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DateOriginal Topic
17th February 2004Major Spalding
By Steven Etchells
Does anyone have any thoughts on Major Spalding's actions on the 22/23 January 1879. Turning back when he saw the Zulus at Rorke's Drift, and ignoring Chard's plea for help,not very commendable. Also the five British officers who escaped Isandlwana, shouldn't they have helped at Rorke's Drift? They were officers yet they seem hell bent on saving their own skins. Were they ever formally asked to explain their actions?. Running away from two battlefields in one day seems a bit much even for the chinless wonders who populated the Britsh Army at that time.
DateReplies
17th February 2004John Young
Steven,

Try a site search on Spalding, we've discussed him at length in the past, and there is also his account of his actions amongst the past comments.

The five surviving Imperial officers did formally explain their actions to the Court of Inquiry.

On one point, I would hardly term one of them a 'chinless wonder', as he had something of a very large chin. Given the fact that officer arrived, on foot, at Helpmekaar "...at nightfall, to find a few men who had escaped (about ten or twenty) with others who had been intrenched in a wagon laager." I think we can discount at least one name from your accusation - that of Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien.

Horace didn't like running away, I think he proved that point in 1914. When in my words he was - "The Most Contemptible of that Contemptible Little Army."

John Y.
17th February 2004Steven Etchells
John
That still leaves four other officers(who I believe were not transport officers,as Smith Dorrien was.)I'm afraid I am not very well up on the First World War so I can't comment on the last part of your answer. It's ironic that Smith-Dorrien should survive so many battlefields only to be killed in a car crash.
17th February 2004John Young
Steven,

If you'd like to hear more about Smith-Dorrien, come along to the 1st World War weekend at the Royal Engineers Museum, Chatham, 13th-14th November, 2004.

Suffice to say that if Smith-Dorrien hadn't stood at Le Cateau, the German commander, von Kluck, stated he would have reached Paris in a day, and pushed the B.E.F. to the coast within two.

I'll let others defend Cochrane, Curling, Gardner & Essex, but I'm standing Horace's corner on this one.

John Y.
17th February 2004Julian Whybra
Steven, I think you're being too hard on the Imperial officers all of whom bar Curling were transport or staff officers. None of them were responsible for any men at Isandhlwana (and Curling saw his command destroyed before his eyes save one sergeant). With a full rout in progress, and with all the criteria met for a situation of sauve qui peut, they can hardly be blamed for being drawn into the flight. The private soldiers without any assigned position or orders found themselves in the same boat. To the officers' credit they determined to warn each military station on the route into Natal and stayed to defend Helpmekaar with fewer men than chard had (you need to look at a map to see why Helpmekaar and not Rorke's Drift from the start point of Fugitives' Drift). Chinless wonders, no; boy wonders, maybe.
17th February 2004Steven Etchells
John
The word 'Contemptible'is a bit misleading.
Smith-Dorrien is buried in a cemetary near me in Berkhamstead. I only found that out through the Keynsham Light Horse website.I used to walk past his grave every time I went to see Zulu at the pictures without realising it. I think his family used to own a big house in Berkhamstead which is now a retirement home.
17th February 2004Steven Etchells
Julian
You're right.I take back chinless wonders.
17th February 2004John Young
Steven,

'Contemptible' misleading? Come now, have you not heard of that "...contemptible little army" which put pay Kaiser Bill's dream of European domination! The pre-1914 British soldiers who formed the B.E.F. Those who served in France and Flanders between 5th August 22nd November, 1914 and received the 1914 Star - the "Old Contemptibles" medal.

Horace was born in Haresfoot House, I don't know if the retirement home still bears that name? As well as Horace, his brother Arthur who was at Gingindlovu is in the same graveyard.

John Y.
17th February 2004David Gardner
I think anyone having witnessed what went on at Isandhlwana that terrible day could not be blamed for trying to save their lives when so many had lost theirs in such a brutal manner.
Being judgemental of those men's actions without the imagination to contemplate the true horror of the experience of this event is a fruitless exercise.
17th February 2004Peter Ewart
I realise you can extrapolate anything really from an incident which could have gone two ways & I don't really like the "what if?" questions which attempt to re-write history, BUT just imagine if one single assegai aimed at Smith-Dorrien as he jumped into the Buffalo had found its mark - as any one of them could or should have done - the history of the whole world from Aug 1914 onwards would have been changed and the whole of the 20th century might have - would have! - developed utterly differently.

