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Film Zulu quote: Reverend Otto Witt: One thousand British soldiers have been massacred. While I stood here talking peace, a war has started.
 
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 Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.

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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Posts : 2583
Join date : 2009-04-24

Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  Empty
PostSubject: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyMon Jun 13, 2011 10:54 pm

Looking over Col: Durnford's military career. I not sure he would have made an officer if it wasn't for the fact he purchased his commission. He had all the qualities that an officer shouldn't have. But I guess back them money talked louder than it doe,s to day.

Quote :
Durnford spent six years at Devonport and Dublin on routine garrison duties. In 1871 he received a posting to South Africa.

Not really active service.

Quote :
Durnford volunteered for service in the Crimean War but was not accepted.
Anyone know why he was rejected.
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Chard1879

Chard1879

Posts : 1261
Join date : 2010-04-12

Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyMon Jun 13, 2011 11:16 pm

You make a fair point. It always bothered me as to why he was given the position he did, when it was common knowledge that he had quite a friendship with the Zulu's. It's also cross my mind that he might have known that the Zulu's were positioned in the Valley before hand, thus why he was keen to leave Isandlwana. But left it to late.


Quote:
Durnford volunteered for service in the Crimean War but was not accepted.

I do believe he had a drink problem.
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ciroferrara

ciroferrara

Posts : 224
Join date : 2010-10-07
Age : 29
Location : exeter

Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyMon Jun 13, 2011 11:43 pm

and i beleive he also had a serious problem with gambling
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24th

24th

Posts : 1851
Join date : 2009-03-25

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PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyTue Jun 14, 2011 12:01 am

Did He not have an affair behind his wife's back, which in those days was not the done thing.
However would he have not been the right man to have on one's side, He knew he ways of the Zulu.
As for knowing the Zulu Impi was already there. Well he just might as well have dragged his hills missing Isandlwana altogether.

And he didn't fair to well at Bushmans Pass.
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ciroferrara

ciroferrara

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Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyTue Jun 14, 2011 12:04 am

i think it was his wife who had the affair.. durnford also seems to have suffered from depression after losing a number of children and theres an indication he may of blamed his wife for their premature deaths
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7591
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Age : 73
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyTue Jun 14, 2011 7:53 am

Chard 1879
Thats a really scurilous accusation, I hope you can back it with some source material?

Put Durnford into perspective. He was a Royal Engineer, not a sabre regiment. He did what he did best when it came to the land dispute question, he employed his skills correctly and reached what in history has shown to be the correct decision. In being involved with this land commision and Cetswayo's 'crowning' he would have had a lot of contact with the Zulu. As would a lot of other Natal dignatories, Shepstone etc.
Its a massive leap from that sort of background to being a Traitor, and thats what you are effectivly accusing him of.

Its probable he should have remained as an engineer instead of commanding an armed force, Bushmans Pass amplified that. Its therefore more than obvious that he was appointed eroneously to command a fighting column. Blame whoever appointed him for poor staffing skills, and probanly man management skills.

In terms of condemnation because of his purchase of a commision, then condemn the British Army commision class in total, and the system that allowed it.

Regards
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Mr Greaves

Mr Greaves

Posts : 748
Join date : 2009-10-18

Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyTue Jun 14, 2011 8:10 am

But there are a lot of cases, where officers have only became officers because of purchase and friends in high places. It doe's seem odd that he spent 6 years stuck in one place. Could this personal issue with his wife have become a serious problem for his immediate familey. A word in the right ear could have had him posted out of harms way.

Might be worth looking at high status connections in the Durnford clan.
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kwajimu1879

kwajimu1879

Posts : 420
Join date : 2011-05-14

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PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyTue Jun 14, 2011 10:59 am

Going back to the original question, could someone please tell me which rank Anthony William Durnford obtained by purchase?

I've just looked at Hart's Army List for 1879, and not one of Brevet Colonel Durnford's commissions were made by purchase.

Did Durnford have friends in high places? Of course he did, his father held the rank of General.

As to the relationship with his wife, they had parted company long before he went to South Africa. The London Gazette of 13th May 1879, shows his address as 'No. 7, Molesworth-terrace, Stoke Devonport, in the county of Devon' and the address of 'Frances Elizabeth Maria Durnford, of No. 21, Tavistock-crescent, Westbourne Park, in the county of Middlesex.'

kwaJimu1879
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1879graves

1879graves

Posts : 3053
Join date : 2009-03-03
Location : Devon

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PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyTue Jun 14, 2011 7:23 pm

Hi All

I have to agree with kwajimu1879 with regards to his question.
Quote :
Going back to the original question, could someone please tell me which rank Anthony William Durnford obtained by purchase?

The London Gazette does state by purchase if they purchased a commission. Please see below, no mention of a purchase.

These are from the London Gazette

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This is from The London Gazette of 13th May 1879, pointed out by kwajimu1879

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ADMIN

ADMIN

Posts : 3953
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Age : 61
Location : KENT

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PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyTue Jun 14, 2011 9:04 pm

Some information on Durnford.

Colonel Anthony William Durnford was born in Ireland in 1830. He was a brave man who would earn his celebrity in the final moments of his life, fighting bravely, as a valiant soldier, in a battle that was one of the biggest disasters in British military history.

As a 12 year old boy he left Ireland to grow up with his uncle in Dusseldorf Germany, but as a young man he came to England and enlisted in the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, London. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1848.

