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 Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence

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nthornton1979

nthornton1979

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Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence Empty
PostSubject: Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence   Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyWed Sep 24, 2014 10:04 am

Hi all,

Does anybody have a source for this?

Page 60 of James Bancroft's 'Rorke's Drift':-

"Surgeon Reynolds and the AHC men realised that they would soon have to abandon the medical supplies. So they had to move quickly to save some of them. He and two privates, Thomas Luddington and Michael McMahon dashed to the dispensary, while his corporal, Robert Miller, and Mr Dalton covered them with their rifles. As they were grabbing as much as they could, a Zulu sprang forward and pulled Cpl Miller towards him by the muzzle of his rifle and was about to thrust his assegai into his stomach when Dalton shot the warrior and saved the corporals life. They all then burst through the Zulus and ran to the retrenchment."


Neil
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PostSubject: Re: Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence   Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyWed Sep 24, 2014 2:26 pm

Hiya nthornton1979, i guess Lee Stevenson is your 
man to answer this in detail..           cheers xhosa
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nthornton1979

nthornton1979

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PostSubject: Re: Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence   Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyWed Sep 24, 2014 2:35 pm


Thanks Xhosa,

Yes, I don't have his book on Reynolds and did wonder if it mentioned (sourced) in there.

Is Lee a member?

Neil

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PostSubject: Re: Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence   Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyWed Sep 24, 2014 2:45 pm

Hiya Neil, yeah he pops up frequently,
but other members might well have
some input for you.. cheers     Les
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nthornton1979

nthornton1979

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PostSubject: Re: Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence   Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyWed Sep 24, 2014 3:11 pm

Okay, thanks again Les. I'll hold out and keep my fingers crossed.


Neil


Last edited by nthornton1979 on Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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90th

90th

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PostSubject: Retrieving Supplies from hospital during defence    Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyThu Sep 25, 2014 1:23 am

Hi nThornton1879
A couple of differences from Bancroft to Stevenson's writings .
The following from  ' The Rorke's Drift Doctor ' by Lee Stevenson , page 79
From his elevated position on the steps of the verandah Reynolds could see just how dangerous the situation was becoming . Thinking that the zulu's were about to over run the Mealie wall , he quickly gave orders to his men to try and rescue the medical supplies from the verandah . Grabbing whatever he could carry himself , Reynolds jumped down and ran back to the storehouse , '' Jack '' still yapping at his feet . Corp ROLAND Miller stood covering Luddington and McMahon as they hastily followed behind , waylaid by armfuls of supplies . Suddenly a zulu lunged over the barricade and grabbed hold of Millers rifle , pulling him off balance . He was about to Assegai Miller when James Langley Dalton stepped forward and shot the warrior down , before pulling the startled Corporal back to his feet . Reynolds dropped his bags on the steps of the Storehouse and turned back hoping he might evacuate just a few more patients from the front room of the Hospital , but there was no time . Bromhead had pulled the defenders back from the front line to a small '' dog leg '' of mealie bags that bridged the space between the corner of the Hospital and the front wall of bags . An unnamed soldier of the 24th , himself wounded during the battle later wrote the following graphic account of the opening stages .
'' After the negroes surrounded us we fought like tigers . I saw Dr Reynolds blazing away at them , cheering the one's who were hit , running to the fellow , dressing his wounds , then fighting away like a hero . He and the hospital Corps men defended the hospital to the last moment . When the zuluu's got in they charged through them and got into the Laager behind Waggons and mealie bags , where they all fought like true Britons until daylight . They made several sorties and drove them off splendidly ''. ( 11 ) -    Taken from The Lancet , 8th March 1879 .
I dont think Lee will mind , me quoting from his excellent work . I do have Reynolds actual report of RD , I will try and source it today .
Cheers 90th You need to study mo

PS , Interestingly I found Surgeon Reynolds' very report does not mention him or the others fleeing the Verandah with the Medical supplies , actually Reynolds' talks of what he witnessed but says nothing of his own exploits or those of Luddington , Miller and McMahon , interestingly he talks of who was killed in the Hospital , there being Sgt Maxfield and Pvt Jenkins , he says '' both unable to assist their escape being debilitated by Fever '' , which basically underlines the fact that there were TWO JENKINS at RD , which many have believed for quite a while , as the other Jenkins was out on the wall saving Chard or Bromhead from being shot down , if my memory serves me correctly .
Cheers 90th
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nthornton1979

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PostSubject: Re: Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence   Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyThu Sep 25, 2014 10:31 am

Excellent!

Thankyou 90th.