Perhaps it was the most crucial act of disobedience in history - certainly in military history - and I suspect he would have understood and revelled in the highest compliment his generation could possibly have paid him - contemptible.

Peter
18th February 2004Steven Etchells
Sorry but my definition of contemptible must be different to everyone else's.
John
Thankyou for that information, I will look for his grave next time I pass that way.
18th February 2004Peter Ewart
Steven

The word was famously misconstrued during translation in 1914 and ever afterwards it was considered a badge of honour to be an Old Contemptible. John has given the exact dates above - if you weren't entitled to that first medal of the Great War, then you weren't an Old Contemptible.

I would hazard a guess that, of all the "I was there" claims of ex-soldiers, way ahead of Rorke's Drift, Waterloo, Dunkirk or D-Day etc., would be:- "I am an Old Contemptible."

The march-past of former servicemen and women (although I note the term "veterans" seems to be increasingly used these days) at the Cenotaph each November used to be headed by the Old Contemptibles & I still tend to use that expression when I see them give the "eyes left" although, of course, no Old Contemptible will have appeared for some years now.

I hadn't realised that this honourable term is no longer so well known generally. That would be a shame, although as time marches on it will inevitably lapse into a mere historical description, rather than a proud epithet once uttered in an awed tones, such as in, for example: "Uncle Albert is coming to visit today - now HE is an Old Contemptible, you know."

We have to thank the shambles which occurred in small campaigns like the Anglo-Zulu War and the even greater disasters of the 2nd Anglo-Boer War for Haldane's Army Reforms (& Smith-Dorrien's enlightened training methods) which created the Contemptible Little (VERY little) Army which somehow stopped the juggernaut in its tracks, and in so doing virtually ceased to exist itself.

Peter
18th February 2004Steven Etchells
Peter
Thanks for the information, I think I need to read Smith-Dorrien's book, he led a very eventfull life.
18th February 2004Graham Alexander
John has quite rightly defended his champion, Horace Smith-Dorrien, for his conduct during the retreat from Isandlwana. As I suspect that he is waiting for somebody else to defend the other officers, may I mention the following points :-

Edward Essex received two mentions in despatches from Lord Chelmsford for his conduct during the Zulu war. He was present at the battle of Ulundi and then served during the first Boer war. During the battle of Laings Nek, he had his horse killed under him,while attacking the Boer trenches, and when all the remaining Staff officers had been killed, he assumed command of the 58th regiment whilst they advanced against the Boers.The regiment became pinned down under heavy fire, in some places only 40 yards from the Boer line and remained in this position for half an hour. It was Edward Essex who conducted the gradual withdrawal, all the time under aimed shots from the Boer marksmen. While the regiment withdrew, Edward Essex arranged covering fire from the 3/60th and remained in an exposed position until being one of the last to withdraw. This was hardly the action of somebody who lacked courage. For his conduct during the 1st Boer war, he again received two more mentions in despatches. He subsequently rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and commanded the 2nd Battlion Gordon Highlanders. This once again proved that his contempories held nothing against him for any suspected misconduct.

Alan Gardner continued to serve during the Zulu war as Chief Staff officer in Woods column. It was strongly rumoured that he was to be recommended for a Victoria cross for his conduct in trying to warn the garrisons about the disaster at Isandlwana. He too became a honorary Lieutenant-colonel and later a member of Parliament. Hardly the reward for a man who may have not conducted himself properly. There seemed to be no stigma attached to him.

William Cochrane served during the Egyptian revolt and eventually commanded a brigade of the Anglo- Egyptian during the Sudan campaign. He was mentioned in dispatches for this and finally became a companion of the order of the bath.

Henry Curling served in Afghanistan and later became commanding officer of the Royal Artillery in Egypt, rising to the rank of Colonel.

