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» Bearing The Cross by Ken Blakeson | BBC RADIO DRAMA: Ken Blakeson's play tells the story of the Battle of Rorke's Drift and the effect it had on three of the soldiers who fought in it.
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 An absolute meaningless but fun piece of research

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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell


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Location : Cape Town South Africa

An absolute meaningless but fun piece of research Empty
PostSubject: An absolute meaningless but fun piece of research   An absolute meaningless but fun piece of research EmptyThu Jul 24, 2014 12:37 pm

While reading ‘Diary of an African Journey ‘by Rider Haggard I came across this paragraph:
‘Mr Parr, however, the owner of the store where we slept gave me a number of cartridge cases and the head of one of Durnfords rockets. He has another rocket dug out of the bank of a donga near the store, which is still unexploded.
The references intrigued me on a number of issues, where was the store, why would there be rockets there and who was Mr Parr, possible a relative of the more famous Henry Hallam Parr?

The last question first:  Mr Charles Evelyn Parr was born in 1885 in Nottingham England, the son of G Parr of Cliff House, The Park, Nottingham. How and why he arrived in South Africa I haven’t been able to ascertain, but around 1901 at the age of 16 he became the manager of a store and hotel at iSandlwana owned by a Mrs Jean Flindt, a resident of Nqutu. Mrs Flindt held a 999 year lease over the property.
At some point Charles Parr joined the Zululand Mounted Rifles, I would speculate and say the influence of Mr Flindt had something to do with this. He served in the 1906 rebellion with the Zululand Mounted Rifles and was awarded the Natal Rebellion Medal with 1906 clasp.
Once the rebellion had abated Charles returned to the iSandlwana store but with a little more determination to build a future he sought to sublease from Mrs Flindt. This he managed to do after wading through the Government red tape in December 1907.
This would then answer the second question as to where the store was located, this circa 1910 photograph shows both the store and the hotel.
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The store in question no longer exists, I believe there are still signs of the foundation walls evident on the banks of the donga but comparing a then and now photograph the site is pretty identifiable.
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That would then to a degree answer the last of the questions, how did the rockets end up in the donga. Three possible answers to that question, firstly they were dropped by a retreating warrior, second they were washed downstream in the occasional flash floods or thirdly they were dumped there when Durnfords men retired on the camp. Lt Harry Davis mentions that they did retrieve two boxes of rockets but had to dump them. Possibly the donga was the area they were dumped.

Mr Parr eventually moved on and died in 1953, still keeping store on a farm not to distant from Pietermaritzburg.

Mrs Flindt was overtaken by the desire of the Government of the day to create Native and Separate white areas, the forerunner to Apartheid, and lost her lease.
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The store itself was demolished some time before 1933 and a second structure built slightly to the South by a Mr Lundin, this structure lasted until pulled down to make way for the Day Hospital facility presently on the site.
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Just a bit of fun.


Last edited by springbok9 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:08 am; edited 2 times in total
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Brett Hendey

Brett Hendey


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PostSubject: Re: An absolute meaningless but fun piece of research   An absolute meaningless but fun piece of research EmptyFri Jul 25, 2014 6:52 am

Springbok

I think it is a great piece of research and well worth recording! Thank you for doing so.

A small point ...... The regiment that Parr served in was the Zululand Mounted Rifles and the medal awarded was the Natal Rebellion Medal with 1906 clasp. The monarch depicted was Edward VII.

Regards
Brett
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell


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PostSubject: Re: An absolute meaningless but fun piece of research   An absolute meaningless but fun piece of research EmptyFri Jul 25, 2014 8:13 am

Hi Brett
Points noted and the changes made. I haven't looked to hard but when time permits I would like to look into Mr Lundin and also there was another store on top of the plateau owned by a Mr Harrison.

Cheers
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