He entered the Royal Marines in 1851 and appointed to the Royal Marine Artillery in 1852. During the Crimean War he served on HMS James Watt in the Baltic and was present at the siege of and surrender of the Forts of Bomarsund in the Åland Islands off the south-west coast of Finland
During the battle, Charles Davis Lucas tossed overboard a shell which had landed on board. The shell exploded before it reached water. For saving his ship Lucas was the first man to be awarded the Victoria Cross
He served briefly with the 2nd Company of the Royal Sappers and Miners.
He served with the Baltic Expedition in 1855, and was in command of a mortar in the flotilla during the bombardment of Sveaborg.”
|Russian Mortar at the Fort|
They were unable to knock out the Russian guns; after the bombardment the Anglo-French fleet sent no troops ashore and instead set sail for Kronstadt.
He subsequently served on HMS Forth until 1856. In 1862 he was promoted to Captain. From Sept. 1867 to May 1870 he was Staff Captain, Royal Marine Artillery and appointed to Superintendent of Artificers.
Fort Cumberland is a pentagonal artillery fortification erected to guard the entrance to Langstone Harbour, east of the naval port of Portsmouth on the south coast of England. It was sited to protect the Royal Navy Dockyard, by preventing enemy forces from landing in Langstone Harbour and attacking from the landward side. Fort Cumberland is widely recognised as the finest example of a bastion trace fort in England.
His sword, scabbard and uniforms are on display at the Royal Maritime Museum along with this painting which he did in 1854.
|This print is attributed to Col Durnford 1854 Bomerusnd|
The following website give a perspective of how letters can change, including that from Lieutenant Henry Curling, R.A. - He suffered trauma! And the writer of this work shares my opinion as to the reliability and correctness of what is written. As there were no survivors of Isandlhwana, how could people report on events?
‘When I was ill, I wrote such a stupid letter: I think I must have been off my nut when I wrote it.’
When the South Wales Daily News received its first letter describing the battlefield at Isandlwana, it stated that ‘We shall be glad to publish any letters from soldiers at the seat of war, which may be received by their friends in South Wales and Monmouthshire
He held senior commands in the BEF during the First World War. He commanded the British II Corps at the Battle of Mons, the first major action fought by the BEF, and the Battle of Le Cateau, where he fought a vigorous and successful defensive action contrary to the wishes of the Commander-in-Chief Sir John French, with whom he had had a personality clash dating back some years
Smith-Dorrien being told by French to ‘do as you are ordered and don’t ask questions’ when, having been told to give battle on the line of the canal, he had asked: ‘Do you mean to take the offensive or stand on the defensive?’ Mons
Acting Control Officer J.Hamer, who had been found exhausted in the Buffalo river by Lieutenant H. Smith-Dorrien, who had then found him a horse and helped him on his way, also came in about this time.
Lieutenant Smith-Dorrien had been forced to continue his journey on foot after crossing the Buffalo river.
This meant that he had run and walked about 20 miles and by the time he arrived he was close to collapse: -
I got into Helpmekaar at sundown, having done twenty miles on foot from the river, for I almost went to Sandspruit. At Helpmekaar I found Huntley of the 10th, who had been left there with a small garrison, and also Essex, Cochrane, Curling and Gardner, from the field of Isandhlwana, all busy placing the post on a state of defence (16)
After arriving there, the Queen’s flag will be hoisted and King Cetshwayo will be made into atoms or captured by us. . . . This war will be over in two months’ time and then we shall all be hurrying towards England. We are about to capture all the cattle belonging to the Zulus and also to burn their kraals; and if they dare to face us with the intention of fighting, well, woe be to them! They shall be killed as they come across us.
In accordance with the orders received from Chelmsford, Durnford moved his force up from Rorke's Drift. He arrived in camp at about 10h00 bringing with him his staff, 3 rocket battery troughs commanded by Brevet Maj F.B. Russell, with 9 men, 5 troops of the Natal Native Horse with Capt W. Barton in charge (about 259 men) and lst/I.N.N.C. numbering some 240 men.
For my part, I consider that every native that had fled from Helpmakaar deserved to be shot, and certainly every white man that had left our outposts at Rorke's Drift and Helpmakaar should have been tried by court-martial for cowardice.
As far as I could ascertain, those who thus took refuge in flight had spread the most extraordinary tales about their miraculous escapes. But inasmuch as many of them passed Helpmakaar early on the day of the 22nd, and as the conflict at the Isandwhlana camp, fifteen miles away, had only terminated about 4 or 5 p.m., it seems to me that they could have seen very little of the fatal fight, and could have known nothing positive about the disastrous result.