As you must just the actions of people by the conditions of the time and not in modern terms, it can be seen that the other four officers all served their country both bravely and well. Their later actions were judged and rewarded by honours and promotion. If their contempories could see no problem with their conduct, then I think that we must see them as brave men, who had the misfortune to find themselves in a lost battle through no fault of their own and merely " strategically withdrew " as the army calls it, when all was lost and there was nothing further they could do. They all fell back to Helpmekaar and prepared to defend the base against a probable attack by victorious Zulus, who they had all seen destroy an army only hours previously. Hell bent on saving their skins ?
I don't think so !
18th February 2004John Young
Graham,

Thank you, you're quite correct I was just waiting for you to come up with the reinforcements!

John Y.
18th February 2004Steven Etchells
The truth is that Isandlwana was a rout for the British, so why glorify & romanticise it.By early afternoon the British who had'nt been killed by the Zulus,were running back to Natal.
18th February 2004David Alan Gardner
Graham,

Hear hear!
18th February 2004Julian whybra
Steven, the glory and romanticism bit comes from the men who remained behind, not those engaged in flight. As individuals they could all have fled but the officers wouldn't have dreamt of leaving their men and the men wouldn't have left a comrade in the field. As one old Zulu said, 'we knew that day that although we'd won the battle, we'd lose the war. When we are beaten we turn and run and keep going; when you you [the British] were beaten, you turned and faced us and defied us to come on.' (loose translation)
18th February 2004Peter Weedon
To glorify and romanticise? I don't think that anyone on this site has put forward the notion that Isandhlwana was anything other than a disaster for the British. The debate rages as to how much this was due to errors by the British rather than the courage and skill of the Zulus.

However, if to pause and attempt to understand the circumstances in which these men died, thousands of miles from home under a beating sun, facing a foe the like of which they had never before encountered, is to glorify and romanticise this day, I plead guilty. And so, I suspect, do others.
18th February 2004John Young
Steven,

'...were running back to Natal'?

Indeed, then how do you account for this little ditty:
"Ah! those red soldiers at Isandlwana,
How few they were, and how they fought!
They fell like stones - each man in his place."

Praise from 'Caesar'? Or rolling stones?

John Y.
18th February 2004David Alan Gardner
Why not romanticise it-was not Napoleon's Waterloo romanticised, or the fall of the Roman Empire?
Defeat is not a necessary precusor for glory-need I mention Thermopylae?
18th February 2004John Young
David,

Your very mention of the Spartans at Thermopylae caused me to read the words of the Natal Carbineers' memorial at Isandlwana, again.

Steven,

I don't know if you're familiar with the words? Even if you are they're worth repeating (by the way I'm not 'shouting', only transcribing them as they are written.):-

'NOT THEIRS TO SAVE THE DAY
BUT WHERE THEY STOOD,
FALLING, TO DYE THE EARTH
WITH BRAVE MEN'S BLOOD
FOR ENGLAND'S SAKE AND
DUTY - BE THEIR NAME
SACRED AMONG US - NEITHER
PRAISE NOR BLAME
ADD TO THEIR EPITAPH
BUT LET IT BE
SIMPLE AS THAT WHICH
MARKED THERMOPYLAE.
TELL IT IN ENGLAND THOSE
THAT PASS US BY,
HERE, FAITHFUL TO THEIR
CHARGE, HER SOLDIERS LIE.'

19th February 2004Martin Heyes
Now why should it come as no great surprise to ANYBODY when I say that when I read the opening post - without checking first to see who wrote it, as I always do - I said to myself: I bet this was written by one Steven Etchells??
Just what is it with this guy?
19th February 2004David Alan Gardner
John,

