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 supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga

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Neil Aspinshaw
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PostSubject: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 10:01 am

Hi all,



The QM of the 24th had refused to the DURNFORD's riders additional supplies of ammunition.

Had he (i.e the QM) the correct cartridges for the carbines / rifles of the DURNFORD's troopers?



Thanks



Regards



YMOB ("the froggie")
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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 10:39 am

Hi Ymob. Neil has covered this before. And yes wrong type of ammo. Durnford's supply was on the wagons he left behind.
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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 1:12 pm

24th wrote:
Hi Ymob. Neil has covered this before. And yes wrong type of ammo. Durnford's supply was on the wagons he left behind.



Hi "24th"



OK.

Sorry.

I will search Neil's answer.



Thanks



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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 1:50 pm

Ymob. Posted by Neill.

Search in: GENERAL DISCUSSION AREA Subject: " Hang it all, you don't want a requisition now, do you ? " Thu 19 Nov 2009 - 21:46

This is Neils Post

"The whole issue of ammunition distribution, with particular emphasis on the quatermasters has been blown out of all proportion, and it has been churned over again and again.

The ammunition supply was not a problem, and it has been made a scapegoat for tactical error. Essex clearly reported that ammuniton was being distributed in Mule carts to the line, standard practice. The 24th had been campaigning over africa for three years, and reserve supply was always at hand.

So where does the hoary old myth about not giving ammo to colonials? or turning away native troops as it belonged to a particular battalion.

Until Durfords retirement the line was hoding quite well, OK three companies had retired from the Telehane spur, after expending 30+ rounds, the Lt's and Captains on the line would know this and would have called for ammuniton to be called forward, well before anyone ran out. Essex comments about mule wagons re-enforces the theory.

So, why did Durnford have a problem?, two causes, one a minor irritation as they could not find the wagons, which were still at the back of the saddle, and by this time that area was being pressed, or possibly even overrun, as the wagon park would have beed pretty big and scattered. THE MAIN FACTOR in all of this was not that QTRMRs were not issuing ammuntion because they were not from the 24th, THEY SIMPLY DID NOT HAVE IT.

Durnfords Men were armed with two principal (possibly three) weapons, the .577 Snider Mk3 carbine, and the .45 Westley Richards Monkey tail with its self consuming paper cartridge. (also the Calisher and Terry .50) The 24th would have no reason to carry this calibre, why carry something you will never need, when you have a nightmare of logistics as it is.

The only colonials who might have become a little tetchy would have been the NMR, The N Carbs and NMP, with thier Swinburn Henry's, firing in .450/577 calibre, The MH carbine round did exist only since 15.7.1877, the round was a smaller load 70g RFG2 and a 420 grain (as opposed to 85g rfg2 and a 480g bullet in the MK3 rifle round) . However in an emergency the two were interchangeable. With the lack of carbines actually in service (by Sept 1878 only 25,000 had been made) the Swinburn would have fired the Mk111 rifle round. In reality the demise did not occur until the right flank collapse.

The camps despositon was such that OK, the 1st battalions wagons were to the right of the road, on the far right of the camp (HQ view), but the companies retired in relatively good order, and the time they held out ammo was not a problem until they were forced into remote groups, even then the battle still raged. I discussed this with Mike Snook, hopefully this Jan when we do the fugitives trail agian we'll chew the cud on this a bit more, but I cannot see how little bits of paper would pose an issue."

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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 2:36 pm

[quote="Admin"]Ymob. Posted by Neill.

Search in: GENERAL DISCUSSION AREA Subject: " Hang it all, you don't want a requisition now, do you ? " Thu 19 Nov 2009 - 21:46

This is Neils Post

..."Durnfords Men were armed with two principal (possibly three) weapons, the .577 Snider Mk3 carbine, and the .45 Westley Richards Monkey tail with its self consuming paper cartridge. (also the Calisher and Terry .50) The 24th would have no reason to carry this calibre, why carry something you will never need, when you have a nightmare of logistics as it is"....


Hi Admi,



Ok!



Thanks very much for the Neil's post.





But I don't understand why a group of the Edendale's troopers (i think Sgt KAMBULA) had asked to the "little boy" on the ammunition wagon (24th) to give them some cartridges?





Regard



YMOB (the "froggie")





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Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga Empty
PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 2:46 pm

I was thinking that maybe some of the N.N.H. men did have firearms for this calibre, being the Martini-Henry carbine possibly, as I remember reading they picked up loose cartridges from the ground, dropped during the issuing of them to others. They were at that time definitely low on ammo, but must have gained more in order to fight their way out and down Fugitives' Trail, where they assisted men on foot by firing at the warriors, including right down at the Fugitives' Drift. The Edendale troopers supplied a great deal of their own gear, but whether this allowed them to purchase the necessary calibred carbines, being the MH or other I don't know.
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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 5:27 pm

Further to this topic being "aired", I have been challenged on Durnfords men being issued Swinburns just prior to the war beginning, but evidence is scant and with no primary scources, I know Julian has joined the site, perhaps he can help, as I have stated before a Swinburn would cost around £3 per peice in 1877, with

Fact is that bullet head evidence from the battlefield (and this is concrete evidence) is that someone was firing MkV1 and MkV111 Snider ammunution, why? because the bullet heads give the evidence. MkV1 had a boxwood nose which rots but leaves a tell tale cavity in the nose, Likewise the MkV111 round has a spun over bullet, but what makes the Snider bullet so unique from a cast .577 P53 bullet is the Snider has a clay plug in the base, which is rammed forward into the hollow base cavity on firing to open out the bullet and pick up the rifling.

