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 Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP

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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptySun Nov 06, 2011 4:47 pm

What follows below in the transcript of a diary entry by a participant may help put some events in perspective on that fateful day, 22 january 1879 ;;

...never in my whole life was I so thankful for daylight, as this morning.
At about 6am we met Chelmsford with some Mounted Infantry, guns and Infantry ( 2-24th) and we were ordered to get between the enemy, seen yesterday, and Matanyana's stronghlold. We accomplished this without seeing the enemy and at 11am had dismounted to blow the horses a bit, when firing commenced . We mounted and galloped to the scene but found only a few Zulus running up a high mountain and on them we opened fire.

The Carbineers, who had been in advance of us, were skirmising along the top of the hill and drove the Zulus down into some caves where about 60 of them were killed. We offsaddled shortly but were not allowed much rest for news arrived that the Camp had been attacked and we were ordered to retire with the Infantry and some N.N.C to bivouac at the foot of the ] Isipisi mountain , where our next camp was to be formed.] .

After offsaddling , Lord Chelmsford with the volunteers went off towards Isandlawana but before going he promised to send food out to us and bring on the camp the next day (23rd).

In less than half an hour Major Gossett, ADC, galloped up and ordered us to retire on the camp at once and I was heartily glad to hear that there was some prospect of getting some food tonight . We shortly caught up with the 4 guns of no 5 R.A. and then learned that the camp had been attacked by dense masses of the enemy.

We immediately offered to gallop on with the guns and attack the enemy in the rear and it is possible that if this scheme had been carried out , we might have saved the camp , but the General would not allow us to leave the Infantry who were very tired having marched 40 miles since 3am, with great coats and 70 rounds of ammunition each..

Col Lonsdale NNC met us soon afterwards and reported that he had tried to enter the camp but it was occupied by Zulus. Having learned the worst , the General formed us up and told us to retake the camp at the point of the bayonet. When we arrived within two miles of the camp it went suddenly dark ( an eclipse) and I feared something dreadful would happen.

The column then halted and the silence that reinged was awful.

We could hear the orders being given to load the guns of the 5th Bat, R.A. in our column and 4 rounds were fired into the camp to scare the enemy away. At this time we were in half sections on the left flank of the Column and then even numbers were dismounted in order to repel any attack.... END OF TRANSCRIPTION

More to follow shortly.

barry


Last edited by barry on Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Daily transcripts from Tpr Clarke's diary   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Nov 09, 2011 5:50 pm

22nd Janury 1879, Pm, continued ;

.... the enemy away.

At this time we were in half sections on the left flank of the column and then even numbers were dismounted in order to repel any attack that might be made on that side.

Strict orders were given to remaim silent but I had to make sure of my half section companion, Tpr Day, and I kept calling him in a low tone of voice for fear he should bolt with my horse in the event of an attack.

The 24th then advanced with the bayonet and after firing three volleys charged the nek and seized the kopje on the left. The N.N.C. hearing the firing , imagined we had been attacked , and in their state of fear, commenced blazing away at an imaginary foe. The bullets whistled harmlessly over our heads, but no one was hurt.

The darkness was now so intense that I fell into several holes, in one of them there being several dead bodies- of Zulus, I presume. Finding myself among the bodies nearly drove me mad and I would have given anything to be back in Natal and out of this mess.

The bodies were now so thick that we were constantly falling over them and our ambulance wagon delayed our progress considerably because the mules shied at the sight of the dead and the wheels kept running over them.
The gunners of the R.A. had to pull the dead bodies out of the road to enable the guns to advance.
At last we reached the nek and the order was given to keep the horses saddled and bridled all night and every man was to remain on the alert.

I was sent to mind a ring of horses and to my disgust I found several bodies of the dead 24th troopers in the ring.
Biscuits were found but no one could eat at such a time and tired as I was , I dare not go to sleep. I found a portion of a tent and lay down alonside the body of a 24th man, with 5 badges but he was so cut open ( disembowled) with an asegai, and the sight was anything but pleasant .