Thanks for that, it seems my comparison is more apt than I thought.I had heard of the book "Brave Men's Blood", but I did not know of those words.
The term "death or glory" is not applicable to this place-better "death and glory" for the now immortal battle of Isandhlwana.
19th February 2004Steven Etchells
Martin
I come on this website because I want to read other peoples opinions on the Anglo-Zulu war. Thankfully they have given me them, and very interesting they are too, unlike yourself who can only offer me "just what is it with this guy".
19th February 2004L.J.Knight
steven, ican offer you a bit more,an old english expression, "cuckoo in the nest" you like, think you will find that the opinions shared on this site are the expression of like minded people with a love and in a lot of cases obsession with the A.Z.W. i would like to suggest you have cast yourself as an 'agent provocuture'....its all grist to the mill mate..the sheer class of some of the abve replies...regards
20th February 2004Martin Heyes
Steven
I take exception, (as do many others I'll wager), to the tenor of your original question -and I take great exception to your expression "chinless wonders who populated the British Army at that time."
Yes of course there were "chinless wonders" in the British Army at that time. There were then, there are now, and there always will be. But what gives you the right to say that the British Army was "populated" by them?
The obvious inference being that if not all, then the vast majority of the officer class, (to whom I assume you refer), were "chinless wonders."
Yes, they had faults. Yes, they probably lacked what we would term the "professionalism" of officers of the British Army of today - but hey, they were products of their time and we MUST not impose 21st Century standards on those of the late 19th Century.
I was an officer in the British Army - and proud of it. I doubt if you even served in the Wolf Cubs.
20th February 2004Andy Lee
Martin

You are quite right in what you say, 'chinless wonders' was a shocking remark. I took exception in an earlier thread to the remark 'The british were running away from the Germans at Dunkirk'. Is this man for real - he needs to look as such actions as Harry Nicholls VC and Richard Wallace Annand VC before airing such anti-british views.

His views on Melville & Coghill were also quite shocking. He needs to watch 'Some corner of a Foreign field' by Tom French.

Wolf Cubs unsure but I bet my bottom dollar he was at the front of the mob at the anti-war Iraq demo's.

Andy
20th February 2004John Young
Andy,

'Some corner of a Foreign field', by Tom French, is this a documentary, if so where is it available? I'm always interested in another person's slant on MELVILL (sorry had to shout, you're the third in as many days.) & Coghill.

By the way Steven wasn't actually at the front of the demonstrations, my colleagues were, but then we're paid for such things.

John Y.
(Formerly Acting-Sixer, St. Luke's 2nd Deptford.)
20th February 2004Andy Lee
Hi John

It is a documentary, I purchased it some years ago from the church at St.Winnow in Cornwall and it is quite good.

On the back of the video it gives a contact address: Tom French, 9 Glenview, Truro Road, St Austall, Cornwall.

On this theme have you ever come across a book on Neville Coghill by Patrick Coghill , I've been chasing it for years.

Andy Lee
(Formerly Sixer, 108 Weoley Hill, Bournville.)

20th February 2004Peter Ewart
Andy

"Whom the Gods Love" seems to be fairly scarce, no doubt because it was privately published in a small run & also because most owners probably tend to hold on to their copy these days, so it rarely seems to come onto the market.

Since I acquired my copy about 25 years or so ago I've never seen another copy in a 2nd-hand bookshop & only ever seen one copy pop up on abebooks.com - and that was going for a lot more than I shelled out for mine (a fiver!) at Hay-on-Wye.

Haven't got mine in front of me right now but I think it was published about 1966. The nephew relied mostly on his uncle's letters from SA and his diary & added his own commentary. I don't know how much material is omitted but I believe the original diary and letters are either with the RRW Museum or the NAM.

Keep searching - good luck!

Peter
(Formerly Sixer, 3rd Rye, c1958-60).
20th February 2004Alan Critchley
All right! I give up. What's a Sixer?

Alan
20th February 2004Andy Lee
Thanks Peter

Visit Hay-on-Wye regularly so hopefully one day.

