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 Port Durnford landings

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John Young
littlehand
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Port Durnford landings   Port Durnford landings EmptyMon Nov 18, 2013 8:38 pm



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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Port Durnford landings   Port Durnford landings EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 9:15 pm

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The encampment at Port Durnford, circa September 1879.
John Young Collection

Out of interest it was not just landings at Port Durnford, there was a famous departure from there as well, and somewhere in the jumble of material I have here there is an Italian newspaper that shows King Cetshwayo boarding a boat to be taken to the Natal and into captivity.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: Port Durnford landings   Port Durnford landings EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 9:23 pm

And "Cetshwayo was returned in secret to Zululand on 10 January 1883. He was met at Port Durnford by Sir Theophilus Shepstone (who was brought out of retirement for the process). Shepstone arranged the details of Cetshwayo's restoration (29 January)"
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Port Durnford landings   Port Durnford landings EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 9:44 pm

John is this the one?
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1879 Cetewayo Port Durnford Zululand War Natives Boat.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Port Durnford landings   Port Durnford landings EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 10:13 pm

24th,

No that's from the Illustrated London News, this is the Italian version of the event from L'Illustrazione Italiana:

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You will note King Cetshwayo has lost some weight compared to the ILN version of the same event!

JY
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90th

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PostSubject: Port Durnford landings    Port Durnford landings EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 11:28 pm

Hi All
An excellent topic and posts , thanks to all involved . Salute 
90th
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PostSubject: Port Durnford Landings    Port Durnford landings EmptyFri Feb 07, 2014 9:47 pm

Hi JY.
I've had a closer look at the photo you've posted in which it's titled Port Durnford , I think there is a strong possibility it's wrongly titled , it looks like Fort Pearson to me , I dont see the Ocean in the photo but it does have a River , which probably is the Tugela ? . I've seen this photo elsewhere where it states it's '' Fort Pearson with the Naval Bgde Tents in the foreground '' ???.
Cheers 90th
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PostSubject: Port Durnford Landings    Port Durnford landings EmptyFri Feb 07, 2014 10:40 pm

Hi JY .
Found the same photo in ' From The Land Of The Zulu Kings ' by J.L.Smail it states '' Tugela Drift - 1879 ( Lower Drift )
The British Camp at Fort Pearson in 1879 . View shows the Tugela Estuary '' , from page 100 if you have it . For those who dont it's an interesting book , starts from well before the war of 1879 , a good one for you Springy , I think Les you probably already have it as does Martin ? .
90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Port Durnford landings   Port Durnford landings EmptySat Feb 08, 2014 12:22 am

Hey mate, yeah got a couple of those.
as you know their ltd eds..i wonder who
in this place have heard of Smail never
mind the legendary S.B. yes Gary what
a most informative book..the concise
history of Terra Natalis. loads of snippets
and long forgotten photo's. again i say, a
must have!

Yes their the same image..but JY is so very
generous with his archive..same as Isandula.
we are very spoilt..over to JY. cheers Les.  Salute 
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90th

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PostSubject: Port Durnford Landings    Port Durnford landings EmptySat Feb 08, 2014 12:32 am

Hi Les .
Agreed you wont get any argument out of me regarding JY , he's been a great help to me on several occasions .
And yes the book is a gem that's for sure , many unknown facts regarding the early days of Natal etc etc . But , as we know naming mistakes do happen , I'm a little surprised JY didnt pick it up , and that is in no way having a shot at JY .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Port Durnford landings   Port Durnford landings EmptySat Feb 08, 2014 1:09 am

yeah i know, got a few by Smail..that's why
i bang on all the time about the bigger picture!
you would think the entire AZW was only about
Isandhlwana and Rorkes Drift!  Wink  JY will hate
me saying this..but the truth of the matter is..
i have benefited from his generosity for nearly
fifteen years..

Hope your doing well  Very Happy  were all swimming here.
xhosa
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90th

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PostSubject: Port Durnford Landings    Port Durnford landings EmptySat Feb 08, 2014 1:22 am

Floods !!!! . We are baking here ! will be 40 today .
90th
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PostSubject: The geography of Natal   Port Durnford landings EmptySat Feb 08, 2014 5:08 am

Hi 90th,
There  seems to be some confusion about "Port" Durnford and Fort Pearson, the latter being some 50kms south  of the former. You are right,  Fort Pearson is on the Tugela river, on the  south bank. On the opposite north bank of the Tugela was  Fort Tenedos. These two were hardly forts, they rather took the form of hill top redoubts.  
The Naval brigade was there for a time in the AZW.
The Tugela river is not navigable, per se, for anything  larger than surf boats, if the tide is right, or shallow hulled ponts at a few places.
"Port"  Durnford is not a port,  but rather in name only,  but a place on a bight in the coast located between the mouth of the mLalazi river mouth at Mtunzini ( a coastal resort now with a large shallow lagoon)  and the new harbor at Richards Bay. It was the place where surf landings were done by the RN in the AZW, in which men and equipment were landed on the beach for Chelmsford's eastern thrust into Zululand.
The incorrectly captioned pictures shown earlier in this thread, with bell tents in the foreground, are indeed of the south bank of the Tugela and Fort Pearson with the river mouth and  the sea in the distance, and those showing the smaller boats beaching through the surf at "Port " Durnford,  well illustrate the hazards of the  turbulent beach landings there. 
Post 1906, when the eastern seaboard was charted for the first time by marine surveyors and hydrographers , an occulting segmental  marine navigational light was erected on the high coastal dunes at Port Durnford  warning littoral shipping of the nearby Tenedos shoal , a  dangerous place where the RN lost some ships ( HMS Tenedos, after which foundering catastrophe, pre turn of century, the shoal was named).
Cetewayo also took a wet ride out through the surf  at "Port" Durnford too,  to a ship waiting to take him away, but  waiting  safely outside, off the coast beyond the rough breaker line .

regards

barry

PS; On your Holts tour most of these places mentioned will be seen from the N2 north highway


Last edited by barry on Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Port Durnford landings   Port Durnford landings EmptySat Feb 08, 2014 8:55 am

90th,

I can only go by what the photographer has captioned his photograph as in this case one of the Kisch brothers, I had my own doubts even at the time of posting the photograph. Saw the same photograph in Smail's book recently, and since then have been searching the archives for a contemporary photograph to disprove it but to no avail. But what I couldn't see in the photograph I posted above were the rocket and single gun emplacement of Fort Pearson, which cast some doubt in my mind.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Fort Pearson   Port Durnford landings EmptySat Feb 08, 2014 10:28 am

Hi John/90th.
No need for apologies, it is easy to see that the place identification error arose in very early captioning. I only picked it up because I am quite familiar with aerial views in that neck of the woods.
Now for interest sake, particularly 90th's as he will soon be visiting the area, the new N2 bridge across the Tugela river is located  some 200m to the east of the Fort Pearson  as shown by those tents ie in the near foreground of that picture.
So, for those visiting Zululand  via King Shaka airport in Durban and travelling up the coastal route N2 north, a quick stop before going over the John Ross bridge will allow you to see what is left of the fort. Grid loc is 29 12'48.68"S/ 31 25' 58.78"E
For those who have further interest ,Google Earth shows all of this with pictures of Forts Pearson and Tenedos, on the opposite bank of the river, as they are today.

regards

barry
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