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» About the second invasion
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» Zulu Festival Brecon July 2024
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» Letter of officer during Zulu wars.
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» Bearing The Cross by Ken Blakeson | BBC RADIO DRAMA: Ken Blakeson's play tells the story of the Battle of Rorke's Drift and the effect it had on three of the soldiers who fought in it.
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» A few questions regarding Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana
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 S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard

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littlehand

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PostSubject: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyWed Jul 27, 2011 11:21 pm

1879 Zulu War Medal. Named to S.SMITH he was a member of the Buffalo Border Guard. This was the home defence unit for the town of Dundee in Northern Natal. They were only some 20(25kms) miles from the battle site and small in numbers. Their full strength was only 30 or, 32 men and out of these only 24 received the 1879 bar - showing that they were present for the fighting. The others were guards in Dundee. They were an irregular cavalry unit and wore a black uniform with the pith helmet of the time. Trooper Smith is shown on the roll.

They were present at Isandhlawana on the 21st. and the small Force was split - about 10 remaining at the battle site and the others accompanying Gen. Chelmsford and his scouting group as far as the Mangeni Falls - about 20 kms. (15 miles) across the plain. During the Battle three members of the Buffalo Border Guard were killed.

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Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyThu Jul 28, 2011 7:53 am

Since acquiring Trooper Smith's medal a few months ago, I have tried, largely unsuccessfully, to find out more about the man. The 'Natal Almanac and Register' of 1879 records him as:
"Smith, Sianey, wagonmaker, Longfontein, Helpmekaar".

"Sianey" is likely to be an incorrect spelling. In Terry Sole's recently published book on Colonials in the Zulu War, Smith is recorded as "Stanley". However, there is another opinion that has his forename as "Sydney".

Since Smith's medal surfaced with medals awarded to a 'Guttridge' from an extant member of the Guttridge family, there was clearly a strong link between the two families. The 1879 Natal Almanac includes the following listing:
"Gutridge (sic), Benjamin, blacksmith, Longfontein, Helpmekaar".

I have assumed that Stanley (or Sydney) Smith and Benjamin Guttridge were business partners, perhaps with offspring who intermarried, hence the later ownership of Smith's medal by a Guttridge descendent.

A nominal roll of the Buffalo Border Guard on another forum listed the following Guttridges:
Sergeant Jack Guttridge and Trooper Benjamin Guttridge

Sole's book gives the forenames of both these men as "John", with the Trooper John (or is it Benjamin?) as the man killed during the Battle of Isandlwana.

I would be interested in knowing if anyone reading this post can shed more light on the Smiths and Guttridges of the Buffalo Border Guard.

Regards
Brett

PS My interest in the Buffalo Border Guard stems from the fact that a distant relative, Trooper Charles Lennox Stretch, was an Isandlwana survivor. I mention this here because Sole has recorded this man as "Charles St Leger Stretch". So, there is another difference in forenames.
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90th

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PostSubject: S.Smith. Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyThu Jul 28, 2011 8:46 am

Hi Brett.
Fairly certain you have Laband's book on the Buffalo Border Guard ? , I'm not sure if he was the sole author , if not
Apologies to whom it may concern . This may help , unfortunately I dont own a copy as yet so not sure if it will help you ?.
cheers 90th. Idea
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Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyThu Jul 28, 2011 2:07 pm

90th

Thank you for replying. I think the book you referred to is 'The Buffalo Border' by Laband, Thompson & Henderson, which was published in 1983.

It is a very useful book and it deals in some detail with the more prominent residents of this part of Natal, but lesser personalities such as Trooper Smith do not feature.

Regards
Brett
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyFri Jul 03, 2020 11:30 am

Brett
Two points i hope might help:
Sianey is more likely to be Sidney rather than Sydney or Stanley. My father-in-law's middle name was Sidney and in examining his service records i find that several times his name is typed Sianey. D and A are just a key apart from each other on the QWERTY keyboard and it's an easy slip of the finger to make.
In looking at the records I find it tends to be GUTRIDGE with a single t which is most common and most 'official'. The two t version occurs more often in letters and accounts.
Sergt. Gutridge found his brother's body at Isandhlwana on the 22nd and covered it with tent canvas.
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Brett Hendey

Brett Hendey


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PostSubject: Re: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyFri Jul 03, 2020 2:43 pm

Julian
That is a most useful response! Many thanks. The medal is now in a new home in England, and I will pass your information on to the owner.
Kind regards
Brett
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyMon Jul 06, 2020 1:48 pm

Brett
It was Trpr. Benjamin Gutridge that was killed. Sergt. Jack Gutridge was out with Chelmsford. His safety was confirmed by MacPhail who met his wife in Dundee.
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ggutridge




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PostSubject: Re: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyWed Mar 16, 2022 1:13 am

Hi Brett
I had found a note from my mother (info came from my father) saying that my Paternal-Great-Grandfather John (Jack) Gutridge had a medal from the Zulu War. I was searching these details when I came upon this website & this topic.
I was also interested in the S.Smith which you refer to, but again I have not been able to find the connection. From Sheilagh Spencer's research I have information that Benjamin Gutridge was at Longfontein Helpmekaar working as a Blacksmith. He died in 1879 (Isandhlwana) & as far I know did not marry or have children. John Gutridge was also a Blacksmith for his working life in Dundee (died in 1913). John Gutridge married Mary Ann Smith who was Peter Smith's niece (one of the founders of Dundee) & Lieutenant William Craighead Smith's cousin so this is my Smith/Gutridge connection but not what you were after. None of Peter Smith's other children were called 'Sidney/Stanley/Sydney' & they would have been contemporaries. His brother Thomas Smith that also settled in the Dundee area had no children.
My search also brought up the fact that the 1879 medal of Sergeant Jack Gutridge was sold at a Barnebys Auction in 2019.
Regards
Gillian
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyWed Mar 16, 2022 9:25 am

Smith is a very common name. There doesn't have to be a connexion with the Lieut. Smith. It could just be coincidence.
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ggutridge




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PostSubject: Re: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyThu Mar 24, 2022 9:19 am

I understand that - I was ruling out a Smith/Gutridge connection that I am aware of. Especially as the Peter Smith family was prominent in the Dundee area.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptyThu Mar 24, 2022 9:21 am

From the research I've done on the Smiths of Dundee, I totally agree with you.
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Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: S.SMITH Buffalo Border Guard   S.SMITH  Buffalo Border Guard EmptySat Mar 26, 2022 7:47 am

Hi Gillian & Julian

Thank you both for your contributions to this thread. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the local Gutridge family member who sold family medals, together with the S Smith Zulu War medal, to a now deceased militaria dealer in Umhlanga near Durban in 2011. I hurried to secure Smith's medal, while the others were destined for a medal collector/dealer in England, who presumably sold on those he acquired.

Sidney Smith's medal is now treasured by a new temporary custodian in England.

Regards
Brett
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