Shortly after midnight we had a false alarm through the Native Contingent getting scared by a white dog running through their lines, but no one was hurt though several rounds of ammunition were fired away. As I had been on the patrol without spurs I made an attempt to find the place where my tent had been but met our Major and was promptly ordered back to my place.

to be continued
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Third transcipt from Tpr Clarke;s diary, January 23/01/1879   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptySat Nov 12, 2011 5:48 pm

Transcription starts ;

....I arrived at the conclusion this morning that active service was a delusion and a snare, and I mentally resolved that I would not again ever volunteer my services; but ours had been an usually disasterous campaign and the surroundings at dawn this morning were horrible . About 800 white men were lying dead around me and nearly all disembowled and trouserless and were sans boots and thus some were quite naked. It was especially sad to see our own comrades had been treated in this manner too.

As soon as it was sufficiently light the General ordered our retirement to Rorkes Drift , leaving Mr Mansel's squadron of NMP as rear guard. Consequently we were the last to move off the Isandlwana battle ground and had a better view of the damage in daylight .

Tents had been burned wagons driven into donga's (ditchs) , oxen and horses killed and the whole place was strewn with kit of different kinds. One ox had been left alive but tied up to a wagon and for some unexplained reason Mansel would not let us cut it loose but it was rather left to starve to death !.

Fully expecting that we should be attacked whilst on the way to Rorkes Drift , I dismounted to take a pair of spurs from from the dead body of trooper Stimson NMP, but was reprimanded by by Mr Mansel for robbing the dead ?, and ordered to mount again , so that if we had been attacked I would have a poor chance of escaping as our horses were very tired. We marched off at last and remained about 800 yards to the rear of the column which had to cross a nasty spruit ( stream) about a mile from the nek.

We had just crossed the spruit when heavy firing commenced in front, but as the column did not halt , we could not imagine what had caused the commotion , until we saw about 10 or 12 Kafirs of the N.N.C leave the ranks and run up a slope with assegais in their hands. It appears that one Zulu, drunk or mad had sat on the nearby hillside and fired into our column of over 2000 men, but the plucky (??) N.N.C. soon despatched him - some of them throwing their assegais at him long after he was dead .

At the top of the Bashee Valley we saw the Zulu Army (about 5000 men) returning from Rorkes Drift and altho the impi came to within about 400 yards of us , Lord Chelmsford would not let us fire a shot because he wanted all the ammunition in the column to retake Rorkes Drift, if the Zulu attack had been successful there. Some of the enemy afterwards said that when they saw such a large body of troops returning , they thought that the men they had killed in the fight the previous day had come to life again.

On reaching the brow of the hill overlooking Rorkes Drift we could see.......

End of today's transcription. More to follow
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Daily transcript of Tpr Clarke's diary, January 23rd 1879, early am    Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Nov 16, 2011 12:09 pm

.....we could see men moving about around the Commissariat store there, so Col Russell and the Mounted Infantry were sent to reconnoitre and after crossing the drift we saw them gallop up to the building which proved to us that the enemy had been unsuccessful in their assault on RD.

Soldiers on the ramparts of the fort were waving flags and we cheered loudly on hearing that the Zulu's had been repulsed with heavy losses to their numbers. The first dead body that we saw was that of an N.N.C. NCO who had been shot for running away from the Fort before the fight commenced.

One of the N.M.P, Tpr Hunter had been killed whilst making his escape from the hospital to the Commissariat store and we were told that a Zulu had assegaied him twice, but that he had had his revolver in his hand and shot his assailant dead , falling dead himself immediately afterwards.

About 350 of the enemy were lying dead in the neighbourhood of the Fort , which on one side was built up of mielie sacks , biscuit boxes , and had the Zulu's used common sense they would have cut the the sacks of mielies , which would have caused the wall to collapse and a sudden rush would have ended the matter.

Some remarkable narrow escapes occurred , one man rushing past the Zulus and...........

end of transcription , more to follow.

Next ; * Report on extent of battle attrition at Isandhlwana the previous day ; by Col Clarke
* Mansel nearly taken out with an AD.
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Partial transcript of Tpr Clarke's diary, Jan 21, 1879   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptySun Nov 27, 2011 7:49 am

i have slipped this transcript in because it is topical on the forum at the moment.

transcript begins;

January 21st.

