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11th March 2003Question for John Young
By Keith C
Regarding Charles L. Norris Newman.

Do you know anything of him other than that which is contained in the 3 books he wrote between 1880 and 1896?

I know that Frances Colenso and others referred to him as "Captain"... but he doesn't appear in Harts.

Any info appreciated.

12th March 2003John Young

No, he is about as much of a conundrum as our other friend.

How far back did you checked the Army List for?

Obviously captains who retired by sale, do not appear in Hart's, only those field ranks above it.

Have you considered his rank may have been a local or volunteer rank? Or as someone once suggested to me - a sea-captain?

As to the British South Africa Charter Company forces, they were obviously Rhodes' private army, that even had its own designation of ranks. Commissions in the B.S.A.C. forces were not granted by any state authority. Have you made any enquiries with the National Archives in Harare?

It is interesting that his name is linked with 'General' Digby Willoughby in Mashonaland, as he produced one of the earliest maps of the Battle of Isandlwana, which is not far different from Norris-Newman's map that appears in 'In Zululand...'

Best I can do for now, I haven't forgotten your request for Browne's photograph - not enough hours in the day.

12th March 2003Keith C
Thanks John.
When I purchased "The War Correspondents" by Knight & Laband I was hoping for more info on him....but no luck. I have also checked British birth records for him under all conceivable variations of his name - without success. I am suprised that his date or place of death is unknown..but as you enigma etc.

13th March 2003AMB
Does anyone know where I can get a copy of Norris-Newman's Matabeleland book?
13th March 2003Keith

Try this link
14th March 2003AMB

Many thanks. very interesting.

15th March 2003Dave Nolan
I'm not John Young but hopefully I am allowed to add my knowledge to the original question.
In the book 'The Tune That They Played' by William Clive, Norris-Newman was an infantry officer who had been captured in Afghanistan C.1870 and suffered castration by the natives, necessitating his retirement from the army. After this he tried his hand at being a Land Agent in Ireland before becoming a War Correspondent. It does not give what happened to him later.

Dave ;)
15th March 2003Keith C.
Thanks Dave.
Unfortunately "The Tune That They Play" (published 1973 Macmillan London) is a work of pure fiction. A sterling story and a good read. Clive takes the historical background of Isandlwana and weaves into it real personalities, but as he admits in the intro..."some licence has been used in presenting personal aspects of men..." For instance...he decides that Norris-Newmans middle name is Leonard. Regrettably, the rest of the detail about him is a complete fabrication.