a family which revolution had brought to the fore, he now did his bit to insure the status quo in Great Britain, by exercising his newly found civil authority. We know for a fact that he arrested at least one man for being drunk on London Bridge. But across the English Channel, Paris was in turmoil, a saviour was needed, and who better than a Bonaparte to save France at her time of need. Louis Napoleon answered the call, before 1848 had reached its bloody end - he was elected by the people of France as President of the Republic of France.

Within four years he proclaimed himself Emperor and announced the arrival of the Second Empire. In 1853, he married Eugenie de Montijo, the daughter of a penniless Spanish duke, whose origins were as equally clouded as his own. This new Napoleon would stand side-by-side with Britain and Turkey against Imperial Russia in the Crimean War, of 1854-55, and thus endear himself to Queen Victoria. Indeed the Queen on hearing that the Empress Eugenie was finally pregnant following a series of miscarriages, advised the Empress to stop riding, which she did and so gave birth to the Prince Imperial.

Within six hours of his birth Louis, or as he was affectionately called "Lou-Lou", was installed as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and within days his name was enrolled on the list of Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard, by the age of six he was promoted to the rank of corporal. He was a physically frail child, and so he in order that he might attain a martial resolve, his education was placed in the hands of General Froissard. Young Louis matured quickly, but he was not without an irrational side to his nature, a trait that many would blame on his so-called tainted Spanish blood.

In 1868, he would visit the cradle of the Bonaparte family, Corsica. However, other events lent a hand to the fate of the Second Empire. The disastrous French intervention in Mexico during the mid-1860's and the subsequent desertion of the Austrian Archduke, Maximilian, to his fate by a firing squad, had done little to for the reputation of Napoleon the III. In an attempt to regain his position and reassert the family name, Napoleon the III declared war against a confederation of German States, headed by Prussia, in July 1870.

The young Prince Imperial was just fourteen years of age when he accompanied his father to the front between Metz and Saarbrücken The Prince Imperial was dressed in the uniform of a sous-lieutenant of the Imperial Guard. The action of Saarbrücken was destined to be the only notable French victory of the entire campaign, and the young prince looked on as sixty thousand French troops put pay to a token force of one thousand Prussians. But it was his debut on the field of battle, the rightful place of anyone who bore the name of Bonaparte. Within weeks the Prussian defeat at Saarbrücken was avenged, the Prussian war-machine rolled relentlessly across France, the professional soldiers of the Prussian forces sweeping the ill-trained conscripts of the French army before them. Napoleon the III found himself besieged at Sedan, with his only option to surrender his forces to save any further loss of life. The Empress Eugenie was forced to flee in disguise from the capital city that her husband's vision had created; already groups were forming from the populace to defend their city. They would in time become the Communards, and suffer great deprivations as they struggled to defend their Commune. Sharing their Parisians' suffering were a number of British military officers who had volunteered their services as first aiders in a unit entitled the English Ambulance, among their number was a French educated officer whose regiment had recently been disbanded, his name was Jahleel Brenton Carey.

A small escort led the Prince Imperial from French soil across the Belgium frontier; he embarked from Ostende for Britain and exile. In England the Prince was reunited with his mother. The Empress rented a house named Camden Place in Chislehurst, Kent. When the Emperor was released from captivity in 1871; he was permitted to join his family in exile. The house became a court in exile, the then Prince of Wales becoming one of the first to be received the Imperial exiles. Her Majesty Queen Victoria pitied their plight, and she was very fond of her former brother-in-arms, but in the 1870's there were still those alive who remembered when the name Bonaparte was the scourge of Europe.

