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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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 Orders to laager at Isandhlwana

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rusteze

rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri May 29, 2015 11:38 am

Bonjour Frederic

I came across this interesting note in the papers at the National Archives last week. This is from Glyn to Belairs dated 2/3/1879 and says it encloses statements on the events at Isandhlwana by two wagon drivers "Hans Boer and Abraham". But I cannot, so far, find the statements in this file of papers. Neither can I find any reference to those names in the literature. So is this missing evidence or can someone offer more information?

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Copyright National Archives
Steve


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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri May 29, 2015 12:28 pm

rusteze wrote:
Bonjour Frederic

I came across this interesting note in the papers at the National Archives last week. This is from Glyn to Belairs dated 2/3/1879 and says it encloses statements on the events at Isandhlwana by two wagon drivers "Hans Boer and Abraham". But I cannot, so far, find the statements in this file of papers. Neither can I find any reference to those names in the literature. So is this missing evidence or can someone offer more information?

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Steve

Steve,
I suppose you have study "England's sons" by Mr Whybra (i don't have my copy at hand).
If these men and their statements are not listed in England's sons, you have at hand the "material" for a great essay!
Wonderful!
I hope indeed that you enjoy your travels at Kew by motorway.... Wink
Cheers
Frédéric
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rusteze

rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri May 29, 2015 1:34 pm

Frederic

Salute, I did not look in the obvious place!  Abraham appears on page 57 of Julian's work, his statement is in the National Archives in file WO 33/34. Hans Boer is a new inclusion by Julian in the latest edition, his statement is in WO 32/7713. Both escaped via Fugitives Drift - I will take a look at the reports next week.

It shows how documents on the same subject can become separated in the archives, the file I reviewed last week, which contained Glyn's note, was WO 32/7726.

Regards
Steve
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri May 29, 2015 2:16 pm

Steve,
I haven't read these testimonies (Abraham and Boer)..
I am suspicious about the reality of this hypothesis (I.E:order to build a laager given by Pulleine, Durnford or others Officers).
No mention given on this subject by surviving Officers as ESSEX, GARDNER or SMITH-DORRIEN...
I rather think that there were the Zulus who moved the wagons for the transportation of loot and their wounded.
But i have a (little) doubt: Who was the "source" for the war office memorandum ( "called in the cattle and began to harness them so as to draw the wagons into a circle")?
Rumors from members of the relief column?
Testimony given by Hans Boer?
If this testimony is a new inclusion in England's sons, it probably has never been published before in a a book, maybe in a forgotten newspaper ....
So i am anxious to read it.
Cheers.
Frédéric
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri May 29, 2015 3:58 pm

Rusteze
Both Boer and Abraham's accounts are quite well-known. Don't expect anything revelatory in them!
ymob
I too am suspicious of the remark in Yorke's book - it all depends on the nature of the source.
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri May 29, 2015 5:58 pm

Frédéric,

Queen Victoria's journal transcribed by her daughter Princess Beatrice appear on:
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I tried a quick look on the Royal Archives for any correspondence between Colonel the Hon. Frederick Stanley, the Secretary of State for War and Colonel Henry Ponsonby, Queen Victoria's Private Secretary, and nothing obvious is leaping out as yet.

John Y.
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 31, 2015 11:56 pm

John Young wrote:
Frédéric,

Queen Victoria's journal transcribed by her daughter Princess Beatrice appear on:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I tried a quick look on the Royal Archives for any correspondence between Colonel the Hon. Frederick Stanley, the Secretary of State for War and Colonel Henry Ponsonby, Queen Victoria's Private Secretary, and nothing obvious is leaping out as yet.

John Y.

Bonsoir Mr Young,
Thank you for the link, but it seems that i don't have access to "the Queen Victoria's journal" from France (only GB, USA and Canada).
I have asked a "pass" and i am waiting the answer.
Cheers
Frédéric
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rusteze

rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2015 12:03 am

Payback for La Revolution Francaise!

Steve
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2015 12:38 am

Impertinent
Obviously we did not cut enough heads.
If only Admiral Nelson had been French...








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rusteze

rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2015 12:44 am

Blaspheme!

