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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyMon Feb 23, 2015 11:22 pm

Instead of "between "him" and Chard" please read "between Bromhead and Chard".
Sorry for the mistake.
Cheers
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 12:01 am

The discussion about taking command and protocol simply clouds the reality of the situation. The only individual concerned about it at the time is Pulleine. Had he not raised it, it would not have been an issue.

It does not feature at all in Chelmsford's thinking and, as Frederic points out, Chelmsford addresses no orders to Durnford in terms of the command of the camp. In my view we simply have two independant columns coming together and crossing - it is never intended by Chelmsford that their commands should merge.

I would not be surprised if we find that some orders are missing. Either that, or Chelmsford was entirely content that Durnford should act on his own initiative and did not feel the need to direct him further.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 12:40 am

I see maybe another objection againt Frank's hypothesis.
Frank suggests that a strong escort wouldn't have been required by Chelsmford for the move of the camp.
For Chelsmford, there was no danger between Isandhlwana and the new camp at the Mangeni.
So, no necessity to use Durnford as a "screen" for the remaining column in moving.
This point appeared to me very relevant before i realized it was in contradiction with the Gardner's order.
If there was no danger for Chelsmford, why he wrote to Pulleine: "(...) and to remain himself [Pulleine] at the camp and entrench it".
Since the beginning of the invasion, it was the first time that Chelsmford gave an order about a "fortification" of a camp.
None of the temporaries camp of Rorke's Drift, Isandhlwana (before the Garner's order), Dunbar in the Batshe valley have been strenghened.
It's curious...
I see maybe one explanation: The weak of the garrison after the departure of the troops involved in the Mangeni's operation?
Cheers
Frédéric

Cheers

Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 9:31 am

Bonjour à tous,
The study of the orders given to Durnford in January is a complex subject.
The 22 January, i am not sure that Chelsmford knew that Durnford had with him native's infantry.
it seems to me that it was Durnford on his own initiative who kept with him 3 Coys of the 1/1 NNC.
Before the 22 January, the orders from Chelsmford about the 3 NNC's battalions (of Durnford) were:
2 Battalions at Sandspruit (1/3 - 3/3)
The 2/3 NNC with Bengough.
In the famous order Crelaock wrote to Durnford: "You are to march to the camp at once with all the force you have with you of n°2 column".
If i am right, in Chelmsford's mind this order meant only mounted men and the rocket battery, no native's infantry.
I don't know if i am right and if this point is relevant.
Happy to be corrected.
Cheers.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 10:16 am

"5th Evidence.—Lieutenant Cochrane, 32nd Regiment, states: I am employed as transport officer with No 2 Column, then under Colonel Durnford, R.E., on the 22nd January, 1879, the column marched on that morning from Rorke's Drift to Isandlwana in consequence of an order received from the Lieutenant General. I do not know the particulars of the order received. I entered the Isandlwana camp with Colonel Durnford about 10 A.M., and remained with him as Acting Staff Officer. On arrival he took over command from Colonel Pulleine, 24th Regiment. Colonel Pulleine gave over to Colonel Durnford a verbal state of the troops in camp at the time, and stated the orders he had received, viz., to defend the camp, these words were repeated two or three times in the conversation. Several messages were delivered, the last one to the effect that the Zulus were retiring in all directions—the bearer of this was not dressed in any uniform. On this message Colonel Durnford sent two troops Mounted Natives to the top of the hills to the left, and took with him two troops of Rocket Battery, with escort of one company Native Contingent, on to the front of the camp about four or five miles off. Before leaving, he asked Colonel Pulleine to give him. two companies 24th Regiment. Colonel Pulleine said that with the orders he had received he could not do it, but agreed with Colonel Durnford to send him help if he got into difficulties. Colonel Durnford, with two troops, went on ahead and met the enemy some four or five miles off in great force, and, as they showed also on our left, we retired in good order to the Drift, about a quarterof a mile in front of the camp, where the mounted men reinforced us, about two miles from the camp. On our retreat we came upon the remains of the Rocket Battery which had been destroyed."

