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DateOriginal Topic
27th January 2005Colonial Volunteers at Isandlwana
By Coll
Are there any books devoted to the Natal Carbineers and Natal Mounted Police at the time of the AZW, especially about the individuals who fought and died at Isandlwana ?.

Apart from a uniform book in Osprey Publishing I can't seem to find any books detailing these units or the men in them.

I thought I'd have seen more.

27th January 2005Keith Smith
The Rev. John Stalker wrote a history of the Natal Carbineers called, oddly enough, "The Natal Carbineers", published in 1912. It is hard to come by these days and is very expensive.

H.P. Holt published a work in 1913 called "The Mounted Police of Natal" and its scarcity as as severe as Stalker.
27th January 2005Coll

Thanks for this information.

I must admit that I'm very surprised there are not more books about these units, especially after their role in such a famous battle as Isandlwana.

I would also have thought there would have been more recently released titles.

27th January 2005Martin Everett
Dear Coll,

I do not wish to seem as I am avoiding your question. You have thrown out a number of questions on the and you seem to require the responses without moving from the comfort of your armchair. There are lots of photos - every single memorial on the battlefield has been photographed detail. I have a series of 20 shots covering 360 degrees taken from the top of Black's Koppie. Are you expecting these images to be on the website?

Have you a specific aim for your research? Or are trying to capture as much information without effort (or cost) as you can?
27th January 2005Coll

Thanks for your reply.

I'll try and answer your question as best as I can without giving too many boring details.

I have been interested in the AZW since the early 90s, but from 1997 I was totally housebound due to ill health only managing into my garden the past 3 years.

All my books have either been ordered by mail or collected by family members, but to allow me to pursue this hobby on a wider scope I was given this computer last year.

The beginning of this month is the first time I have used this particular site and also using the e-mail facility which is new to me, this being the first time I have been in contact with fellow enthusiasts since my interest started.

Regarding the photographs, before I took ill I had put an ad in the Gun Mart magazine about the photographs I was seeking and I was contacted by a Mr. Knight saying he could supply all of these images for a set price each, which I was putting money aside for when I became unable to pursue anything any further.

This is why I am collecting as much details of sources, books, photos, for future reference for when I am able to pursue them when I can, because this sort of information was unavailable to me before.

Basically, in answer to your question I am only able to pursue things from my house and no further.

This is why I stated on the photographs topic that I didn't think I'd ever manage over to see the battlefield for myself.

I hope you now understand.

28th January 2005Martin Everett
Dear Coll,

Thank you for explaining your aims. With any material - text, research and images there can be copyright issues - if what you require is only for personal use then these issues may not apply.

I think we would all like to see the AZW better documented particularly for those who are unable to consult the various archives around the world holding material on the AZW.

Some would say that there are other campaigns which deserve more attention than the AZW. The AZW does have thousands of followers - thank goodness. But there are only a very few people who breaking new ground and producing new material. Research is hard work and very time consuming. For my part, WW1 and now WW2 probably takes up more of my time. Extra pages and images on the website will happen - but Rome was not built in a day.

However, if you were to narrow your current research aim for the time being to a specific topic like the NC and/or NMP - then I am sure we will be able to help and give advice - but you may have to spend money to acquire some rare AZW publications. I am not sure that anyone has yet researched the lives of the soldiers of the NC in detail - we do know however who was present at Isandhlwana.
Some of these personal details may not have survived.
31st January 2005Coll

The past few days I have viewed topics started by myself and comments I made during them.

On looking back I can see how I have presented myself as an 'impatient chatterbox', when I hoped I would appear as enthusiastic and eager to be involved.

I think I've had my computer constantly on, at this particular site, since I became aware of it the first week in January this year and felt a need to respond to any replies as soon as they arrived.

Over the years I think I have thought of a million questions or ideas for projects, but now that the opportunity arose to express them, I really didn't know what to ask first, so I ended up asking everything, due to excitement more than anything else.

I apologise for any misunderstandings which resulted from this.


1st February 2005Michael Boyle

I empathize completely. My fascination for the AZW began in 1964 and over the succeeding decades my attempts to engage people in conversation on the subject were met with either blank stares or discussion of the film.Upon discovering this site earlier last year I felt I was in 'hog heaven'! I was tempted to fire away with all the questions that had built up in all those years only being prevented by a job that keeps me on the road for months, twice a year, with severely limited web access.

I spend that time reading as many of the books recomended here as possible and keeping an ongoing list of questions to post later (many of which get crossed off after reading one book only to be re-added after reading another!)

Remember 'there are no dumb questions only dumb people'.What!?,no, that ain't right! Wait a minute... 'the only dumb question is the one not asked'. (Ah that's better!)

Now I of course realize that for some of the 'old hands' here that seeing some of the same questions over and over can be a bit trying and I am grateful for the amount of forbearence shown.However I think it best that we remember this is a 'public' forum (one of the few left on the web) and judging from the 'hits' counter the ratio of contributors to readers is analagous to the number of .455 Boxer-Henry hits to the total ammunition expenditure! Meaning,I think, that there are very many people who casually peruse these pages and anything we can do to further encourage their interest will well serve the memory of the men we commemorate here.(Not to mention the museums, battlefields and our many authors!)

I can state unequivocally that this is by far the most civilized,learned and helpfull site it's ever been my pleasure to visit and that is due to all those who participate here.(And of course Alan and Peter who made it happen.)



1st February 2005Alan Critchley
Really Michael, you'll make us all blush!
1st February 2005Mike Snook

It does no harm at all. Keep with it. Surely that is what an enthusiast's site of this sort is about.

Post your questions. People can answer them or not as they see fit. There have been some interesting discussions consequent upon your questions.

Regards as ever,

14th April 2005Andy Williams

There are two other books about the history of the Carbineers, One written by AF Hattersley and one by the present Regimental historian, Mark Coughlan, both of which deal with aspects of the AZW. I have copies of both of these and although i have tried to get a copy of Stalkers, havent had much success.

As a member of the Regiment, as well as someone who represents the Regiment as a liviing history member, i can hopefully answer any questions you may have or point you in the direction of someone who can help. I dont have the books with me so cant give you more detail than this but if you want more specifics, just let me know.

14th April 2005Coll

Thankyou for your reply.

I was quite surprised to see another posting on this topic.

Yes. What it is Andy, I was sure there would have been 1 or 2 more recent AZW titles, devoted solely to the Natal Carbineers (Natal Mounted Police also) after their heroic last stand at Isandlwana.

I feel these 2 units deserve a good couple of detailed books about the organisation, the men, the uniforms, weapons, etc., at the time of the Zulu War, including portrait photographs of the participants and information about their lives, before and during the campaign, especially those who were involved at Isandlwana.

I feel it would only be right to give them the recognition they truly earned.