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Film Zulu Dawn quote: “Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the track down to Rorke's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders my Lord? Do we move to the drift?”
 
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 Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot.

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littlehand

littlehand

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Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot. Empty
PostSubject: Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot.   Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot. EmptySat May 31, 2014 11:09 pm

"CAPTAIN THE HON. FITZWILLIAM ELLIOT (1849-1928)
Anglo-Zulu War 1879:

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Description:
A group of 13 letters and 2 continuations to his mother written between 20th May and 4th August 1879 whilst on active service in Zululand by Captain the Hon. Fitzwilliam Elliot, 93rd Sutherland Highlanders (93rd Foot), son of the 3rd Earl of Minto and younger brother of the 4th Earl of Minto, Governor General of Canada and Viceroy of India. Most with the envelopes addressed to his mother the Countess of Minto at 48 Eaton Square, London or Minto House, Hawick, N.B., with the 6d rubber stamp – ‘On active service in the field, no stamps procurable.’ The letters are closely written on 74 pages of folded blue note paper each 200 x 125 mm. Elliot, as an experienced officer and from a privileged social position, provides valuable insight into the campaign and the organisation of the army.
Also included:
Four carte de visite photographs, two of Elliot himself which are inscribed in his hand on the back, ‘Self on joining 93rd in  1867', and one each of his mother and father the Earl and Countess of Minto.
A carte de visite photograph of John Dunn taken by B.Kisch, Photographer & Artist, Durban, Natal.
Elliot’s ‘Record of Services of Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot.’ Army Form B.199, printed on blue paper.
Elliot’s commission appointing him Captain on 19th October 1878.

Elliot left England aboard the Conway Castle on 20th May 1879 and arrived in Cape Town on Friday, 6th June. He stayed at Government House where he was privy to some of the gossip in high places surrounding the war and the recent death of the Prince Imperial. He comments about Lord Chelmsford, ‘He has excellent officers in his army but cannot apparently get them to pull well together owing in a great degree to the unpopularity of Col. Crealock his military secretary….Now I am not with the army yet and am quite at liberty to tell you everything I hear of my future Commander in Chief and in saying that I believe Frere has little confidence in him, there is the impression the staff here has given me and of course in giving it to me they know, probably wish, that I won’t keep it to myself. No one seems to expect the war to end this year.’
He departed on 9th June aboard The Melrose arriving in Durban on Saturday 14th June where he received orders to joint Lieutenant-Colonel Crealock’s column on the Tugela River. He comments about the Prince Imperial’s death, ‘I think as usual people are hasty in their strong condemnation of (Captain) Carey. I don’t know him, but I do many of his friends and they all say he a good fellow but not a brilliant one. He is to be tried and I am afraid will be found guilty in which case there is no choice of punishment. It is a very nasty business.’
By 30th June he was at Camp Durnford where his detachment was involved with raiding the Zulu kraals and where they anticipated an advance to Ulundi and the arrival of Sir Garnet Wolseley by ship. However Wolseley was unable to land owing to rough seas and was forced to return to Durban. Elliot describes meeting John Dunn. There is evident frustration with Crealock’s slow progress, ‘His staff did all they could to make him move, but no, he would do nothing…he has had a grand chance and lost it and I should doubt his ever receiving another good command. If he does I hope I shan’t be serving under him.’
In a letter dated Camp Durnford, 10th July, he describes the cavalry and ‘Dunn’s men’ moving in support of the advance towards Ulundi and meeting the first Zulu warriors who had been present at the battle of Ulundi on 5th July and the news that Cetshwayo had escaped with one regiment to the north.
On 13th July he writes of receiving the first dispatches from Lord Chelmsford’s column about the victory at Ulundi. Happiness at this success is tinged with disappointment and discontent with Crealock for not having pressed on more vigorously. ‘Yesterday I was speaking to Sir Garnet who asked me if I have been lucky enough to see anything and I answered that I had been so far fortunate in having seen everything that was to have been seen with the column since its advance, but that was almost nothing…..on which Sir Garnet replied that, “ I should have thought not of what the column should or could have done, but rather by what sort of man it was commanded.” These are strong words for the C. in C. to use to me….’
He continues describing his own personal experiences, ‘I have therefore been very lucky in being attached to the cavalry and seeing more action than anyone not belonging to it. They have been doing all the dirty work for months past. In such a war there is nothing to be gained except by very fear and no glory in defeating such savages against whom there is no feeling of enmity but rather the opposite. I have taken rather a fancy to the Zulus, they are always so thoroughly manly, they never look cowed, but hold themselves always like men, never appearing angry, nor even humiliated at the loss of homes, cattle, women, everything indeed which they possess.’
On 19th July he writes describing a parade at which Wolseley presented Chard with his V.C. for his role at Rorke’s Drift commenting, ‘He (Chard) is a rum’un to look at, and most unprepossessing. It is generally considered that the V.C. is a most unsuitable reward and it would have been better to have given something else. Chard was the senior officer at Rorke’s Drift and got the chief kudos, whereas Bromhead was in point of fact in charge of the fighting element. The man to whom the chief credit for the defence of the post in given is a commissariat officer, but as he is a non-combatant it is probably his doings which will never be known beyond the troops here. Pearson has returned to England where probably he will be made much of, greatly to the amusement of all here. He is quite universally considered to be one of the greatest muffs this war has produced.’
In a letter dated 5th August Elliot gives a very detailed account of the composition of the 1st Division (Crealock’s column) naming all the senior officers and comments on them. He describes the equipment carried by the men and their rations, and also the transport wagons and what they carried.
The final letter, dated at Ulundi, 12th August 1978.
William Fitzwilliam Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, retired from the army as a Lieutenant-Colonel. His service records show that prior to Zululand he had served in Nova Scotia in Canada. In his final letters he makes mention of wishing to be posted back to Canada where there was evidently a romantic interest for on 4th February 1880 in Halifax he married Elizabeth Fanny Rutherford. They had three children. His son ‘Jock’ served in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. After the Zulu campaign Elliot served as Deputy Assistant Adjutant General Dublin District 1881-1884, in the War Office from 1884-89 and North East District 1889-92. He published two books, The Border Elliots and the Family of Minto (1897) and The Battle of Flodden and the Raids of 1513 (1911)"