A decision had to be made as to the Prince's education that the events of the Franco-Prussian War had halted abruptly. He had the services of a personal tutor, one Augustin Filon, who suggested that he should embark on course of study at King's College, in the Strand. But the monotony of the academic surroundings proved too much for young Louis, and he only lasted one term. He longed for a military career in keeping with family traditions, but he was an imperial exile in a foreign land, what options were open to him? His mother came to his rescue, using her feminine charm she beguiled the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, the Duke of Cambridge, and obtained for her son the opportunity to attend the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, in south London, where gentlemen cadets of the Royal Engineers and the Royal Artillery were taught the art of war.

Louis entered the Academy in November of 1872, with respect to his studies he was hampered by imperfect knowledge of English, which lead to some moments of near comedy. The Prince also held some violently partisan views on the Academy's professor's rendition of the Battle of Waterloo. But at last he was happy with his lot, but his happiness was shattered in January of 1873, an aide appeared at the door of his classroom, the news was grave his father, Napoleon the III was dying. A carriage hurried Louis the few short miles from Woolwich to Chislehurst, but he arrived too late his father was already dead. Thousands of Frenchmen loyal to the Imperial cause crossed the Channel to pay homage to their former Emperor, who was laid to rest in a side chapel of Saint Mary's Church, Chislehurst. With his father's death they were many in France eager that Louis became the leader of the Bonapartist party, which despite all things still had a voice in the French parliament, but he declined, stating that if the French people elected him in a plebiscite he would return, however, he must first attain his majority as he was still only seventeen, and therefore could not even be considered. So he returned to Woolwich and to his studies.

He graduated in February 1875, he had come first in fencing and riding and seventh overall in a class of thirty-four cadets, he might have came fourth overall had he not been placed second in the French written examination. His thirty-three companions all received commissions into the British Army, Louis had to content with an honorary lieutenancy in the Royal Artillery, after Benjamin D'Israeli had intervened stating that an heir apparent to a foreign throne could not pledge allegiance to the British sovereign, especially if that heir bore the surname of the monster Bonaparte.

Back in France the Republican press mocked him, labelling 'Napoleon the Third and a Half' and 'the Imperial Baby'. Louis ignored the newspaper comments, and when his age group was due to be called for conscription, he submitted his name for the draft, rather suffer the possible disgrace of being declared an outlaw for draft-dodging. Needless to say the Republican Government did not call on his services, but his gesture had not gone unnoticed.

Louis was fast becoming very popular in the right circles in England. A romance blossomed with the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Beatrice. But he was restless - he yearned for action at least once before he settled into a life of privilege on one side of the other of the English Channel. If he had the chance he could prove himself to those who ridiculed, then he felt certain the French people would accept him back as their Emperor, how better for a Bonaparte to prove himself worthy than on the field of battle. In 1877 he volunteered his services to the Austro-Hungarian Kaiser Franz Josef, whose Balkan states where being used as a battlefield for the Russo-Turkish War. Perhaps in an act of atonement to the Austrian Emperor, over the unfortunate involvement of Napoleon III in the "Mexican Adventure", which had led to the death, by firing squad, of Franz Josef's brother, Arch Duke Maximillian, whilst serving as Emperor of Mexico. Franz Josef politely declined his offer.

At the beginning of 1879, there seemed to little in prospect save for possibility of his marriage to Beatrice. On the 11th February, 1879, grave news reached London, without the consent of the Home Government, His Majesty's Governor General of the Cape Colony and High Commissioner for South Africa, Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere had declared war on the independent tribal kingdom of KwaZulu, and three British columns had invaded KwaZulu from the British Colony of Natal on the 11th January. The military commission of the campaign had been placed in the hands of Lieutenant-General Lord Chelmsford, General Officer Commanding Southern Africa, who had recently brought to a successful conclusion the Ninth Cape Frontier War against the AmaXhosa people of the Transkei.

