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15th May 2005Photographs of Durnford's horse Chieftain ?
By Coll
Are there any such images available of Chieftain, before or after Isandlwana ?

15th May 2005Glenn Wade
As far as I am aware there are no such images. I hope I am wrong.

Hope you find something

17th May 2005Coll

Thanks for your reply.

After viewing the photograph of the Prince Imperial's horse, Tommy, in ' With His Face To The Foe' by Ian Knight, which apparently was in Pietermaritzburg at the time of the funeral procession.

This got my hopes up that maybe Durnford's horse Chieftain was photographed at some stage, before or after Isandlwana.

It would have been great to not only have a photograph of Chieftain, but also of his dog Prince, considering their connection to the man himself and knowing how fond he was of both.

Oh, well, it was a long shot that any pictures of his horse or dog did exist, as they would have made a nice addition to other projects I am pursuing regarding Durnford.

Thanks again.

20th May 2005Coll
I managed to find a couple of sites which contain photographs, ornaments, etc., of the type of dog that Prince could have been.

However, horses are another matter.

Apparently, Chieftain was a grey Basotho pony, but I wondered if anyone knows of any sites which contain colour photographs and possible ornaments, of this type of horse, which has the same colouring, etc., as Chieftain may have had, as I would like to obtain any images that are a good likeness to Chieftain.

I've had a look at a few sites, but I really am not sure what to look for, with regards to finding an almost identical horse.


20th May 2005Michael Boyle

You might try this link:

It has some good shots and further links.


21st May 2005Coll

Thanks for the info.

I've been looking around, managed to get plenty details about the Rhodesian Ridgeback, books, calendars, ornaments, etc., exactly the sort of things I was seeking.

The Basotho (Basuto) pony is a bit more elusive, as I would like to get the same sort of items mentioned above for it, but not yet successful.

There have been sites I've seen, but not including anything of the above, although there are certainly several images.

I have been caught up with doing my garden recently and have only been searching now and again, but there must be books, calendars, etc., available, dedicated to this breed of horse, somewhere.

As ever, thanks very much for your assistance, it is very much appreciated.


4th June 2005Coll
Whilst searching for books, etc., about the Basuto Pony, without much success, I did happen across details of the Nooitgedachter Pony, which apparently originated from the Basuto, and retains the stamina and characteristics of it.

So I might have more luck in obtaining details of books, etc., about this breed of horse instead, as it does closely resemble the Basuto Pony.
4th June 2005Michael Boyle

You might also try the following books :

The Origin and History of the Basuto Pony.
by Thornton, R. W

Horses and Riding in Southern Africa
by Editor, Stuben, Pamela,

I haven't read them myself and they are out of print, but a good library should have them.


4th June 2005Coll

Thanks for the info.

I'm particularly interested in the first title you have mentioned.

3rd July 2005liz

I am great-great neice of Anthony Durnford (great-great grandaughter of Edward C.L. Durnford). I am thrilled to see all the interest you are showing in Anthony - thanks for this.

Have you seen the photo in Drooglever's book (plate no 33 entitled 'the 1st NNC on parade, January 1879, Colonel Durnford is on the white horse'). I assume this horse must be Chieftan. You mention Chieftan being a grey ... but this would show as white in a colourless photo. The photo is courtesy of Director, National Army Museum, London.

On separate subject we have many family photo's etc and Anthony's mother's copy of Edward's book. Please let me know if I can help with anything regarding our family.


3rd July 2005Coll

Thankyou very much for replying. I was delighted to see your posting above.

Yes. I do have a copy of R.W.F. Droogleever's book, which contains the photograph.

I'm glad that you are pleased about the interest in Col. Durnford, by myself and others on the forum, as he really is a fascinating individual and, as shown in the battle at Isandlwana, very brave also.

The copy of Edward's book that belonged to Anthony's mother, must truly be treasured. I'm actually waiting on delivery of ' A Soldier's Life and Work in South Africa '.

Although it is possible that Edward's book contains a lot of the following details, I always hoped that journals, diaries, letters, etc., belonging to Anthony, were discovered, to help build an image of Col. Durnford, his thoughts on things he felt strongly about, his views on the AZW campaign before and after it started, also additional information about his friendship with General Gordon, which has been mentioned on previous topics. Anything to help us understand the man himself, that may have been overshadowed by coverage of his role at Isandlwana.

May I ask if you or any of your family pursue an interest in the Anglo-Zulu War 1879 ?

It would be very interesting to know your opinions about the battle at Isandlwana and Col. Durnford's involvement in it.

Thankyou once again for replying.

4th July 2005John Young
Liz & Coll,

I was the proofreader for Robin's book, at the time I expressed serious doubts as to the veracity of his claim that image depicts Anthony Durnford, but Robin was adamant it was.

If you look at the image closely all of the N.N.C. African other-ranks are wearing a uniform, many with an insignia of rank. As well as their uniform the soldiers all appear to be carrying rifles. Tell-tale signs to me that these are not N.N.C. soldiers from the early part of the campaign, and thus discounting Robin's theory that the photograph included Anthony Durnford. Personally, I feel this image is from much later in the campaign, around the time of the 2nd invasion, I would contend.

The same photograph appears in Christopher Wilkinson-Latham's work 'Uniforms & Weapons of the Zulu War' likewise it is from the National Army Museum Collection, yet it in his work Wilkinson-Latham refers to it as 'Native Contingent, Lower Tugela, 1879'. Had there been reference to Anthony Durnford, I'm certain Wilkinson-Latham would have mentioned it.

John Y.
5th July 2005Keith Smith

I have carefully studied the photograph mentioned above and am convinced that this does not show the 1st Regiment NNC nor Durnford. All of the Africans are armed and are wearing uniforms. Norbury, Naval Brigade, p. 287, tells us that the NNC on the coast were armed and given uniforms by June 1879. I think, therefore, that if W-L is correct, the photograph shows Barton's 4th and Nettleton's 5th Battalions in June or later. Thus JY is correct and Durnford cannot be in the photograph.
5th July 2005Coll
John and Keith

That is unfortunate, but I guess it is better to know for sure.


Fortunately, however, there are other portrait photographs of Anthony in the book !