So here we have an eyewitness account, which shows Col Pulliene reminding Col Durford of his orders. And we can also see, Durnford had to be reminded three times before he finally understood what Pulliene was trying to say. “Defend the camp” Is it no clear, Durnford had his own agenda and point to prove maybe? Even after Pulliene explained his orders, Durnford still tried to take two companies of the 24th and again Pulliene had to explain why he couldn’t comply. Is it not possible that Durnford didn’t want to stay, because he had a mounted unit, and commanding an infantry unit was not what he joined up for, we know by Durnford own words, that he was keen to meet the Zulus out in the open, “If we see Zulu’s we should attack them” He was under the opinion that there were only a few hundred Zulu’s and felt confident that he could handle them, with or without his NNC and Rocket battery. Unfortunately he wasn’t riding out to engage a few hundred as we know. But his eagerness to engage the Zulu ended in disaster not just for him, but all those in the camp, which he was chased back to. And it all comes back to him not complying with any of the orders issued to him that morning. Perhaps in part he did obey his order by moving to the camp. But after that no.
Also taking into account Pulliene’s order that would have been binding on him, if he had stayed in the camp.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 10:41 am

Gardner's order makes it clear the Isandhlwana was to become the next entrenched 'staging post' for Chelmsford en route: Rorke's Drift-Isandhlwana-Mangeni. Each one a day's ox waggon-journey from the other.
The supplies, ammo and camp equipage were to be sent on to Mangeni. No doubt the orders for specific coys would have followed (if indeed they were not already included in Gardner's message).
As for Durnford's troops, there is nothing mentioned in Gardner's message. Perhaps because LC didn't know if he'd arrived at Isandhlwana yet or perhaps because he'd already had his orders.
That much is clear.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 11:06 am

Julian Whybra wrote:
Gardner's order makes it clear the Isandhlwana was to become the next entrenched 'staging post' for Chelmsford en route: Rorke's Drift-Isandhlwana-Mangeni.  Each one a day's ox waggon-journey from the other.
The supplies, ammo and camp equipage were to be sent on to Mangeni.  No doubt the orders for specific coys would have followed (if indeed they were not already included in Gardner's message).
As for Durnford's troops, there is nothing mentioned in Gardner's message.  Perhaps because LC didn't know if he'd arrived at Isandhlwana yet or perhaps because he'd already had his orders.
That much is clear.

Bonjour Mister whybra;
You said: "Af for Durnford's troops, there is nothing mentioned in Garner's message. Perhaps because LC didn't know if he'd arrived at Isandhlwana...'
So for your you, it was not a necessity in the Victorian army to inform a hight ranking Officer of the change of a military plan in progress?
Chelsmford knew the last position of Durnford (RD). He could send a messenger to Durnford (as you know the journey Mangeni-Isandhlwana-RD was on the same road)
You said also: "Perhaps (...) he [Durnford] had already his orders".
Can you eleborate, please?

Cheers
Frédéric
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 11:22 am

Frederic

Well yes, it was necessary for Chelmsford to do that. But whether he would have done it or intended to do it, is another question.
Looking at Chelmsford's orders and correspondence there were times he could be a total 'control freak' and there were times when he lapsed.

Re Durnford's orders, the overall plan of the campaign had been made clear to him by LC and his movements to date had been in accordance with that.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 11:46 am

Mister Whybra
Thank you for your answer.
First point: point taken!
Second point: This point is the subject of the discussion in progress.
What were the "Chelsmford's thought about Durnford's mission"?
As you wrote earlier, Durnford seems have no doubt about his mission, the understanding of the (Crealock's) order.
Also, with this reasonning his mission was to go to the Mangeni (in Chelsmford's mind).
But there are some problems of consistency with this mission...
Cheers
Frédéric
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 12:15 pm

Frederic
Here are two letters.  It might help to have a map handy as you read them.  Spellings as in the originals.

Chelmsford to Durnford 19th January:
“No. 3 column moves tomorrow to Insalwana Hill and from there, as soon as possible to a spot about 10 miles nearer to the Indeni Forest.
From that point I intend to operate against the two Matyanas if they refuse to surrender.
One is in the stronghold on or near the Mhlazakazi Mountain the other is in the Indeni forest.  Bengough ought to be ready to cross the Bufalo R. at the Gates of Natal in three days time, and ought to show himself there as sonn as possible.
I have sent you an order to cross the river at rorkes Drift tomorrow with the force you have with you at Vermaaks.
I shall want you to operate against the Matyanas, but will send you fresh instructions on this subject.
We shall be about 8 miles from rorkes Drift tomorrow.”

