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‘The Glory Had Gone To The Amateurs...’. Philip Gon
Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 130
Location: U.K.
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This I think was from Philip Gon’s book - The Road To Isandhlwana, Page 115.

This quote (Gon) was not about Isandhlwana but an earlier campaign, the full paragraph being -

‘By 19 November, the Gcaleka War was described, officially, as over. A few small colonial detachments were retained to guard strategic outposts in the empty Gcalekaland while the remainder headed for home as quickly as their mounts would carry them. Her Majesty’s soldiers in their ‘safe’ posts in the Ciskei had to watch the victorious colonists stream home and listen to the exaggerated praise that was heaped on ‘the sons of the soil’. The regulars had worked hard in irksome, organisational jobs, but they received scant recognition. Coghill described the time as ‘work day and night combining the duties of ADC, Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, Assistant Quartermaster-General and private secretary’. The glory had gone to the amateurs - it had not been the 1st Battalion’s finest hour.

My question is, having seen the expression ‘amateurs’ used before regarding those not professional soldiers, is this - knowing the Natal Carbineers’ remembered well the incident at Bushmans Pass when Durnford appeared at Isandhlwana...would the 24th have remembered well the incident related in the above paragraph, and held a negative view of the Colonials ?

This may explain a great deal about the lack of Colonial inclusion (native units too) in coverage post-Isandhlwana, at least by some sources. I always got the impression these Colonial/Native units were considered to have ‘got in the way’ of the 24th ‘doing their job’ as professionals at Isandhlwana.

As a topic-starter not argument question - Has the fear remained then and since, that the Colonial/Native units may have equalled the 24th in their actions at Isandhlwana, perhaps even more so, hence a similar phrase as the quote by Gon - ‘The Glory Had Gone To The Amateurs’ ?
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‘The Glory Had Gone To The Amateurs...’. Philip Gon
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