Steve
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2015 12:48 am

i know, but the Duke of Wellington, i can't.
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rusteze

rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2015 12:56 am

Turn up the volume.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Steve
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2015 8:17 pm

Very Nice melody and pictures my friend...
In France, we say: " la musique adoucit les moeurs"
Cheers
Frédéric
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John

John

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2015 8:57 pm

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2015 9:14 pm

Good link John. Tres evocateur Frederic.

Steve
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyThu Nov 05, 2015 9:02 am

Bonjour,
About the "laagering" of the camp, there is this testimony of trooper S.B. JONES (Newcastle Mounted Rifles) who was with CHELMSFORD's column the 22 January:
"Towards daylight we were ordered to trek back to Rorke's Drift [I.E: the 23 January]...Colonel Pulleine had all the wagons inspanned and it could be seen that it was his intention to form a laager, but the zulus had attacked the camp before that could be done and had killed all the oxens in their yokes...we saw where some of the 24th Regiment about 100 of them, had got behind a ridge and built up a sort of stockade of ammunition boxes. From behind that flimsy defense they had kept the Natives off until all their ammunition was finishe, and there we found them with heaps of empty cartridge cases beside each body".

Source: "The Natal Mercury", Tuesday, Jan, 22nd 1929 quoted in "The journal of the AZWRS " (Mr Young) Vol. n°2 issue n°1 p.16-19 "We saw red").

Cheers

Frédéric
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyThu Nov 05, 2015 12:51 pm

ymob wrote:
Bonjour,
About the "laagering" of the camp, there is this testimony of trooper S.B. JONES (Newcastle Mounted Rifles) who was with CHELMSFORD's column the 22 January:
"Towards daylight we were ordered to trek back to Rorke's Drift [I.E: the 23 January]...Colonel Pulleine had all the wagons inspanned and it could be seen that it was his intention to form a laager, but the zulus had attacked the camp before that could be done and had killed all the oxens in their yokes...we saw where some of the 24th Regiment about 100 of them, had got behind a ridge and built up a sort of stockade of ammunition boxes. From behind that flimsy defense they had kept the Natives off until all their ammunition was finishe, and there we found them with heaps of empty cartridge cases beside each body".

Source: "The Natal Mercury", Tuesday, Jan, 22nd 1929 quoted in "The journal of the AZWRS " (Mr Young) Vol. n°2 issue n°1 p.16-19 "We saw red").

Cheers

Frédéric


Just a clarification: Mr John Young was chairman of this journal.
It's not the journal with the same title by Adrian Greaves (and now Mr John Laband).
Cheers
Frédéric
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 12:22 am

Bonjour
Maybe the origin of the "myth" of a laager at Isandhlwana:
One anonymous member wrote on the occasion of the expedition led by Black (2/24th)
"Waggons were standing in every direction, many having been moved a considerable distance from the original position"

South Wales Daily News, 15 April 1879 "The scene at Isandula"

Cheers

Frédéric
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waterloo50

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 10:45 am

I love this music, its used quite a lot with clips from Sharpe. King George commands and we obey....I also enjoy listening to La Victoire est a nous and 'Le chant de l 'oignon' I have to be honest, I can't think of many nations that march into battle singing about onions. Surprised
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 12:01 pm

If you like some real good powerful tub thumping music, then try Elgar's Triumphal March on full volume, bloody fantastic. agree
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 12:20 pm

Regarding wagons being moved about at iSandlwana, I am sure I have read that the zulu's did move some of them about and also used some to transport the booty and wounded and also some of the dead, that would account for the wagons 'standing in every direction'. If my memory serves, I am sure that I read that some of the wagons had been dumped down some of the dongas.

