you are currently viewing: Discussion Forum


The Rorke's Drift VC Discussion Forum
(View Discussion Rules)


PLEASE NOTE: This forum is now inactive and is provided for reference purposes only. The live forum is available at

(Back To Topic List)

DateOriginal Topic
6th February 2002'Isandhlwana' and Adrian Greaves
By Peter Critchley

Whilst it is important to us that this forum provides a free and open area for debate, it is important there are rules within which it operates. These rules are clearly available from the top of the main discussion forum area. I would like to remind everyone of one of the most important;

1. No profanity, slander, threats or otherwise anti-social language will be accepted.

Whilst no-one is as of yet in breach of this, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are a number of people who have not enjoyed Adrian Greave's recent book as much as others. I would like to appeal for moderate language and ask that anyone who feels it necessary to criticise gives their reasoning so as the pros and cons can be debated.

I hope everyone will take this in the positive spirit that it is intended..

Debate away!

6th February 2002John Young

In that case I will start the ball rolling and encourage the debate.

I personally feel the book is flawed by very basic errors, as a case in point I will concern myself with just one issue - the artillery at Isandlwana. Given that Dr. Greaves's last work was on a related subject, one might believe he would have a grasp of the details, sadly he does not.

Page 74; apparently an artillery battery is composed of two guns - in fact six cannon made up a battery, two cannon form a section. Look at the illustration that appears on pages 94/5, depicted there are the remaining four cannon of 'N'/5, that were out with Chelmsford.

Pages 79-80; Brevet Major Stuart Smith did not return to the section at Isandlwana until about 10.30 a.m., up until that time Lieutenant Henry Curling, commanded the section.

Apparently three horses towed the limber and cannon, yet how can this be? I know the 7lb'er Rifled Muzzle Loading cannon was a light cannon, but this statement is beyond belief. In fact six horses pulled the gun and limber; three nearside horses with mounted drivers, who controlled the three offside or 'hand' horses.

The rocket system used by the Rocket Battery of Durnford's No. 2 Column were Hale's rockets and not Congreve rockets.

Page 107; still on the Rocket Battery, how is it that Dr. Greaves only has three survivors?

I have four they are:
Acting Bombardier G. Goff, 'N'/5 R.A.;
Private 665 H. Grant, 1st/24th;
Private 299 D. Johnson 1st/24th &
Private 196 J. Trainer 1st/24th.

All four of them are named by Private Johnson in his report. It appears from Dr. Greaves's version that his three survivors are 'gathered up' by Brevet Colonel Anthony Wiiliam Durnford, and his retiring element of his No. 2 Column, how is it then that only Private Johnson mentions Durnford in his report?

Grant states that he rode back to camp with spare horses, and Johnson states that he met with the three other survivors 'just below the camp...'

Therefore I present four survivors of the Rocket Battery and not three, and prove the point by the words of a survivors recorded in 1879.

Hopefully, this will cause some debate, and if it does I will further it by refuting Dr. Greaves's claim of fifty-five European survivors.

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society.

7th February 2002Julian Whybra
1-3)The maps on pp.110-111, 134-5 and commentaries place A and E company in the wrong positions. The confusion over the lettering of the companies begun by DR Morris (and other copycat authors) was cleared up by FWD Jackson years ago and has not reared its ugly head since around 1976. What on earth is Mr Greaves doing reviving it here. However even his own maps (showing A and E retiring on the camp) contradict his commentary on pages 109 and 114 (in which he states that one company from the spur was overwhelmed between the spur and the firing line). To add insult to injury, he states that he doesn't know whether this was (p.114) Mostyn or Cavaye !!! It is well-known that both reached the firing line. It's well-known that part of Mostyn's company (under Anstey) reached the Manzimnyana. How can he write this?

4) Chelmsford was not a viscount (inside front cover and various other pages); he was the 3rd Baron Chelmsford.

5) Anstey was a lieutenant not a captain (p.192)

6-7) Lord Chelmsford's Instructions (the Durnford Papers) were not found on Durnford's body (p.163) they were found on the field of battle. Pearse's letter re their discovery was sent 25th June 1885. According to Mr. Greaves, this galvanized Luard into action and prompted his letter to Cole (p.163). This is madness. Luard's letter was dated 22nd January 1885 - five months before the Durnford Papers were discovered. This was so ludicrous a suggestion that David Jackson and I didn't even bother to include it in our article on the Durnford Papers in 1990.

