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Chelmsfords return and other items.
Martin Kidd


Joined: 29 Aug 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Surrey
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Please understand that I ask these questions in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

Point 1. Chelmsford has ridden out of Isandlwana in the early hours of the 22nd with what I assume he considers to be a fighting force. I understand he is intent on finding the Zulu and putting them to the sword so to speak. He and his force have not gone that far in reality maybe 20 miles. He finds nothing of interest, rests up and returns to Isandlwana to find the camp destroyed. He has a couple of shells put into it to clear any remaining Zulu's and enters the destroyed camp. Terrible beyond belief it must have been to see ones friends and fellow soldiers dead and mutilated BUT soldiers are soldiers and the hungry amongst them would have foraged for food. They would have found plenty as I understand that the Zulu's feared it was poisoned. He leaves early to get off that terrible place not wanting his troops to see too much of the carnage. Let's face it they would have seen plenty. He heads towards Rorke's Drift and on the way he passes the Zulu returning from that very place. They pass close enough to exchange questions. So tell me why on earth did he not engage the enemy? He could have damaged the Zulu even more and if they did not come on then he could have put them to flight. Plenty if not all of the soldiers in his column would have had plenty of reason to start shooting. Surely he could have defeated the Zulu there.

Point 2. With regard to the amount of ammunition used at RD. I read that on firing the MH rifle more than 20 times the shoulder became very sore and it was not uncommon for soldiers to wince on doing so. After the battle both shoulders were bruised so badly that aiming the weapon would have been impossible. I suspect that as the fight went on and darkness started to fall they would have just held it out in front of them and fired into the enemy. Keeping up a rate of fire. Also, would having the bayonet fixed affect the accuracy of the weapon.

Point 3. Chard counted 351 dead or at least buried that amount. I read he later said that that number was fewer than the actual dead. A later Zulu report puts it at 600 to a 1000. I know this is a difficult one but I ask it relation to the amount of ammo used. I read that one Zulu was shot at least 5 times.

I await the fountains of knowledge to put me right.

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