you are currently viewing: Discussion Forum


The Rorke's Drift VC Discussion Forum
(View Discussion Rules)


PLEASE NOTE: This forum is now inactive and is provided for reference purposes only. The live forum is available at

(Back To Topic List)

DateOriginal Topic
10th June 2005Pte Devonport.
By Graham Mason
Once again i have come across this mans name as a defender at Rorkes drift . I have never seen his name on any roll but this is not the first time i have seen it in connection with wreaths etc concerning this man , can anyone shed some light on this please ? , thank you .
10th June 2005Glenn Wade
Hi Graham

Likewise, I have never come across this name aside from the reason that you mention. All I can suggest is that it might be the real name of a lesser known Rorke's Drift defender. Can anyone else shed some light on this? I'm in lazy mode this morning so I don't have The Noble 24th to hand but is there a Devonport in any company of the 24th? First and Second Battalions?


10th June 2005Martin Everett

Why are you not able to you some basic research before asking the question. It baffles me - seeing all the information you claim to have on the AZW.

25B/1290 Pte Davenport, William 2/24th died 3/3/1879 Died Lower Tugela. Also wounded Inyanzani 22/1/1879. Surname also shown as Devenport. Interred at Lower Tegala. Served with the mounted infantry

25B/1200 Devenport, Joshua Pte A Company 2/24th - was at Rorke's Drift after 0830 hrs on 23 January 1879. Probably like so many sent a letter home saying 'he was at Rorke's Drift' - which was true, but during the engagement.

10th June 2005Graham Mason
Dear Martin ,
I DON`T CLAIM to have vast amount of infirmation on the the AZW at all and am only a novice when it comes to reseach , what i do claim is that in my short time doing research i have uncovered quite a lot of information which has not been followed up or printed incorrectly .

I have but basic resources and little cash hence catch up all the time and have sent quite a bit of information to BRECON . I still have a lot to learn and i thought this forum a medium for the less enlightened such as i to pose questions such as i did , living off a giro rather restricts what i am able to do but i try .

Thank you for the information on DEVENPORT and i will continue to improve my basic techniques in the hope i achieve the skills of those far better at this than seem to be , Graham .
10th June 2005Graham Mason
Apologies for the spelling mistakes , i compiled the previous message rather hastily . Perhaps in many years to come i will be able to have the font of knowledge such as Ian Knight , John Young concerning the AZW of 1879 but until then please accept the keeness of an enthusiast trying to learn as he goes along , thank you , Graham .
10th June 2005John Young
Dear Martin,

In 'The Noble 24th' Norman Holme, or yourself, has Private 25B/1200 Joshua Devenport serving in the Mounted Infantry.

If Private Devenport was serving in the squadron of Mounted Infantry to which the men of the 2nd/24th were attached; viz. No. 2 Squadron, I’d put him closer to Eshowe than Rorke’s Drift at 08:30hrs on Thursday 23rd January, 1879. Unless you have evidence to the contrary?

Unless his Mounted Infantry service relates to post-4th July, 1879 operations, of course.

John Y.
(Still learning after 40 years interest!)
10th June 2005Martin Everett

Well spotted! But perhaps we have come a long way since Norman Holme - perhaps we remember was not too well again - probably confused both Devenports (or Davenports). The expert on the Mounted Infantry is John Whybra - perhaps he can confirm.

However, I have 25B/1200 in the original 2/24th Order Book as A Company 2/24th at Rorke's Drift on 16/2/1879 when he was awarded extra Good Conduct Pay.

I suppose it was the phase 'GENTS' which is often used by many army instructors. Its a pet hate of mine - always sound a bit lavatorial and demeaning to any eager student.

Returning to the question Graham raised. For me not a day goes by that visitor says he had realtive was at Rorke's Drift - which was the case the whole of 2/24th after the action. But they are not Rorke's Drift defenders. I would think from the amount of time and effort put in by many researchers over the years, we have reached fairly definitive roll of RD defenders. The chances of unearthing a new candidate is very remote. We do know where 25B/1200 and 25B/1290 where at the time. I sometimes wish someone would do the research and tell me who landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 with 2/24th (or 2/SWB).
12th June 2005John Young
Dear Martin,

Thanks for that I'll put a note on 'The Noble 24th' to that effect.

John Y.
22nd June 2005Julian Whybra
William Devonport 2/24th served in the 2nd squadron IMI (see forthcoming article ).
Joshua Devenport was in the 2nd/24th aCoy as Martin states above.
22nd June 2005Julian Whybra
PS Norman Holme made a simple error. Joshua was never in any IMI squadron.