8) Younghusband's company was C not E (p.114)

9)If G coy were overwhelmed out by the Big Donga, how was it that Pope and Godwin-Austen's bodies were found on the slope of the saddle? They were not swiftly overwhelmed where they stood. They conducted an orderly fighting retreat back to the saddle

10) (p. 144) The mounted infantry did not remain behind at Isandhlwana. Perhaps ten or so men did, presumbly ten men did to pack up or report sick. Another ten returned with Gardner and Smith as escort. The list of those MI in camp is as appears in my article on the MI in SOTQ and in my book The Roll call (plus corrigenda sheet which includes Gascoigne).

11) There were not 55 European survivors. There were certainly 82 and possibly 84 (again see The Roll Call)

More tomorrow.
7th February 2002Peter Critchley
Julian and John,

Thank you for taking my point so literally.

7th February 2002Dave Nolan
So the Chairman of the Anglo-Zulu War Research Society has picked holes in the work of the Chairman of the Anglo Zulu War Historical Society........

Visitors might be interested that Adrian Greaves next book - on Rorke's Drift, no less - is being advertised on

"Rorke's Drift
Adrian Greaves
Our Price: £20.00

Hardcover - 400 pages (11 July, 2002)
Cassell Military; ISBN: 0304359602

An epic story of a clash that produced 11 Victoria Crosses The author's research has uncovered a host of often shocking revelations which have lain dormant over the last 120 years There has been no truly new account of the battle for over 20 years A brand new look at the battle made famous by the film Zulu, starring Michael Caine"

I, for one, look forward to this new analysis in the light of the revelations contained in 'Isandlwana' - so to, I suggest, might be those authors that have written accounts of the battle in the last twenty years, authors like Ian Knight, James Bancroft, Ian Castle, Professor John Laband, Edmund Yorke and John Young himself.

Keep it coming Julian!

7th February 2002John Young

Just to show I have no bias, I would like to correct a point made above by Julian, one of my membership.

The 3rd Baron Lord Chelmsford was indeed a Viscount, as well as being Viceroy of India.
He was the son of Lt.-General Lord Chelmsford, who was in fact the 2nd Baron Lord Chelmsford, the General Officer Commanding British Forces Southern Africa in 1879.

