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Telegraph Troop, Royal Engineers
peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 865
Location: UK
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One of the presentations at the recent Zulu war event at the RLC Museum in Deepcut was on the role of the Telegraph Troop of the RE. It's not an aspect of the campaign I had paid much attention to and it was fascinating to see the original equipment on display.

A medal to one of those involved is on eBay if anyone has a signals interest.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ZULU-WAR-MEDAL-BAR-1879-DRIVER-ROYAL-ENGINEERS-/130930483527?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash=item1e7c10a147

Peter
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 980
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Peter,

Pity I couldn't make it to Deepcut, despite my best intentions, as I've got quite a bit photographical material on the Telegraph Troop.

Regards,

John Y.
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 865
Location: UK
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John

The weather was not kind that day - snow and ice - so the crowd numbers attending were not great. It did mean that almost everyone got a front row seat though!

I'm not bidding, but I don't suppose that Robson is identified, or identifiable, in any of your images?

Peter
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The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Newport
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Slightly off topic (but not too much, I hope!), there's quite a lot of information on the RE Telegraph Troop in the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford Camp in Dorset.

It's worth a visit on it's own, mind you .... !

Smile
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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There are a couple of interesting pages on the messaging and signalling (particularly the improvised heliographing from Eshowe) during the AZW on pp28/29 of Red Earth: The Royal Engineers and the Zulu War, 1879 (RE Museum, 1996) a 60-page booklet which accompanied their exhibition that year. (Among the contributors were Mike McCabe, Lee Stevenson & Ian Knight).

There are only a few lines on C Telegraph Troop - or the half of it which went to Zululand - but they do identify the officers in charge of each individual telegraph line on the route of the second invasion.

Has anything else been published on the introduction of the telegraph cables in the campaign?

Peter
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Harold Raugh


Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Heidelberg, Germany (U.S. Army)
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Hello Peter,

You may want to consider these items

1970. Nalder, Maj.-Gen. R.F.H. The Royal Corps of Signals, A History of its Antecedents and Development (circa 1800-1955). Foreword by Field-Marshal the Right Honourable the Earl Alexander of Tunis. London: Royal Signals Institution, 1958. Xvi + 672 pp.


Articles

1972. Gough-Palmer, M. “The Laying of the Under-water Cable at Durban.” In The Zulu War and the Colony of Natal, eds. G.A. Chadwick, B.A., B. Comm., and E.G. Hobson, B.A. (Hons.), 166-169. Mandini, South Africa: Qualitas Publishers for the Natal Provincial Administration, 1979. This is an account of the laying of the telegraph cable to Durban, which was inaugurated in South Africa on 5 July 1879.

1973. Hamilton, Lieutenant-Colonel A.C., R.E. “Our Field Telegraph; Its Work in Recent Campaigns, and its Present Organization.” Journal of the Royal United Service Institution 28, no. 124 (1884): 329-355. In this article, based on his 15 February 1884 lecture at the Royal United Service Institution, Hamilton provides details on the organization and equipment of telegraph units. He also discusses the tactical employment of military telegraphs in campaigns beginning with the Second Ashanti War, 1873-1874, and ending with the British campaign in Egypt in 1882.

1975. Mullineaux, Lt. Col. (Retd.) David. “The Natal Colonial Telegraph, 1879.” Journal of the Anglo Zulu War Historical Society 17 (June 2005). This is a detailed examination of the role of the Natal Colonial Telegraph for command and control purposes and communications during the Anglo-Zulu War, 1879.

1976. Mullineaux, Lt. Col. (Retd.) David. “Signalling in the Anglo-Zulu War, 1879. Part 1.” Royal Signals Journal; reprinted in Journal of the Anglo Zulu War Historical Society 14 (December 2003). This article describes signaling operations during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War.

1977. Mullineaux, Lt. Col. (Retd.) David. “Signalling in the Anglo-Zulu War, 1879. Part 2.” Royal Signals Journal; reprinted in Journal of the Anglo Zulu War Historical Society 16 (December 2004). This article chronicles the improvised signaling operations carried out by the British between Fort Pearson and Eshowe from 11 February to 3 April 1879, when Eshowe was besieged.