‘[i]I was one of the Rocket Battery under command of the late Captain Russell, R.A., which was attached to Colonel Durnford’s Column. We got to Isandhlwana Camp about 11 a.m. on the 22nd January 1879. We halted there about 10 minutes when Colonel Durnford came down from the Camp of the 1/24th Regiment and gave orders that, as the Zulus were retiring fast, the mounted men should advance up a hill about two and a half miles from Camp, and that the Rocket Battery supported by the Infantry of the Native Contingent should follow in rear of the Mounted Basutos.
About two miles out we met a ‘vidette’ of the Natal Carbineers who reported that the Mounted Basutos were heavily engaged on the opposite side of a hill on our left, at the same time offering to show us a short cut to the place where the engagement was going on. The Captain galloped up the hill and before he returned to us shouted ‘Action front’.
While we were getting into action the Zulus kept coming out of a kloof on our left, which the big guns had been shelling from the Camp. We had time to fire our rocket when they came over the hill in masses, and commenced to fire on us.
As soon as they opened fire the mules carrying the rockets broke away. The Native Contingent, who were in the rear of us, after firing a few shots ran away. I observed that a great number of them were unable to extract the empty cartridge cases after firing, and offered to do so for some of them but they would not give me their rifles. Before this the horses had broken away and I tried to help Captain Russel from the field, but he was shot before we had gone many paces.
I made my escape to a donga held by some of the Police, Mounted Infantry and Carbineers. On my way to this place I met Colonel Durnford and he asked me where my battery was; I told him that the battery was cut up and the Captain shot, when he said you had better go back and fetch him. I then pointed out to him that the enemy had already nearly surrounded us.
At this time he was mounted as well as his orderly who had a spare horse, and he retired with a few Basutos towards the left of the Camp. Just below the Camp I met Privates Trainer and Grant with Bombardier Gough, they gave me a horse. We then went up to the Camp and found the Police extended in front of it and they were shortly afterwards driven in.
The Camp was now almost completely surrounded and I made for the Buffalo following some of the Police and other mounted men, and crossed it below Rorke’s Drift. I afterwards met Major Spalding on the road to Helpmakaar, and turned back and joined the Companies 1/24th under Major Upcher. We met a lot of natives on the left of the road to the Drift but could not make out what they were for certain"[/i]
From SA Military
Simeon's heart went out to the boy who was sticking to his post of duty. He told him the battle was lost, the camp was in the hands of the enemy, the fighting all over, and, indeed, his was the only body of men holding together. He begged the boy to leave the wagon, and he would take him in front of the saddle, and as long as he had life he would defend him
- "In a few seconds we distinctly saw the guns fired again, one after the other, sharp. This was done several times - a pause, and then a flash – flash! The sun was shining on the camp at the time, and then the camp looked dark, just as if a shadow was passing over it. The guns did not fire after that, and in a few minutes all the tents had disappeared."
- "The sun turned black in the middle of the battle; we could still see it over us, or should have thought we had been fighting till evening. Then we got into the camp, and there was a great deal of smoke and firing. Afterwards the sun came out bright again."
- The time of the solar eclipse on that day is calculated as 2:29pm.
Warwickshire Records Office
But Major Spalding had already been appraised of the danger to Rorke's Drift and was leading two companies there. About three miles from his destination Major Spalding met some of the fugitives heading towards Helpmekaar, among them Private Grant. These men the Major ordered to join him and return to Rorke's Drift.
A mile further on, Spalding's troop noticed an ominous column of black smoke rising into the blue African sky. A moment later two more fugitives appeared with a report that the post at Rorke's Drift had fallen to the Zulus. The logic of the situation seemed irrefutable: Major Spalding took his two companies, Private Hector Grant included, back to Helpmekaar, certain that the little garrison at Rorke's Drift had all perished. The truth was dramatically different, however, and Spalding's retreat from Rorke's Drift may, perhaps, have denied Caithness a Victoria Cross.
Private H. Grant claimed that both he and Private W. Johnson had also ridden into Rorke’s Drift to give warning to the garrison before falling back to Helpmekaar.
The Natal Native Horse, which had been outside the fortifications harassing the Zulu flanks, rejoined the fold, eager to avenge the losses suffered at Isandlwana and Hlobane. Some Zulus turned and offered resistance, while others, exhausted, merely accepted their fate. Other Zulus killed themselves rather than suffer the indignity of falling into the hands of the British.
Commandant Friedrich Schermbrucker of the Kaffrarian Rifles recounted: I took the extreme right, Colonel Buller led the center and Colonel Russell with the mounted infantry took the left. For seven miles I chased two columns of the enemy. They fairly ran like bucks, but I was after them like the whirlwind and shooting incessantly into the thick column, which could not have been less than 5,000 strong.