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society
8th February 2002Julian Whybra
Well, thank you John, I stand corrected, it’s 2nd Baron Chelmsford, at least it’s not Viscount.
Now where was I?
12) p. 47 the photo is not of Zulus at the Great Exhibition 1851. It’s from the Royal Archive
and according to Mrs Kelsey the archivist was taken 1853, at an unknown location, well after
the Great Exhibition.
13) p. 52 map The Republic of Lydenburg and British Kaffraria rather than Lynenburg and
14) p.163 Continuing from my earlier point, re Luard. There is no evidence anywhere to
suggest that Luard ever saw Lord Chelmsford’s Instructions (or indeed any of the Durnford
Papers). All that is known that A.Pearse found the documents on the field of Isandhlwana on
21st May 1879 and gave them to his brother, F.Pearse. The latter wrote to the Editor of the
Natal Witness on 25th June 1885. A copy of this letter is at the RE Museum Chatham and was
first published in The Durnford Papers article (SOTQ March 1990 by myself and David
Jackson). At the bottom of the letter is written ‘extracted from miss F.E.C.’s [Frances Ellen
Colenso] letter 29.6.85. At some stage after that (date unknown) this was sent (with the rest
of the Durnford Papers) to the RE Museum, where it lay undiscovered until found by David
Jackson in 1963. Luard doesn’t appear in the story.
15) p.163 The envelope does not bear the initials F.E.C.. They are on the copy of the letter.
More tomorrow.
9th February 2002Julian Whybra
Thank you David Nolan for your encouragement, but “revelations”? What “revelations”? And John Young’s “picking holes”, no, “correcting” may be, but picking holes never. Please don’t exclude from your list my own modest ‘Defence of Rorke’s Drift’ (which first reproduced in colour Chard’s wonderful diagrams of the defence). I too shall welcome the arrival of any new Zulu War book which is based on academic research. Now to return to reality....
16) p.154 There is no such entry as (a). In fact, there is no such document as Lord
Chelmsford’s Order Book.
17) p.122 re the quoted four mounted transport officers - there were three with attachments for transport duties, the fourth (Gardner) was attached to the Staff of No.3 Column for General Duties.
18) p. 80 The effective strength of Durnford’s Column No. 2 was not 500. His force was divided into penny packets and the force he himself led to Isandhlwana on the morning of 22.1.79 may well have numbered about 500 - but this was not his whole column!
19) p. 17 “2.6% of the [British] population were dying each month” !!! Eh? Time to get the calculator out!
20) pp. 116-119 the smokescreen myth (as also reported on the Secrets of the Dead TV
programme). Well, first, the whole business is rather contradicted by the quotation from Lieut. Wilkinson (which Mr Greaves quotes) who indicates that the British were already well aware of the problems of smoke and
were doing something about it (these weren’t green boy soldiers, you know!). Secondly, I
have copies of every single surviving survivor’s account and every surviving Zulu participant’s account. Not one of them mentions smoke. In fact what they do mention is being able to pick out details in one another’s lines, watching movements, etc., implying they could see perfectly
well (as Lieut. Wilkinson suggests). Thirdly, the problem of smoke would arise if they were stationary...but they were not. The British moved around a lot. Cavaye and Mostyn up the spur, down the spur, forward 30 yards, back 100 yards. The guns were moved at least twice. Porteous-Wardell forward, back again, and again. Pope down towards the donga, Durnford - three or four halts till he reached the donga, where he remained 20-30 mins at most, before
setting off again. Even the other units - the NNH,NMP-NC-IMI - were on the move
considerably. One might say that this argument is a matter of opinion, and we can beg to differ, but, when one considers the facts, the total absence of British and Zulu comments on smoke, there’s a distinct taste of herring in the air.
More on Monday.
9th February 2002John Young
Just a few more matters worthy of debate.

To pick up on Lieutenant & Adjutant E.O.H Wilkinson, 3rd Battalion, 60th Rifles, who Julian mentions above.

Page 116 of Dr. Greaves's book has him as taking part in several Zulu War battles. Yet to my knowledge he was only present at one action, Gingindlovu, 2nd April 1879. A fact confirmed by his death notice, by drowning at the Battle of Ingogo, 8th February, 1881 in the 1st Anglo-Boer War, 1880-1881.

Page 12 of Dr. Greaves's work repeats an error I have heard from tour-guides on the battlefield. The British Army did not lose fifty-two officers at Isandlwana, the British Army lost twenty-seven officers at Isandlwana. The British and Colonial forces, if we include Conductors of Supply, lost fifty-two officers.

Referring to the same paragraph, there were actually three major engagements of the campaign fought against Napoleon in 1815. There were Quatre Bras, Ligny & Waterloo.

Julian has already covered the survivors issue that I was going to raise.

Page 126; If we accept the premise that Henry Curling was on the front-line, then surely so too were his gunners? There were nine other-rank survivors of 'N'/5, yet Dr. Greaves would have us believe no men on the front-line, save Curling escaped.

Page 144; With regard to Samuel Wassall V.C. Dr Greaves introduces a nickname 'Carrington's Horse', rather than the unit's correct designation.
The body of men that Samuel Wassall was assigned to is designated in the 'Distribution of Troops in the Field, Natal and Transvaal, January 16, 1879.' as 'No. 1 squad, Mounted Infantry', under the command of 'Lieut.-Colonel (loc r.) Russell, 12th Lanc.'

In what way was Wassall's attachment to No.4 Column, unofficial? Were not the unit assigned to Wood's command following the re-organisation following the events of 22nd January, 1879?

In the same paragraph Hlobane appears to have been the second major disaster, I assume the loss of life at Ntombe does not warrant it to be 'major'?