All had gone well to begin with the much-vaunted Zulu impis were defeated in initial skirmishing. However, on Wednesday the 22nd January 1879, Lord Chelmsford divided his main column, Number Three Column, taking with him towards the direction of the Zulu capital, oNdini, or Ulundi, almost two thousand men in an effort to flush out the main Zulu army, which consisted of some twenty-five thousand warriors. Chelmsford left behind him some one thousand, seven hundred British, colonial and loyal African soldiers at his transit camp in the shadow of a mountain named Isandlwana, which lay just seven miles, as the crow flies, from the Natal border and a place called Rorke's Drift. Whilst Lord Chelmsford was hunting for the Zulu army some ten miles off to the east, the Zulu impi was in fact encircling his force remaining at Isandlwana. One thousand, three hundred and twenty-nine troops perished at Isandlwana, less than one hundred white men survived the massacre. Fifty-five officers were amongst the dead, more officers died at Isandlwana than had died in the entire Waterloo campaign of 1815, and not until the horror of the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 would that toll be rivalled.

The news of the defeat brought forth a call for reinforcements, at least two of his former classmates from Woolwich were already in KwaZulu, Louis felt it his duty to volunteer. He pleaded with the Duke of Cambridge to go. He had valid public reasons - he wished to show his gratitude to Victoria, and to fight his first campaign for Britain. There were, of course, other reasons, private and urgent. A military record would endorse his claim to the French throne as nothing else could, but he could not seen for political reasons to side with Britain in any continental war, or either a campaign in the Indian sub-continent in case he caused offence. The AmaZulu presented themselves as the perfect foe, after all no Frenchman could possibly take umbrage at his fighting against a savage nation. Here was his opportunity to prove himself for the entire world to see. The Duke of Cambridge was willing to let Louis indulge, but D'Israeli 'had never heard of anything more injudicious'. Louis's little enterprise was stymied, until his mother entered the fray, the Empress Eugenie took up his cause with Queen Victoria, who obviously was not a disinterested party as for as Louis was concerned. Eugenie's motive must have been political the adventure could do no harm to Louis's credibility in France. Faced with the interference of two obstinate women as he referred to them D'Israeli relented, and with Cambridge's agreement Louis was to be permitted to go to the front as a "spectator" in a private capacity. Cambridge wrote in confidence to Lord Chelmsford stressing Louis's status, but warning the general to keep in check the Prince's spirited behaviour. The French on the hand were outraged. There was an obvious political divide - to the Bonapartist party he was already Napoleon the IV, whilst the Republicans feared him as a threat to their power, but still regarded him as a Frenchman. Now he was deserting his own people to risk his Imperial neck for the hated English in what was referred to at the time as "a petty dispute with some obstreperous blacks at the other end of the world". Louis assured his own party that his reasons were political, and he wished to gain experience and improve his knowledge of the art of war, some would say with a view to practising it on some of his fellow countrymen on his safe return.

On the 28th February 1879, he boarded the hired transport ship Danube at Southampton - he waved a fond farewell to his mother, the Empress, who collapsed as the ship left the harbour. Normally, any British ship bound for the Cape of Good Hope, would re-supply at Saint Helena, but the captain rather prudently excluded this port of call for his schedule, for fear of upsetting his Imperial passenger. The ship reached Cape Town on the twenty-sixth of March, and Louis paid his respects to Lady Frere at Government House. His voyage continued to D'Urban arriving on the evening of the thirty-first. Louis had by now donned the uniform of an officer in the Royal Artillery. He presented him to the Assistant Adjutant-General only to be informed that Lord Chelmsford was out on an expedition to relieve a besieged British column at a Mission Station at a place called Eshowe, close to the Indian Ocean coastline of KwaZulu. Louis impatiently waited for his Lordship's return.

Whilst in the appropriately named Royal Hotel, D'Urban, he happened to look outside and see a civilian riding by on grey BaSotho pony, Louis needed a horse as one of his had died during disembarkation and his other was ill. Louis sent his manservant Xavier Uhlmann out to see if the rider, Meyrick Bennett, would part with his mount, initially he declined the offer. Uhlmann pressed the matter, and identified who the intended purchaser was, at which Bennett relented. The horse was called Percy; Bennett warned that it was apt to be skittish.