More good music is 'Jupiter the bringer of jollity', from the Planets suite by Gustav Holst, probably better known as 'I vow to thee my country', maybe this should be The English National Anthem, very stirring stuff, marvellous music, as is 'Land of Hope and Glory', another one that could be Englands National Anthem, well, what's left of our once great country, that I fear is now going down the drain and will soon be consigned to the history books if we don't do anything about the situation, very sad, and the sooner we are out of the awful EU the better.
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waterloo50

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 4:44 pm

Spot on with the music Martin, but if you really want to hear something then put on some headphones, turn the volume up and listen to Ennio Morricone The Ecstasy of Gold. The vocalist will blow your socks off. Salute [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon Dec 14, 2015 12:17 am

ymob wrote:
Bonjour,
About the "laagering" of the camp, there is this testimony of trooper S.B. JONES (Newcastle Mounted Rifles) who was with CHELMSFORD's column the 22 January:
"Towards daylight we were ordered to trek back to Rorke's Drift [I.E: the 23 January]...Colonel Pulleine had all the wagons inspanned and it could be seen that it was his intention to form a laager, but the zulus had attacked the camp before that could be done and had killed all the oxens in their yokes...we saw where some of the 24th Regiment about 100 of them, had got behind a ridge and built up a sort of stockade of ammunition boxes. From behind that flimsy defense they had kept the Natives off until all their ammunition was finishe, and there we found them with heaps of empty cartridge cases beside each body".

Source: "The Natal Mercury", Tuesday, Jan, 22nd 1929 quoted in "The journal of the AZWRS " (Mr Young) Vol. n°2 issue n°1 p.16-19 "We saw red").

Cheers
 
Frédéric

Between 9-10 Brickhill ordered the waggoners to collect all the cattle.
The oxen were indeed in their yokes but they were not in spanned. This had been done prior to Durnfords arrival.
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WeekendWarrior

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySat Nov 09, 2019 3:37 pm

For what it's worth, here is the full text of the article.

Newspaper Interview/Biography of John J. Horne, Newcastle Mounted Rifles. Published in The Natal Advertiser on January 24, 1929.

"A surprising number of lsandhlwana survivors has been revealed by the 50 years’ peace celebrations. Mr. John J. Horne, an organiser of the Newcastle Mounted Volunteer Corps in 1875, and one of the survivors of lsandhlwana, is still hale and hearty and lives in Durban.

His account of the preparations for the battle at lsandhlwana shed new light on why no laager was formed. He and his corps were stationed at the far end of the camp and two members of his corps, Berning and Dinckleman, were on vedette duty about four miles out of camp Dinckleman rode in to Home with the report that the natives were approaching in mass formation.

Colonel Durnford, then in command, rode up, and Home passed on the report to him. The Colonel ordered the dispatching of the ox wagons and the formation of a laager, but shortly afterwards Colonel Pullin rode up with an auxiliary force and the laager was not formed. Why the order was countermanded is not known to Horne.

Horne escaped the massacre with a shot through the leg. Mr. Horne's career has had more excitement during a year than most people have in their lives. In 1870 he was given an appointment in the Government service at Ladysmith. He joined the Natal Frontier Guards in 1871. In 1873 they were ordered out on the Langalibalele rebellion. He was one of the first volunteers to join up when the trouble started. During the course of the campaign he went into Basutoland by way of the Double Mountains and the Bushman's Pass, under Captain Ellis, where they captured their man and brought him to the gaol at Matitzburg. In the latter end of 1875 Mr. Horne was transferred to Newcastle, where he acted in many civic roles through the lack of other officials. Mr. Melmoth was magistrate of Newcastle at the time and when he received a request from a Major Dartnall to raise a mounted corps he asked Horne to do it. After official sanction had been obtained Horne raised a force of 37 men, whom he trained and drilled. In 1877 the Major inspected the corps and paid its organiser a compliment as to its efficiency. It was then brigaded with the Buffalo Border Guard between Newcastle and Dundee. A year later the corps was called up for the campaign the first leg of which ended in the disaster at Isandhlwana."


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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySat Nov 09, 2019 3:42 pm

Looks like a confusion of Colonels, or is that the collective noun?

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySat May 23, 2020 8:11 am

As to who may have conceivably passed on an order to laager the wagons out of Durnford or Pulleine if it ever did occur?

Durnford on one hand had the previous combat experience and likely better understanding of how the Zulus attacked, in large numbers and in the horns of the buffalo.

On the other hand whilst it's possible Durnford called for a laager it is known that he left the camp with a sizeable force of mounted men to possibly prevent any large forces of Zulus cutting off Chelmsford and the column and sweeping any forces away from the Isandlwana camp. On this basis alone it's unlikely he perceived any significant threat to the camp at any time before leaving it and later engaging with the left horn. If he had of perceived the slightest of threats one could only presume he would have overseen a better defence of the camp or given more definitive orders?