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Source:http://www.antiquarianauctions.com/bids/autograph-letters-of-captain-the-hon-fitzwilliam-elliot-1849-1928- 
Taken from site above to preserve text and photos, as they will be lost when sold. 
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Brin

Brin

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Join date : 2020-05-16
Location : Where the Wildlings roam

Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot.   Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot. EmptySat May 16, 2020 9:22 am

Hi LittleHand,
Thank you for taking the time to post the above a number of years ago.  Agree post the sale the letter and images above would have been lost in a private collection somewhere...
I have a scanned copy of the Wilkinson Sword register entry (ref 21892) for the then Lt William Fitzwilliam Elliot, 93rd Sutherland Highlanders to the sword he is holding above.  The order was placed on 28th May 1877 and passed the strike and bend test on the 12 June 1877.  The blade has minimal etching comprising of the period Wilkinson standard logos and proof slug, and is considered in the collecting arena as
a 'campaign sword' (ie: one bought for use rather than decoration). The Wilkinson Sword ledger entry notes it was "fitter in" which means the blade was a replacement to an existing (non-Wilkinson) basket hilt although the ferrule, grip, top piece insert and fringe were replaced by Wilkinson.  At the time of purchase Elliot had recently completed the Staff Officer's course and was re-joining the 93rd in Ireland.  He was promoted to Captain on 19 Oct 1878 and to Major on 31 Jan 1883 then to Lt. Col. on 31 Jan 1888, believe he retired in 1892 (more reach required).
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1879graves

1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot.   Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot. EmptySat May 16, 2020 3:08 pm

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Southern Reporter 22 November 1928
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1879graves

1879graves

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Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot.   Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot. EmptySat May 16, 2020 3:20 pm

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Minto Parish Churchyard, Minto, Scottish Borders, Scotland
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Brin

Brin

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Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot.   Hon. William Fitzwilliam Elliot. EmptySat May 16, 2020 3:58 pm

Hi 1879graves,
Wow, some good and useful info there - thank you!  Might have to take a drive down to Minto when the present circumstances change.
Thank you for confirming he retired from active service in 1892.
Noted the basket hilt to Elliot's sword is electro-plated (to late Victorian standards) which it would not have been at the time of purchase, and does not look to have been plated in the above images (it appears steel finished like similar of the time).  In addition only the basket has been plated and not the whole of the sword as was popular by collectors in the 1960/70s. Period plating of basket hilts to swords became fashionable from c.1895 when the hilts altered from the rounded bar style (as above) to the later flat bar style from Wilkinson.  This is suggestive the same sword was also carried by his son when joining the Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1900 to bring it up to the then regulation standards - but this is only subjective speculation, as the scabbard is absent so unable to determine if it had a fitted 1899 pattern scabbard one or not..
When William Fitzwilliam was promoted to Major, in 1883, he would have been eligible to have had a Scottish Field Officer's hilted sword rather than a Basket Hilted sword, especially as this was actively encouraged in the 93rd (Robson, fig 147 and page 132).  So maybe he purchased another sword with a Field Officer's hilt and more ornate etching on the blade at a later date..?

(Brian Robson, "Swords of the British Army" - The regulation patterns, 1788-1914, 1975 edition, Arms & Armour Press, SBN 853682593)
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