Turned out at 3 am and fell in at 4am, when we learned that no rations were to served out as the whole force would be back in camp at 12 noon, when a hot meal would be prepared for us , beside which it was not considered advisable to hamper us with pack horses.

We had been about 10 miles on the road before we saw any signs of the enemy and then only the smoke of a fire arising from a dense bush. We skirmished for miles over the country and in the afternoon we met the 16 companies of the N.N.C., who had captured several of head of cattle in a valley near the Buffalo.
We offsaddled at about 2 pm for a few minutes, but for some reason or other , scarcely giving the horses any rest , we were marched off again towards the Isipesi mountain away from the camp, and we could see the Zulu's skirmishing along a high range in front of us , about half a mile away.

One of the men who came from England with me, Trooper Parsons NMP, who thought it advisable to load his revolver and while he was performing this operation, it went off accidentally, the shot narrowly missing Mr Mansel, our officer.

At the sound of the shot Parson's horse shied and threw him to the ground and he was told to accompany Capt Davey back to camp where he was killed the next day.

end of transcription.

barry
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NMP

NMP

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyMon Nov 28, 2011 5:03 am

Most interesting posts these, barry,
This certainly casts the Parsons incident in a slightly different light. Typically one hears of the accidental discharge and Parsons being ordered back to camp. It seems an extremely harsh punishment considering he lost his life at Isandlwana the next day. From Clarke's diary we learn the accidental discharge narrowly missed his officer, Mansel. As then as it would be now; an accidental discharge that narrowly misses your officer is going to be taken very seriously. I guess one has to also ask the question if loading his revolver without being ordered to would also have be seen as disobedience.

Cheers,

Mark
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Tpr Parsons and his AD   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyMon Nov 28, 2011 10:36 am

Hi NMP,
Yes, I have been mulling over this happening and asked myself the following;

why did only one trooper see fit to load his revolver.
were all the other revolvers already loaded. If not, why not

It would certainly seem these fellows were lacadaisical , as today, with a serious enemy confronting a force all weapons would have been cocked and locked before leaving the camp, as the last thing the commander would want would be the noise of 30 or more troopies chambering rounds in their weapons and giving their position away. With that happening stealth is non existant and preparedness would score a zero.

barry


Last edited by barry on Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NMP

NMP

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyTue Nov 29, 2011 5:12 am

Barry, I've thought that Parsons revolver may have been a personal weapon. I might be wrong but wouldn't troopers in the NMP only be issued with carbines?

Mark
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Revolver sidearms   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyTue Nov 29, 2011 5:26 am



Hi NMP,
Good to hear from you,
As standard issue, the NMP, men and officers, carried sidearms, a .455 revolver. Ref, see Holt's page 355.
I think many of the Imperial troops also carried them. One of our fundi's who is up on equipment could comment on that.
There are quite a few accounts of a revolver coming to the rescue , eg when Smith- Dorien lept for his life off the cliff face on the banks of the Mzinyathi.

regards

barry
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NMP

NMP

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyTue Nov 29, 2011 6:34 am

Hi Barry,
Most Zulu War revolvers tended to be a mix of .450 Adams, older Beaumont-Adams and Tranters amongst others. The .455 revolver came in the late 80s so wasn't in use at the time of the Zulu War. While I know at the time it was common for officers to carry revolvers it wasn't for troops (Lt Smith- Dorien asking Bromhead for cartridges and Bromhead gives him 11). I know that NMP/NP troopers carried revolvers in later years but I wasn't aware of revolvers being standard issue to NMP troopers on patrol in 1879. I may well be wrong. I thought it was issued while on duty doing routine police work and handed back after completion of a shift and out in the field they carried a carbine generally with perhaps a revolver carried by an officer or sergeant. In my copy of Holt I can't find a reference to revolvers on page 355 which describes uniform but doesn't mention firearms. Are you certain that it was standard for NMP troopers to carry revolvers in the field in 1879 or did this come about later?