Pulleine in my opinion was very unlikely to have ordered a laager at any stage. The fact that he formed a fatally flawed firing line reflects that he had a very poor understanding of how the Zulus attacked. This unfortunate incompetency or demonstration of a lack of tactical awareness does not support that he would have called for a laager, not until it was too late at any rate. I believe it was Horace Smith-Dorrien that said something a long the lines of little did they understand the gravity of what was bearing down on them until it was too late and I think this was certainly the case for Pulleine.

Unfortunately history tells the tale that neither Durnford or Pulleine fully appreciated the potential for an attack of the likes witnessed that day, a lot of men lost their lives.

I'm certainly not wanting to be critical of either officer though, there are far too many people on this forum who know 1000 times more than I ever could so i'd prefer to reserve any judgement.

It's completely understandable in many regards to why a possible sense of superiority and confidence in fire power may have led to their eventual downfall at Isandlwana.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySat May 23, 2020 8:38 am

Hi Danie
Have a look at the standing orders issued by Chelmsford and the prescribed defensive formation. There is a school of thought that Pulleine followed that directive.
There is a comment that Pulleine ordered some oxen to be harnessed, Ive often had the thought that to someone outside the main officer group this could have looked like an attempt to laarger.
Just a couple of thoughts.

Frank
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySat May 23, 2020 11:16 am

Frank
Quite. An eyebrow rose when I read Pulleine "formed a fatally-flawed firing line"...
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySat May 23, 2020 1:07 pm

Daniel25,

The quote from Horace Smith-Dorrien appears in his 1925 autobiography:

‘...Forty-five empty wagons stood in the camp with the oxen in.  It was a convoy which I was to have taken to Rorke’s Drift for supplies early in the morning, but which was stopped until the enemy should be driven off.  These wagons might have at any time been formed into a laager, but no one appeared to appreciate the gravity of the situation, so much so that no steps were taken until too late to issue extra ammunition from the large reserves we had in camp. ...’


Looking at the paragraph I wonder if the first sentence is incomplete and should read ...with the oxen inspanned?

What I find surprising is that S-D’s testimony to the Court of Inquiry held after the event tells us nothing whatsoever.  Not a mention of the battle at all.

The published extract from his letter home only gives details of his flight from the field, not a mention of defence of the camp, or lack of it.  Unfortunately, by the time I met his son, David, any such documentation had left the family, I would have loved to have read the letter in full, but it was not to be so.

Is the quote therefore given in hindsight, and formed by decades of military experience?

Just a thought.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySat May 23, 2020 2:25 pm

John
I've always taken "with the oxen in" to mean precisely what you suggest. As in, 'the cart has got the horse in'. He wrote that the convoy was stopped - I take it to mean, quite literally in its tracks. It was ready to roll but prevented from doing so.
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySat May 23, 2020 7:22 pm

Hi all.

Now here's an interesting thought with regard to forming a lager at Isandlwana:

The "Narrative for Field Operations.... " states that No 3 Column had 220 wagons and 1,507 oxen. If we take the fact that each colonial ox wagon needed at least 16 oxen to pull it (though more likely 18) this would require at least 3,520 oxen. So the column was some 2,013 oxen short !!! It had sufficient oxen to pull only 40% of its wagons. This shortage of oxen would explain why at Rorke's Drift B Company had two wagons but no oxen. All available oxen were being used to shuttle stores up and down the lines of communication to the Column. Each loaded wagon was probably in excess of two tons and almost impossible to move by hand over rough ground. Also, I read somewhere that draught oxen are somewhat temperamental and will only work on an 8 hour schedule - they work for 8 hours, rest/graze for 8 hours, and sleep for 8 hours. It would be nigh impossible to get the beasts to work in their rest/sleep periods, even in an emergency. The 45 wagons in-spanned (mentioned above) being available, could have been used to provide a lagered "box" of 15 wagons long by 8 wagons deep (approx 100 yards by 50 yards). This could have accommodated two (possibly three) infantry companies, but no animals or supporting arms. Would this have made a difference ?

To win the war, the Zulus would have needed to kill all the oxen and burn all the wagons !!!!