They were exhausted, and shooting them down would have taken too much time; so we took the assegais from the dead men, and rushed among the living ones, stabbing them right and left with fearful revenge for the misfortunes of the 28th inst. No quarter was given.
It was later calculated that Schermbrucker's men had killed at least 300 Zulus. Buller's party had accounted for 500 warriors, while Russell's mounted infantry and the Natal Native Horse had killed at least 200 Zulus.
It was not this slaughter that incensed the anti-war lobby in Britain, but a letter written by Private John Snook of the 1/13 on April 3 to a friend, which was subsequently published in The North Devon Herald on May 29, 1879. Snook wrote, On March 30th, about eight miles from camp, we found about 500 wounded, most of them mortally, and begging us for mercy's sake not to kill them; but they got no chance after what they had done to our comrades at Isandlwana.
That comment outraged the Aborigines' Protection Society at its Exeter Hall headquarters, and the organization formally expressed their disgust to the War Office. When Wood was compelled to issue a statement refuting Snook's allegation, he said that all of his infantrymen had been employed on March 30 in the burial of Zulu bodies, of which there were no less than 785 in the immediate vicinity of the camp.
Figures on the number of Zulus who died in the assault and the subsequent savage pursuit vary, from a conservative estimate of at least 1,500 to a vastly exaggerated 6,000. Mournfully, Mnyamana reported to Cetshwayo that at least 3,000 men were missing from the ranks, including two of Mnyamana's own sons. The king argued that his plans had not been followed, and he even threatened to execute the commander of the in Gobamakhosi for his incompetence.
The Zulus were, however, praised by a British war correspondent who had witnessed the Zulu attack. But still on they came with the ferocity of tigers, never halting, never wavering, never flinching or hesitating for a moment, he wrote.
Say what people may about its being animal ferocity rather than manly bravery, no soldiers in the world could have been more daring than were the Zulus that day.
Zulu courage notwithstanding, the British and Colonial forces had prevailed with few casualties. Only 16 men had been killed outright, and 16 more would die of their wounds, including young 2nd Lt. Arthur Bright, who bled to death in the hectic confines of the small hospital–the surgeons had dressed one wound, but in their haste had neglected to see that his other leg had also been injured.
Fifty-three others had sustained wounds of varying degrees. As for poor blinded Robert Hackett, he was promoted to the rank of colonel and made an aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria, in order to make his remaining years more financially comfortable.
Never again would Cetshwayo's army take to the field with such gusto, for the Battle of Khambula had turned the tide of the war in favor of the British. After March 29, Zulu courage would arise more from desperation than confidence. Chelmsford at last had his major victory, and Wood was the hero of the hour.
This article was written by John Young and originally published in the March 1998 issue of Military History.
This report though tells the story of Simeon Kambuela from Durnford's Horse and a young "boy" whose family should be very proud of his efforts, at not leaving his post. There are some sad reports which might relate to this young man.
Military History JournalVol 7 No 6 - December 1988TROOP SERGEANT MAJOR SIMEON KAMBULA, DCMNatal Native Horseby Dr F K Mitchell, JCD
Durnford reached Isandlwana about 10h00. As senior officer on the spot, he had to take command of a totally unprepared camp, already closely threatened by the main weight of the Zulu army. The disaster which followed is now part of history.
The Edendale Contingent had been given a key position. Despite heavy casualties they held it courageously against repeated attacks. But soon the units around them broke before the Zulu horde, and it was clear that the battle was lost. The battlefield was running red with blood, the two officers gone, presumably dead. Sgt Simeon Kambula found himself in command of the survivors. He resolved to save them if he could.
The Rev Owen Watkins wrote as follows:
'He addressed them and told them their lives depended on obedience and keeping together, and that any man who strayed from the ranks was doomed. If it was God's will and they would obey, he would bring them through into Natal. They pledged their word to abide together with him that day for life or death. But he must, if possible, get ammunition. He saw an ammunition wagon, and noticed the Zulus were too busy in the tents to bother about this wagon.
He rode up with his men, and found no one there but a little drummer boy who sat on top of the wagon and said he was in charge. Simeon asked him to give him and his men a packet of cartridges each, just to help them defend themselves.
But the little boy informed them that this ammunition belonged to the 24th Regiment, and as long as he was in charge no one else should have any of it. He felt the boy was obeying orders, and respected him.
Then he saw there was a loose lot of cartridges lying in the grass around the wagon. Men who had come for cartridges were in such haste to fill their belts that they dropped many on the ground. So Simeon and his men each picked up a few and put them into their belts.
