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DateOriginal Topic
8th June 2001Pte. 801 Thomas Cole
By Alan Critchley
I have heard several versions of the death of Pte. Cole.
He was assigned with Hook to the defence in the hospital.
According to Chard's report he was shot through the head, the bullet then striking the nose of Pte. James Bushe.
According to David Rattray (of Fugitive Drift Lodge), he was claustrophobic, rushed out of the hospital and was immediately 'slaughtered'. This sounds to me like an assegai killing.
Hook says that "Old King Cole" was not going to stay. He went outside and was instantly killed by the Zulus...
James Bancroft says that he ran out of the building to join the men at the breastwork.. he was then shot through the head, the bullet then hitting Pte. Bushe on the nose. Ian Knight's version corresponds to to this.
Is there a definitive version of these events?

Alan Critchley