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DateOriginal Topic
17th May 2003younghusband.
By paul neville
Were any of the British killed at Iswhana given a proper burial or where all the men and officers just all dumped together. Also why did the burial of the men at Iswhana take until May to complete and how did they identify the bodies?
18th May 2003Martin Everett
Dear Paul,
I will quickly answer the first part of your question as two names come to mind.
Colonel Durnford RE is buried in the cemetery at Fort Napier, PMB
Lt E O Anstey 1/24th is buried at St John's, Woking in UK
You find more details on the Keynsham Light Horse site - see links.
I am sure others will give you the full story behind these two burials.
There is a brass memorial tablet to Capt Reginald Younghusband in St. Peter's Cathedral (now closed - it was Bishop Colenso's old church) in PMB placed there by his widow Evelyn.
I will leave others to answer the second half of your question.
18th May 2003Julian Whybra
Chelmsford gave his reasons for the delayed burial as being too dangerous a country to enter between January and May/June. Also he didn't want to march his men over such a dispiriting site until the war was well and truly as good as won. But there's more to it than that. If you read the article The Durnford Papers in the VMS 1990 (by myself and David Jackson) which described the discovery of Lord Chelmsford's Instructions to Column commanders you'll find that Chelmsford was ultimately responsible for the troop dispositions at Isandhlwana and since it was that disposition which was the cause of the disaster and since the Instructions never surfaced to the contemporary 1879 world nor subsequently, the question arises as to whether there was a cover up. If so, Chelmsford would not have wanted Durnford's nor Glyn's (subsequently Pulleine's) set of Instructions to be found on the battlefield. Did he delay burial in the hope they would rot on the bodies/in the weather? He certainly had time and opportunity to bury the dead but he deliberately chose to delay. I think you should start reading from here....
18th May 2003paul neville
Did'nt Chelmsford have his men bed down at Isandhlwana the night after the battle and then march onto Rorke's Drift in the morning of the 23rd. His argument for having his men not witness such a dispiritng site does not seem to hold much water with his previous actions by having his men bed down at Isandhlwana.
18th May 2003Julian Whybra
Chelmsford didn't have much choice as to where to 'bed down' that night! They slept on the saddle in the area avove the waggon park slightly away from the main area of slaughter. He was as I'm sure you know careful to leave before dawn so that his men did not have to witness the campsite in daylight. Neither were they allowed to wander down to the camp area during the night (though a few did).
18th May 2003neil aspinshaw
archeoligical study of several cairns which David Rattray reported as being eroded ,by T.V's tony pollard this year has found bones of both artillery men and horses!. I think who-ever did tidy up the field were more interested in getting the awfu burial l job done. I know particular remains where identified, (shepstone, Durnford, Anstey etc) and had thier own memorials. Local lore has it Younghusband died with his men on the top of the saddle in a desparate charge into the mellee, others has it that he held out in a wagon. this I would doubt as the saddle is a bloody long way down, surrounded ,he wouldn't have got very far at all, never mind to a wagon.
18th May 2003Alex Rossiter
Also ,didnt chelmsford think most of the garrison had pulled back to rorkes drift , so he didnt expect their to be huge casualties in the camp?.

could anyone tell me ,are the cairn just markers with the bodies buaried underneath in a pit , are the bodies in the cairns , because the cairn dont look that big ? also, how many men were roughly buried in each cairn?
Thanks for any info.

18th May 2003neil aspinshaw
shallow graves as a rule, During our visit this year I was staggered at how hard and shale like the ground was .most ciarns seem to have between 2-7 bodies. although there is a very big cairn on the saddle, with scattered cairns, (mostly backing up to rocks) around and about, this is the reported remains of Younghusbands company rumoured at 60-70 men.
21st May 2003Peter Ewart
Although a "proper burial" was presumably hardly practicable during the various combined interments of the remains during 1879, a formal funeral service was held eleven months after the battle, on the field itself, in December 1879. It is not recorded whether this service was intended to "commit" the Zulu dead as well, but I think it highly likely, given the identity of those who carried it out.

The ceremony was undertaken by the Bishop of Maritzburg, William Macrorie, his archdeacon, Usherwood, the Rev George Smith (still in Zululand at that time and in the process of converting from missionary to Forces Chaplain) and Charles Johnson, at that time a layman whom Hlubi had wanted to bring into his new "district" and who was the founding missionary incumbent of St Vincent, Isandlwana & eventually Archdeacon of Zululand.

Apart from at least one more large reburial operation by the British, Johnson and his wife and helpers continued to find and rebury further remains for some time to come. These seem to have been mostly Zulus who had crawled, wounded, into odd nooks and crannies to die. Their discovery was usually heralded by the gatherings of "mankentshane" (wild dogs) whose attention to the remains apparently made life there unpleasant for a while.

21st May 2003Alex Rossiter

Thankyou for the info

28th January 2004Chris
What ever became of Lt Col Richard Gyln, was he killed at Islandhwana with the rest of his 1/24th or was he among the few to escape?
28th January 2004John Young

Richard Thomas Glyn, was the commander of No. 3 Column, he was out with Lord Chelmsford, reinforcing the reconnuaissance of Dartnell & Lonsdale to the south-east.

He died in 1900, with the honorary rank of Lt-General.

John Y.
28th January 2004John Young
Please ignore the spelling error above - my busted arm isn't functioning too well.

John Y.