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society.
10th February 2002Clive Dickens
It has been a grest discussion in this forum of which I myself have learnt a great deal on the different pieces of various information on the battle of Isandlwana, but I do think we should be ready to accept fresh,or to put it better newly discovered, in formation like Adrian Greaves has written,in his book, no one can ever know the what really happend so long ago, what is certain mistakes where made by senior officer's at the time for which the the ordinary British soldier paid dearly for the number of guns, I wuold like to place for members perusal a letter which is taken from the very good book titled THE RED SOLDIER by Frank Emery it is a letter written by a Pte James Cook of "D" Coy 24th foot to his family in Brecon it begins"Ihave some very bad new's to tell you.On the 22nd of January our camp was attacked by about 18,000 Zulu's, and we had to retire after some hours of very hard fighting, in which we succeded in killing 3,000 of the enemy. our loss was five companies of the 1/24 which is about seventeen officers and 600 men;and also five officers and 183 men of our regiment(2/24), a lot of artillery men, police, volunteers and other; in all not far short of 1,000 men.They also took TWO BIG GUNS, all our tents, waggons, bullocks, and amnuition" he goes on to discribe the general scene during the battle, but he mentions no other guns, this book if it is still available i was first published in 1977 is well worth having all the material is mostly letters from ordinary Brish soldier and discribes the chaos of the the battle of both Isandlwana and Rorkes drift and othe battles of the Zulu war.but I think we should all learn and listen other,s point's of view in this forum even if it is different to what we have always taken to be the true facts.
10th February 2002John Young

Just to clarify there was only a section of two guns left behind at Isandlwana, the remaining four guns of the battery went out with Lord Chelmsford's advance. Private 25th Brigade/1125 John Cook, (Although his letter is given as 'James Cook'.)is perfectly correct in his letter in home, about 'two big guns'.

On to another point Page 112 of Dr. Greaves's refers to 'Chief Biyela'. If anyone has ever heard David Rattray's lecture on Isandlwana, or heard his 'Day of the Dead Moon' tapes, or even read Kumbeka Gwabe's account of the battle, they will know the name of the Zulu hero of Isandlwana. He was Mkhosana kaMvundiana, a chief of the Biyela clan and an induna of the uMcijo ibutho, also known as the unKhandempemvu.

It was Mkhosana kaMvundiana who exhorted to his men as they cowered from the British fire, "The 'Little Branch of Leaves That Extinguished the Fire' (one of King Cetshwayo's praise names)gave no such order as this!" Inspired by this the warriors rose up and charged the British line, but Mkhosana fell dead in this moment of his triumph.

At Isandlwana, on 22nd January, 1999, one hundred and twenty-five years on, I had the honour to be seated next Mkhosana's descendant, and I heard this wonderful piece of Zulu oral history repeated for my own benefit, in the way of that great people, the amaZulu.

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society
10th February 2002CLIVE DICKENS
Thank you for this fresh bit of information, keep it coming I am learning fast
10th February 2002James Garland
James Garland