He was stationed overseas in Ceylon, but tried to get transferred away during the start of the war in Crimea against imperial Russia. He wanted to see action. He was not accepted for this and was disappointed to miss the campaign. While in Ceylon he also got married. 

He was then sent to Malta for a few years and had three children by his wife. Sadly, the first - a boy, died in infancy. The second - a daughter survived, but the third - another daughter, also died in infancy. This was a traumatic time for Anthony William Durnford and his wife. They separated after this and, for a while, he was stationed in Gibraltar, before returning to England.


Colonel Durnford depicted with paralysed arm in jacket
He was then sent to South Africa in 1872 and stationed at a place called Pietermartizburg. He was now 42 and may have thought his army career had been uneventful on the action side of things.

In South Africa his first chance came and he took part in his first action when he was caught in a skirmish with  an African tribe called the Hlubis at Bushman's River. He fought bravely and took two stab wounds during the fight. He managed to kill two assailants with his pistol but one of his wounds left his lower left arm paralysed from the elbow down. He had no use of his left hand after this and would ride with his native horsemen (The Natal Native Horse) keeping his redundant hand inside his jacket similar to the way Napoleon sometimes did.

Colonel Durnford was very popular among his fellow horse contingents and was regarded affectionately as a larger then life character - a commanding Irishman with a confident presence. He moulded his Natal Native Horseman in to fine riders and very competent men.

In 1879, Colonel Durnford and his men were used in Lord Chelmsford's invasion of the Zulu's land when Britain declared war upon the Zulu King Cetshwayo. The mission was to be a disaster. A large force of the British army encountered the Zulu warriors at a place called Isandlwana. A huge battle took place between over 23,000 Zulus against 858 British troops and 471 native soldiers. All but 55 of the Britain's troops were wiped out during this battle.

During the desperate struggle, Colonel Durnford and his men rode out and tried to hold the left horn of the flanking Zulu army and put up a very fierce resistance faltering the enemy until his men ran out of cartridges. They then had to remount and return to the main camp where the Redcoat British foot soldiers were being over run by the Zulu forces.

Colonel Durnford and his last remaining men put up a last stand as they ran headlong into the Zulus. They were overcome and killed - falling alongside the other soldiers of the British army. Of the 55 soldiers who did manage to escape across the Buffalo river; a few were NNH soldiers."


Colonel Anthony William Durnford
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Posts : 2583
Join date : 2009-04-24

Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyTue Jun 14, 2011 9:52 pm

Why on earth do some members find it necessary to defend Durnford as soon as his name is posted on the forum. He may have started as a good soldier but it didn't last when he joined forces with Mr Drinky Poker.
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ADMIN

ADMIN

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Location : KENT

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PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyTue Jun 14, 2011 10:34 pm

CTSG. Please stay on topic. Un-necessary comment.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7591
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Age : 73
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyWed Jun 15, 2011 7:42 am

CTSG
That may just possibly be because of your almost obsesive dispariging referals of Durnford through misinformation and incorrect statements.

Regards
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keith4698



Posts : 36
Join date : 2009-09-29

Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyWed Jun 15, 2011 8:19 am

I think you might find you could not purchase a commission in the Royal Engineers
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kwajimu1879

kwajimu1879

Posts : 420
Join date : 2011-05-14

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PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyWed Jun 15, 2011 8:37 am

Keith4698,

I believe you are correct.

Graves1879,

Given Durnford's place of abode you might add him to your Devon connection.

Chelmsford the Scapegoat,

If you feel the purchase system produced poor officers, perhaps you should go the London Gazette website and look to see how many of the commissions of Frederic Augustus Thesiger were made by purchase, especially when he was in the Grenadier Guards.

Just a thought.

kwaJimu1879
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90th

90th

Posts : 10137
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Age : 64
Location : Melbourne, Australia

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PostSubject: Purchasing a commission Col Durnford.   Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyWed Jun 15, 2011 12:15 pm

Hi ctsg.
I'm not sticking up for Durnford here but merely stating the facts , I cant find anywhere that says he purchased his commission.
The following is from 'Zululand At War ' by Sonia Clarke .. Page 21 ,,,,,,,As long as an officer was a gentleman , it did not matter
to many of his contemporaries that he lacked professional training ; In the late 19th century the best trained british soldiers were
the artilleryman and Engineers . Appointment to cadetships at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich was determined , as early
as 1855 by examination . Subjects studied included gun design , hydraulics , drafting and advanced mathematics . However it was
rare for artillery or engineers officers to be given important staff or command appointments because other officers despised their
expertise .
cheers 90th. Idea
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Posts : 2583
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PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyWed Jun 15, 2011 12:58 pm

Okay. Then I take we agreed it was down to having father's friends in high places that got him to where he ended up. He would not have been selected for the position on his own merit.
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kwajimu1879

kwajimu1879

Posts : 420
Join date : 2011-05-14

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PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyWed Jun 15, 2011 2:56 pm

Chelmsford the Scapegoat,

Who are you referring to Thesiger, the son of the Lord Chancellor or Durnford who already reached the rank of Major prior to his father attaining the rank of rank of Major General?

kwaJimu1879
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ADMIN

ADMIN

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Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.    Purchasing a commission. Col: Durnford.  EmptyWed Jun 15, 2011 7:41 pm

This topic is going nowhere.

Locked.
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