Chelmsford to Frere 21st January describing the campaign and the day’s events so far.  This letter is quoted in French (the author not the language) but excludes this passage which is in the original:
“I enclose a memorandum which I am sending to Col. Durnford and to Col. Bray, which will shew you the arrangements I am making for moving forward, and for guarding my line of communication when I do.  I shall move towards the Indeni Bush first of all so as to find out whether there are many Zulus there, and then move back again towards Isipezi.”

After LC's reconnaissance of the 21st, during the afternoon-evening of the 21st, he sent the latter to Frere and also evidently sent a memorandum ("I am sending", NOT "I shall send") regarding forward movements to Durnford and Bray.


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 12:50 pm

Mister Whybra,
I know the first order of the 19 january.
The same day, a second order was sent to Durnford by Spalding.
You can find this second order in....""isandhlwana and the Durnford papers" Very Happy Very Happy

The problem for me is "that he would seem that Chelsmford enjoyed a reputation for vacillation and changed his mind frequently at a whim" (Zulu Victory p.273)
keith I. Smith suggests the same personality in his thesis.
A man attached to his staff said about him: "he never knew his own mind for an hour together" (Zulu victory p.274)
On this forum, you suggested something similar (22 january / Clery / Crealock / a next article)
There are many others examples...


So i am very suspicious about his mind...
As i wrote previously:
1°) If Durnford's mission was to go to the Mangeni (in Chelsmford's mind) Why Chelsmford wrote to to Durnford to take with him the rocket battery (and his native infantry?)?
In the first hours of the 22 January a battle was expected by Chelsmford. The speed of the Durnford's column was also expected, no?
2°) In this hypthesis (go to the Mangeni), Chelsmford waited his arrival on the area of the Mangeni.
Or, there are no testimonies by Chelsmford or others senior Officers (Crealock / Glyn / Clery) or staff officer "junior ( Milne, Buller, Gosset) about "their surprise" not to see him in the Mangeni during the day.
Chelmsford learnt that Durnford was stayed at Isandhlwana only about 3h00 PM the 22 January with the receipt of the Gardner's message (from memory).

Cheers

frédéric

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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 12:57 pm

Mister Whybra,
I am studying the Bartle Frere message (i have never read it).
Thanks, its seems interesting...
Cheers.
Frédéric
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 1:17 pm

Exciting...
-guarding my line of the communication
It seems that Durnford would have obeyed order by "chasing" the Zulus on the plateau...
-Then move back again towards Izipezi (from memory Siphezi?).
I have to study it "in deepth" with a map.
The 21 january is the day of the meeting between Chelsmford and Shepstone!
Thank you Mister Whybra for your help.
Frédéric

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 2:08 pm

Frederic

Indeed it is the day of the meeting between Chelmsford and Shepstone. And it would seem Shepstone did take something back with him.

As to why Durnford should be ordered to take with him the rocket battery and two NNC coys, why shouldn't he??? There was not much point in leaving them behind. They were all part of Durnford's command. The NNC would be just as useful on the Mangeni as on the Buffalo
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 2:28 pm

Julian Whybra wrote:
Frederic

Indeed it is the day of the meeting between Chelmsford and Shepstone.  And it would seem Shepstone did take something back with him.

As to why Durnford should be ordered to take with him the rocket battery and two NNC coys, why shouldn't he???  There was not much point in leaving them behind.  They were all part of Durnford's command.  The NNC would be just as useful on the Mangeni as on the Buffalo

Mister Whybra,

Bingo! Shepstone went back to Durnford with the memorandum, "the famous missing order" !!!!
I have no map at hand.
This night after my return at home, i will study the implications of the letter ("the whole picture").
Many thanks for the "gift".

Amitiés.

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 4:00 pm

Julian
My problem with the letter to Frere and instruction to Durnford is the timing and placement on the timeline.
On the 21st Chelmsford had gone to Gamdanas village. Wasn't  it during this excursion that Shepstone caught up with him? Ive seen estimates that put the time at around 9 oclock.

Your timing: "After LC's reconnaissance of the 21st, during the afternoon-evening of the 21st, he sent the latter to Frere and also evidently sent a memorandum ("I am sending", NOT "I shall send") regarding forward movements to Durnford and Bray."

The ride/scouting expedition onto the plateau was much later in the day, if you are referring to the period after this ride when Chelmsford wrote his letter to Frere then it puts the draughting very late in the day. It was after 5 that Gosset and Buller left Mangani to deliver Dartnells message, arriving when Chelmsford and party were on the ridge, close to dusk. I cant imagine that Shepstone would have hung around for the whole day and then returned to RD in the dark. So if that letter was written when Chelmsford had finished his ride and returned to camp it would not have been delivered to Shepstone and Durnford but would possibly be intended for delivery the next morning: "I am sending", could still refer to a delivery a mere few hours later.
Or am I reading it wrongly and possibly the missive was written in the afternoon at some point? But even so would Shepstone have hung around for the whole day?

