The Rorke's Drift VC
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|12th January 2005||Ferdnand Schiess VC|
By Andy Lee
Records indicate that Ferdnand Schiess VC died on the 14 December 1884 and was buried at sea 1,376 kilometres north east of St Helena. However, Capt William Penn-Symons un-published written report claims he met Ferdnand Schiess in November 1891 in Allahabad, India working in a Jewellers shop before a planned move to Australia.
Has anyone got any thoughts on this.
|12th January 2005||Paul Cubbin|
Rorkes Drift was a huge sensation in Victorian Britain, more so after the Zulu War had finished. There were many thousands of people who, after a few pints, suddenly revealed their secret identities as one of the lost heroes of 1879. If all those who claimed to be there actually were then the poor Zulus would have been trampled to death rather than shot. I suspect the Allahabad 'Schiess' was someone after a free drink, good advertising for the shop and a bit of attention. Either that or he was a damn good swimmer.
|12th January 2005||Derek C|
Schiess fell on hard times after the war but held on to his VC, unlike others that were sold to put food on the table. His VC was removed from his body before burial at sea, and went on to England. I have little doubt that the real Schiess died at sea.
|12th January 2005||Lee Stevenson|
Whilst it might seem all to easy to just dismiss Penn Symons' sighting of Schiess in Allahabad, how about this from the Natal Witness of 1899, written by a 'correspondent' in response to an enquiry as to what became of Corpl F. Schiess of Rorke's Drift fame;
"A correspondent writes that he remembers reading years ago, both in the 'Witness' and the 'Adevertiser,' of Corpl. Schiess (of Rorke's Drift fame) dying in India destitute."
Okay so a VC was found amongst the possessions of the 'Schiess' who died on the Serapis in 1884. What became of his campaign medal(s) then I wonder ??