Well, love it or loathe it Mr. Greaves book has triggered the best informed discussion on the forum so far. I've learnt more from this topic than all the others put together.
It seems that anyone writing on the subject of the Anglo Zulu War had better research it well because if they don't they're going to see more heat than a Zulu facing a volley of Martinis.
11th February 2002Julian Whybra
Thank you, Clive, for your comments. Of course, newly-discovered information should always be taken into account. I'm a professional historian and educationist and would always do so. The issue is that nothing in this book is newly-discovered (!)
I'm heartened that people are actually interested and are reading this website page and would suggest that they embark on (a) reading some of the sources and (b) some of the genuine academic research that has been done. I'll be back later today with more errors. PS John Young! Don't hold back over survivors' numbers on my account.
11th February 2002Julian Whybra
21-2) p.152 There were not 8 officers and 131 ORs at Rorke’s Drift. There were 6 officers(Chard, Bromhead, Adendorff, Reynolds, Dunne, Dalton) and 148 (or possibly 150) ORs - total 154 (or 156). Of these 36 were hospital patients. See The Roll Call/Defence of Rorke’s
Drift (me), The Noble 24th/Silver Wreath (Holme).
23-25) p.110-111 There is no evidence (i.e. not one British or Zulu source) to support the position of the NNC in front of the RA guns as placed on this map. On this map read Isanqu for Isangou and umKhulutshane for umKhututshane.
26) p.103-4 Nor is there any evidence (i.e. not one British or Zulu source) to support the position of NNC companies on either side of the guns. The NNC were in the line - I know where, so does David Jackson, John Laband, Ian Knight, John Young. Doesn’t Mr Greaves know?
27-28) p.116 “The Native Contingent on the line then broke ranks...The Zulus broke through the gap.” Where is there any evidence (Zulu or British) for this? Where on the line did they break ranks and run? Where is the evidence that the Zulus broke through “the gap”? What gap? How would anyone have got away if this is what had happened? There is one survivor’s
statement recording that a group of Pakade’s men (Barry’s company) were seen running away
- a half company - and not on the line.
29) p. 107 Younghausband’s company was C not E coy (again).
More tomorrow.
11th February 2002Julian Whybra
Oops, sorry, I typed too fast, a few typos there [ 29) Younghusband not Younghausband]. Never mind, have an extra one:
30) p.152 No, not five Distinguished Conduct Medals. Try four.
Stand by for the really big guns tomorrow!
11th February 2002Keith
Good stuff just do not expect these types of errors in a book of this kind...or from the editor of the AZWHS. I shudder to think of the debate to take place over his next offering on Rorke's Drift. Saying or writing something with conviction doesn't necessarily make it so.
11th February 2002Colin
Well done chaps! This is by far the best discussion on this site, and other similar ones, so far. I've just purchased Adrian Greaves book and am realy looking forward to reading it after this lot. Open minds are needed for any analysis of historical military action where the facts became mudled in the heat of battle. My knowledge of the conflict has been increased many fold by this debate. Keep it coming!
11th February 2002Dave Nolan

Have you mentioned that the book commits that most basic of schoolboy errors in describing the years 1700-1799 as 'the seventeenth century'? This is introducing the story of Dingiswayo (page 36) - so not only repeating now discredited racist, apartheid 'history' - albeit with a pretty set of diagrams (p28/29), further Zulu history is distorted - one wonders what the editor of the series was up to in missing such gaffes.

11th February 2002John Young
Page 43: This deals with the coming of Farewell & Fynn party in 1824. According to Dr. Greaves, Henry Francis Fynn (1803-1861) was the British Resident in Zululand, yet this party was a group of self-promoting adventurers with no official status. They were traders who had the support of J.R. Thompson & Co.

Fynn sailed to what was to become Port Natal in the ship 'Julia' with an advanced party. Six weeks later they were joined Francis Farewell, who arrived on board the 'Antelope', together they numbered twenty-six men somewhat more than the 'handful' Dr. Greaves describes.

As to the party who initially visited King Shaka, was that not just Fynn and Farewell, together with Mr. Pieterson, who I believe was Farewell's father-in-law?

Returning to the matter of Henry Fynn being a British Resident in Zululand. The first British Resident, Mr. Wheelwright, was appointed in 1879, following the peace terms issued on 1st September, 1879 by Garnet Wolseley. Which is why I have included above the fact that Henry Fynn, know to the amaZulu as "Mbulazi", died in 1861. Dr. Greaves has confused him with his son, Henry Francis Fynn Jnr. Who was present at the reading of the Ultimatum on 11th December, 1878, in his guise of the Magistrate of Msinga.

Henry Francis Fynn Jr. was the British Resident at Ulundi at the time of the restoration of King Cetshwayo kaMpande in 1883.

Pages 66 & 69, and compounded further in the index on page 213 as 'Beach, Hicks'. The Colonial Secretary of State was Sir Michael Hicks Beach, 9th Baronet, later the Earl St. Aldwyn.

Page 187: For 'Jaheel' read Jahleel Brenton Carey.

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society
(Founded 1992.)

12th February 2002John Young
Page 109: Text supporting a splendid engraving of 'Ntschwingwayo...', yet nowhere does Dr. Greaves establish that Ntshingwayo kaMahole, of the Khosa, was the Zulu commander of the Zulu army at the Battle of Isandlwana, an amazing omission. In fact to compound this error further, the text on Page 113 supporting the engraving of Prince Dabulamanzi kaMpande, has him as the commander at Isandlwana. That text also has a further error as King Cetshwayo's name is rendered 'Cetschwayo'.

