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DateOriginal Topic
5th March 2005coghill & melville
By w a holland
in the book rorkes drift by adrian greaves he states bthat they bothh crossed blood river but when i visited fugitives drift the guide took me to se there graves which were on a rise over looking blood river and it was said that that is were they died, and unless my sense of direction is seriously wrong those graves wereb on the Isandlwana side of the river not the Natal side, could anyone tell me which version is right?
5th March 2005Robert Jones
Mr? Holland,
I think your sense of direction is seriously wrong !!
5th March 2005Bill Cainan

You have also got confused between the Buffalo and Blood Rivers ! Coghill and Melvill crossed the Buffalo at Fugitives Drift and were killed/buried on the Natal side. The graves you saw were on the south side of the river, that is, the Natal side.

11th March 2005Chris Collier
As described in the earlier replies above, Melville and Coghill, both crossed the Buffalo River (albeit with great difficulty) and were cornered and killed while climbing up the southern (Natal) side of the gorge. A third man, I have forgotten his name but I think he was a mounted colonial volunteer, had accompanied the exhausted M&C for part of the climb, but then went ahead allegedly to try to catch some of the rider less horses that were loose on the plateau above. I understand that having caught these horses he returned to the edge of the gorge, where he witnessed the killing of M&C some distance below. I recall being told on a visit to Fugitives Drift, that the Zulus who killed M&C belonged to a group which had not been part of the battle and who were resident on the Natal side of the river. Having stopped on the hillside to watch the 'day's activity below', they were called upon by Zulus still on the northern bank of the river, to intercept M&C as they climbed the southern slopes. Fearing the threat of reprisals from their neighbours the 'spectating' Zulus did as instructed.