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18th July 2005Did one of my ancestors survive this battle?
By Luke Bevan
I have been informed that a soldier with the surname Cole is an ancestor of mine. Now, we believe there were 2 Coles that fought in the battle but we are lead to believe ours survived and later died during WW1(not through fighting I might add!!) Could anybody give me some info on this person? Any help is greatly appreciated.
There is some really interesting stuff on this site, keep up the good work! LB
18th July 2005Andrew Garton
You are talking about Rorke's Dirft correct?If you are talking about Rorke's Drift then yes there where two Coles there.1459 Robert Cole who was born at Chatham Kent he joined the army at Brecon on 10/29/1877 he was 19.He was 5ft 6in tall .Posted to the 2/24th on 12/14/1877.He saw service in Gibraltar,India & South Africa.A member of F Company,he was patient in the hospital at Rorke's Drift.He was saved from the hospital Michael McMahon who was awarded the DCM.He was sent to India and then back to England on on 12/1/1883.He was discharged to the reseves on 12/8/1883.He was awarded the Medal for South Africa with clasp 1877-78-79,The other Cole was Pvt.Thomas' Old King'Cole who was KIA at Rorke's Drift.He joined the army on 3/23/76 at Monmouth at the age of 20.He was a member of B company.He was posted in the hospital but he left to join the other men outside.Cole was shot through the head only moements later the bullet passed through his head only to wound Pvt.James Bushe on his nose.He was buried at Rorke's Drift plus was awarded the Medal for South Africa for 1877-78-79.Hope that helps.
Best Regards
18th July 2005Luke Bevan
Andrew, many thanks indeed. We believe he was Robert Cole and is now buried in Whitton Cemetary not far from where I am now. I would like to find out how much of a close ancestor he was as he is the most interesting link in our family. Many parts of his life has been lost as the story has been passed down through the generations. Do you know of any direct relatives? I have heard the name Gertrude mentioned, who she is I am not sure but there is a connection with Robert Cole. Again many thanks, this is a mystery to our family in a way and we really appreciate your help. LB
18th July 2005Andrew Garton
I know that Robert was married to a Miss Elizabeth Gibelin on 4/20/1884 at Birmingham.Just a side note for you I live in the states and have reversed dates in other words 20/4/1884 changes to 4/20/1884.
Best Regards