Page 147; Trumpeter Richard Stevens of the Natal Mounted Police has become a 'Trooper'.

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society
& Trustee of the Ntshingwayo kaMahole Trust.
12th February 2002Dave Barry
If Doctor Greaves needs any proofreaders for his Rorke's Drift book I don't think he has to look too far.

Dave Barry
12th February 2002Julian Whybra
31-47) inside cover: “important documents which have never before been
published...challenges all previous interpretations of the battle”; page 9 “Greaves uses recently-discovered material”; page 166 “no trace...until recently”; and elsewhere.
There are no documents in this book which have been recently-discovered and never before published (and certainly none by Mr Greaves). A possible exception to this might be Curling’s letters which appeared in Best’s book just prior to Mr Greaves’s. Pearse’s letter (to the Editor of the Natal Witness [NOT to Luard] p.160, and Lord Chelmsford’s Instructions [which are
given incorrectly in this book] pp.202-4 were found by David Jackson in January 1963. They could not be opened or read because they were ‘glued’ together with age, rain, possibly even Durnford’s blood (so much for the remark on p.163 about Luard discovering the evidence he was seeking - he wouldn’t have been able to open them either, had he seen them, which he
didn’t). David and I realized their probable significance and waited till May 1989 until scientists had peeled them apart such that they could be read. We were the first persons to see them. They were subsequently published (in full and correctly) with commentary in SOTQ
Issue 60 March 1990 and have been extensively quoted in others’ works (Ian Knight’s Zulu for example). The 19th January 1879 order [Chelmsford to Durnford], was also discovered with these documents in January 1963, but could be opened and read. A copy of this was made at the time since when more has disintegrated. This was first reproduced and published with commentary in the same SOTQ issue. A copy of our transcription and commentary (the complete article) is kept permanently with the Durnford Papers in the RE Museum. As for the
errors in Mr Greaves’s transcription there will be more later, however, readers’ may like to compare the following pages in Mr Greaves’s book with our commentary on the Papers from the original article(!)
Jackson & Whybra Greaves
p.21, col.2, para. 6 page 169 lines 1-4
p.22, col.2, para. 1 page 169 lines 4-9
p.22, Inyezane diagram page 169 Inyezane
p.22, col.2, para. 2 page 170, lines 4-6
p.22, col.2, para.4 page 204,lines
19 & 24
p.30, col.1, lines 5-10 page 170, lines 15-
p.30, col.1, lines 36-38 page 170, lines 21-
p.19, col.2, para.1 page 163, paras. 1
& 2
p. 19, col.2, paras. 2 & 3 page 162, para. 2
p.21, col.2, para. 5 page 168, lines 1-3
p.20, col.2, lines 1-7 page 167, lines 11-
12th February 2002Julian Whybra
Re my point 12 - Mrs Kelsey is now miss Diamond of the Photographic Collection Dept.
12th February 2002John Young
Page 73: Lieutenant Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien was not a 'regular commissariat' officer. He was a 20 year old, line infantry officer from the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot. Who had little or no experience of commissariat, supply or transport duties.

Page 76: According to Christopher Wilkinson-Latham’s 'Uniforms & Weapons of the Zulu War' published in 1978, the 1870 'Elcho' Bayonet was adopted by the Small Arms Committee in 1871. During the Asante War of 1873-4 three battalions were issued with the bayonet for use with the Snider-Enfield. The officer commanding that campaign, Sir Garnet Wolseley, recommended the officers carried the 'Elcho' Bayonet in lieu of a sword.

The 'Elcho' Bayonet was 20 ¾” in length with a saw-back, and a point described as a 'swelling spear point.'

I believe Dr. Greaves has confused the 'Elcho' Bayonet with the 1871 Pattern sword bayonet, which was a converted 1856 Pattern. During the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 non-commissioned officers of and above the substantive rank of Sergeant in line infantry regiments carried the 1871 Pattern bayonet, as did all other-ranks of the 3rd Battalion, 60th (King's Royal Rifle Corps) Regiment. The 'Elcho' Bayonet was only apparently carried by the other-ranks of the Army Service Corps.