Louis was taken ill with a fever, but he recovered before Lord Chelmsford returned to D'Urban, flush with the success of a victory over the Zulus at a place called Gingindlovu, which means the place of the elephant. Chelmsford invited Louis to be an extra aide de camp on his personal staff. Louis eventually made his way up country and on the 2nd of May 1879 at a camp named Khambula, he was reunited with two of his companions from Woolwich, Lieutenants Arthur Bigge and Frederick Slade.

Both these officers had fought in the action at Khambula, on 29th March, which had in fact proved the turning point in the campaign - Louis listened avidly as they recounted the battle, wondering when it would be his chance to see some action. Shortly after on the 8th May Chelmsford appointed Colonel Richard Harrison, Royal Engineers, as his Acting Quartermaster-General, despite his title Harrison's task was military intelligence, which to some would appear to be a contradiction in terms. Harrison's staff was limited, he had two officers, Brevet Major Francis Grenfell and Lieutenant Jahleel Carey, and one Lance Corporal, by the name of Martin. Chelmsford decided that a position on Harrison's staff would be an ideal billet for the Prince Imperial. Thereby permitting the General to stop being a royal tour guide, and get on with the matter in hand, defeat the Zulus.

Thus Louis was appointed to the colonel's staff. He very quickly found a soul mate in Carey. Thirty-one year old Carey was the son of a Devon vicar, who had been educated at the Lycee Imperial in Paris. As mentioned early, he had served as a first aid volunteer in the Franco-Prussian War. In addition he had previously seen active service in West Africa and Central America. Because of his Parisian education he affected certain French mannerisms, also well speaking the language with a marked Parisian accent.

Louis sought out some wounded Frenchmen who had been serving the volunteer irregular horse units, which had borne the brunt of the casualties at an action called Hlobane, which had been fought on 28th March. All the men he found were survivors from the Paris Commune, determined to seek a new life in southern Africa, now they found the lives again threatened by war. The French press were interested in Louis too, so much so that L'Figaro, sent a correspondent, Paul Deleage to follow his progress, Deleage made his own way to the British encampment, only to discover that the Prince Imperial had been permitted to be a first hand spectator and had embarked on a reconnaissance deeper into KwaZulu. Louis had been allowed, with Colonel Harrison's permission, to accompany a strong probing patrol, of some three hundred veteran volunteer horsemen, both European and African, to test the Zulu strength ahead of the line of march.

Louis was in his element - the opportunity for action had at last come to him. On the 16th of May, as Zulu scouts were spotted on the ridge of the Itelezi Hill, on sighting the patrol they melted back from sight. The reconnaissance commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers Buller V.C., turned to his imperial guest to

point out the stealth of the Zulu warriors, only to see Louis draw his sword, which was the same sword that his great-uncle had carried at Austerlitz, and galloped headlong in pursuit of the Zulus, thus jeopardising the purpose of the mission. Buller despatched troopers after the eager young man, who returned dejected he had not drawn blood. Buller asserted his authority over this spectator with extreme wrath - "Your Imperial Highness, this is a reconnaissance, not a Zulu hunt...- Under no circumstances will I permit such reckless action again. Do I make myself clear, Sir." Sheepishly, the young Bonaparte admitted his error. On his return to the British lines, Buller, brave, reckless Buller, who only weeks before had personally risked his own life to rescue, not once, but three times, unhorsed men from the very clutches of the Zulu, voiced his opinion to his own superior, and to Harrison of the Prince's behaviour.

