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Missed Opportunity Of Isandhlwana Camp Photographs ?
Colin
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I’ve been reading about a man called William H. Illingsworth who was an English photographer, but his family moved to America.

He accompanied the 1874 Black Hills Expedition, taking many images during the journey, there’s even a book I think, comparing his photographs with modern images of the same scene of the column’s progress.

At the lower part of the article in the link, it states -

‘Because of Illingsworth’s images, historians have been able to determine the exact boundaries and layouts of several of the 7th Cavalry’s 1874 camps, the condition of the Black Hills forests along the expedition’s route, and the appearance of the soldiers and civilians who accompanied the expedition. In this way Illingsworth’s work provided later generations insight into key events of his time’.

It is a pity his family moved to America, as I got thinking if he had accompanied and photographed No.3 Column en route to Rorke’s Drift, the camp formed on the Zulu side of the river, plus the skirmish at Sihayo’s, the workers mending the road, then the erecting of the Isandhlwana camp to completion, from various viewpoints, plus of course, actual images of the officers and men killed in the later battle(s) Illingsworth himself likely having followed Chelmsford’s half-column.

It is fascinating to wonder what he would have captured in his images of both the men and camps at Rorke’s Drift and Isandhlwana, to the same degree as acknowledged in the link.

I know photographs were taken later of the retrieval of wagons, etc., but can you imagine if he had taken numerous images of the areas where fighting would take place on the 22nd.

Seeing his photographs of the 1874 Expedition, one can only dream of the photos he would have taken in our campaign study instead.

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Illingworth-65
John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1003
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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What like this?


1sr Battalion, 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment, South Africa
(John Young Collection.)

JY
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Colin
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John - Great photo

I know of the image of ‘H’ Company (?) Wardell’s company that exists, which is kind of spine-tingling that many in the image fell at Isandhlwana.

Illingsworth had the foresight to look at the camps from outside instead of always outwards to the surrounding terrain, and judging by his 1874 Expedition photos, it would have meant he took photos of the Isandhlwana camp in elevated photos too, rather than all ground-level based.

Therefore, the images of the camp would have been taken from the top of the mountain, or Younghusband’’s ‘shelf’, the stony koppie or even more bravely from the ridge itself !

Can you imagine the camp at the time seen from these views before it was attacked ? It fills my mind constantly, knowing the images we see of the ‘suggested’ outlay of the camp which are well done, but to see photos of the camp pre-attack would be outstanding.

I reckon they would be the most haunting and remembered photos from the AZW as a whole, but would/could answer so many questions about the positions of the last stands and difficulties involved with undropped tents, position and layout of the wagon park, etc.
John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1003
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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What do you think about the shape of the mountain in the background?

JY
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Missed Opportunity Of Isandhlwana Camp Photographs ?
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