Page 149: For 'Berkley Milne' read Archibald Berkeley Milne.

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society.

P.S. for Julian - Your above apparently should read Miss Dimond. JY
13th February 2002Julian Whybra
Thank you John, now that I’ve seen the name in black and white I too can confirm the lady’s name is Dimond.
Talking of names...

48-49) p.143 Coghill’s father was called Sir John Joscelyn Coghill and Melvill’s wife was called Sarah Elizabeth (née Reed).

50) p.89 The Battle of Blood River was on 16th December 1838 NOT 1836 - Will Mr
Greaves be able to look a South African in the face again!

51) Higginson’s black eye exists only in Mr Greaves’s imagination, nowhere in documented

52) p.146-8 - “The Disembowelling Myth” - What myth? They DID disembowel! This was
no myth! Perhaps he means the “something-else myth”?

53-54) On p. 153 Mr Greaves states there were 5,000 souls at Isandhlwana in the early
morning of 22.1.1879. On p. 98 he states that 2,500 men accompanied Chelmsford out of
camp that morning. On p. 151 he states that 1,350 men were left at Isandhlwana as a result. I think he needs a new calculator (see Error no. 19). On p. 100 he states Durnford arrived with 500 men. On p. 99 he states that this brought the number of men in camp up to 1700. I wonder if he has any qualifications in mathematics?

55) On p. 80 Mr Greaves states that Glyn’s column consisted of “1,600 Europeans and 2,500 natives”. That’s 4,100 souls. Cf. Errors 53-54 and spot the deliberate(?) mistake.

56-7) On p. 123 Mr Greaves gives the number of survivors as 55 Europeans and (elsewhere)
about 300 natives. Well, this is simply a crib from D.R. Morris (whose details are often awry cf. pp.136-7). All this is fair enough and Mr Greaves’s error over the number of survivors has been discussed elsewhere above. On p.12 Mr. Greaves states there were 1,329 casulaties at Isandhlwana.
Now this magic figure first appears in my book ‘The Roll Call’(published 1990) p. 37 and has been used by many writers and is fair game for anyone writing a new book (provided the research is acknowledged). 1,329 was my total for the number of confirmed British, colonial, and African casualties killed in action. Curiously, Mr Greaves ignores my number of survivors (and possible survivors) in the next two columns as well as my number of those whose fate was unrecorded (by my reckoning a maximum figure of 702 [see addenda]). This last figure includes ‘missing’ African NNC plus the unaccounted-for regulation number of drivers, voorloopers, civilian sub-conductors, etc., who should have been with the column if it possessed its full complement. The true number may well be less than that. Using the one number without the others is pretty meaningless. All these figures are itemized in my book (plus addenda sheet) but for general purposes the numbers are:
kia 1,329, survivors 166, possible survivors 2, fate unrecorded 702, total 2,199
For those interested I’m exploring a 3rd possible survivor as I write.

58) There are major problems with the map on this page showing Zululand and the disputed territories.
The whole Zulu area extends too far northwards, not far enough westwards, and not far enough eastwards. The area shown as disputed is ludicrous. Anyone that has researched the Blue Books, read their descriptions and seen their maps, will not recognize anything on this page.
Just for starters, the whole of the Utrecht district was included in the disputed territories. I hope to be supplying the AZWRS Journal with an article (and map) on the boundary dispute in the next week or so. Anyone interested can look in its future journals.
More tomorrow.
13th February 2002John Young
Page 98: Major Cornelius Francis Clery, on half-pay from the 32nd (Cornwall) Light Infantry, has somehow joined the ‘1/24th’, rather than be listed as a Staff Officer.