Regards
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 4:33 pm

Frank
To find out precisely when LC was writing...he mentions in the rest of the despatch to Frere: leaving the camp on the 20th at 1pm to reconnoitre the Malakathas-Indeni Bush; sending out Lonsdale very early on the morning of the 21st to explore the western Malakathas; stating that he would "know by evening therefore whether there is anybody left in the country"; and he wrote "I am going myself after breakfast...to interview the brother of Gamdana".
It looks as though therefore the memorandum was sent to Durnford/Bray before breakfast on the 21st.
I shall have to check precisely when Shepstone met LC (although of course the memorandum didn't have to be transmitted by Shepstone...it could have gone by a separate messenger - even the same messenger that carried Frere's message). Frere's message got through so there's no reason to suppose that Durnford and Bray's didn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 5:10 pm

A further indication of Chelmsford's intentions for Durnford may be found in his letter from Rorke's Drift to Colonel Wood on 16 January setting out his plans for the 2 central columns.

He says.

"Russell made a reconnaissance as far as the Isepezi Hill yesterday about 22 miles. Road at present quite unfit for convoys to pass_ Our first move must therefore be to the Isanblana Hill where there is wood and water. I shall from there clear the Equdeni forest or receive the submission of the chiefs and Headmen residing in that district. Having settled that part I shall move on to ground between the Isepezi and Umhlabumkosi but nearest to the latter where there is wood. If you are then at Ingwee we might have another meeting..............From Isepezi I should first work towards the mission station close to the little Itala, where I hope to establish Durnford's column."

I am now busy looking at maps to try and find "the little Itala" and the mission referred to by Chelmsford.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 5:54 pm

Rusteze
The little Itala is near the headwaters of the Inzuzi river. Head south-east from Isipezi, go beyond the Great Itala to the Little Itala. The mission station is just beyond that. All are marked on the map inside Mackinnon & Shadbolt.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 6:03 pm

Hi Julian
Chelmsfords writing habits are unfortuantly probably lost in time. I was more concerned really with looking at the Shepstone issue, and what if anything he took back to Durnford. I think I lean towards a verbal message, assuming he did catch Chelmsfords party on the way to Gamdane.
Frederic
I still gravitate towards the thought that Chelmsford didn't see a need for an escort for his wagons. He himself rode across the plain on the 20th researching the Mangeni area, and again on the 21st.
Considering all the traveling the place must have seemed very benign. And why not all the thoughts seemed to be towards the forest or down the bottom of the Mangeni Gorge, that's where Maorie Brown spotted activity on the 21st. To all intents and purposes there was no threat at all.
One thing that does need clarification is the message carried by Gardner. Pullein was not ordered to pack up the camp ( a comment was made that should Durnford have been left behind) he was ordered to pack up for the troops sent forward only. There was no suggestion of Pullein joining the balance of the column so we don't really know Chelmsfords intentions.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 6:37 pm

About the Shepstone issue, i don't really see the point scratch
According to my notes, Chelsmford sent the message BEFORE the arrival of Shepstone.
From one letter (Durnford: letter to his mother) and one testimony (Jabez molife / undated), we know that Shepstone has been sent by Durnford to Chelsmford to get fresh instructions.
We know that Shepstone met Chelsmford.
So, Chelsmford could tell to Shepstone the instructions sent before the breakfast about the Durnford's column.
I certainly missed something!
Cheers

Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 6:51 pm

Thanks Julian. The map in M&S is the large one from the Narrative (see below). Chelmsford's intended base for Durnford at Little Itala (St Philip and St James Mission?) looks to be at the next "day's march" staging post on from Mangeni.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 6:51 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Hi Julian

Frederic
I still gravitate towards the thought that Chelmsford didn't see a need for an escort for his wagons. He himself rode across the plain on the 20th researching the Mangeni area, and again on the 21st.
Considering all the traveling the place must have seemed very benign. And why not all the thoughts seemed to be towards the forest or down the bottom of the Mangeni Gorge, that's where Maorie Brown spotted activity on the 21st. To all intents and purposes there was no threat at all.
One thing that does need clarification is the message carried by Gardner. Pullein was not ordered to pack up the camp ( a comment was made that should Durnford have been left behind) he was ordered to pack up for the troops sent forward only. There was no suggestion of Pullein joining the balance of the column so we don't really know Chelmsfords intentions.