Andy
20th February 2004Steven Etchells
No I wasn't at the front of the No Attack On Iraq demonstrations but I was about half way down, in September 2002,and February and March 2003. Oh yes, and I was on the anti Bush visit demonstration in November of last year.Anybody who thinks that war wasn't about American imperialism, just the same as the Anglo-Zulu of 1879 was about British imperialism, is living in cloud-cuckoo land.
20th February 2004Julian whybra
In an effort to calm the situation (enter the UN), Steven, may i say that I think most people are happy for anyone to give an opinion on the website provided we all share an interest in the Zulu War. Arguments about the reason for the war itself and its controversies abound and this is a good place to discuss and explore them for the interested. Provided no-one uses the site as a vehicle for ax-grinding of whatever persuasion, I think most people remain happy. There is much disinformation (largely through the pc-nature of the National Curriculum) about the British Empire and so many people (myself included) see the website as an opportunity to put an alternative view to the spoon-feeding of pap in the history classroom and the mass media (the 'chinless wonder ' remark was a good example of this, i think you'll agree). Passions are easily aroused. Don't be put off. Keep contributing.
20th February 2004Andy Lee
Alan

A sixer is a patrol leader in the cub scout movement.

Regards

Andy
20th February 2004Robert Jones
Alan,
I always thought a sixer was a posher version of a 'fifther', but there again I may be wrong!!!!
20th February 2004John Young
Steven,

I share a similiar view to Julian, this site is as much of a soapbox, as any on Speakers' Corner. I've had my share of slings and arrows, not to mention mud, on this site from those who have differing views to mine.

I actually welcome differing views as it actually encourages debate. We can learn by debate, for example you now know of a new meaning of the word 'contemptible'. Keep throwning the odd curve ball, I'll endeavour to play it out of the park.

John Y.
20th February 2004Steven Etchells

Thanks for that, the Anglo-Zulu war is fascinating & I like to hear what other people have to say,they may have a view you'd never even thought about. Have a nice weekend.
20th February 2004Ed Coan
Just as a lighter side to all this, and also living near Smith-Dorrien's last resting place in Berkhamsted (he rests alongside one of his brothers, who was in the navy and involved in the A-Z War), I've done a couple of lectures to local history societies on the War, using Smith-Dorrien as the main Hertfordshire connection. Truly fascinating character who straddles the late Victorian era and, as has been said, on into WW1. Cruelly ironic that someone who relied on horsepower in its true sense to make his initial escape from Isandlwana was later killed by the motorised version.

Was also lucky enough to get to see his file in the Sherwood Foresters Museum archives, where the originals of Crealock's A-Z War watercolours are also kept.

Anyway, Haresfoot, the Smith-Dorrien family home was damaged by fire no less than seven times and finally in 1962 was replaced by a completely new house. There remains a private school on the Haresfoot estate, carrying the estate's name.

If you ever go to Berkhamsted, also pay a visit to the church (St.Peter's) which has many and various memorials to the Smith-Dorrien family, including a large commemorative cross in the churchyard to Horace's mother.

Also inside you can track back where there first 'Smith' married the first 'Dorrien' to start the double-barrelled line going. Robert Algernon Smith married the grand-daughter of John Dorrien, a wealthy banker who lived at Haresfoot. Robert changed his name to Smith-Dorrien and fathered 15 children - Horace was no .11.

Must have been able to field a fearsome family football team!

Er, that's enough Smith-Dorrien. Ed
20th February 2004John Young
Ed,

Maybe we should exchange notes, having hopped over the border and lectured in your county to about 300 members of the Great War Society at the Police H.Q.'s, about two years ago. The same lecture which I have also presented at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

I'm currently updating my lecture to PowerPoint, and bringing myself into the 21st Century.

How about badgering your County Council to erect a statue or other memorial to this forgotten national hero?

John Y.
21st February 2004Steven Sass
Why is it that those liberal champions of societal fairness, respect for fellow human beings and ensuring nobody's feelings ever get hurt, can get away with epithets such as "chinless wonders?" Sure Mr. Etchells, continue to post, but perhaps you should do so in a manner closer to the philosophy you espouse. I can respect well thought arguments that differ from my own point of view. Hypocrites I cannot.

Steven Sass
21st February 2004Alan Critchley
Andy & Robert,
thanks for that! I always wondered what the posh kids got up to when I were on t' slag 'eap looking for bits 'er coal.

