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17th February 2004Boast's map of the graves at Isandhlwana
By Julian Whybra
Some time ago on this website I mentioned i had a photocopy of Boast's map showing the graves at Isandhlwana. I had around 30 e-mails asking me where I'd got it from and I promised I would look it up and report back. I've finally (!) found the source for those interested:
Natal Archives Pietermaritzburg
Colonial Secretary's Office
Accession no. 899, 1883/1078
Boast's diary from 12.2.1883-10.3.1883
with an enclosure: a skecth map of Isandhlwana showing the location of the graves.
Good luck.
17th February 2004Keith Smith
I was in Pietermaritzburg last November and used your info to track down the documents. The full references are:

1. First Boast ReoprtL CSO (Solnial Secretary's Office) 897-167/1883
2. Final Boast report and map, CSO 899-1078/1883.

17th February 2004Keith Smith
Sorry, FFS (Fat Finger Syndrome!) - it should read "Colonial Secretary's Office".

17th February 2004Keith Smith
Good Grief!

I really stuffed that up! The correct reference for item 1 should read:

1. First Boast Report, CSO 897-867/1883.

There, that was easy wasn't it?
19th February 2004Neil Aspinshaw
Has this ever been transposed against a modern map to show how, or if the cairns have been eroded, mooved or simply lost?.
Jacksons "the hill of the shpinx" (essentail read!) does have a comment about cairns on the Tehelane Ridge, which have dissapeared. Does this list have any of these listed?.


19th February 2004Keith Smith
I have just had another look at my copy of Boast's map and it is something of a dog's breakfast.

It shows Isandlwana hill in silhouette, superimposed on the battlefiled, which spreads from the junction of the RD road and the Manzimnyama stream in the 'North' to its confluence with the Buffalo at Fugitive's Drift, although the stream actually runs north to south - I think his directions were awry.

The map shows nothing north (Boast's East) of a small square labelled 'Missionary", which may be the church under the escarpment. It therefore shows no graves on the spur.

It shows a distinct progression of graves from the southern nek, down to Fugitive's Drift, and there are almost as many indicated on this line as on the battlefield itself.

There is a heavy concentration east of the nek, somewhere near the camp of the 1/24 on the southern side of the road, and marked "Volunteers"; I assume this is where Durnford's body was found.