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DateOriginal Topic
28th August 2003The Chard Roll (c1935?) Revisited
By peter marshall
The ‘Chard’ Roll (c1935) Revisited

Could this possibly be just an ORNAMENTAL REPLICATION of the information gathered, by an unknown person or persons, for Lt. Chard’s report to Col. Glyn? The ‘original document’ may have been nothing more than notes on scraps of paper (re: state of the post at Rorke’s Drift at the time) which became gash after Chard had extracted, or been handed, the information he required – the info shown on the right of the ‘replica’.

Perhaps it was Gunner Cantwell who found, or ‘borrowed’ the original notes; and that it was him or a member of his family who sat in peace and quiet, with pen, paper, etc. and carefully drafted this ornamental document some time after the battles were over. Possibly this was in memory of, or respect for, the action (during which Cantwell won the Silver Medal) rather than as a forgery.

Also, it may be incorrect to assume that CS F. Bourne DCM had no part in the compilation of the original info. Usually this is based on the premise that ‘he would not have produced another roll’ (c1910). I would suggest that there was no original ‘official roll’ as such produced (there being no request for one); and would Bourne remember giving someone B-Coy specific info (for the notes they were making) 31 years on? How often did a CS have to give info to enquiring officers?

I understand that Capt. Penn Symons was making notes at the time!? (Ref: J. Bancroft).

What do YOU think?

Sources: Norman Holme, The Noble 24th. James Bancroft, Rorke’s Drift.

Have fun

28th August 2003Martin Everett
The earliest dated roll (1881) I have come across was produced in a pamphlet by the Fine Arts Society for the exhibition of de Neuville's painting. Lt Chard a recent newcomer to RD would not have known any of the soldiers - he would have need help, CSgt Bourne would have held the roster ledgerl. This roll was attached to the Chard Report dated 25 January 1879 - but it has not survived in WO32/7710.