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DateOriginal Topic
9th September 2003Erskine Connection
By Adrian Wright
Can somebody please let me know if Robert Erskine of Bushman's pass fame is related to Captain E. Erskine 2nd NNC at Isandlwana?
9th September 2003Peter Ewart

Seems very likely, doesn't it, given that both would have come from colonial familes in Natal. The former, I'm sure you know, was son of Major David Erskine, Colonial Sec for Natal.

However, confirmation might be held up by identification anomalies. You (& Drooglever) refer to the Isandlwana casualty as Capt E(dward) but Ian Knight (Sun Turned Black, etc) refers to him as Capt C.A., as does John Young (They Fell Like Stones). Julian Whybra (Roll Call) calls him Edward but later amends this to C.A., so it looks to me like C.A. No doubt some source has referred to him as Edward at some stage but has since been considered suspect.

I haven't looked at any unindexed works tonight (other than a quick flick through Norris Newman who mentions the NNC officers a fair bit early on, & a short glance at the "Narrative") but suspect the Natal press might have mentioned the relationship if the casualty was reported & commented upon (rather than simply listed). Will look through the Red Book for you if you don't have a copy, but will wait to see if someone else comes up with the definitive answer first.

And what about Wallie - do we have three brothers here, perhaps?

10th September 2003Adrian Wright
Too much of a coincedence not to be brothers i suppose. It would be nice to find out though.
11th September 2003Keith Smith
I am afraid that Drooglever was in error when stating that it was Captain Edward Erskine at Isandlwana. He was actually referring to Captain C.A. Erskine, of No. 4 company, 2/3rd NNC. (General Orders No. 213 and WO 33/34 Encl. 3 in No. 96). W.B. (Wally) Erskine was a Lieutenant in the 1/1st NNC and came up to Isandlwana with Durnford on the nmorning of 22nd January. Captain C.A. Erskine was killed and 'Wally' escaped. I have no information about their relationship but I do not believe that they were brothers.
11th September 2003Adrian Wright
But what about Robert ?

11th September 2003Adrian Wright
Well, after spending lord nows how long trying to find any kind of link between the three Erskines, it seems that the chances are they were not related in anyway - unless somebody else does more in depth research into the subject.
12th September 2003Peter Ewart

A quick flick through the IGI for S Africa appears to throw up both Robert & C.A. (apparently Charles) who are identifiable by their deaths and supposedly from different sets of parents.

This suggests they were not brothers but do bear in mind this info is only as good as the quality of the research completed by the submitter (a descendant, perhaps?) & without seeing the primary source for verification that's as far as one can go at this stage.

Although at least one line appears to have emanated from further south, it wouldn't necessarily preclude the possibility of the two families being related, or Robert & C.A being, say, first or second cousins. One or two websites suggest connections with the Cavendish-Bentincks and the Hawkins-Whitsheds (as does the IGI in the latter case) but, again, any unverified "data" can crop up on the internet.

If you're really dying to know, you could try some of the submitters & obtain their sources.

13th September 2003Keith Smith

I was fascinated by your reference to "IGI of South Africa", of which I have never heard;
the initials are unfamiliar to me. I does, however, sound as though it might be useful. Please let me have details, if you don't mind.

13th September 2003Peter Ewart

I've just typed out a very long (obviously too long!) reply answering your request, only to be booted offline just one second before clicking "add reply." I'm therefore still in loud swearing mode at present & you'll forgive me if I don't start all over again right now.

Meanwhile, try <> or <> (the web version of the IGI), click on "search" and have a play around.

I'm off to open a bottle of beer & a book, which may calm me down, and to resolve in future to be less long-winded!!!

15th September 2003Adrian Wright
Many thanks for your help and guidance on this. I'll see what I can come up with Peter and let you now.
29th September 2003Shahl De Meuter

As luck would have it I am busy researching a SAGS 77-8 medal to a C. Erskine of the Queenstown Vol. Contingent.

I was browsing the roll when I came across the entry dead. Further research has delivered a death certificate.

The following is what I have found out:
Erskine's names are Charles Alexander. He was born in Grahamstown. Parents Alexander Erskine and Mary Ann Erskine. He was 32 years of age and was not married.

On the death certificate his belongings were left to his brother W.G. Erskine.

Hope this helps.

1st October 2003Adrian Wright
Excellent stuff!! thankyou very much Shalh.