Alan
21st February 2004James Garland
Steven,
If anyone on this site had posted remarks about "big lipped zulus" they would quite rightly be shouted down as racists. So when you go on about "chinless wonders" when refferring to British officers you are doing the same thing. You prattle on about Imperialism whilst indulging in racist remarks about the British. I can tell you that you don't do your cause any good.
23rd February 2004Steven Etchells
Stephen
Do you know the meaning of the word hypocrite? Can you tell me in what context am I being hypocritical? As for James you are so incoherent I don't even know what you are on about.
23rd February 2004James Garland
Stephen,
i've just printed off a copy of my last entry and given it to an English teacher to check over. Just to check whether it is incoherent or not. I've been assured that it is perfectly coherent, but I was critisised for my mis spelling of " refferring".
I can therefore only presume that I have hit upon a raw nerve and that your original remark was indeed racist. if you don't agree with me you can argue your point. But please don't pretend you didn't understand the point I was making. Is it because you don't have an answer.

James
24th February 2004Steven Sass
Mr. Etchells,

According to Webster, a hypocrite is "one who pretends to beliefs, sentiments, etc. he does not actually feel--and hypocrisy is "false pretension to personal qualities or principles not actually possessed."

I think my last post is quite clear and I rather doubt you need me to spoon feed it to you.

Steven
24th February 2004Martin Heyes
Steven
I am not trying to gloat, but I cannot help feeling terribly self-satisfied. As I was sure would be the case, a number of other contributors to this site have taken great exception to some of your remarks, e.g. "chinless wonders," and another where you speak disparagingly about the British retreat from Dunkirk.

You claim to come on to this site because you "want to read other people's opinions on the Anglo-Zulu War, " and therefore one assumes you have an interest in matters military. I would have thought a more objective approach would be in order, yet you make some extremely offensive remarks about the British military. OK - so be it.

Just don't expect certain individuals to accept your comments without making an appropriate response.

Regards
Martin
24th February 2004Steven Etchells
I am British, how can I make racist remarks about myself. To be more specific I am English, no one has more blood on their hands than the English. Read a history book!
24th February 2004Julian Whybra
Steven, I am an historian and despite my earlier oil-on-troubled-waters comment it may be that this is all getting out of hand. The 24th Feb remark is just silly. Perhaps you'd like to name me one treaty that the British have made with a native populace and then broken. Perhaps, out of interest, you could name me one treaty that the US has made with a native populace and then kept! Or, perhaps, you can name me one treaty that the Russians (Imperial or Soviet) ever bothered making at all with a native populace. When you talk about blood on people's hands, you can only expect people to wonder whether YOU have read a history book! Setting aside Germany's 5.4 million Jewish victims in WW2, how about Stalin's 30 million victims from among his own people in the purges, how about Mao-Tse Tung's estimated 100 million victims, again from his own people - all from far more recent, more 'civilized' times than those of Imperial Britain. Make your points and argue them by all means, but don't engage in rhetoric for the sake of it, because on this website it has been demonstrated that there are many intelligent and intellectual contributors and you can expect to be lambasted. Pride goes before a fall.
24th February 2004Steven Etchells
Lambast away.
24th February 2004Melvin Hunt
Dear Steven Etchells
Just out of interest, are you one of those people who deface war memorials to the fallen?
You are new to this site.
On 23rd Jan I advised you to read the back pages of this discussion forum so that you could get a better flavour and understanding of what we are all about and why there was the criticism levelled against you.
You have obviously not bothered to do so as you are still missing the point. Take a day off and have a good read.
24th February 2004Scott Carson
By heck this thread heips wile away the long winter nights!!! Went above my head ages ago
25th February 2004Steven Etchells
To make comments like that shows what a moron you are. My paternal grandmother's first husband was killed in Belgium in the First World War.Her second husband, my grandfather, was in the Grenadier Guards & was shot and gassed in France in the same war. My mothers family also lost a relative in that war.In 1939 when my Dad was eighteen he joined the Royal Artillery and was on anti-aircraft guns in 1940,he met my Mum who was with the WAF's in Germany in 1945. My Mum's dad was a Major in the RAMC and was awarded an OBE for helping raise money to set up a hospice in Scotland for traumatised British soldiers.
My nephew, at the end of last year, returned to Britian after serving in Iraq on HMS Ocean. I also have another nephew currently in the Middle East with HMS Gloucester.Don't tell me Mr Hunt you are one of those Bush supporters, who would go to war with Leichenstein if Bush said so. Well answer me this, do you think my dad was defending this island in 1940 so that his grandson would go to war on the say so of the White House?
25th February 2004Andy Lee
Mr Etchells

No need for your opening remark.