Simeon's heart went out to the boy who was sticking to his post of duty. He told him the battle was lost, the camp was in the hands of the enemy, the fighting all over, and, indeed, his was the only body of men holding together. He begged the boy to leave the wagon, and he would take him in front of the saddle, and as long as he had life he would defend him.
The boy was surprised and hurt that anyone could think he would desert his post. His officer had placed him there, and no one should move him out while he had life. With a very sad heart Simeon had to leave him there. Brave young soul! I salute thee, for it is souls like thine, which have won the Empire!
Simeon knew the country, and avoiding as best he could Zulus in force, made, by paths known to himself, to what afterwards became known as "The Fugitive's Drift". It is a ford over the Blood River [sic. should read 'Buffalo River'].
Before they reached the Drift, they heard the yells of men, the neighing of horses, and the bellowing of cattle. When they arrived upon the banks above the Drift they found it choked with men and beasts. On every rock stood two or three Zulus, stabbing every man they could reach, while on the Natal bank of the river a large body of Zulus waited to dispatch every man who escaped from the river.
Simeon dismounted his men. They were all good shots. Short and sharp he gave his orders. A volley was sent into the centre of the Zulu line on the opposite bank of the river. They closed in, and with wild yells, hurled a cloud of assegais, which, however, did but little harm, as the distance was too great. Three times the Edendale men fired their deadly volleys across the river, and then the Zulus broke and fled. Instantly Simeon rode down to the Drift.'
John Langley Dalton's name did just that.
Anthony's grand mother was Elizabeth Langley, daughter of John Langley, another well known family with very strong military links. From his biography James Dalton was born in London 1833, only there doesn't appear to be a birth certificate. There is a marriage of Dalton and Langley in 1830 but without this child.
James Langley Dalton VC (1833 – 7 January 1887) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
For his conspicuous gallantry during the attack on Rorke's Drift post by the Zulus on the night of the 22nd January 1879, when he actively superintended the work of the defence, and was amongst the foremost of those who received the first attack at the corner of the hospital, where the deadliness of his fire did great execution, and the mad rush of the Zulus met with its first check, and where, by his cool courage, he saved the life of a man of the Army Hospital Corps, by shooting the Zulu who having seized the muzzle of the man's rifle, was in the act of assegaing (thrusting an assegai into) him. This officer, to whose energy much of the defence of the place was due, was severely wounded during the contest, but still continued to give the same example of cool courage.
Another brave man.
This site contains lots of letters home from those who really thought they would be leaving shortly, some even having their belongings already sent to the ship in prepardness for another posting.
The ruin of Zululand an account of British doings in Zululand since the invasion of 1879
Borderline Personality Disorder, the inability to regulate their intense emotions when coupled with poor impulse control can lead to dire consequences. An emotion can become so intense that it becomes very difficult to avoid acting upon the immediate impulse or the urge to do something.
Powerful negative emotions such as anger, coupled with a lack of impulse control, will often have disastrous results These behaviours may represent ineffective attempts to cope with intense and difficult emotions. These behaviours are dysfunctional because while the behaviour may enable the person feel relieved and better in the moment, it ultimately has harmful long-term consequences.
The coat he had worn upon the day of his death was still upon him, and
the Zulus had taken nothing from the pockets, as was plain from the fact that a pocket-knife
(a treasure to any Zulu) was found upon him as well as other trifles.
It is therefore certain that his papers — the order received that morning, after
he mounted his horse, and probably that of the previous day —
were still upon him on May 21st, when his body was at last discovered by members
of the reconnoitring force under General Marshall.
But these papers mysteriously vanished upon that day, after being seen by at least
one person present, and it remains to be proved who took
possession of them, and by whose orders the sacrilegious deed was
At the time they were stolen it had not been confessed that the " order,"
recorded as the one sent to Colonel Durnford, and on the strength of
which his conduct had been officially condemned, was a fabrication,
written after the event, to suit the " theory of blame " which had been
invented to save the reputation of the faulty living at the expense of
the blameless and silent dead.
This is a matter which, although not immediately pertinent to our main
inquiry as to the rights of the Zulu question, throws much light upon the ideas
of honour held by some of the principal actors in it.
Colonel Durnford lies in a grave honoured, indeed, by all private friends
and by all others who realise and deplore the deep injustice that has
been done him, but neglected and unhonoured by the nation at large.
