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Saturday, February 14, 2015

43.3.2.o.2 Col Anthony Durnford - The Aftermath - Joining the dots

Continuing the timeline

3rd February 1879, within two weeks of his death, his personal effects have been catalogued, prepared for auction and his personal papers burnt.

 Some time after 26th January, an order is issued to the Committee of Adjustment to burn all of AWD's papers that were in his quarters.

6th February 1879  Anthony's personal effects are sold in Pietermaritzburg.  It was the custom in order to send the proceeds back to the family, and usually the items were purchased by other soldiers.

Alphonse de Neuville (31 May 1835 – 18 May 1885) was a French Academic painter who studied under Eugène Delacroix. His dramatic and intensely patriotic subjects illustrated episodes from the Franco-Prussian War, the Crimean War, the Zulu War and portraits of soldiers. Some of his works have been collected by the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and by the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

 He also exhibited in London some episodes of the Zulu War. Fifty thousand people paid to see his impression of The Defence of Rorke's Drift (1880), which the infant Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney paid a large sum to acquire
'Last Sleep of the Brave', Isandlwana, Zulu War, 1879.
Oleograph after Alphonse de Neuville, 1881.

A patrol of the 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers discovering the bodies of Teignmouth Melvill and Nevill Josiah Aylmer Coghill, 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot, killed attempting to save the Queen's Colour of the 1st Battalion, at the Battle of Isandlwana.      The defence of Rorke's Drift 1879

The widows and families of the dead soldiers are repatriated to London.  Numerous fund raising events were carried out to help with their finances.

But the wife of George Shepstone reported the feelings of the residents of South Africa when she arrived in England.

Captain George Shepstone was another of Anthony's brave men.  His wife was Kate Henderson.

He was the son of Theophilus Shepstone and his wife Maria Palmer  He was born in Pietermaritzbeurg in 1849.  He married 1876, Kate Henderson born 1852, she was the daughter of
Joseph Henderson C.M.G.  They had two sons, one George Harold Sheptsone became a Test Cricketer for South Africa, the other son was Martin Angus Shepstone.

Kate returned to England, but later returned to Pietermaritzburg where she remarried Henry Ceasar Hawkins eldest son of Arthur and Emeline Hawkins.  They had four children, and one became the 6th Baronet Hawkins of Kelston.

The Star Newspaper 1879  highlighting the reaction of Captain George Shepstone's wife. Also reporting about the Colours.

Lord Chelmsford's rough reception at Durban

The "Balmoral Castle" arrived in Plymouth Sound late on Thursday night from the Cape.  She had on board, Mrs Shepstone, with of Captain Shepstone who was killed at Isandula, and 12 widows and 18 children of men of the 24th Regiment.  Every one in the colony, according to Mrs Shepstone and passengers on board, say Lord Chelmsford is alone responsible for the disaster, and that unless he is recalled it is useless to send out reinforcements.  
Captain Jones of the Balmoral Castle, has received a letter from the manager of a large coffee works, in which he cannot go home as intended until a general came out to supersede the duffer now there.  If it depended upon him, the Zulu would be in Durban in a fortnight.  
Some of the old Dutch colonists warned the general of what would happen, but no notice was taken of them.  The general is being described as being like a whipped hound, waiting for reinforcements.
 As Isandula Lord Chelmsford lost all his stars and orders, and the Zulus carried off 20,000 pounds in the pay chests.  The governors slept in the gaol one night and Lord Chelmsford is said to look 20 years older than he did.  The special correspondent of the Cape Argus writes - "Lord Chelmsford went to Durban where he was not wanted and was enabled to go to church.
 Dissatisfaction was openly expressed."  The Cape papers speak highly of Colonel Wood.  They contain no reference to the report of the Court of Inquiry, nor is any mention made of Lord Chelmsford being hissed, but passengers say this actually occurred on the part of the youthful population.

Back to Isandhlwana

21st May 1879

Shepstone, who recognised Anthony from his moustache and his waistcoat, removed a pocket knife from the waistcoat and rings from his fingers.

Back to reality for a moment - From the information about putrefaction of the body, would there have been any fingers?

The rings may have been on the ground, or still encasing a finger bone, without any flesh.  Given wild animals who scavenge for food, the hands were exposed, and could have attracted any number of prey.

Or did he find the rings inside the waistcoat pocket along with the pocket knife?

Shepstone was also seen taking papers from the coat.

He brings the rings and pocket knife back to the Colenso's to return to Anthony's family.
The body was wrapped in part of a tent and a cairn of stones placed on top.

Shepstone's brother George was also laying dead, surely his own flesh and blood would be his first priority in any searches.


June 1879 - Anthony's family donate 500 pounds for a memorial.

Oct 1879  His remains are removed from the cairn brought to Pieterzmaritzburg by Jabez Molife
where it is then re interred in Fort Napier and had a coat on according to Scott.

Aug 1880 19 months later, Chelmsford fronts the House of Lords, and makes some admissions.  The following day the newspapers question Crealock about his acknowledgement that his pocket book was in his possession, and the orders contained were mentioned and in the hands of the authorities.

So whose orders did he show to the house?  And if the authorities had his pocket book, why was nothing said about the orders he had issued to every other officer?

1881, a Magistrate finds, on the battlefield, Pulleine's orders, reports it, and then sends them to Chelmsford.

Knowing this, was this the catalyst the made Edward seek a copy of what Crealock had in his book, or did Chelmsford and Crealock have a parting of the ways?

In 1882, Crealock shows the pocket book with his orders and maps to Edward Durnford, who copies down the contents of the order.  Edward announces the fact that from the order it was quite clear that Durnford had indeed followed orders.  Did Crealock admit that to Parliament?  Was it reported in the press?

18th May 1882, Crealock admitted, after reference to his note book, that Durnford had not received any orders to take command of the camp.

Still Crealock nor Chelmsford do not seem to make any statements to remove the blame.

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