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DateOriginal Topic
7th January 2005Zulu Watches ! .
By Graham Mason
I take amongst other papers the Daily Mail and i admit to being an anorak in Anglo Zulu war matters with i hope growing knowledge and understanding , recently discovered that the senior Sgt at Kwajimu ( Sgt Windridge ) was in fact married THREE times , but i diverse .

Did i read correctly in the Mail that if you look carefully you will see Zulu`s wearing watches in the film ??? , it seems they were payment of sorts to the Zulu extras , is this so and has anyone seen these Rolex`s on said wrists ??? , Happy New Year to one and all , Graham .
7th January 2005Ian P
HI Graham
Yes i admit i have noticed that there were some on the attacking walls wearing watches do you thik its wer we got the saying from on Zulu Time there is also a land rover in the distance with a trainer calling back the cheeta after it was shot at by Michael Cain towards the right of the tree's in the distane but you have to be quick to catch a glimps of it
7th January 2005ian P
Sorry Graham second line should read
(think it was) all fingers and thumbs this morning oh and also one soldier is using a Bolt action Rifle
7th January 2005Julian whybra
Many similar answers have appeared before on this forum - look in the earlier dates
8th January 2005jim
Hi Graham
I thought the senior Sergeant was
9th January 2005Graham Mason
Dear Julian ,
Thank you for pointing this out to me, i don`t " hit " this site everyday and so was unaware that the subject had been raised before , my own research takes up 90% of my time and as there are so many " missing " facts i have discovered such as the 3 marriages of Sgt Windridge , the 2 marriages of QM Bloomfield , the brother of Pte 1181 W H Camp etc i sometimes miss out on these things , thank you again for your comment .
9th January 2005Graham Mason
Dear Jim ,
Yes , Sgt Windridge was the senior Sgt at the mission station on Jan 22 1879 . These are the dates of promotion of the Sgt`s .Wilson got promoted on the 12th Jan 1878 , Maxfield and Smith on the 1st Feb 1878 , Gallagher on the 9th Oct 1877 .

Joseph Lenford Windridge first got promoted on the 2nd March 1862 , again he went up to QM Sgt and as low as Pte in his career . On the 27th April 1877 he reverted to Sgt at his own request , after the batle on Jan 22 1879 he was demoted to Pte eventually getting back to the rank of Sgt ( his stripes must have been held on by velcro the number of times he changed rank ! ) . Therefore he was the SENIOR Sgt on Jan 22nd 1879 , Hope this answers your query , Graham .
9th January 2005Graham Mason
PS , i of course should have said that Windridge was promoted to Sgt in 1862 from Cpl , ( my error ) , Graham .
11th January 2005Sheldon Hall
Graham, this wristwatches thing is an old chestnut for which I have yet to see any evidence myself.

Ian, can you give me an exact shot or frame on the DVD (Region 1 or 2) edition of ZULU which shows Zulus wearing watches as you claim? My hunch is that they're bangles of some sort, but I am open to correction.

What I do know for certain is that the Zulus were NOT paid with watches (I wish I knew how this one got started...), cattle or anything else by way of barter. They were paid with money, like everyone else on the production.
11th January 2005Glenn Wade
Hi Sheldon
Didn't Lady Baker mention that the Zulus had been paid with cattle on the DVD extras?
12th January 2005Richard
How could SGT Windridge be the "senior" SGT? What about Colour SGT Bourne? And what exactly do you mean by senior SGT???
12th January 2005Sheldon Hall
Lady Baker did say the Zulus were paid with cattle, but Bob Porter (2nd unit director and unit manager) tells me that the cattle were hired from local people and had to be returned to them. The Zulus employed as extras were not local but had to be bussed in from their tribal homelands. According to contemporary interviews with Stanley Baker, they would have preferred to be given cattle (valuable property items) but made do with wages which were sufficient to allow them to buy their own. Baker stated that they were paid US$40 a month each (for a three-month shoot), equivalent to around £12 per month in the exchange rate of the time. Not a lot, but quite possibly more than they were used to. As a matter of interest, some of the British actors complained about how little they themselves were being paid!
12th January 2005Glenn Wade
Thanks for clearing that up Sheldon.
Richard, Graham is only talking about Sergeants when he mentions seniority, not Colour Sergeants which is a different rank altogether. What Graham means when he says 'Senior Sergeant' is the Sergeant who had been a Sergeant the longest, ie promoted first.
I was one of the 1879 Group re-enactors at the Cardiff event and seeing it on the big screen was, well, words can't describe the feeling!
13th January 2005Graham Mason
Dear Glenn ,
Thanks for that endorsement , yes i was refering to the rank of Sgt and not C/ SGT of which there were 2 in fact , one being C/ SGT Bourne ( 2 / 24th ) and the SENIOR nco NCO
13th January 2005Graham Mason
Sorry for that glitch , the demons struck again before i could finish ! .