Bill

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 8:48 am

Bill
I seem to recall that an empty waggon needed only 8 oxen to pull it. (45 waggons = 360 oxen?)someone will correct me no doubt on the figure.
I also, from memory, recall there were 107 waggons at Isandhlwana camp in toto.
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 10:19 am

Hi Julian

Yes, 8 oxen to pull an empty wagon from Isandlwana back to RD/Helpmekaar, but you would need a full span of 16/18 to pull the loaded wagon back to Isandlwana. 45 x 16 = 720 Oxen !!!

Where is the reference for 107 wagons at Isandlwana ? And, if that is the case. where were the remaining 113 wagons - at Helpmekaar ?

Bill
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 10:50 am

Supposing of course that ALL the wagons were pulled by Oxen. Mules should come into the equation. Those mule wagons were drawn by around 8 mules, loaded. Im sure a bunch of hefty squaddies could have moved them. I saw a 4 seater sedan lifted bodily out of a stream, the Ngwebini by a bunch of local villagers a few years back.
I would suggest that the counter to any argument that a laarger should have been constructed would be that the orders issued to Pulleine were to defend the CAMP, not the soldiers. And thats really what he tried to do.
Consider then if a laarger had been formed on the saddle, the camp would have been wide open
Imagine if Chelmsford had got back to camp and found 99% of those he left behind still alive tucked away behind a defensive wall but his camp and stores destroyed? Im pretty sure he would have been a tad miffed!
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 11:01 am

Bill
I'll have to check my sources for answers to your questions.
From memory Durnford brought 12 waggons to Isandhlwana.
95 were in situ.
3 were out with Chelmsford.
As to where the missing oxen and waggons were, I'd suggest at Helpmekaar, and at each station further back along the line of communications (2 waggons were at Rd; there was already an ammo convoy en route) but again I'll have to check.
Good questions though!
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 11:26 am

Thanks Frank & Julian

For the purpose of the calculations, I had not included Durnford's No 2 Column which reportedly had 30 wagons and 480 oxen (and 350 mules !).

No 3 Column had only 67 mules, but also 82 carts that I didn't include in my figures.

Most (if not all) of the photographs I've seen of mules pulling wagons in the AZW, the wagons have been the standard British GS wagon. This wagon was, of course, a lot less robust than the colonial ox wagon and more suited for areas with decent roads. However, I would suggest that for important stores (eg ammunition) that might be required to move fast, then the GS wagon pulled by a 6/8 mule team would be the best option. I think the same argument would apply to the ammunition carts.

Although a proven logistician, Chelmsford must have been very much bound in many of his strategic decisions by the availability of wagons and oxen. It is frustrating therefore that there is little detail existing as to how the logistic chain actually worked, and where wagons/oxen would be located.

Any information on the logistic chain would be much appreciated.

Bill
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 11:47 am

Hi Bill
The mule wagons could handle a 2000lb load. Im sure JY has photos of a mule wagon.
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 1:03 pm

Frank Allewell wrote:
Imagine if Chelmsford had got back to camp and found 99% of those he left behind still alive tucked away behind a defensive wall but his camp and stores destroyed? Im pretty sure he would have been a tad miffed!

Especially being as (presumably) one of the faces looking over the wagons at him and waving his good arm, would have been AWD....
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 1:10 pm

On a serious point (well as serious as I can be) - had a laager been formed and inside were Franks 99% - would the Zulus have dashed themselves to pieces (Blood River style) trying to get in and suffered horrible casualties - perhaps enough to finish the war for them - at least morale wise?

If buts and maybe's I know....

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 1:39 pm

Frank,

I was reaching for my photographs when I was distracted by a Skype call from my grandson.

Here’s a few examples:

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A wagon park at Fort Chelmsford.

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An ammunition train forming at Fort Chelmsford. Mule-drawn GS Wagons.

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Oxen-drawn hired colonial transport wagons crossing the Amatikulu River.

(All three photographs from the John Young Collection.)

Note the congestion caused by having to cross the drift one wagon at a time.  Just for Bill’s benefit note the R.E. in foreground...