Cheers,

Mark
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Revolver issues   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyTue Nov 29, 2011 10:56 am


Hi NMP,

The page number in Holts is actually not shown as it is the b&w photograph of a full "equipped" NMP trooper in the early 1880's. , ie white helmet, black cord breeches and tunic, which appears between pages 354 and 355, that I was reffering to. Apologies.
However, to add to the question.
On closer scrutiny this picture depicts, in my mind, a Webley or Webley/ Scott, .455 of uncertain mark.. Probably the Boer War Model. So this picture is chronoligically incorrect as that model of pistol, only came into the services shortly before the Boer War.
So, the explanation perhaps is that this was a staged photo especially done for Holt.

Your suggestion that it could have been a conversion of the Beaumont /Adams to fire a metal cartridge. (the chamber took 6 rounds) would appear to be the most likely. Not too sure about the Tranter however.

Now, to the question about whether revolvers were standard kit.
I do know that at a time in the history of the NMP they were definitely not, the men complained however and the equipment policy was changed at some stage. I noticed that the pictures of the various Regimental uniforms available in military history museums show the AZW NMP black uniform as described above, with carbine and holstered pistol. This is an inconclusive answer so will do further checking on this.
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyTue Nov 29, 2011 4:21 pm

Admin, please can you correct the typo in the title line to Diary, from dairy.

Makes me want to moo.
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Diary Transcripts Trpr Clark NMP    Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Nov 30, 2011 12:45 am

Hi Barry / NMP .
In ' Zulu War - Volunteers , Irregulars & Auxiliaries ' by Ian Castle there is a photograph of the NMP at the time of the Annexing of the
Transvaal in 1877 , the men standing in the rear of the photo do not appear to be wearing sidearms . In the Colour plate of the NMP
as shown during the Zulu War a trooper is shown as wearing a sidearm ?. That may help sort this issue out ? .
cheers 90th. Idea
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Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Nov 30, 2011 9:07 am

I will ask Admin to add a picture of a uniformed NMP Trooper in the Zulu War as depicted by the artist, Andy May, who is well known for his representations of the uniforms of men who served in South African conflicts. A holstered side-arm is clearly shown. One would need to know from Andy May himself about the source of the information on the wearing of a side-arm by other ranks.

Brett

PS Andy May is mistaken in identifying the man as a 'Constable'.
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NMP

NMP

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Nov 30, 2011 2:30 pm

Brett, I'm familiar with May's picture. A print hangs on my study wall along with a few others of his from the period. It depicts an NMP "Trooper" in the Transvaal Rebellion 1880-81. A revolver is clearly visible but as you say, the source of the information on the wearing of a side-arm by other ranks is unknown.

Cheers,

Mark

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Nov 30, 2011 2:47 pm

Quote :
May's picture
Never heard of this chap.
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Nov 30, 2011 9:56 pm

Photo & text posted on behalf of Brett Hendey.
Image by the artist, Andy May, of a uniformed NMP Trooper that relates to a post I have made on this thread.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Nov 30, 2011 11:16 pm

barry wrote:
What follows below in the transcript of a diary entry by a participant may help put some events in perspective on that fateful day, 22 january 1879 ;;


We immediately offered to gallop on with the guns and attack the enemy in the rear and it is possible that if this scheme had been carried out , we might have saved the camp , but the General would not allow us to leave the Infantry who were very tired having marched 40 miles since 3am, with great coats and 70 rounds of ammunition each..

Col Lonsdale NNC met us soon afterwards and reported that he had tried to enter the camp but it was occupied by Zulus. Having learned the worst , the General formed us up and told us to retake the camp at the point of the bayonet. When we within two miles of the camp it went suddenly dark ( an eclipse) and I feared something dreadful would happen.

barry

I didn't realise that they were so close to the camp - so it seems that the Zulu's got on their toes not long after the eclipse, as this happened at the last stands and if the relief force was only two miles away.

If there had been any survivors, they could have been saved if they could have last an hour after the eclipse?

cheers
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NMP

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyThu Dec 01, 2011 1:47 am

NMP wrote:
Brett, I'm familiar with May's picture. A print hangs on my study wall along with a few others of his from the period. It depicts an NMP "Trooper" in the Transvaal Rebellion 1880-81. A revolver is clearly visible but as you say, the source of the information on the wearing of a side-arm by other ranks is unknown.

