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Recorded Use Of The Infantry Officer's Sword In The AZW ?
Coll
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I've only read of a couple of incidents at Isandlwana, firstly, an officer used his sword against a Zulu, which got lodged in the shield, making him literally defenceless. Also, Mansfield of the R.E., was seen wielding a sword, but I don't know if these were confirmed in any sources.

Also, there was the incident of the man armed with a cutlass, with his back to a wagon wheel.

Although the sword is mentioned in use by mounted men, such as lancers, are there any more occasions known of, where infantry officers used their swords in close-quarter fighting ?

I do have a book listed about edged weapon combat -

Cold Steel : The Art Of Fencing With The Sabre.
by Alfred Hutton.

It appears to be set out the same way of his fixed bayonet book, which would be extremely helpful.

Anyone know of it ?

Thanks

Coll
Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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I can give a synopsis, but someone else will have to give the source since I can't recall where I read the account. A Zulu warrior was at bay by a number of bayonet wielding infantrymen when their sergeant took the opportunity to demonstrate swordsmanship one on one. I seem to recall he was a sword instructor. The fight lasted a goodly time, but the Zulu eventually lost. Sounds like the sort of story that Maori Browne would retell and I want to say it was at Khambula or Ulundi.
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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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And of course, the officer that led the charge down Isandlwana circling his sword over his head so that it "flashed like the sun". Younghusband, perhaps?
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GlennWade


Joined: 16 Jan 2006
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Location: Swansea
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Hi Coll,

This Gingindlovu anecdote from 'Fearful Hard Times' by Ians Knight and Castle. Not an officer's sword but still a sword-related tale that makes me smile. Page 209.

'One gallant trooper, anxious to distinguish himself, rode valiantly after one of the flying Zulus who tried to cut him down. After hacking ineffectually at him for some time the Zulu thought it was his turn, and going for his persuer with his assegai slashed his fingers off, and picking up his sword, which he naturally dropped, made off in triumph'.

The report came from Lt. Knight of The Buffs who heard the story told at Eshowe the next day

Saw,

The story you mention is that of Sgt. Anderson of the '6th Carabineers' at the same battle.

Cheers,

Glenn

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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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Glenn,
Was the account of Sgt. Anderson also in "Fearful Hard Times?"?
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GlennWade


Joined: 16 Jan 2006
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Hi Saw,

Yes it was and here it is! I was dozing off last night and had no energy to type both stories.

'There was one warrior who would not fly, but set his back to a thorn bush and defied his foes. 'Leave him to me', said a Sergeant of the Greys who was instructor in the Mounted Infantry. A ring was formed and at it they went, sword mounted against assegai and shield dismounted. The soldier was the more skilful, but the Zulu was in better condition. Cutting was tried at first, but it was turned by the shield invariably; at last the point went through the shield and man, and the hero found the death he courted'.

The quote is from Captain William Molyneux.

Cheers,

Glenn

'Fearful Hard Times', Page 208. Ians Knight and Castle.

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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Coll,

Former museum of the Middlesex Regiment had in its collection the sword of Captain Henry Charles Hinxman, of the 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment, that he carried at the Battle of Gingindlovu. As far as I can recall the description of sword related the fact that Hinxman had killed two Zulu warriors with it before falling wounded having been shot in the legs.

I do have a photograph of Hinxman with said sword, but it is currently in storage.

John Y.
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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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Yep, that's it, Glenn. I 'm not sure that I read it in 'Fearful Hard Times' since I'm not sure I have that book ( the Library is getting a bit out of hand), but it's definitely from Molyneux. That story caught my fancy because of the sportsmanship involved-- and I apologize if that wording sounds a trifle glib. The Zulu was doomed in any event and that seems an more honorable way to die than to have been shot outright. I doubt that he would have been paroled, however, if he had won.

A little off of Coll's original post, but isn't it Browne who relates the outrageous story involving the removal of a horse's ear by his rider's sword? Or am I thinking of something that happened involving a dervish in the Sudan?
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ciscokid


Joined: 01 Nov 2008
Posts: 54
Location: Plymouth, Devon
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Sawubona wrote:
A little off of Coll's original post, but isn't it Browne who relates the outrageous story involving the removal of a horse's ear by his rider's sword? Or am I thinking of something that happened involving a dervish in the Sudan?


I heard that this happened many times at Waterloo.
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diagralex


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 208
Location: Broomfield, Essex
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It was more common than you think. Many Cavalry horses carried the marks of poor swordsmanship on their ears.
However, to mitigate circumstances, it must have been very awkward to control a frightened horse in battle, whilst swinging a sword.

Graham
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Lee Stevenson


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 48
Location: England
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Mr Daniels, the pontman, wielding Spalding's sword, is stated to have 'brought down' one Zulu whilst during the defence of Rorke's Drift.
[source: account by Private Caleb Wood 2/24th published in the Ilkeston Pioneer c. 1913 - see also the "Legacy" books by Kris Wheatley]
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Coll
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All

Thankyou very much for your replies.

Coll
John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Coll,

I know how much you like the images to go with things so here goes.

...an officer used his sword against a Zulu, which got lodged in the shield, making him literally defenceless...



John Y.
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Coll
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John

Wow ! Very Happy

It's exactly like the description I read, but where did you get the image, which is so spot on ?

Thankyou

Coll
Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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Exciting image! One must wonder, however, what the artist was using for a model for the shield back detail and the spear.
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Recorded Use Of The Infantry Officer's Sword In The AZW ?
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