The Rorke's Drift VC
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|30th April 2004||572 Pvt Thomas Parry -1st-24th|
I notice in the new book "Rorke's Drift - By those who were there", a letter from the above soldier in which he claims to have been in the defence of RD. "The Noble 24th" lists him as being with the men out with Chelmsford that day. Also, he is not mentioned as being present in any of the rolls. Does this mean he has used a little licence in his letter and was not present during the attack?
|30th April 2004||Juian whybra|
He was not present at RD.
|1st May 2004||Graham Mason|
It is well known that the 24th ( amongst others ) were not known for keeping the best of records , a high flyer such as C / Sgt Bourne had TWO lists and Chard if certain " rumours " are to be believed got Cantwell to compile a list amongst others . Having a Chief Clerk there in the form of C/ SGT Mabin poses the question why was he not asked to complile a roll call of those present ? .
Thomas Parry could well have turned back with his lame horse , got to the drift and took part in the defence , all we have is his letter saying he was there . He must be on that list of might have been men at the very worst .
Controversey surrounds Adendorff just as much and so for Pte Frederick Evans Mounted Inf who was shown as being there but some believe he was the Mounted Infantry man who rode into camp that day . Again he may have been put on the garrison strength and THOMAS PARRY not . In the heat of battle and the emotional aftermath mistakes are bound to be made THOMAS PARRY , ADENDORFF and Pte FREDERICK EVAN ( Mtd Inf ) must be considered worthy of research at least , answer ? , invent a time machine , we all go back and see for ourselves what was what , thank you . Graham .
|6th May 2004||Julian Whybra|
25B/572 Pte. Thomas Parry In a letter home dated 14th February 1879 published in The Herefordshire Times, 12th April 1879 (and also recorded in The Merthyr
Express, on the same date), this 1/24th D coy soldier related certain aspects of Isandhlwana in sketchy terms and then claimed that he was Bvt. Lieut.-Col. Pulleine’s groom. Pulleine’s horse had become lame and he took Parry’s horse instead, directing him to follow slowly with his own lame horse. Parry was delayed on the road so long that he did not reach the camp, but was on
the march with the lame horse when he met fugitives from Isandhlwana, returned to Rorke’s Drift, and fought in that battle with the garrison. There are a number of inconsistencies in the story. Pulleine arrived at No. 3 column on 17th January and moved up to Isandhlwana with it. If his horse went lame back in Natal there is no reason why he should instruct his groom to bring it into Zululand. Parry claimed to have met fugitives on the track between Rorke’s Drift and Isandhlwana – this is almost impossible since the track was cut early on in the battle of Isandhlwana by the Zulu reserve. No fugitive
escaped that way. There is no record of his having been Pulleine’s groom either (indeed D coy was stationed at Helpmekaar and it is more likely that he met fugitives between Helpmekaar and Rorke’s Drift). No-one at Rorke’s Drift recorded his presence at the fight there and his name does not appear on
any Roll of defenders. There is no sunstantive evidence that Parry should be included on any list of MIGHT HAVE BEENS.
Lieut Adendorff NNC
The evidence that Adendorff was present is conclusive. If Morris had never written that unsubstantiated paragrpah in TWOTS, no-one would ever have queried his presence. Every Roll includes him. There are any number of other defenders who witnessed his presence and actions incl the officer commanding Chard. Adendorff spoke to people post eventum about RD and their evidence is recorded (eg Stafford, Maxwell and Harford. Anyone who has read widely and researched RD to any slight degree can only be astonished that there is any case to answer re Adendorff. Those who doubt his presence should come up with evidence not unsubstantiated opinion based on secondary sources like TWOTS.
Pte Frederick Evans 2/24th
Evans's presence is recorded in 2 of the Rolls. He was NOT in the Mounted Infantry. There are NOT 'those who believe he was'. That misdirection was begun accidentally by Norman Holme (who later acknowledged the error). There were NO 2/24th in the 1st squadron MI of the 3rd Column. Look at the Payrolls! Read the research (it's in SOTQIssue 58/9). There is more evidence to support Evans's presence at RD than there is for many of the other defenders.