Bonjour Frank
I am totally agree with all yours points.
It's the reason why i am surprised that Chelmsford asked to Pulleine to "entrench" the camp (Gardner's testimony)
Maybe this instruction was motivated by the low number of defenders at Isandhlwana after the move of the units (Only 1/24th coys stayed at the camp / no artillery / no mounted units / no natives infantry).

Cheers.
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 7:21 pm

For Chelmsford to order the camp to be entrenched is completely illogical. It makes no sense at all. I would hesitate to accuse, but I don't believe that message came from Chelmsford, at that time.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 7:33 pm

Frank
For what it's worth I am inclined to agree. But still we are left with Gardner's exact words. Perhaps he was repeating hearsay from those around LC before he left the Mangeni. Perhaps it was supposition on his part. As this was part of his evidence at the CoI, Chelmsford would have been able to correct the statement, but he didn't.
It's something which has to be borne in mind. A piece from a different jigsaw perhaps? History can be like that at times.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 7:42 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
For Chelmsford to order the camp to be entrenched is completely illogical. It makes no sense at all. I would hesitate to accuse, but I don't believe that message came from Chelmsford, at that time.

Cheers

It was that Chap Crealock!!! agree Not making sense, in his communications
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 24, 2015 7:52 pm

Chelmsford wrote to Bartle Frere on 23 January to inform him of the disaster at Isandhlwana. In it he says the following.

"The troops left in camp consisted of five cos. 1/24th, 2 guns RA, about 20 Mounted Infantry, 30 Mounted Police and 30 Natal Volunteers. The whole was under the command of Lt. Col. Pulleine 1/24th.

The rocket battery under Capt. Russell RA and five troops Mounted Basutos, the whole commanded by Colonel Durnford RE arrived at the camp in the course of the day that the camp had been attacked.

I had previously sent direction... (word illegible) the camp struck and moved to the point where the force was then operating against Matyan."


So no mention of a partial packing up, or entrenching for those who remained. He reports that he directed the camp to be struck.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 12:56 am

Julian Whybra wrote:
Frederic

As to why Durnford should be ordered to take with him the rocket battery and two NNC coys, why shouldn't he???  There was not much point in leaving them behind.  They were all part of Durnford's command.  The NNC would be just as useful on the Mangeni as on the Buffalo

Bonjour Mister Whybra / all,
First, i am agree with your point about the rocket battery and the native infantry: Bengough troops were also native infantry (2/3 NNC)
But the "whole picture" remains unclear for me despite your new information (I.E:despactch to Bartle Frere 21 January):
The same question remains (point 1 / my post yesterday 1.50 PM).
and a new interrogation raises: We though that Durnford needed to participate actively at the invasion: "I am down because i am left behind but we shall see" (Durnford / letter to his mother / 21 January)
We know that he hoped new instruction by Cochrane's account: "Just that I thought. We are proceed at once to Isandlwana camp" (22 January / just after the receipt of the Crealock's order).
But, it seems doubtful that Durnford really waiting to receive instructions in the morning of 22 January.
- Why DURNFORD did he go in the Biggarsberg (Natal side of the Buffalo) in the first hours of the 22 January?
-Why the Durnford's camp at the arrival of Smith-Dorrien wasn't dismantled, packed and loaded into wagons?
Cheers.
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 1:23 am

Hi Frederic
I can tell you why Durnford was on the Natal side of the river , on the morning early on the 22nd Jan , because , he was on a foraging expedition . Possibly also on the look out for spare wagons etc . When Durnford arrived back at his camp after receiving the message from Smith - Dorrien , Durnford states the camp was in the state of being packed , etc etc .
Cheers 90th Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 2:05 am

Morning 90th, spot on, Durnford was of to the Biggarsberg to forage for waggons.
All
Again this is one of those times that the 'Command decision' kicks in. He wasn't ordered to do it, it wasn't contained in his order of the 19th from Chelmsford that told him to move up to RD. Just imagine the furore that would have erupted if he had been attacked while out of the camp, say by the left horn of some passing impi? Would he have been accused of disobeying orders in not remaining encamped at RD in the resulting enquiry?
That's not sarcasm its just putting a sequence of events into a different time zone.