Cheers,

Mark


Admin wrote:
Photo & text posted on behalf of Brett Hendey.
Image by the artist, Andy May, of a uniformed NMP Trooper that relates to a post I have made on this thread.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Not seen this one of May's before. I see this one is more recent. The one I have was from his series in 1980 commemorating the centenary of the Transvaal Rebellion. Can't work out how to upload the image but here's the URL for the SAMHS website which hosts copies of several of May's works from the Transvaal Rebellion series including the NMP "Trooper"
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Cheers,

Mark
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90th

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PostSubject: Diary Transcripts Trpr Clark NMP    Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyThu Dec 01, 2011 5:04 am

Hi Ciscokid.
That narration by Clarke is a little misleading , Chelmesford and his force were 9 or 10 miles away from Isandlwana when the
fighting was going on , and was most likely all over by the time he had regrouped his strungout forces and decided to go back
to Isandlwana . It was well and truly dark ( Night time ) before they formed up about 2 miles from the camp and The Good Lord
gave them the spiel about retaking the camp at the point of the bayonet . From memory I think the Artillery fired 5 - 8 Rds into the camp before the troops advanced to take the Stony Koppie .
cheers 90th. Idea
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90th

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PostSubject: Diary Transcripts Trpr Clark NMP    Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyThu Dec 01, 2011 5:11 am

Hi Barry / NMP.
Forgot to mention in my post dated 30 / 11 / 11 regarding Ian Castle's book that it was Illustrated by Raffaele Ruggeri . His colour
plate as I posted also has the NMP Trooper wearing a sidearm .
cheers 90th. Idea
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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyThu Dec 01, 2011 8:01 am

90th wrote:
Hi Ciscokid.
That narration by Clarke is a little misleading , Chelmesford and his force were 9 or 10 miles away from Isandlwana when the
fighting was going on , and was most likely all over by the time he had regrouped his strungout forces and decided to go back
to Isandlwana . It was well and truly dark ( Night time ) before they formed up about 2 miles from the camp and The Good Lord
gave them the spiel about retaking the camp at the point of the bayonet . From memory I think the Artillery fired 5 - 8 Rds into the camp before the troops advanced to take the Stony Koppie .
cheers 90th. Idea

Thank you.
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DundeeBoer

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptySat Dec 03, 2011 1:23 am

I came across this while searching for something unrelated but thought it interesting to add here. Looks like Trooper Parsons was not the only one having trouble with an AD of his revolver. This is from several months later from the Natal Mercury Telegrams.

“Mercury” Telegrams
(From our special correspondent).
Lower Tugela, May 14, 1879.

The Major-General has ordered
all revolvers in camp to be kept unloaded.
This is in consequence of the recent
accidents, and is a necessary precaution.


I looked back a little and found this one from six days earlier which it might be referring to. The telegram from the14 Th states “Accidents” plural. I’ll keep looking to see if I can find reference to any others. Haven't found anything stating revolvers were "issued" but does seem that there was not a shortage carried.

“Mercury” Telegrams.
~Fatal Accident to a Trooper~
Lower Tugela
6:30pm, May 8, 1879
(From our own Correspondent)

I regret to state that a trooper of Lonsdale’s Horse
was shot accidentally yesterday morning by one of his comrades.
Your correspondent has personally experienced the result
of such an arm as that which did the mischief being in the hands
of persons who do not take proper precaution; and the
wonder is that so few accidents have taken place, considering
the great number of officers and men who are armed
with these weapons, which are self-cocking.