JY aka ‘Dave’


Last edited by John Young on Mon May 25, 2020 11:59 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Changing Pearson to Chelmsford.)
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bill cainan 4



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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 2:03 pm

Hi "Dave"

Thanks for tracing the pics. The second one shows an ammunition train preparing for the relief of Eshowe and tends to confirm my assumption that British GS wagons (mule drawn) were kept for stores (esp. ammunition) that possibly required more speed. On the other hand, the ammunition wagon that each Infantry Company had was a colonial ox wagon as here the speed of the ox drawn wagon was acceptable to a marching company (the other company wagon carried tentage/cooking gear and the men's packs).

The GS wagon carried a load of 30cwt (common to GS Wagons Marks I to IV).

The ammunition carts each carried just over 11cwts (16 boxes of MH rounds - 600 per box) - and again I would think these were mule drawn.

I presume that as the Zulus had little use for wagons, they were probably unaware of their significance/importance to the movement of a British army. Had they been so aware and had taken the opportunity to burn every captured wagon then the British invasion strategy would have been in tatters !

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 2:41 pm

bill cainan 4 wrote:

I presume that as the Zulus had little use for wagons
Bill


They did have a use for them after Isandlwana.......
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 2:49 pm

Bill,

Don’t forget that the Army Service Corps presence at the start of the 1st invasion was minimal, as is evident from the number of A.S.C. personnel who died at iSandlwana: Corporal Pritchard & Private’s Coles & Jacques.  

I have my own thoughts on their role at iSandlwana given their number, that they were the crew of the ill-fated GS ambulance.  The Army Hospital Corps provided the care of the patients, but the responsibility of driving the ambulance fell to the A.S.C.

All the photographs above dated from after arrival of No’s 3, 4 & 5 Companies, A.S.C. in late March, 1879 and illustrate the ‘advance’ of Major-General H. H. Crealock’s 1st Division.

I do have one photograph of the Eshowe Relief Column, that I will dig out and post this afternoon.  Unfortunately the wagons shown in it are fairly unclear.

As to the Zulu, Sihayo apparently had wagons that he used in his trading endeavours.  

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptySun May 24, 2020 10:41 pm

Bill
Remember that Durnford's Column was split into three - not all the 30 waggons were with him on 22.1.179
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon May 25, 2020 10:34 am

Hi Dave

Interesting that you say the second picture (and the others) relate to the second invasion, as it is quite often captioned in books as portraying part of the Eshowe relief column.

I didn't realise that Sihayo used wagons, but I suppose with his proximity to the border, it makes sense from a trading point of view. I'm supposing that Dunn similarly used wagons for trading in his area. And, of course the Portuguese probably used wagons in their arms trade with the Zulu. However, all of these constituted a minor use of wagons - nothing like the hundreds that Chelmsford deployed with each of his columns. So, I still maintain that the Zulus did not grasp the strategic importance that the wagons had for the British army.

Hi Julian
Yes, I was aware that Durnford didn't bring his wagons to Isandlwana - except for the ammunition wagon that lagged behind (which makes me think it was possibly an ox-drawn wagon ?). That's why I didn't include his wagons in the numbers I initially quoted for the central column. I think the logistics of the AZW is a very much under researched aspect . The detailed "nuts and bolts" of the day to day running of the logistic chain are sparsely recorded, probably as they were taken for granted. However, it does reflect very much as to why the Isandlwana camp was not lagered.

All the best and stay safe !

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon May 25, 2020 11:56 am

Bill,

Readily to hand I can only find one reference to the second photograph being given as of the Eshowe Relief Column.  The original photograph is captioned in pencil as ‘Ammunition Waggons Lower Tugela.’  Normally used as a term of reference for Fort Pearson and crossing there.  However, since you mentioned it I have been studying it and the first photograph which is captioned in ink as ‘Loading of wagons at Fort Chelmsford, 1879.’  The photographs are actually from different albums but from the same studio, that of the Kisch Brothers.

Now here’s the rub, if we accept that the first photograph is Fort Chelmsford, of which I have little doubt, then the second photograph is also taken at Fort Chelmsford, and not as captioned the ‘Lower Tugela.’

Here’s why, note the position of three tents on the slope, look across to the right of the tents there is a small bush and tracks leading down the slope from that bush.   They are the same.  Therefore, the mule-drawn transport could not be part of the Eshowe Relief Column, as the construction of Fort Chelmsford did not start until 29th April 1879, over three weeks after the relief of garrison at Eshowe.