19th Durnford receives orders to move camp forward along the invasion trail
22nd Ditto

From his new camp he doesn't assume command of the 'base camp' from Spalding (A less senior officer)
When he moves to Isandlwana ditto

From RD he takes his mounted men out of the camp
From iSandlwana he does the same.

Why does Durnford get criticized for the second points but not the first? The circumstances are virtually the same!

Just a line of thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 6:16 am

90th wrote:
Hi Frederic
I can tell you why  Durnford was on the Natal side of the river , on the morning early on the 22nd Jan , because , he was on a foraging expedition . Possibly also on the look out for spare wagons etc . When Durnford arrived back at his camp after receiving the message from Smith - Dorrien , Durnford states the camp was in the state of being packed , etc etc .
Cheers 90th Salute

Bonjour Gary,
Tanks for your answer.
I mispoted again...
I just wanted to say:If you know that a military opération is in progress, you are ready with your men, not away.You are waiting impatiently the order "go"!!!
Cheers
Frédéric

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 7:28 am

ymob wrote:
Julian Whybra wrote:
Frederic

As to why Durnford should be ordered to take with him the rocket battery and two NNC coys, why shouldn't he???  There was not much point in leaving them behind.  They were all part of Durnford's command.  The NNC would be just as useful on the Mangeni as on the Buffalo

Bonjour Mister Whybra / all,
First, i am agree with your point about the rocket battery and the native infantry: Bengough troops were also native infantry (2/3 NNC)
But the "whole picture" remains unclear for me despite your new information (I.E:despactch to Bartle Frere 21 January):
The same question remains (point 1 / my post yesterday 1.50 PM).

Frédéric

Not the point 1, the point 2.
Sorry for the confusion. No
Cheers.
Frédéric
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 9:44 am

Frank Allewell wrote:
.
All
Again this is one of those times that the 'Command decision' kicks in. He wasn't ordered to do it, it wasn't contained in his order of the 19th from Chelmsford that told him to move up to RD. Just imagine the furore that would have erupted if he had been attacked while out of the camp, say by the left horn of some passing impi? Would he have been accused of disobeying orders in not remaining encamped at RD in the resulting enquiry?
That's not sarcasm its just putting a sequence of events into a different time zone.

19th Durnford receives orders to move camp forward along the invasion trail
22nd Ditto

From his new camp he doesn't assume command of the 'base camp' from Spalding (A less senior officer)
When he moves to Isandlwana ditto

From RD he takes his mounted men out of the camp
From iSandlwana he does the same.

Why does Durnford get criticized for the second points but not the first? The circumstances are virtually the same!

Just a line of thought.

Bonjour Frank,
-About RD:
In the absence of special circumstances, i think that the question of "Who is in command" is purely theoretical.
Both Spalding and Durnford knew that the presence at RD of the troops of the column n°2 was (very) temporary .
-About Isandhlwana,
We have special circumstances: the destruction of the camp...and the search of the name of the culprit for this disaster (Durnford for Chelsmford).
But, I think that in Durnford's mind his mission was not to stay à Isandhlwana.
Cheers.
Frédéric

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 10:34 am

About the getaway in the Biggarsberg:
Durnford was in command of an independant column.
So he has a some initiative.
So the getaway in the Biggarsberg was not really a problem.
According to jabez Molife only fifty mounted men were with durnford (in the Biggarsberg).
The others were at Rorke's Drift with Shepstone.
Of course, it's not a problem only if a military operation isn't in progress.
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 1:15 pm

Hi Frederic
Youre quite correct of course, but in the interests of debate.
'At the time', there was no difference in the course of actions of taking command. The anti Durnford faction have sought over generations to point out that as senior officer he took command from Pulleine, so why not apply the principle of like mindedness to his arrival at Rorkes Drift.

To take your point: "Durnford was in command of an independant column.
So he has a some initiative.
So the getaway in the Biggarsberg was not really a problem"

That surely then has to apply to iSandlwana. He was a free agent and entitled to do what he deemed militarily correct ( wrong or right ) and of course to have those actions judged by history.

Im trying to separate the actions of Durnford from the results of those actions, and yes I believe that's possible.

Hope that makes sense.

Cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 3:04 pm

Frank,

That makes sense... from a theoretical point of view !