Despite Buller's objections Louis was soon out again on patrol, this time with Captain William Molyneux, one of Lord Chelmsford's aide de camps. Molyneux asked Louis about his conduct during the previous patrol, enquiring if he thought that "by risking his life in order to grips with a few Zulus whose deaths, after all, would have made not the slightest difference to the outcome of the campaign." Louis replied, "You are right, I suppose, but I could not help it. I feel I must do something." As Louis spoke a shot rang out to their left, nothing was seen, save for a trooper calmly reloading his rifle and continuing with his pace. Molyneux concluded that the man had hit whatever he had been aiming at. Not so the Prince, who again drew his sword and rode at full tilt towards the trooper. Molyneux shouted, "Prince, I must order you to come back." Louis pulled up at once, and turned to face Molyneux, he saluted the officer with his sword, before returning it to its scabbard, then he let fly at the captain, "It seems I am never to be without a nurse."

Sullenly he returned to camp. On his arrival Colonel Henry Evelyn Wood, quipped to Louis, "Well Sir, I see you've not been assegaied yet." Louis replied, "Not yet, but while I have no desire to be killed, if I have to fall I should prefer an assegai to a bullet, for it would show that I had at least been at close quarters."

For his sins Louis was unofficially confined to camp, employed on the less than rigorous duty of drawing maps, a task which he seethed about, how could he accomplish his political purpose and re-establish the Napoleonic dynasty, armed only with mapping paper and a drawing pen?

On Sunday, 1st June, 1879, Harrison gave permitted Louis to verify some of the detail of his maps, by being allowed to traverse the ground in question, in order to select a spot for the camp to move on the following day. Jahleel Carey sought permission to accompany Louis, which was duly granted. Two non-commissioned officers, and four troopers of Captain Bettington's Troop of the Natal Horse furnished an escort. Six African troopers of Captain Shepstone's Native Horse were also assigned to parade at 9.15 a.m., but due to a mistake they reported to the wrong tent. A renegade Zulu was assigned as a guide. Eager to be about his task Louis left without waiting for the extra men to appear. Major Francis Grenfell fell in with the group and travelled with them in the direction of the Blood River, a little over twenty miles off to the east was Ulundi, the Zulu capital. Harrison who was on another mission in the same vicinity came upon the little party, he suggested that their numbers were insufficient, to which Louis replied, "Oh no, we are quite strong enough." Harrison could see other mounted units scouting on the nearby hills - he felt that there was no unnecessary reason to dispute the matter further. Harrison ordered Grenfell to return to camp with him, Grenfell turned in his saddle and said, "Take care of yourself, Prince, and don't get shot." The Prince, replied, pointing to Lieutenant Carey, "He'll take very good care that nothing happens to me."

For hours the small band went about their task, with Louis sketching the localities, seeking an appropriate campsite for several thousand men and their impedimenta. At 3p.m. despite Jahleel Carey verbal misgivings, the patrol rode into a Zulu umuzi, or kraal, close to the banks of the Ityoyozi River. The beehive huts were deserted, but betrayed signs of recent habitation. Louis gave orders for the men to off-saddle their mounts and allow them to be graze. Their Zulu guide was despatched to fetch water so that the white men could have some coffee. Louis lay down beside one of the huts and relaxed, he was in his element, free from the constraints of being made to obey orders, he was now giving orders. Carey and Louis mused over the victories of the 1st Napoleon in Italy in 1796; Louis's mind was obviously wandering towards his own future. The men relaxed over their coffee, and enjoyed a pipe, but no one had deemed it necessary to set a guard.

