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» South Africa 1877-79, 1 clasp, 1877-8-9 (4389 Fr. Sergt. S. Smith. O/2. Bde. R.A.)
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 what happened to Melville and Coghill

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Taff price




Posts : 37
Join date : 2015-02-14
Age : 50
Location : cardiff

what happened to Melville and Coghill Empty
PostSubject: what happened to Melville and Coghill   what happened to Melville and Coghill EmptyTue Mar 03, 2015 9:16 pm


Hi All
As you can see, I'm a new member and apologize if this has been discussed before, but I've read several different accounts of what happened to Melville and Coghill and some differ from others. Here is one I found on Rork'sdrift.com

When the situation at Isandlwana seemed hopeless, Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine ordered Melvill to save the Colour. He was accompanied by Coghill, he having sustained an injury to his knee earlier in the day when trying to catch a chicken for Lord Chelmsford's supper. It was this injury which meant that he was unable to go with Chelmsford's force moving to the South East in search of the main Zulu force.
Melvill and Coghill made their way through the battle and through to the Buffalo River. Coghill was first to arrive and managed to cross to the Natal side. He turned to see Melvill plunge into the water, with the Colour in its case, only to have his horse shot from under him. He was swept to a large boulder, Coffin Rock, showing out of the torrent. He was soon joined by an NNC officer named Higginson. Melvill asked for help to save the colours but it was torn from his grasp by the strong current and disappeared.
Coghill turned to help the two in the river, but then his horse was shot in the head, plunging him into the water. He struggled to the rock and all three men then managed to swim to the Natal side of the bank. Higginson went to look for horses, while Melvill and Coghill struggled up the steep sides of the valley. They were killed by supposedly friendly natives who had been threatened by the Zulus on the opposite bank with death, had they not chased Melvill and Coghill and killed them.


Would it be possible if someone could tell me if this account is true
and if the NNC officer, Higginson survived?
I read somewhere on the internet that Horace Smith-Dorrien wrote to his sons explaining what happened at Isandlwana and he mentions that he saw both Melville and Coghill, but was never asked about it in any inquiries. However I can't seem to find it any more and was wondering if anyone knows anything about this?
Thanks.

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littlehand

littlehand


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what happened to Melville and Coghill Empty
PostSubject: Re: what happened to Melville and Coghill   what happened to Melville and Coghill EmptyTue Mar 03, 2015 9:51 pm

Taff, welcome to the forum.

Yes in a nutshell that's about right. I'm not sure if it was ever really established, if friendly Natives were involved.

Higginson claimed to have gone to look for horses, and possibly did in the first instance, but Higginson's story after he left Melville in another matter. Me personally, I think he may have been in shock, and that's what led him to do what he done.

Click on link below for an in-sight.

https://www.1879zuluwar.com/t5681-higginson-s-black-eye?highlight=Higginson
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littlehand

littlehand


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what happened to Melville and Coghill Empty
PostSubject: Re: what happened to Melville and Coghill   what happened to Melville and Coghill EmptyTue Mar 03, 2015 10:01 pm

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littlehand

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what happened to Melville and Coghill Empty
PostSubject: Re: what happened to Melville and Coghill   what happened to Melville and Coghill EmptyTue Mar 03, 2015 10:08 pm

Now there's a question? Should Higginson have been credited for his part, in attempting to save the colours. Was he in a state of Shock or simular? After what he had been through, can we really blame him for his actions after he left M & C ?

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90th

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what happened to Melville and Coghill Empty
PostSubject: What happened to Melvill & Coghill    what happened to Melville and Coghill EmptyTue Mar 03, 2015 11:34 pm

Hi Taff
I'm not sure Melvill's horse was shot in the river ? , certainly Coghill's was , as he plunged into the water to help Melvill , I'm fairly certain , that there is zulu evidence in the oral traditions , that Melvill & Coghill were indeed killed by Natal Natives , under the threat of their own demise if they didnt do so . There has been much discussed on this topic , I'm not sure which links Littlehand kindly sent you , but if you use the search box on the left hand side , which is under the heading ' Our Favourite Links ' , you will find plenty to sink your teeth into regarding this action of the war .
90th Salute
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xhosa2000

xhosa2000


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what happened to Melville and Coghill Empty
PostSubject: Re: what happened to Melville and Coghill   what happened to Melville and Coghill EmptyWed Nov 08, 2017 10:24 pm

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