FRANK BOURNE was of course a C/ Sgt at the drift on JAN 22 1879 but even he was not the SENIOR nco ! , this was in fact C/ Sgt GEORGE WILLIAM MABIN who recieved this rank in 1875 some three years before FRANK . History records MABIN as a SGT at this engagement but a quick look at his service records shows he was promoted to this rank in 1875 .Frank was the SENIOR nco for the men nder his command even at his tender age ( hence the nickname of the " KID " ) . Mabin had been in the Rifle brigade at the start of his career but became a Clerk soon after .

My original statement was only regarding the Sgts and which one was the senior UNDER BOURNE and as stated it was inded WINDRIDGE , i hope this sorts out any confusion ? , Graham Mason
13th January 2005Richard
Graham I thought this was what you meant, but you should have phrased it better! And one the subject of CSGT Mabin(Ive never heard of him before), he may have been a CSGT longer than Frank Bourne , but Frank Bourne was in effect the CSM, and theres no way that Mabin would have been senior to him.
14th January 2005Glenn Wade
Richard, How does that work out? I have no references to Frank Bourne being anything other than Colour Sergeant of B company 2/24th at Rorke's Drift. Mabin was a Colour sergeant with the staff and not the 24th but would still have been senior to Bourne by three years. So, although Bourne was the senior NCO of the 24th present, Mabin was the senior NCO present. For more on George William Mabin see 'Other Defenders' on this site.
14th January 2005Tony Jones
Back to the watches guys.I paused the film Zulu then viewed each frame by 'step-method',on my DVD,on the scenes where the offending watchesare supposed to appear.As Sheldon Hall has suggested'the 'wrist-watches' do indeed look like Bangles,possibly made of bone or wood.I haven't seen any wrist-watches anywhere in the film.
14th January 2005Richard
Until the start of ww1 there was only one Warrant Officer classification in the Army, and in an Infantry Battalion this was the RSM. Prior to this the appointment of CSM was held by Colour Sergeants. Therefore Colour Sergeant Bourne was de facto CSM.
16th January 2005Graham Mason
Dear Richard ,
All the record books i have seen state that FRANK BOURNE was a C/ Sgt at Rorke`s Drift and G W MABIN ( a clerk ) was a Sgt . One of these is incorrect . MABIN once of the Rifle Brigade then a clerk was as stated a C/ Sgt in 1875 while FRANK BOURNE got this rank some three years later .Mabin was promoted to Sgt Major shortly after and was not entitled to recieve a LSGC medal due to his newly created warrant rank . Bourne if " de facto " CSM is something i certainly was not aware of . Bourne became a Lt Col , MABIN Sgt Major and Sgt Gallagher finished his career as GARRISON Sgt Major , in effect an RSM but i cannot subscribe to Bourne being anything else than a C/Sgt on Jan 22 1879 with MABIN his senior ( in rank allocation ) by some three years ( 1875 ) , Graham .
17th January 2005Glenn Wade
I agree Graham, no books I have read, be they by Ian Knight, Ian Castle, John Young, John Laband, Adrian Greaves or David Rattray, have made any reference to Bourne as being 'de facto' CSM. Maybe Richard could state his source to put our minds to rest. I think the bottom line is gents that their were two C/sgt's at Rorke's Drift and of the two, George William Mabin was the senior.
19th January 2005Julian whybra
The same distinction occurs between Chard and Bromhead. Chard was o/c camp at RD, Bromhead was o/c B coy 2/24th. Thus, Mabin was senior CSM present at RD but Bourne was CSM of B coy. Be in no doubt that orders conveyed to the men of B coy were done so via Bourne.
2nd February 2005Simon Copley
Apparently the Zulu messenger who delivers the message to Cetawayo's kraal, in the film, actually says (in Zulu)

"I'm not getting paid enough for this part" !!

Which suggests they were getting paid in cash
2nd February 2005Sheldon Hall
I think this is urban legend (or a bad joke) rather than an accurate translation... the Zulu speakers I've interviewed certainly heard nothing untoward in this scene.
2nd February 2005Glenn Wade
The Zulu messenger definately mentions Isandlwana. Listen carefully for 'Sandlwana' in the speech.
2nd February 2005Peter Ewart
Yes, I've always thought you can hear "sandlwan" too.