Regards, Jeff
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barry

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PostSubject: Issue of sidearms to troopers    Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptySat Dec 03, 2011 6:50 am

Hi All,
Thanks to all who sent in pics, and Jeff for the newspaper cuttings.
I now become interested in self (auto?) cocking revolvers referred to in Jeff's articles, they can't be referring to the Webley Fosbery?. If not, what exactly is meant by this? Maybe double action revolvers?.
Having an AD with a sidearm is a very real possiblity as all who have been in the services no doubt have witnessed . So Parsons having one after being in the NMP for only 9 months would not be too much of a surprise. I think Mansel was part of the problem here , but what was not included in the transcript was that Tpr Parsons was injured in the fall from his horse when it shied and he was sent back to the camp for medical treatment as well.
However, it would seem from some of the evidence now coming out here is that revolvers were in general use by some AZW troopers. I am still perusing NMP records to see when the change was made.

barry
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyTue Dec 06, 2011 3:52 pm

The following makes me think they had revolvers Idea


"They threw down their guns when their ammuntion was done and commanced with their pistols, then the formed a line shoulder to sholder and back to back and fought with knifes."

"They made a desperate resitance some firing with pistlos and the others with swords."

These are Zulu accounts from the following books

Zulu By Saul David
Isandlwana by Adrain Greaves


Cheers
DB14
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barry

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PostSubject: Transcripts from Tpr Clarke's diaries. Topical insert, Jan 24th   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Dec 07, 2011 8:04 am

transcript begins;

Jan 24th ;
On moving out this morning we received orders to supply an escort of 20 men for Lord Chelmsford who was to go to Pietermaritzburg. and great was the rivalry amongst the men to proceed on this duty. I was late in bringing my horse in from the river or I should have been sent ; as it was they had just picked the number.

The escort however had hard work and rode nearly 60 miles in the first day, killing two horses along the way, and sleeping at night in the post cart house at Modder Spruit . The General went on in a spider from Ladysmith and the escort remained at Estcourt for a few days , eventually returning tto Helpkekaar.

After the departure of the General from Rorke's Drift we received orders to proceed to Helpmekaar and there to build a laager around the Commissiariat store. On the road to Helpmekaar we passed several wagons which had been deserted by their owners on hearing of our defeat and shortly after reaching the top of the Biggarsberg , we met troopers Stevens and Hayes ,who had both escaped from Isandlwana .

Stevens said that he was on foot when the Zulus entered the camp but he managed to catch his horse and gallop away. On reaching Fugitives Drift his horse was washed from under him and he got away but one of our Native Policemen caught the animal and brought it back to him .

The excitement of the battle and escape had such an effect on Tpr Hayes that he died soon afterwards with brain fever. A man named Sparks also escaped but had been sent down to Pietermaritzburg with a despatch from the General. Two other men Tprs Doig and Shannon also escaped and went to Ladysmith where Major Dartnell found them both drunk.

On reaching Helpmekaar we found several other men who had escaped and all hands had been busy trying to make a laager around the Commissiriat store......

transciption ends


Last edited by barry on Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Dec 07, 2011 8:53 am

Hi Barry
Your extracts dont seem to ellicit a lot of comment from the forum. However I for one really do enjoy reading them and picking up the small titbits.
Well done and keep going.

regards

The Mountain Goat
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90th

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PostSubject: colonial regt's that served in the zulu war    Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Dec 07, 2011 10:45 am

Hi Barry.
I agree with my old mate Springbok , I enjoy reading them as well .
cheers 90th. Idea
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Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Dec 07, 2011 12:08 pm

Hi Barry

You have another fan in me and I also look forward to your posts.

Regards
Brett
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PostSubject: Transcripts from tpr Clarke's diaries    Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Dec 07, 2011 3:47 pm


Hi 90th, springbok69 and Brett,

Thanks for the interest shown in the transcripts . Reading them is not everybody's idea of entertainment, maybe, only to those much closer to the subject. There is one more to go, as to transcribe everything there, which went on for a number of months, will be too time consuming.

regards,

barry
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyWed Dec 07, 2011 9:39 pm

I think the original plan was for Barry to post the entire transcripts under this thread, and members could start discussions relating to it on another thread.

Like the rest I enjoy reading these transcripts it's just a pity there's only one more left. Idea
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NMP

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyThu Dec 08, 2011 1:28 am

barry wrote:

Hi 90th, springbok69 and Brett,

Thanks for the interest shown in the transcripts . Reading them is not everybody's idea of entertainment, maybe, only to those much closer to the subject. There is one more to go, as to transcribe everything there, which went on for a number of months, will be too time consuming.

regards,

barry
Barry, I echo 90th, Springbok69 and Brett's thanks. There isn't all that much out there on the Dartnell Patrol and the days following it so for me this is a real feast of info and has given me a wonderful view of the events that my great great grandfather lived through on that patrol.