Having had family members serve in the second world war you should be even more ashamed of your 'Dunkirk' comments.

I'm not ashamed to admit to supporting the Blair & Bush war on dictators.

Andy
25th February 2004David Alan Gardner
Mr Etchells

"Lambast away"??

What kind of reply is that to the detailed riposte given by Julian to your previous comments?- who incidently gave you the benefit of the doubt by his previous answers.

I think the problem here is that notwithstanding the fact views held by you are contrary to those of the vast majority of others , there is the somewhat innocent, naive assumption by some that you have have valid reasons and are prepared to argue your case.

I cannot fault fellow forum members for that.

Clearly however, you are incapable of such, and now you will be dismissed by others-and rightly so- as a mere "wind-up" merchant to coin a phrase, who is interested more in eliciting a reaction to your posts for inflammatory effect only.
We are not interested in your name dropping or who your ancestors were -it's who you are that's the problem.

Either put up or shut up.
25th February 2004Steven Etchells
Yes Uncle Sam, no Uncle Sam, three bags full Uncle Sam. That's a war on dictators is it?
25th February 2004David Alan Gardner
I've another theory about Etchells.

Since my latest reply came AFTER his , yet somehow mysteriously is posted BELOW his(as if it was made earlier) perhaps this is an attempt by the website to stimulate discussion??

I think we should be told!! :-)
25th February 2004Andy Lee
Mr Gardner

Not sure about your website theory my bet is Mr Etchells is either a Frenchman or a Birmingham City supporter.

Regards
25th February 2004Alan Critchley
David,
we do not manipulate the forum in any way. We do delete any offensive remarks, as we have done today. It would be preferable if our time wasn't wasted by having to do so, but that's war for you!

Alan
Website policeman
25th February 2004Steven Etchells
Dear Mr Andy Lee
I have the perfect website for you it is called WARMONGERS.com and the webmaster is a Mr B.Liar. That way you can leave this website to those of us who are curious about the TRUTH of the Anglo-Zulu war and not just the rather simplistic concept of All British good (brave), All Foreigners bad (cowardly).
25th February 2004Melvin Hunt
Steven Etchills
My question and comments to you were not moronic and were not intended to be inflammatory or otherwise. I was hoping to understand further exactly where you are coming from with all of your previous remarks for which you have been heavily criticised, quite rightly, by others on this site.
I was merely trying to help you when I suggested that you read the back pages of the forum. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and you have certainly expressed yours as indeed you have, if I may say so, certainly demonstrated your own particular level of intellect and wit.
25th February 2004David Alan Gardner
One of the most irrating things I have come across are those judging the 19th century through the eyes of twisted corrupted 21st century PC correct values-in a futile attempt to take the moral high ground, with the inevitable clown - like result.
25th February 2004David Gardner
Alan,

Thanks -but you know what the say, rather jaw jaw jaw as war war war !!!! ;-)
26th February 2004Martin Heyes
OK, let's strip this down to its' bare essentials, as it were.
Mr. Etchells claims to come on this site , (and I quote), "to learn the truth about the Anglo-Zulu War." Is that correct, Mr. Etchells?
And in fairness to you, you do seem genuinely interested in the subject. Now if I am correct in my assumption, I would have thought that a modicum of humility would be in order when you are asking the opinions of experts on this subject as to exactly what happened during this, or any other, campaign.

AND FOR THE RECORD, I DO NOT PUT MYSELF IN THAT EXPERT CATEGORY - I AM MERELY AN ENTHUSIASTIC AMATEUR.

But to speak disparagingly of British soldiers in certain military campaigns, as you have done, e.g. "British soldiers who had not been killed at Isandlwana running back to Natal," and your comments on the retreat from Dunkirk, is distateful and insulting.
You may have had relatives who served in relatively recent conflicts, but that does NOT give you the right to speak so disparagingly about men who fought in conflicts about which you know very little.

