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Film Zulu quote: Reverend Otto Witt: One thousand British soldiers have been massacred. While I stood here talking peace, a war has started.
 
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 New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879

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John

John

Posts : 2558
Join date : 2009-04-06
Age : 58
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PostSubject: New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyMon May 11, 2015 9:17 pm

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barry

barry

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PostSubject: Picture of trestle and pontoon bridge, lower Tugela   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyWed May 13, 2015 3:16 pm

Hi John,

Thanks for posting the pic.
I found the scene very interesting in which a Boer wagon is depicted being used by the British Army to transport another pontoon to the bridge site on the western shore of the lower Tugela . This vehicle was apparently modded to do the job as there are no dissel booms or "trekpaale" shown for pulling and steering. Perhaps, and more likely, artistic licence was used.

regards

barry
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John Young

John Young

Posts : 2127
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Location : Lower Sheering, Essex

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PostSubject: Re: New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyWed May 13, 2015 5:58 pm

Barry,

Rather than an adapted local wagon it is a British-made piece of kit.

The pontoons that were deployed by the Royal Engineers Pontoon Troop, the wagons and bridging equipment were the design of a young Captain Blood Blood, Royal Engineers.

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Pontoon Troop, Royal  Engineers, circa 1878.
John Young Collection

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Three methods of crossing the Tugela in one photograph.
John Young Collection

In the foreground the original ferry with its hawser fixed to the Ultimatum Tree, beyond that the deployed pontoon bridge and in the background the trestle bridge.

There's a display at the Royal Engineers Museum, Brompton Barracks, Chatham in Kent on the varying facets of the bridging of the Tugela, that includes a contemporary scale model of Blood's pontoon wagon loaded as in the photograph above.

Regards,

John Y.
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barry

barry

Posts : 921
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PostSubject: Trestle-pontoon bridge 0ver Sthukela   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyThu May 14, 2015 9:54 am

Hi JY,
Thanks for those clear pictures of the bridging team.
They do show the double disselboom  a-la European cart (*) design. Front wheels are much smaller , as in the Boer design, which is probably where Blood got the idea. Those smaller fore wheels probably facilitated easier launching of the pontoons into the shallower waters of the river.
The picture posted by John shows a very interesting hybrid bridge design in the background, being part pontoon and part trestle.

regards
barry.

PS:  (*)On a point of history it is interesting to note the The Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek president, Paul Kruger, got himself into a lot of trouble with the proletariat,  by mistakenly allowing the European wagon to be depicted on the obverse of the pure gold Kruger pond, when it was issued by the Transvaal Govt, a decade or two later. A German artist called Otto Schultze and the Munich mint was blamed for the faux pas.
In order to assuage public ire these had to be quickly withdrawn and new ones minted.
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyThu May 14, 2015 6:29 pm

Barry,

I think Bindon Blood might well have cribbed his idea from the Prussian Army.

Not the first time a member of the family has misappropriated something...

John Y.
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barry

barry

Posts : 921
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PostSubject: Wagon design.   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyFri May 15, 2015 6:49 am


Hi JY,
Thanks for your reply.
Nothing wrong with that.
Why reinvent the "wheel" when the work has already been done. That is being smart.

regards


barry
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impi

impi

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PostSubject: Re: New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyFri May 15, 2015 9:22 pm

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Designed by Sir Binden Blood RE the Blood pontoon was interesting because it returned to the concept of the open boat design.

From his memoirs, Four Score Years and Ten, published in 1935.In 1865

"I was appointed to one of the Troops of the Royal Engineers, of which the speciality was the transport and rapid construction of floating bridges in ‘First Line’. In November 1866 I marched to Chatham with this Troop, and we spent an instructive and very pleasant year there, returning to Aldershot on November 1867.While my troop was at Chatham in the summer of 1867, our higher authorities decided that our pontoon bridge equipment was unsatisfactory in some particulars, and invited officers to submit designs for a new pattern. So I submitted a new design which was approved for trial, and sometime after my troop returned to Aldershot in November 1867, I was sent back to Chatham to carry out the necessary manufacture and experiments under the orders of the R.E. Committee, which then attended to such matters. I remained at Chatham, with a short interval at Aldershot in 1870, until I went to India in 1871, the new pontoon equipment being finally adopted in 1870"



Described in the Treatise on Military Carriages and other manufactures of the Royal Carriage Department;


The pontoon can be used either as a pontoon on a bridge or as a boat: Its outside dimensions are 21’1” x 5’1” x 2’6.5” in depth; its weight is 7cwt 1qr 0lbs., and its tonnage 9.685 tons. In horizontal section it is rectangular, its sides are nearly straight and vertical, and its ends rounded. The framework, which is very light, is of yellow deal and rock elm, the straight parts being made of the former, and the bent of the latter. The frame is boarded over with yellow pine, and each side of the boarding covered with canvas attached by India rubber solvent. The canvas is covered with marine glue before the pontoon is painted, and the bottom protected by four longitudinal ribs shod with iron friction plates. The pontoon has eight wooden handles along each side, about half way up, six attached by rope grummets and two by wire, the latter serving as eyes to receive lashing ropes, it has also a ring at each end for a cable, and is fitted with four rowlocks along the gunwale at each side, and at each end with one for a steering oar; it also has fitments for securing the saddle beam
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ymob

ymob

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PostSubject: Re: New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptySun May 17, 2015 11:05 pm

Bonsoir,

At Rorke's drift for the crossing of the Buffalo river (at the time of the first invasion), the British troops used, "a little boat" and two pontoons bridge (Blood's pontoon) or two ferryboat ("bac")?
Cheers
Frédéric
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyMon May 18, 2015 5:46 pm

Frédéric,

To use your term two bacs - ferries - see the well-known photograph below.

You will note a rowing boat in the photograph as well.

They did try barrel rafts there as well, however they broke-up.

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The ponts at Rorke's Drift, a contemporary coloured photograph.
John Young Collection.

Regards,

John Y.
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barry

barry

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PostSubject: The rorkes drift ferry   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyMon May 18, 2015 6:35 pm

Hi JY ,Frederic
Correct.
Some bravehearts even offered offered to pull the ferry into the middle of the river, mooring it there and defend it, but their offer was turned down.

regards

barry
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John Young

John Young

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PostSubject: Re: New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyMon May 18, 2015 6:59 pm

Barry,

They did indeed Sergeant Frederick Augustus Millne, 2nd Battalion, 3rd (East Kent - The Buffs) Regiment & Mr. A. Daniells, the ferryman to mention just two of them.

Frédéric,

If you look between the ferry and the rowing boat you can make out some of the barrels from the raft on the shoreline.

John Y.
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ymob

ymob

Posts : 2263
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PostSubject: Re: New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879   New Trestle Pontoon Bridge Over Tulega River 1879 EmptyMon May 18, 2015 9:36 pm

Bonsoir Mr Young and Barry,

I had doubts on this subject, because authors used words as "ponts" and "pontoons".
In my dictionary "English-French", a pont is a bridge and a pontoon: "to cross on a bridge supported by floats".
So I am grateful to you for your answer.
Cheers.

Frédéric
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