Thanks,

Mark
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PostSubject: Tpr Clarke's diary transcripts , 23/01/1879...continued   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptySun Dec 11, 2011 1:12 pm




January 23/01/1879


....Some remarkable narrow escapes occurred :,one man rushing past the attacking Zulu's and hiding in a nearby cave all night, within a few yards of them and another man running into a mielie garden and remained there undiscovered until morning. Tpr Green NMP was grazed by a bullet on the face.

As soon as we offsaddled we told were told to go to the Commissiariat Store for bread and meat and by giving our names to the ASC Corporal we were also served with a tot of rum. Not a morsel of food had passed my lips for the past 60 hours but I managed, by myself, to consume 2 lbs corned beef and 1lb of bread whilst I walked around the ruined hospital. Even the horrible sights there did not diminish my appetite, one man had been burned alive - Sergt Maxwell of the 24th. Some of the soldiers bodies had been horribly mutillated by the enemy.

We proceeded to bury the dead bodies.The enemy were all interred together in a mass grave and our men together at another spot , also in a mass grave.

There was every excuse for those of us who had seen our comrades so horribly mutilated to line up for more rum, and by giving different names to the ASC Corporal, 3 or 4 tots were surreptitiously obtained and consumed by many.This rum, taken on an empty stomach served to madden them.

Before burying Trooper Hunter, NMP we we searched his pockets and found two sovereigns which we forwarded to his parents as a momento. As soon as the burial parties had finished their labours we all laid down and went to sleep , hot as it was, but we had had such severe work for the previous three days that every man was completely done up.

That evening we were told off to occupy a cattle kraal next to the Commissariat Store, but before entering the roll was called and 32 troopers failed to answer their names when called and a rumour spread that a few had deserted.

The kraal in which we were located was half full of thatch which had been taken off the roof of the store to prevent the Zulus setting fire to it the night before, and on the following morning one of the men who had been sleeping there , turned up the thatch, looking for something he had dropped, and discovered that we had been lying all night on the dead bodies of several of the enemy.

The soldiers had been hard at work during the day repairing the walls and making bastions for the guns, so that by sundown the place was impregnable.

The N.N.C. were sent out as picquets to a hill at the back (Oscarberg), but bolted during the night and the white officers of the N.N.C came running into the laager with a report that the Zulus were coming. So every man turned out, but the walls of the laager were so thickly lined with riflemen, that there was hardly room to load our carbines and several men had to stand back. I secured a good place in the corner of the laager and was anxious to see the enemy appear, but the alarm was, as usual, false and we were quiet for the rest of the night , although still remaining on the alert.

END OF TRANSCRIPTIONS

barry
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90th

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PostSubject: Diary Transcripts Trpr Clark NMP    Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptySun Dec 11, 2011 10:34 pm

Hi Barry.
Thanks for sharing the reports .
cheers 90th. 😕
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyThu Jan 19, 2012 7:50 pm

Hi Barry

Thank you for posting them, very intresting


Cheers
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyThu Jan 19, 2012 8:47 pm

Quote :
Some of the soldiers bodies had been horribly mutillated by the enemy

After seeing the film which sticks in one mind, it's hard to image the above. You would have thought the Zulus never had time to do this.
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90th

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PostSubject: Diary Transcripts Trpr Clark NMP    Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyThu Jan 19, 2012 9:58 pm

Hi Chard1879.
What film Question . It wouldnt have taken long to mutialte the bodies and they were most likey done post Battle , they had plenty of time then !.
cheers 90th.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyFri Jan 20, 2012 5:54 am

A lot of the ritual mutilations would have been carried out by the younger boys after the battle. This has been mentioned in one of the zulu accounts.

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP   Diary Transcripts From Trooper Clark NMP EmptyFri Jan 20, 2012 6:43 am

As long as the mutilations are post-mortem , it does not matter...
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