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DateOriginal Topic
5th March 2004Caleb Wood & Robert Tongue
By David Glynne Fox
I have just returned from the funeral directors to make the final arrangements for two headstones with epitaphs for the two above Rorke's Drift defenders who are currently buried in unmarked graves in Ruddington Cemetery, Shaw Street, Nottingham. I cannot express my gratitude sufficiently for this most generous act by Nottingham Co-Op Funeral Care. They have agreed to totally fund the project. As it takes about three months for the stones to be prepared and mounted, we are looking at some time in June 2004 for the rededication to take place. Therefore, I would welcome suggestions from the forum as to how we can make this a day to remember. Members from both families will be present on the day and it would be the crowning glory if members of the Regiment could take part, as well as re-enactment groups such as the Die-Hards or 1879 Group. It goes without saying that any Zulu War enthusiasts will be more than welcome. When I have a firm date I will post it on the forum, but in the meantime, I look forward to hearing your valuable suggestions. Regards to all. David
5th March 2004Mike McCabe
Surely, the wishes and preferences of surviving family members are more important concerns than winding up a 'circus' of unconnected individuals.
Dignity and consideration for the feelings of descendents first please.

5th March 2004Andy Lee

I agree the Co-op Funeral Care do deserve our gratitude as do you for all your hard work - well done. It would be nice to have a short grave side presentation on each defender. I recently attended a grave side memorial to 'James Cooper VC' SWB and it worked well there.

Once again Thank you for all your hard work for making this possible.



ps Rather negative thread Mike.
5th March 2004Neil Aspinshaw
Well done on the work getting this organised, I have lost your number...any chance you could e-mail me with it.
I drove through Ruddington this week and wondered how you had been getting on.


5th March 2004Steven Sass
If you could send me some additional information I could try to have something published in the journal of the National Funeral Directors Association, which has a broad membership throughout the US and Canada. I think it may generate some well deserved recognition for the good people at Nottingham Co-Op Funeral Care, as well as call attention to the woeful state of memorialization (if there is any at all, as in the case of Wood and Tongue) for the brave men who fought in the AZW.

Let me know what you think.


5th March 2004Graham Mason
I hope that come a final and set day for a dedication service for Pte Caleb Wood & Pte Robert Tongue there will not be a circus as such , despite at times differences in opinions regarding this subject ( Anglo Zulu War 1879 ) we all want to honour these men . It is heartening that " ordinary " men are being honoured in this way and we have the unique situation of 2 men who were defenders at Rorkes Drift being honoured in this way as was the recent Blue Plaque was for Fred Hitch in Chiswick in January , will we ever see Pte John Smith get an honour ? , all deserve some mention and although Fred won a VC he was a quiet and unassuming man as no doubt Caleb & Robert were . Hopefully there will be representation from all groups for these men and the 300 that turned out in Chiswick were not part of a circus in any way . I am confident that the families of these men are proud to have this honour bestowed upon these 2 men and whoever turns up will act with dignity towards these men who at last will have recognition for the brave stand they made in Jan 1879 , thank you ,
5th March 2004Kris
Dear Mike,
As a descendant of Caleb Wood, I would just like to re-assure you on behalf of myself and of the Tongue family, that our wishes have been given the utmost consideration by David Fox. We have been consulted at all times and asked for our preferences in all matters related to this rededication. Both families extend their deepest gratitude to the Co-op Funeral care for their generous offer, and to David Fox who has made it possible. Please be assured that all family members are more than happy with the arrangements David has made.
6th March 2004Martin Everett
An interesting point for the headstones that both Wood and Tongue did serve in the South Wales Borderers, but Andy Lee refers to Cooper VC as being SWB - he was in fact 2nd Battalion 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot.
10th March 2004David Glynne Fox
Hi Steven, thanks for your posting. I tried to contact you off-forum but the computer wouldn't have it. If you could let me have your full e-mail address and what particulars you would like, I would be glad to send them. Regards