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DateOriginal Topic
2nd July 2003Why wasn't he shot?
By Trevor Finney
He. Being the officer that ran away just before the attack at RD. I don't no his name. But I believe he was dishonourable discharged some time after the battle.
I thought soldiers were shot for cowardice at that time? And the fact that he was an officer would have made it worse for him. (Although I don't suppose it can get much worse than to be shot!) Anyone no what happened to him after his discharge?
5th July 2003TREVOR
Great question Trevor!
Shame no one can be bothered to reply.

Oh well! Sod it. I'll just have to go and dig it out in a book myself!

Fair enough Trev. Now go and take your medication mate.

Will do Trev! Ta Ta for now. GAAR GAAR!
5th July 2003John Young

When you've stopped taking the tablets - the man's name is Captain William Stevenson, of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, of the Natal Native Contingent.

Stevenson was obviously a volunteer officer, the more astute military minds which visit this forum may be able to enlighten you as to whether as a volunteer he was subject to the punishment of military law & the articles of war.

Given his somewhat lenient punishment, it may well be that he was not. It may be that he had a good lawyer, who knows?

In later cases of desertion by regular officers - Carey & Harward - neither of those was shot. Although if we believe a conversation that Buller had with Carey, he did say that he deserved to be shot.

Had it been a regualr officer who decamped from Rorke's Drift, he might well have been shot in the style of Admiral Byng "To encourage others."

John Y.
6th July 2003Keith Smith

There is no evidence to my knowledge (and I could well be wrong) that Stephenson was court-martialled or even punished, although there is a reference to a Captain Stevenson in Local General Order No. 37 of 19th Februarym, 1879, printed in the Times of Natal on 21st February, with the words "The services of Captain Stevenson, 2-3rd Natal Native Contingent, are dispensed with, being no longer required."

Because of his attachment to the 2-3rd NNC, his men were also said to be 2-3rd too, but his must be incorrect. There were eight companies out with Chelmsford and two were left at the Isandlwana camp, thus accounting for all ten companies. What Stephenson's men were, then, remains something of a puzzle.

Keith Smith
6th July 2003Trevor
Thankyou Gentlemen! The tablets have kicked in now!

"My wife says she can't see any improvement. But. Oh well!"

Any info on what happened to Mr Stevenson after he was. "no longer required?"

Sorry to press the point. But I think I just want to no if the man got his just deserves at a later date?

It annoys me think that a man like Schiess ends up in the gutter. Yet Stevenson probably ended up living a long and happy life!
8th July 2003Lee Stevenson
I think you'll find that Stevenson/Stephenson, (i don't know how HE spelt his name either), did enjoy a somewhat longer life than C.F., F.C ., 'Frederich', Frederick etc etc, Schiess, (how do we know he actually preferred to be known as Frederich, has anyone actually seen anything signed by him as such ?), but then again are we talking about the Schiess who died in 1884 or the Cpl. Schiess who was reported as still alive in the 1890's in India.... stranger things have happened.....