1978. Webb, Colin de B. “Lines of Power – The High Commissioner, the Telegraph and the War of 1879.” Natalia 8 (December 1978): 31-37. The lack of a direct telegraph link between England and South Africa in late 1878 permitted the British High Commissioner for South Africa, Sir Bartle Frere, to manipulate the situation and force the British into war with the Zulu.

Dissertations/Presentations

1979. McAdam, John. “The Efficacy of Communications in the Anglo Zulu War of 1879.” Ph.D. dissertation, Calamus International University, London, England, n.d.

Good reading!
Harold
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 980
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Harold,

I didn't realise that London was in Vanuatu?

You might need to get your eraser ready for the last entry!

Regards,

John Y.
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Harold Raugh


Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Heidelberg, Germany (U.S. Army)
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Thanks, John.

According to the Calamus website ( http://www.unicalamus.org/ ), "Calamus Extension College Ltd. is a private British educational company offering home study certificate and diploma programmes. It also provides courses leading to the overseas distance degree awards of Calamus International University." The reference is to "Calamus Extension College Ltd London, UK."

Today Calamus is registered in Vanuatu, but that wasn't always the case. It appears "CIU was first established in the Turks and Caicos Islands but in recent years has been registered in the Republic of Vanuatu." While I was not able to ascertain the exact date of the McAdam study, it appears to have been completed before Calamus was registered in Vanuatu. Calamus has also undergone various slight name changes during the process.

Considering the lack of accreditation, reported lack of qualified faculty, and reported lack of academic rigor of Calamus, perhaps the entry is specious in itself, but I wanted readers to be aware of all possible sources of information. Thank you.

Cheers,
Harold
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 980
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Harold,

It reminds me of the classic one-liner in Punch:
A strange mistake in official geography to have placed Chelmsford in Africa.


Regards,

John Y.
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 865
Location: UK
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Final price £500 for reference.
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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 896
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Harold,

Just added a really nice copy of Nalder's book to my library. Thank you for the heads up.

AMB
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Paul Bryant-Quinn


Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 543
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Harold Raugh wrote:
Considering the lack of accreditation, reported lack of qualified faculty, and reported lack of academic rigor of Calamus, perhaps the entry is specious in itself, but I wanted readers to be aware of all possible sources of information.

Good morning Harold.

I don't think that the entry is specious at all, because the document presumably exists and you are right to draw attention to it. I would also imagine, but do not know because I have never tried, that it can be accessed in some form or another. You have been careful to note that this 'qualification' was awarded by Calamus of London (and various other places), thereby distinguishing it from a Ph.D. awarded by a London-based institution of academic excellence whose degrees are recognised internationally. For example:

Bonner, P. L., 'The rise, consolidation and disintegration of Dhlamini power in Swaziland between 1820 and 1899: a study in the relationship of foreign affairs to internal political development' (Ph.D., London, 1977).

Kind regards,

Paul
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Harold

My apologies for missing your very helpful response to my post on this thread earlier. It's a tremedous list, thanks. I have copies of, or access to, at least two or three of the published papers you list, and am pleased to say I've had Nalder's work now for around ten years or more, but because I acquired it through my interest in the Royal Corps of Signals of the 1930s and '40s I had completely overlooked the attention Nalder gave to the earlier South African picture, including the AZW and especially the 2nd ABW, which also particularly interested me. His treatment of this period is very enlightening, even to a technical duffer like me. And several familar names in SA research have clearly given quite a lot of attention to this topic during the AZW. Many thanks again - you've led me to material I'd forgotten I had.

Andrew - it's a superbly produced work I think, and hardly the easiest sort of history to write, with a need for balanced sifting of material, sufficient technical detail but acceptable readability for the layman. If I can follow (some of!) it, Nalder has succeeded!

Peter
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Telegraph Troop, Royal Engineers
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