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DateOriginal Topic
19th August 2005Isandhlwana survivor
By Julian Whybra
Details of a new survivor from Isandhlwana will appear in an article with references I have just offered to Soldiers of the Queen, the VMS Journal - for the unitiated this is a non-fee paying publication so I hope there are no objections to my notifying the forum of it. This brings the total survivors to 82 plus 3 possibles.
19th August 2005Mike McCabe
Has there been a proven instance of anybody successfully fleeing on foot?
That is, at least to the riverline. We know that Smith-Dorrien did so from the riverline onwards.
19th August 2005Paul Cubbin
What about the rocket crews? Or did they find a mount?
19th August 2005Julian Whybra
There is no proven instance of anyone escaping on foot. See p. 20 england's sons.
19th August 2005Peter Ewart

They found mounts.

19th August 2005David Alan Gardner
I would have thought the remants of the crew would have been picked up by Chelmfords column on its return-I may be wrong.
19th August 2005Coll

I'm not sure, but did they not acquire mounts that were part of the Rocket Battery, but also, instead of heading back towards the camp (cut off from it possibly) left the battlefield ?

19th August 2005Peter Ewart
According to the accounts they each submitted, they got back (not all in one group)to the camp before it fell, bumped into each other again in all that turmoil, shared out between them the horses one of them had retained, fled to the Buffalo, crossed, and then went on to Helpmekaar (a couple of them via RD, where they warned of the enemy's advance, before moving on and bumping into Spalding's approaching company coming down from H'kaar, who turned them round to advance on RD again, before turning back yet again when - just 2 miles from RD - it looked all up at the post and they all retired once more on H'kaar.

I think their escape was as amazing as anyone's that day, whether they left anything out of their story or not.

22nd August 2005Coll
Can anyone confirm this incident and identify the individual involved ?

While preparations were being made to defend Rorke's Drift, apparently a Natal Carbineer from Isandlwana rode up, visibly exhausted, probably traumatised, minus his tunic (and boots) and clutching the reins of a spare horse that he had with him. He was seen to pause, looking at the barricades being constructed, before riding away without saying anything, the thought of what he witnessed at Isandlwana obviously very much on his mind.