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 Captured udibi boy's R.N. service

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littlehand
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kwajimu1879

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PostSubject: Captured udibi boy's R.N. service   Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptySun Jul 21, 2013 10:41 am

Does anyone have any information relating to the subsequent Royal Navy service of the udibi boy who captured by a rating from the H.M.S. 'Boadicea' at the Battle of Gingindlovu?

Thanks in advance.

'Jimu
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PostSubject: Re: Captured udibi boy's R.N. service   Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptySun Jul 21, 2013 3:13 pm

kwajimu,

I haven’t read anything regarding the udibi boy’s later Royal Navy Career.  The only place I have seen any recounting of this story is by Hamilton-Browne who wrote about the incident in “A Lost Legionary in South Africa.”

“The Zulus' rush was only checked when they were within twenty yards of the laager, some of them falling shot dead at even a closer distance, while one small boy, a mat-carrier, crossing by a miracle the zone of fire, reached the Naval Brigade bastion, where one of the blue-jackets spotting him, leaned over, grabbed him by the nape of the neck and collected him, kicking and squirming, inside the work, where after he had been cuffed into a state of quietude his captor kept him prisoner by sitting on him till the end of the engagement. This youthful corner-man, preserved alive as a spolia opima, was adopted by the crew of H.M.S. Boadicea as a mascot and, if I remember rightly, was subsequently entered into the Royal Navy, a proceeding that reflects great credit on the handy men, although I have sometimes thought that considering the manner in which he was first of all captured and detained, that the Exeter Hall gang would have wailed over him as a brutally pressed boy.”

Remember that this story was told by the same man whose account of seeing Pulleine’s body, on the battle field of Isandlwana, is not believed by all; and was written several years after the events.

There is no mention of the udibi boy’s capture in any of the official naval reports, or in any of the letters written by navy or marine personnel who were there.  Midshipman Harry Boldero of HMS Boadicea wrote numerous letters during his time on board the ship, and he also does not mention the boy.

I doubt the young udibi boy made it into the Royal Navy.  Naval service was voluntary in 1879 and you had to be at least 14 years old to join as a “Boy 2nd Class.”  Even if he did join the Navy he would most likely have been given a more English name like the Kroomen from Sierra Leone.  Without knowing that name his career would be impossible to trace unless he wrote his own story.

A fictional account of the udibi boy is told in “My Story ZULU WAR, Jabulani, Africa 1879-1882” by Vince Cross

https://www.1879zuluwar.com/t2062-my-story-zulu-war-jabulani-1879-1882


Petty Officer Tom
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kwajimu1879

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PostSubject: Re: Captured udibi boy's R.N. service   Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptySun Jul 21, 2013 3:51 pm

Petty Officer Tom,

Thanks for that, I'm aware on Hamilton-Browne's version of events, I thought Charles Fripp mentioned it as well, I'll have to make some enquiries.

From memory Harry Boldero was stuck down in Cape Town so all of his letters; notably his reference to the Prince imperial's death are second-hand at best.

Regards,

'Jimu
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PostSubject: Re: Captured udibi boy's R.N. service   Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptySun Jul 21, 2013 5:34 pm

There is a discussion somewhere on the forum, but can't find it right now.
Here's an image from Browne's book of the incident.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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PostSubject: Re: Captured udibi boy's R.N. service   Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptySun Jul 21, 2013 5:41 pm

kwajimu,

HMS Boadicea was at Durban from 15 March to 12 June, 1879.  Midshipman Boldero was on board the ship during this time, or serving ashore as Commodore Richards’ Aide-de-camp whenever the commodore was in Durban.  One of those occasions was immediately after the battle of Gingindlovu.  Boldero accompanied the Commodore and others to the funeral services at the Catholic Church in Durban, and afterwards was on “Boadicea” when the Prince’s body was taken to Simon’s Bay.

If the udibi boy was taken aboard “Boadicea” at some time, surely Boldero would have noticed him.  

littlehand,

Thanks for the picture.

I gave the link to the discussion you are referring to at the end of my first post.


Petty Officer Tom
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Captured udibi boy's R.N. service   Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptySun Jul 21, 2013 6:07 pm

That's not the link inquestion, there is another!
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kwajimu1879

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PostSubject: Re: Captured udibi boy's R.N. service   Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptySun Jul 21, 2013 6:16 pm

Cheers Tom,

As stated above it was from memory. I don't have 'A Young Heart of Oak' to hand this afternoon.

Thanks,

'Jimu
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Captured udibi boy's R.N. service   Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptySun Jul 21, 2013 9:31 pm

kwajimu1879 wrote:
Cheers Tom,

As stated above it was from memory.  I don't have 'A Young Heart of Oak' to hand this afternoon.

Thanks,

'Jimu

Jim what are you looking for from the book you mentioned!!!!
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PostSubject: Captured Udibi boy's R.N.Service    Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptyMon Jul 22, 2013 12:44 pm

Hi Jimu / Pot .
I've just gone through my edition of ' A Young Heart Of Oak ' which are the Letters Of Harry.S.Boldero who was onboard the Boadicea at certain times during the war and after , I read his letters from March 79 up until 1882 , and he never mentions a Zulu boy being taken from Gingindlovhou , or being placed into the service of the R.N.
9oth.
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PostSubject: Re: Captured udibi boy's R.N. service   Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptyMon Jul 22, 2013 2:37 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Captured udibi boy's R.N. service   Captured udibi boy's R.N. service EmptyMon Jul 22, 2013 8:07 pm

One of Browne's soldiers stories, sells books dont you know!!
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