Page 145: Dr. Greaves repeats an error that he has obviously found in Robert Hope’s ‘The Zulu War and the 80th Regiment of Foot’, by writing that Private Samuel Wassall V.C. was ‘the youngest serving soldier then to hold the award.’ Robert Hope in his book gives Wassall’s date of birth as 7th April, 1856. How can he be ‘the youngest serving soldier…’?
Private 25th Brigade/716 Robert Jones V.C., who Dr. Greaves records as receiving his award at the same presentation, was born 19th August, 1857.
Private 25th Brigade/1395 John Williams V.C. (a.k.a John Fielding) was born on 24th May, 1857.

I have discounted Private 25th Brigade Frederick Hitch V.C., born 29th November, 1856, as he had already been discharged.

Out of interest, Samuel Wassall V.C. was born on the same day as Corporal Christian Ferdinand Schiess V.C. I did try to check times of birth, but to no avail. (I jest!)

Page 215: in the index a cardinal sin -'Melville', rather than Melvill.

Page 191: The '21st-century Zulu village...' looks suspiciously like "Shakaland", which was a hotel the last time I visited.

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society.

13th February 2002Dave Barry
Over a week on and the "Essex Boys" are still at the wicket.
14th February 2002Julian Whybra
If I may, John, Christian Ferdnand Schiess; the Swiss are a funny lot over Germanic spellings.
14th February 2002Julian Whybra
59) p.33 and 209 chapter 1 fn.3 “Report by Essex. Courtesy of the AZWHS” is not the
source for this quotation. This one comes from Essex’s letter published in The Times

60) p. 211 Ch.5 fn.4 Morris’s book was published by Jonathan Cape in 1965.

61) p.212 ch.5 fn.8 Major Grenfell not Grenville.

62-64) p.212 ch.5 fn.9 Adendorff not Ardendorff. And, on the contrary, Bourne’s Amended
Roll in his own handwriting does include Adendorff. Furthermore, of course, Dunbar’s Roll
does not include Adendorff, it was purely a Roll of 24th Regt. defenders.

65) p.212 ch.5 fn.16 The correct reference for Stevens’s letter should be The Colchester
Mercury and Essex Express 15th March 1879.

66-67) p.159 & p.212 ch.6 fn.8 “Cochrane AZWHS unpublished papers” is not the correct
source for this (slightly mis-) quotation. Cochrane left several accounts of Isandhlwana; this
ostensibly comes from his written report and supplementary report of 8th February 1879:
WO 32/7726/079/1472 & 1596.

68) p.163 Has Mr. Greaves confused the surnames of Trooper A. Pearse (Natal Carbineers)
who found the Durnford Papers with Trpr. H.T. Pearce of the Natal Mounted Police killed at
Isandhlwana. I know of no evidence suggesting they were related. (see Error 68).

69) p.212 ch.6 fn.9 “Cochrane AZWHS unpublished papers” is not the correct source for the
information about Trpr. H.T. Pearce. This comes from Trpr. C. Sparks and is related in W. H.
Clements’s The Glamour and Tragedy of the Zulu War. p. 63.

70-71) p.164 Captain Stafford’s late report was not found in June 1998. It has been known
about and used for years. It was first published in full in The Natal Mercury Tuesday 22nd
January 1929 which is the corrrect reference (not as on p.212 Chapter 6 fn.11 “AZWHS
Journal”). Stafford actually wrote:
“...I remained outside while Colonel Durnford and Captain Shepstone entered Pulliene’s (sic)
tent. From where I was I could hear an argument between durnford and Pulliene as to who
was the senior of the two, and on Pulliene seeming to give way I heard Durnford remark; “You
have orders to draw in the camp”.
But the fighting having already started there was no time to do that.”

Hmmm, I make that totalling 112 errors, major and minor, all unforgiveable, so far. I think I've got at least another 100. How about you, John?
14th February 2002John Elmer
Has Ian Knight access to this website? If so it is surley time for him to state his view. Come on Ian - is the book riddled with basic errors or is it a masterpiece? Let's have your comments please.
14th February 2002Ian Woodason

Ian Knight is leading a 'Tours With Experts' tour in SA at the moment so is not online, as far as I know.

15th February 2002Julian Whybra
Dear All
Since this item still has much to run and is about to disappear off the bottom of the page I propose we start it anew at the top of the page to keep it topical. I'll start the ball rolling. Let's use, say, the title:
'Isandlwana' and Adrian Greaves Part 2