The limits of the independence of Durnford had been particulary clarified by LC :

-In the second paragraph of the order of the 8th January

« Should you consider that a counter-move across the Buffalo river will be efficacious in preventing an inroad of zulus into Natal, you are a perfect libery to make it, but with the understanding that it is made with a pure defensive purpose, and that the force making it returns to its former position on completion of the duty entrusted to it »

-In the letter of the 14 January (« the rebuke »)

« When a column is acting SEPARATLY in an enemi's country i am quite ready to give its commander every latitude and would expect to disobey any orders he might receive from me, if information which he obtained showed that it would be injurious to the interests of the column under his command »

So for Chelsmford, the autonomy of Durnford was limited by decisions which would been contrary to the interests of his column or his mission.

Delicate appreciation but the Hight Ranking Officers have habitute of these situation.
The actual constraint (as in all the armies) is not to upset the General.

At RD, the situation was calm and routine (for both Spalding and Durnford). The Durnford's mission was to wait the order to move and to be ready to move upon the receipt of the order. Nothing else.

At Isandhlwana, the context was no the same, a military plan was in progress and Durnford was a member of this plan.
So his autonomy was strictly limited by his instructions (control the Chelsmford's line of communication / at least in his mind)
Faced with an unexpected situation, he must ensure to take the right decision, the decision expected by the General (see Smith-Dorrien à Le Cateau in 1914)

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 3:37 pm

At Isandhlwana, i am not sure tha the DURNFORD's column has acted veritably "separatly" ...
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 4:18 pm

Frederic

I think there are two important considerations that apply to Durnford when he is at Isandhlwana, that did not apply when he was at at Rorke's Drift.

First is that Durnford is in enemy territory, so Chelmsford is willing to give him "every latitude".

Second, Chelmsford's plans for using Durnford's column treat him as separate from Glyn's column. What we know is he was ordered up to the camp, what we are speculating about is that Chelmsford may have conveyed a further order to Durnford via Shepstone, but we do not know what it was.

Nevertheless, at no time does Chelmsford say Durnford's command is amalgamated with Glyn's.

So it is separate.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 4:34 pm

Steve,
I am agree with your second point.
Yes, Durnford's command was not amalgameted with Glyn's.
I meant that Durnford's initiatives were limited due to the ongoing military operation led by Chelsmford in person. It's the reason why i wrote "i am not sure that the DURNFORD's column has acted veritably "separatly".
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 4:46 pm

I understand your point. It is another problem of Glyn being "invisible". Chelmsford always says he "accompanies" Glyn's column but in reality he leads it.

I don't think any of the column commanders were expected to act separately from Chelmsford strategically. The problem arises when Chelmsford involves himself in the tactics. He should have operated like most British Generals, on a hill far away!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 6:49 pm

Frank,
Probably, you can separate the actions of Durnford from the résults of those actions, but i don't think you can separate the actions of Durnford from the context of those actions
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 8:52 pm

Who was in command of Durnford!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 9:22 pm

The Bishops!
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 9:24 pm

Apart from them Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 9:59 pm



"In 1875 Major General Sir Garnet Wolseley arrived in South Africa to take up his position as Colonial Administrator of Natal to replace Pine. 
Wolseley soon came into conflict with the Bishop, and tried to remove Durnford from his influence. 

He confided to his private journal:

"I had a long conversation with Lt. Colonel Durnford R. E. who was wounded in the unfortunate business at the Bushman’s Pass ... Durnford has most injudiciously identified himself with the Colenso side here and as that arithmetical dignitary has taken up a line in opposition to the opinion of all Colonists, Durnford has become so unpopular that his usefulness as a public servant - he is colonial as well as military engineer - has been very seriously impaired. I gave him to understand this which I don’t think he relished ... I wish I could get rid of him, for I look upon him rather as a firebrand here and I think that he is not only injudicious but that he is eccentric almost to a degree that might fairly be termed madness."

Food for thought! Was LC in the same mindset in 1879.
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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 10:32 pm

Can across Pte William Johnsons account. I think part of his statement is already on the fourm.


"Private William Johnson, 1st Battalion, 24th Foot, one of the few survivors of the massacre at Isandhlwana, later Sergeant-Major and Drill Instructor to 7th T.F. Battalion Liverpool Regiment.