MH IC1 carbines in the opening stages of the war is not feasible, Even in August 1878 parliament was presented with the Army supply estimate that only 18,000 Martini carbines were in store, rising to 30,000 by the end of the year, the first issue I have documented was to the 9th lancers in Afghanistan in Dec 1878, this was a war the Govt new about, and supply of first class arms would go to frontline Cavalry the far more needy. In Aug 1877 169,000 Sniders were in store with 310,000 in the hands of Volunteers.
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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 5:57 pm

Is there not the N.N.H. Sgt. Major's account that it was he who found and spoke to the young 24th boy at the ammunition wagon who refused him ammo, not actually Quartermaster Pullen ? Obviously. there will be evidence of Snider usage, but were these the only bullet heads found on the right flank during the N.N.H. retreat as well as in front of the donga ? When were these bullet heads found ? Did the white N.N.H. officers not carry carbines or rifles as well as their revolvers ? Also, though not mentioned often, were the 30 Mounted Infantry not with the Colonials, the former using MH rifles ? Not all MH bullet heads would then have been associated with the 24th companies. More than this, the N.N.H. were the favourite units of their commanding officer, so could he not have acquired some same calibred firearms as the MH for a few chosen men, albeit not actual MHs ? It was possible to purchase several other types of firearm privately, so the Edendale men who were apparently living fairly successful lives, could have purchased them themselves. Although there are no primary sources for the issuing of Swinburnes to Durnford's men, that does not mean to say that he hadn't managed to acquire them for some of his mounted men. Having no related primary sources does not merit the immediate conclusion that it did not happen.
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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 10:10 pm

Quote :
Is there not the N.N.H. Sgt. Major's account that it was he who found and spoke to the young 24th boy at the ammunition wagon who refused him ammo

Fiction. There were no young boys of the 24th at Isandlwana.
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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 10:38 pm

Chelmsford the Scapegoat,



Quote :
Fiction. There were no young boys of the 24th at Isandlwana.



I beg to differ from the Casualty List of Isandlwana: 1st/24th Boy Thomas J. Harrington & Boy Robert Richards; 2nd/24th Boy Daniel Gordon, Boy James Gurney (Both 16 years of age on the day of their deaths) & Boy Joseph S. McEwan (15 years of age on the day of his death).



I think of youths of 15 & 16 years of age as being 'Boys' so please explain where's the fiction?



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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyMon Sep 19, 2011 11:15 pm

The Rev Owen Watkins wrote as follows:
Quote:

'He addressed them and told them their lives depended on obedience
and keeping together, and that any man who strayed from the ranks was
doomed. If it was God's will and they would obey, he would bring them
through into Natal. They pledged their word to abide together with him
that day for life or death. But he must, if possible, get ammunition.
He saw an ammunition wagon, and noticed the Zulus were too busy in the
tents to bother about this wagon. He rode up with his men, and found
no one there but a little drummer boy who sat on top of the wagon and
said he was in charge. Simeon asked him to give him and his men a
packet of cartridges each, just to help them defend themselves. But
the little boy informed them that this ammunition belonged to the 24th
Regiment, and as long as he was in charge no one else should have any
of it. He felt the boy was obeying orders, and respected him. Then he
saw there was a loose lot of cartridges lying in the grass around the
wagon. Men who had come for cartridges were in such haste to fill
their belts that they dropped many on the ground. So Simeon and his
men each picked up a few and put them into their belts.

Simeon's heart went out to the boy who was sticking to his post of
duty. He told him the battle was lost, the camp was in the hands of
the enemy, the fighting all over, and, indeed, his was the only body
of men holding together. He begged the boy to leave the wagon, and he
would take him in front of the saddle, and as long as he had life he
would defend him. The boy was surprised and hurt that anyone could
think he would desert his post. His officer had placed him there, and
no one should move him out while he had life. With a very sad heart
Simeon had to leave him there. Brave young soul! I salute thee, for it
is souls like thine, which have won the Empire"!
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Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga Empty
PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyTue Sep 20, 2011 9:00 am

Hi all,



Book: "Isandlwana 1879 - Battle Story" by Edmund YORKE /ed. Sword 2011



P. 135: "A new ammunition supply theory"



"A recent fascinating theory in relation to the ammunition controversy at Isandlwana has thrown fresh light on this still contentious area. Recently, distinguished military historian colonel Ian Bennet (RLC retired) discovered that MH rifle and carbine cartridges were not strictly cmpatible. This suggested to him another reason why at Isandlwana, QM of the 24th Foot refused to issued ammunition to men of the NNH who were armed with Swinburne-Henry carbines (...) Rifles cartridges fired from a carbine, he (I. BENNET) signicantly observes, caused greater recoil, very liable to jam, and fell eleven inches lower in trajectory" (...)