This now throws up more questions than answers but it has nailed down the source.

A couple of observations -

Hook of Rorke's Drift', Barry C Johnson; page 110.(credited/sourced as from Lee Stevenson's book)

"Despite the number of rooms, it (the hospital) was only about sixty feet in length and the rooms at the back and sides were small... Surgeon Reynolds, and three men of the Medical Department, fitted up one of the front rooms as an operating theatre, used a corner room for medical supplies, and cleared the remaining rooms "for patient's bed, and storage of their kits and rifles."

Two of the smallest rooms of the hospital were either side of the veranda so that would fit in with the description. It's also the place most likely to be used as it's near the entrance and next to the 'operating theatre'.

The article states that the man writing the account was wounded in the battle. This will narrow down the writer somewhat.

The writer describes the veranda action as if he was involved but later, when the defenders had retired to the retrenchment wall he says 'they fought like tigers'. This sounds like he was not involved in this part of the fight. So in essence, to identify the writer we need someone who was wounded early on in the hospital compound (or near it, as he states that Bromhead 'pulled the defenders back', as opposed to 'pulled 'us' back) Someone who took no further part in the fighting after the retirement to the retrenchment.

It also states that -"Reynolds dropped his bags on the steps of the Storehouse and turned back hoping he might evacuate just a few more patients from the front room of the Hospital , but there was no time"

So this suggests that at least one patient was evacuated through the front door prior to the withdrawal. This in turn shows that the front door was not barricaded at this point although it could have hastily have been barricaded by the remaining men inside.

From Reynolds account - "Some of them gained the hospital verandah, and there got hand to hand with our men defending the doors. Once they were driven back from here, but other soon pressed forward in their stead, and having occupied the verandah in larger numbers than before, pushed their way right into the hospital, where confusion on our side naturally followed"

He says they got hand to hand with the men defending the doors - Could this be Miller and Dalton who were defending it whilst the supplies were retrieved?

It is typical of the time that those involved fail to mention or play down their own involvement. This may account for Reynolds not mentioning it.

Plenty to consider and dissect.

Also, regarding Jenkins - I actually spent several hours a few days ago reading the entire thread on it (all 24 or so pages)... I'm still recovering from the mental and physical exhaustion of taking it all in! Yes, I believe there were two Jenkins' there that day.

Neil


Last edited by nthornton1979 on Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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90th

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PostSubject: Retrieving supplies from Hospital during defence    Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyThu Sep 25, 2014 10:49 am

Hi Neil
Glad I could be of some help Salute
Cheers 90th Salute
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nthornton1979

nthornton1979

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PostSubject: Re: Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence   Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyThu Sep 25, 2014 10:55 am

A couple more thoughts:-

Reynolds fails to mention in his account that he ran across 'No-Man's-Land' to the hospital to keep them supplied with ammunition once the defenders had retired to their inner defensive perimeter.

This act features in his VC citation but he doesn't personally mention it. This shows that Reynolds did indeed play down his own role and failed to mention what HE personally did.


Another thought may be that the writer of the account was a hospital patient towards the front of the hospital. This would account for him witnessing Reynolds and Co. It would also explain why he describes 'them' retiring to the dog-leg and not 'us'.



Neil


Last edited by nthornton1979 on Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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90th

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PostSubject: Retrieving supplies from Hospital during defence    Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyThu Sep 25, 2014 11:13 am

Hi Neil
Yes possibly , it is hard to align all the info and arrive at a definitive outcome , I'd like to see what Lee Stevenson may come up with , as it was his book I lifted it from You need to study mo Salute . Reynolds' own report I got from ' The Army Medical Sevices Museum ; Special Publication ' . It also has Surgeon General Woolfryes' Report ' Medical History Of The War In Zululand 1879 '
As you said it throws up many questions , as does nearly everything regarding this war ! Shocked Shocked
90th Salute
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nthornton1979

nthornton1979

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PostSubject: Re: Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence   Reynolds - Retrieving supplies from hospital during defence EmptyThu Sep 25, 2014 12:13 pm


Thanks again 90th,

Yes, all speculation but very interesting. Like trying to complete a jigsaw with half the box missing. In reading many books on the battle it's amazing how differently people interpret accounts and information at hand.

Is Reynold's account in the museum 'specil publication' the same one that is now readily available or is this a different one?

Also, Woolfryes report - I'm assuming this also mentions Rorke's Drift and Reynold's? If so could I trouble you for info?

Hopefully Lee will also be along to shed some light :-)

Thanks again. It's very much appreciated.

Neil

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