"The statements, held in the Regimental Museum, of the six private soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment, who escaped from the battlefield of Isandhlwana, 22nd January, 1879, were published for the first time in Medal Rolls of the 24th Regiment of Foot, South Wales Borderers by Norman Holme (J. B. Hayward & Son 1971) and subsequently in The Silver Wreath by Norman Holme (Samson Books 1979), to whom acknowledgement is hereby given for that reproduced here. The following is the statement of 299 Private William Johnson, 1/24th Regiment:

I was one of the Rocket Battery under command of the late Captain Russell, R.A., which was attached to Colonel Durnford’s Column. We got to Isandhlwana Camp about 11 a.m. on the 22nd January 1879. We halted there about 10 minutes when Colonel Durnford came down from the Camp of the 1/24th Regiment and gave orders that, as the Zulus were retiring fast, the mounted men should advance up a hill about two and a half miles from Camp, and that the Rocket Battery supported by the Infantry of the Native Contingent should follow in rear of the Mounted Basutos. 

About two miles out we met a ‘vidette’ of the Natal Carbineers who reported that the Mounted Basutos were heavily engaged on the opposite side of a hill on our left, at the same time offering to show us a short cut to the place where the engagement was going on. The Captain galloped up the hill and before he returned to us shouted ‘Action front’.

While we were getting into action the Zulus kept coming out of a kloof on our left, which the big guns had been shelling from the Camp. We had time to fire our rocket when they came over the hill in masses, and commenced to fire on us.


As soon as they opened fire the mules carrying the rockets broke away. The Native Contingent, who were in the rear of us, after firing a few shots ran away. I observed that a great number of them were unable to extract the empty cartridge cases after firing, and offered to do so for some of them but they would not give me their rifles. Before this the horses had broken away and I tried to help Captain Russel from the field, but he was shot before we had gone many paces.

I made my escape to a donga held by some of the Police, Mounted Infantry and Carbineers. On my way to this place I met Colonel Durnford and he asked me where my battery was; I told him that the battery was cut up and the Captain shot, when he said you had better go back and fetch him. I then pointed out to him that the enemy had already nearly surrounded us.
 At this time he was mounted as well as his orderly who had a spare horse, and he retired with a few Basutos towards the left of the Camp. Just below the Camp I met Privates Trainer and Grant with Bombardier Gough, they gave me a horse. We then went up to the Camp and found the Police extended in front of it and they were shortly afterwards driven in.

The Camp was now almost completely surrounded and I made for the Buffalo following some of the Police and other mounted men, and crossed it below Rorke’s Drift. I afterwards met Major Spalding on the road to Helpmakaar, and turned back and joined the Companies 1/24th under Major Upcher. We met a lot of natives on the left of the road to the Drift but could not make out what they were for certain"


I knew about Durford telling him to go back and get his captain. But I didn't know, that Durnford actually left him, even though the orderly with him had a spare horse. Now that can't be right!! No
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyWed Feb 25, 2015 10:53 pm

"Grenfell, Francis. Handwritten letter and typescript to "

"My dear Sir" dated "Pieter Maritzburg Feb. 3 - / 79.
   A highly interesting letter about the Zulu War. Brevet-Major Grenfell, later Field Marshall Baron Grenfell, writes to an unnamed friend about a Zulu attack on a camp near Isandhlwana, a day or so before the main Zulu assault on Rorke's Drift. It is a very vivid account of a massacre of English and loyal native troops.

"...The loss of the Camp was due to the Officer Commanding...Col. Durnford who...disregarded the orders left by the General...Durnford is dead, but he shot himself when all was lost. This will probably never be known publicly but this is the case. Officers and men behaved splendidly dying back to back and at the last rallying round the Colours..."

This letter, written ten days after the event by a man on the spot, is a very different account from the one found under Durnford in the D.N.B. A fine and moving letter."

Warwick Record Office.
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90th

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PostSubject: Durnford was he capable 5    Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyThu Feb 26, 2015 7:07 am

'' Rallying around the colours '' ? , where , on the Fugitives track to the buffalo ? , that where the colours were going ! No
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyThu Feb 26, 2015 8:12 am

Didn't some colours apparently disappear. Was it the 1st/24th ?
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ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Durnford was he capable.5   Durnford was he capable.5 - Page 16 EmptyThu Feb 26, 2015 8:16 am

ymob wrote:
About the getaway in the Biggarsberg:
Durnford was in command of an independant column.
So he has a some initiative.
So the getaway in the Biggarsberg was not really a problem.
According to jabez Molife only fifty mounted men were with durnford (in the Biggarsberg).
The others were at Rorke's Drift with Shepstone.
Of course, it's not a problem only if a military operation isn't in progress.
Cheers
Frédéric

Thirty, not fifty, my memory is in fault.
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