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Lord Chelmsford Said .Buller is ‘one of the finest soldiers of the century’, so modest and reticent –that it was difficult to say for what individual deed he had got the Victoria Cross as he had been doing acts worthy of it all along the line
 
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Rorke's Drift A Soldier's Story with presenter Major John Thomas
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Dave

Dave

Posts : 1605
Join date : 2009-09-21

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PostSubject: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptyMon Oct 10, 2016 4:04 pm

What did Bourne do to received the DCM
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nthornton1979

nthornton1979

Posts : 154
Join date : 2011-01-18
Age : 40
Location : Runcorn, Cheshire, UK

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PostSubject: Re: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptyMon Oct 10, 2016 11:54 pm

Hi Dave,

I don't believe there was one specific 'stand-out' act for which the medal was awarded. Frustratingly Bourne did not really describe any of his own actions when later recounting the battle so detail is distinctly lacking in that respect.

I believe he was awarded the DCM for his overall performance of inspiring the men and for the way he conducted himself. In one of his accounts Bourne says that he was constantly moving around the men and he praised their steadfastness. Evidently he was constantly doing the rounds, checking in on his lads and keeping their spirits up.

We do get a few small snippets of information from others. Hitch described Bourne holding the corner section where the north wall met the retrenchment barricade during the hospital evacuation and Chard mentioned him as one of those who stood out in the battle. Other than that we don't have much to go on.

It has been said that Bourne accompanied Bromhead and his small party of men in clearing the hospital compound at the point of the bayonet but I am not aware of the source that names Bourne actually taking part in this. Either I've missed it, or authors have simply assumed he would have been there and included him.

It has also been claimed that Bourne should have got the VC but this, in my opinion, it utter rubbish. The main reason being that we have very little material to base an opinion on.

If any of the DCM recipients deserve a VC it is Private Roy. That man truly did go above and beyond.

Neil
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xhosa2000

xhosa2000

Posts : 1203
Join date : 2015-11-24

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PostSubject: Re: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptyTue Oct 11, 2016 12:52 pm

I agree with Neil..here is the Bourne account..the images
merely facilitated the attachment of the audio file onto
an mp4..any and all copywrite acknowledge..



For those of you out there who have not heard this.

Produced and Edited by David Allen and Josephine Bloom..2009.
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Dave

Dave

Posts : 1605
Join date : 2009-09-21

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PostSubject: Re: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptySun Oct 16, 2016 9:22 am

It was said that he turned down the VC. Is this true or just a rumour. ?
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nthornton1979

nthornton1979

Posts : 154
Join date : 2011-01-18
Age : 40
Location : Runcorn, Cheshire, UK

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PostSubject: Re: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptySun Oct 16, 2016 11:02 am

It's false Dave, there was no 'offer' of a VC.

He was offered a commission but turned it down due to the financial implications/commitments that would come with it.

It's a common myth that he opted for a commission instead of a VC (In fact, directly following Rorke's Drift he received neither) Many people do say that he should have got the VC for his part in the battle but I've yet to meet one who can provide a valid argument for this. I fear they have simply read it somewhere and are repeating the flawed notion.

Another contributing factor, I feel, is the movie 'Zulu'. Bourne is a 'favourite' of many people due to Mr. Green's stand-out performance in the film and their perception is strongly influenced by this.

Recently, a chap (who runs an online social media group dedicated to Rorke's Drift) posted that it was a travesty that Bourne didn't get a VC. When I asked for a reason why he thought so, he replied with something along the lines of 'because he's great'... Says it all really.


Neil


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Dave

Dave

Posts : 1605
Join date : 2009-09-21

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PostSubject: Re: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptyMon Oct 17, 2016 8:27 am

Thanks Neil.So the VC rumour was false, I wonder how that rumour started, was it started by Bourne himself or members of his family?
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nitro450

nitro450

Posts : 149
Join date : 2015-01-21
Age : 75
Location : Sydney, Australia

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PostSubject: Re: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptyMon Oct 17, 2016 10:01 am

That rumour is rife aound the place, but.... you don't get the DCM for just standing around looking nicely dressed !!! Obviously he must have impressed the two officers.
Nitro450 Salute
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nthornton1979

nthornton1979

Posts : 154
Join date : 2011-01-18
Age : 40
Location : Runcorn, Cheshire, UK

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PostSubject: Re: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptyMon Oct 17, 2016 9:01 pm

Dave wrote:
Thanks Neil.So the VC rumour was false, I wonder how that rumour started, was it started by Bourne himself or members of his family?

I don't when (or by whom) it was started Dave, but it didn't come from Bourne himself.

I suspect it is more recent but without delving into it in detail I couldn't pin it down to the source

Neil
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Dave

Dave

Posts : 1605
Join date : 2009-09-21

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PostSubject: Re: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptyMon Oct 17, 2016 9:05 pm

Chards report to QV.
"It is impossible for one individual to see all, but I particularly myself noticed the behaviour of Colour Sergeant Bourne 24tth, Private McMahon, AHC, Privates Roy, Deacon, Bush, Cole ,Jenkins 24th, and many others.
Not really an explanation as to why he deserved the DCM
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nthornton1979

nthornton1979

Posts : 154
Join date : 2011-01-18
Age : 40
Location : Runcorn, Cheshire, UK

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PostSubject: Re: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptyMon Oct 17, 2016 9:29 pm

Agreed, there is no thorough explanation - That's what I was referring to in my first comment when I mentioned the 'snippets' of information, which, in reality, are nothing more than small mentions in the narratives of others who were there.

Interestingly, Chard would have been unfamiliar with the vast majority of the men who were present and as such would not have known their names. This explains why he singled out both Jenkins and Bushe - he had direct contact with both men (Jenkins ducked his head and Bushe borrowed him his blood-stained rag), which provided the opportunity for him to get their names.

As Bourne was the Colour-Sergeant, Chard would have known who he was, hence he would have 'noticed' him more than others. The same would apply to those dressed diffierently - Rev. Smith, Dalton, Schiess et al - they were easily distinguishable and feature heavily in numeorus accounts as 'standing out' for their gallantry. Certainly they were gutsy buggers and thoroughly deserve the praise, but on the flip side, any red-coat, fighitng harder, better, and more heroic than the man next to him, would almost certainly have gone unoticed by most. In a line of men, all dressed the same, it would be extremely difficult to observe the actions of one over the other.

Returning to Bourne - it is frustrating that there isn't more information about the part he played during the battle, but a lack of material does not mean that the award was undeserved or unwarranted (I'm not for one minute insinuating that you believe this to be the case, I'm merely covering that base)

It is also distinctly possible (probable) that Chard had no say in the award of Bourne's DCM, as he was not consulted on any of the VCs (not at the recomendation stage anyhow)

Neil
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Chard1879

Chard1879

Posts : 1261
Join date : 2010-04-12

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PostSubject: Re: Bourne DCM   Bourne DCM EmptyMon Oct 17, 2016 10:53 pm

""Frank Bourne was 24 years old at the time of Rorke's Drift. He had reached the rank of Colour Sergeant after only 6 years service - he was a high flyer. He was offered a commission immediately after RD but declined the offer. His role in the defence was significant - in posting the sentries and ensuring the supply of ammunition. His DCM came with a pension of £10 pa - the same monetary award as the VC winners."
Source RDVC
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