Here’s detail from both photographs, I will let you judge for yourself, I have not added any filters or enhanced them in any way.

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Detail from the Fort Chelmsford photograph.

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Detail from the ‘Lower Tugela’ photograph.

Personally I believe the erroneous original captioning may have led to errors being made, and I will correct the information I have previously posted above to reflect this.

As to Sihayo, he had a wide-reaching network of trading links that extended throughout Natal, Swaziland and Mozambique.  To conduct his trade he had at his disposal horses, oxen and wagons.  Prince Hamu was also know to use wagons, when he ‘came in’ to the British he did so on a wagon.  And don’t get me started on carriages!

JY aka ‘Dave’
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon May 25, 2020 1:06 pm

Bill/Julian
Statement of Trumpeter R. W. Stevens, Natal Mounted Police. Letter dated 15 FEB 1879 from NMP Camp, Helpmekaar
We left Rorke's Drift camp, that is the name of the drift where we crossed over the Buffalo river, which divides Natal from Zululand, on the 19th January to advance about twelve miles into the country. It was a pretty sight to see the column going along, the waggons stretching over five miles, besides the troops.

This would seem to disagree with you both on the number of wagons. Second point would be that Durnford had been called up to the camp as an advance not a temporary assignement so would need all his tents supplies etc.

Erskin
We marched as far as the Bashee stream about ten a.m, where Capt. Russell of the rocket battery gave orders for D company to march on with all speed with him, and E company, with Capt. Stafford, stayed behind to escort the wagons.
After staying there about a quarter of an hour, orders came for Capt. Stafford to leave part of his company as escort for the wagons, and to hurry on with the rest to the front. He left me with 16 men, and told me to hurry on the wagons, which I accordingly did, to the best of my ability.

A very definite plural wagons.

Chard

– and by his order rode back to Captain Russell, who was about a mile behind, and gave him the message to hurry up at once with his Rocket Battery and detach a company of Sikali’s men to protect the baggage which was following and I passed the word all along to look out to the left.”

The baggage was aboard.

Just a thought or two from a very stormy Cape Town.


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bill cainan 4



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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon May 25, 2020 1:54 pm

Thanks Frank

The fact that Durnford's No 2 Column was capable of "fast" moving and that his wagons lagged behind would again seem to point that the wagons allocated to his No 2 Column were the slower ox-drawn ones. As I understand it, only his ammunition wagon reached the western edge of Isandlwana mountain by the time of the battle (and that was probably his "fastest" wagon !!).

If No 3 Column moved on a SINGLE track with its 220 wagons (assuming they had enough oxen, which they clearly didn't), and a single ox wagon with 18 oxen would take up to nearly 50 yards of the track, then the column would stretch over 6.25 miles !!! And this doesn't include the 82 carts ! This tends to confirm Trumpeter Stevens' statement. However, where ever possible, terrain permitting, the wagons would be moved in PARALLEL columns to reduce the overall length. Obviously this calculation is theoretical and doesn't take into account the lack of oxen, and the shuttling back and forwards.

Dave
The photograph entitled "Mule drawn ammunition wagons at Fort Pearson, part of the build up for the Eshowe Relief Column" is in Ian Knight's "Brave Men's Blood" Page 101 and is acknowledged to S Bouquin. However, like you, I thought that this photograph probably related to the 2nd Invasion. The tents do seem to clinch the point. Well spotted.

Bill
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon May 25, 2020 2:14 pm

Hi Bill
Wally Erskin was in charge of the rear guard and took part in the battle so I would assume that the balance of the wagons had arrived at iSandlwana.

frank
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Julian Whybra



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Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 EmptyMon May 25, 2020 2:41 pm

Durnford's waggons did indeed arrive at camp.
Erskine: “"We had then heard the firing of the cannon for about a quarter of an hour…and I continued to hear it until I arrived at the camp at Isandhlwana…There I took my escort to the front which was about a mile ahead of the camp. I placed my men in position and told them ‘to fire low’.”
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PostSubject: Re: Orders to laager at Isandhlwana   Orders to laager at Isandhlwana - Page 2 Empty

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