So, its not impossible "to fire" MH cartridges with Swinburne-Henry carbine.



Regard



YMOB (the "froggie"
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Neil Aspinshaw

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Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga Empty
PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyTue Sep 20, 2011 9:36 am

Ian Bennet is incorrect. There was three patterns of ammunition available circa 1879.

The Mk1 Rifle round, distinguishable by a single base cup and single cannelure 480 grain bullet. 85 grains RFG2 (supplies had been discontinued by 1874 but were not declared obsolete and broken up for blank until 1883)

The Mk3 the common Rifle round, three base cups, twin bullet canelure 480 grain bullet 85 grains RFG2

The Mk3 Carbine round was introduced in Nov 1877 to co-incide with the proposed IC1 Martini Henry Carbine, (in the evnet the egg did come before the chicken, as the IC1 was still overcoming its supply problems, ), the carbine round was dimensionally the same at the Mk1 & 3 rifle, with the exception of a smaller 410 grain bullet, a 70 grain powder load and a paper lining inside the cartridge to reduce the air space quote the LOC "the rounds are designed to be interchangeable in an emergency". The round was designed to reduce recoil.

The Chamber on a Swinburn, a MH rifle or IC1 carbines are also dimensionally identical.


As I have written before the extraction on a Swinburn is POOR, compared to the Martini, the extractor slides above the trigger sear, worked by the lever. A martini acts directly on anlged extraxctor by the falling block in stronger lever action. How do I know they both shoot the same?... because I own a Natal Issue 1877 Swinburn Henry which I shoot with both a low 70 grain and 85 grain rifle load, it DOES NOT make any difference in the shooting, it justs gives you a bit more of a bang, but its VERY accurate.

At range say 500 -600 yards the sighting will become out, as the rifle rounds inertia will be greater, but to be honest 500 yrads for a carbine is pushing the boat out.
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyTue Sep 20, 2011 10:34 am

Hi Mister Aspinshaw,



Very interesting account by a specialist.



The question is: Did the edendale's men were armed with Swinburn carbines?



It seems to no ("i have been challenged on Durnford's men being issued Swinburne just prior the war beginning, but evidence is scand and with no primary sources").



The mystery lives (story of Simeon Kambula and the little boy of the ammunition's wagon).



regard



YMOB
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90th

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PostSubject: supplies of ammo - Isand - D'ford's Donga .   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyTue Sep 20, 2011 11:11 am

Hi CTSG.
The boy on the wagon isnt fiction , its well documented that he was asked or given the chance to flee with the Colonials
but he didnt wish to leave his post ( The Wagon ) . Kwajimu has also listed the '' Boys '' who certainly werent ficticious
as they all appear on the casualty roll . Idea
cheers 90th.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyTue Sep 20, 2011 12:34 pm

Who is "The Rev Owen Watkins" Idea
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyTue Sep 20, 2011 2:03 pm

[quote=The mystery lives (story of Simeon Kambula and the little boy of the ammunition's wagon).

I think the Simeon Kambula's story is true.

"Mystery" because the QM (24th) did not had ammunition for the Snider carbine of the Edendale troops.



Ymob
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyTue Sep 20, 2011 2:22 pm

YMOB

There is conflicting evidence, In the South African military history society journal Vol 7 No 6 1988 a thesis on Kambula by Dr F K Mitchell does write that the Edendale men were re-equipped with Swinburns, if so, it would chamber the conventional Mk3 577/450 military cartridge but I am looking for hard evidence they did, not supposition.

If they did, then the 24th's QMr would have had rounds, no doubt. Please bare in ming the Swinburn exisited since 1872 when JF Swinburn patented the action, a full five years before the carbine round existed, it was designed to accept the standard cartridge of the day.
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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyTue Sep 20, 2011 3:06 pm

quote="Neil Aspinshaw"]YMOB


(...)"...that the Edendale men were re-equipped with Swinburns, if so, it would chamber the conventional Mk3 577/450 military cartridge"(...).

Hi Neil Aspinshaw!


Wonderful!

Tank you very much.

Regard



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kwajimu1879

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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyTue Sep 20, 2011 4:54 pm

24th,

In answer to your question the Reverend Owen Watkins was the Methodist Minister of the Edendale Wesleyan Methodist Mission. He would later move into the Transvaal and establish educational missions, and later still he was involved with spreading the Gospel north of the Limpopo River, in what is now Zimbabwe.

kwaJimu1879
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga   Durnford - supplies of ammunition - Isandlwana - DURNFORD's donga EmptyTue Sep 20, 2011 5:31 pm

Thanks Jim. I will have to look him up. Idea First time I have heard him.
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