At 3.35 p.m. Carey suggested to Louis that they should saddle up, Louis replied, "Just another ten minutes." Almost simultaneously the Zulu guide reported that he had seen a lone Zulu on the rise above the kraal. The order was given to saddle-up, but some of the horses had strayed and it was a further ten minutes before all of them could be gathered and made ready. Jahleel Carey mounted independently to the others. The men stood by horses, with Louis facing them, he enquired of the other-ranks, "Are you all ready?" To which the men replied they were. Louis then gave the order "Prepare to mount", at which the men each put their left foot in the nearside stirrup - all were waiting for the Prince's next word of command. As the word "Mount" came from his lips it was drowned by a ragged volley of rifle fire from the surrounding bush, from which broke some forty or so Zulus, yelling their war cry, "Usuthu!" as they came. Trooper George Rogers's horse bolted with the din, stranding him on foot, he managed to load and fire his carbine before falling to a warrior's assegai. Carey and the others rode off towards the river, Trooper William Abel fell from his mount, and his flight stopped by a bullet from a captured British rifle. As for Louis, he struggled to mount his horse and in doing so his sword, Napoleon's sword from Austerlitz cluttered to the ground. His horse, that skittish grey, was dragging him along as he clutched to a saddle holster. He was passed at this point but Trooper Nicholas Le Tocq, a Guernsey man from Cobo Bay, Le Tocq was laying his stomach across the saddle of his galloping horse and could offer the prince no help, save for urging him in French to mount his horse. But fate intervened and the leather of the saddle holster tore, sending Louis crashing to the ground, injuring his right arm. Corporal Jim Grubb looked back to see Louis making off on foot pursued by seven Zulus. The fleet-of-foot warriors gained on their prey and Louis who had run some three hundred yards turned to meet his destiny. One warrior hurled an assegai, which struck the Prince in the thigh. Louis plucked the spear from his leg, and drew his pistol from which he fired two shots, neither of which find a mark despite the close range. Another warrior threw a spear, which entered his left shoulder, and eventually he slumped to his knees. The Zulus closed in on him and he died under a flurry of assegai blades.

With no chance to rally Carey and the others rode on, until they encountered Wood and his men, which takes us back to the beginning of our story. Due to the lateness of the hour, it was decided that it would have been futile to risk any further lives in the dwindling light of an African dusk. Carey and his men rode into camp that night and imparted their sorrowful news to General Lord Chelmsford. In the pre-dawn light of the following morning two regiments of regular British cavalry, several units of volunteer cavalry and a battalion of loyal African soldiers mustered to search for the Prince Imperial. The correspondent from the L'Figaro, Paul Deleage, his eyes filled with tears yelled his abuse and at the officers, with the words, "Yesterday the Prince left this camp with but seven companions. Today a thousand men will search for his body." The search party found his body, where he had died, stripped of all its clothing, the body bore seventeen spear wounds of which one of three could have proved fatal. The body was borne away, and amid great ceremony it was taken back through Natal, and eventually to England. Where an almost state funeral took place at Chislehurst.

Jahleel Carey was found guilty of cowardice by a court-martial convened hurriedly in the field, but so hurriedly was the court convened that no one had thought to swear the members of the court in. Due to this oversight Carey was acquitted and the sentence of the trial overturned.

One year later the Empress Eugenie visited the place of her son's death, and found it marked by a simple cross. Eugenie left Chislehurst, for Farnborough in Hampshire in 1881, and moved the bodies of her husband and son from Chislehurst to a mausoleum she had erected there. Only a simple Celtic cross remains at Chislehurst as a memorial to Louis. Eugenie, herself, lived until 1920, obviously haunted by thoughts of what may have been.

As I close my story I will leave you with some thoughts, ponder if you will if Louis had not died in KwaZulu, then it not inconceivable that he would have been restored by a plebiscite of the French people to his father's throne. Consider also that if he had married Queen Victoria's daughter, Beatrice, then the closest of alliances would have been formed between Great Britain and France, which would have pre-dated the Entente Cordiale by some twenty-five years. And maybe, just maybe, if such an alliance had existed then might not a bloodier, greater war have been avoided. The history of the twentieth century would have been vastly different then, had not cruel fate intervened.

© John Young 1994



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littlehand

littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: John Young Author.    John Young Author.  EmptyTue Aug 23, 2011 7:46 pm

Is anyone in contact with John Young. I would like to know how many photo's he has in his collection. He must have one of the biggest collections on the Zulu War.
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