AND YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT HOW SOLDIERS REACT UNDER FIRE, COMING FROM A PERSON WHO HAS PROBABLY FACED NOTHING MORE DANGEROUS THAN A 6 YEAR PLAYED PLAYING WITH A WATER PISTOL, ARE DESERVING OF THE HIGHEST CENSURE.
26th February 2004Julian Whybra
Alan, since you are site policeman, and you must be fed up with the pointlessness of this particular item, can I suggest that you delete most (or all) of it. The website will not be the worse for its removal and you will save megabytes of space. I enjoy a good discussion/argument/debate but all this is irrelevant, irreverent, turning nasty, and quite frankly boring - we should all move on.
26th February 2004neil Aspinshaw
Hey Chaps!
how about a joke... a woman walks into the kitchen, only to find her husband armed with a fly swot. "got any flies" she asks.... "yep three! " he replies."two females and one male", "how do you know that" she replies.
"one was on the beer can... the other two on the phone!"
Sorry chaps but I thought this needed finishing on a light note, and one that was about as relevant!
cheers
Neil
26th February 2004Simon Copley
Andy Lees comments about Frenchmen is a bit rich too...

Are we aware that the "Contemtible Little Army" continued to retreat at a crucial moment in August 1914 when the French were seizing a strategic opportunity to counter attack. (see the closing chapters of Barbara Tuchman's book of the same name) Only desperate pleading by Joffre made them turn around. Probably because Sir John French was truly in the chinless wonder class . And while we're on about it - how many British soldiers at Dunkirk were able to escape because French troops continued a hopeless resistance? A look at any first world war memorial in any tiny French village puts such remarks beyond the pale. What a sacrifice they made....

Thinking about it: Tuchman was an American. Maybe she was biased...
26th February 2004Steven Etchells
The French also have the guts to stand up to the Americans, something we British would never dare do. The reality of the so called'special relationship' is that when the Yanks say "Jump", we snivelling limeys say "How high?".
26th February 2004David Alan Gardner
Self flagellist or what?

Speaking of the French and guts, I think that most would agree they hate British (guts), and their language, that is why I have no time for them.
History lesson number one: 1066 and all that, Agincourt, The Hundred Years War, Trafalgar, Waterloo.
Perhaps one has heard of those ?

The natural emnity of both countries over a 1000 years or so are in stark contrast to the saving grace of the "Yanks", who with their common tongue was a crucial factor in winning both world wars.
On the other hand, the French could not forgive us for not staying behind at Dunkirk to be beaten also.

De Gaulle could not forgive Churchill and this country for saving him when his own was defeated under the jackboot.

Of course today ,Germany and France today enjoy an Entente Cordialle of their own.

The French don't stand up to the Americans, they only want to be still regarded as world power, something they lost a long time ago.

The Americans may have their faults, but compared to France, give me the Yanks a thousand times over.

Y A W N



26th February 2004David Alan Gardner
Self flagellist or what?

Speaking of the French and guts, I think that most would agree they hate British (guts), and their language, that is why I have no time for them.
History lesson number one: 1066 and all that, Agincourt, The Hundred Years War, Trafalgar, Waterloo.
Perhaps one has heard of those ?

The natural emnity of both countries over a 1000 years or so are in stark contrast to the saving grace of the "Yanks", who with their common tongue was a crucial factor in winning both world wars.
On the other hand, the French could not forgive us for not staying behind at Dunkirk to be beaten also.

De Gaulle could not forgive Churchill and this country for saving him when his own was defeated under the jackboot.

Of course today ,Germany and France today enjoy an Entente Cordialle of their own.

The French don't stand up to the Americans, they only want to be still regarded as world power, something they lost a long time ago.

The Americans may have their faults, but compared to France, give me the Yanks a thousand times over.

Y A W N



26th February 2004Alan Critchley
It's now digressing so far that I shall have to make this the last entry on the subject(s). Please save me the effort of deleting by not adding any more. Thank you.

Alan Critchley