And why is this? Because it suited his General's convenience to throw the blame of his
own errors upon his dead subordinate, who could not speak
for himself, and who,being a Royal Engineer, was almost solitary in the
Therefore Lord Chelmsford had a clear field. His military secretary
writes an " order " after the event, which order is constructed to suit
the case as he desired to make it appear ; the battle-field is left
untouched, even jealously guarded from examination, so that the actual
order sent was not discovered inconveniently; one confidential officer
appears to have searched for it, and another to have found and secreted
And, to crown all, the authorities have refused to investigate the case.
So Lord Chelmsford remains, pitied and even honoured, the supposed victim
of unhappy circumstances and a disobedient subordinate, while that
falsely accused officer has died the death which he would have met
twentytimes over rather than commit the fault falsely imputed to him, and so
incur the blame which England, in whose service he lived and died,
still allows to rest upon his name.
The decision of the High Commissioner and the General is deeply deplored
by many on a special ground ; for the discovery of Colonel Durnford's
papers (still upon him at that time) by the Bishop of Natal, would have
revealed the fact of the false- witness borne against the Colonel, and
would have proved that no order to " take command " was ever sent to him,and that the
one put forward by Colonel Crealock, and upon the strength
of which Lord Chelmsford laid his accusation, and obtained Colonel
Durnford's condemnation, was a fabrication after the event.
Lord Chelmsford's friends maintain that he himself was unaware of these
facts,that he believed he had sent the order to " take command," and
acted in good faith in asserting it in the House of Lords. So be it.
His Lordship is said to have had a severe fall from his horse, upon his
head,a day or two before the disaster, and it may be that some consequent confusion of
his faculties had more to do with the final mistakes of
that unhappy day than has ever been made plain. Perhaps, therefore,
he did not know at the time what orders he had given, or had intended to give.
Let it be allowed also, that when he made his speeches in the House ofLords nineteen months later, he was still under this misapprehension(although there are circumstances which make this more difficult tobelieve than the former supposition).Granting all this, there remains the fact that Colonel Crealock'sconfession concerning the " order " was made on May 18th, 1882, andpublished about three months later, and that, still Lord Chelmsford issilent, though, however much misled lie may have been, he has now knownfor two years that he has publicly laid unjust blame and dishonour upon adead officerwhoso name, owing to false witness, has never yet received the official recognitionand national honour which it so well deserves.
It may not be amiss to mention here an instance of the feeling precisely
contrary to the Colonial sentiment as illustrated in this story of one of
the Mr. Shepstones — shown on a previous occasion by the noblest British soldier
who fell on that fatal day at Isandhlwana.
* Colonel Durnford, R.E., related a case of similar distrust in 1874.
Having procured the release of the Putini tribe, taken prisoners without
grounds in Natal during 1873, he induced the Government to offer small
loans of money to the destitute people until they could raise their crops
but he had to use his personal influence with them before they would
take the loan. "
They would not take Government money because they feared they would be
put in jail some day, if they took it," wrote Colonel Durnford.
" I think this is a very striking fact, as showing the utter want of
confidence of the natives in the justice of Government. They feared a
trap, laid by Government, and baited with money. If they took the money, and could
not repay it when called for, Government would put them in
prison, or place them to work as bondsmen." —
"A Soldier's Life and Work in South Africa" edited by Lieut.-Col. E.
Shepstone’s handling of the Langalibalele affair, and particularly the chief’s trial in 1874, angered Colenso and caused a breakdown in a long friendship between him, his family and Shepstone.
In a letter to her brother Charles in 1874, Frances Colenso wrote, ‘as to Mr Shepstone, as soon as John found the line he was taking, he says in this case “it must be war to the knife between us”, and he has not been to his house since, though of course they salute in public’.
Included in the research is helpful information regarding The Colensos papers,from the Merritt thesis which has been referred to previously within these stories,
BBC reported in one of their programmes.
Three months later, writing to the Bishop from Capetown,Mr. Froude said that he must hasten with all speed to England, to undeceive Lord Carnarvon, "who imagines that the colonies are ripe for confederation."
"As to Colonel Durnford," Mr. Froude remarked," I have rarely met a man who, at first sight,
made a more pleasing impression upon me. He was more than I expected, and his distinguished reputation had led me to form very high expectations indeed.
He has done the State good service.
He alone did his duty, when others forgot theirs : ' among the faithless, faithful only found.' He has borne without complaint the most ungenerous calumnies. And, if it be possible for me to bring his case under the consideration of people at home, you may be sure that I will not neglect to do so."
embarked on a tour of the Middle East, accompanied by the photographer Francis Bedford.
The resulting images, produced little more than 20 years after the arrival of photography, were the first-ever visual record of a royal tour.
A new exhibition Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East opening at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace on Friday (7 November)reveals the Prince's journey through Egypt, Palestine and the Holy Land, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece in over 100 spectacular photographs.