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2nd June 2004pulleines body found by 17th lancers?
By steve
here is a quote from letters home on the samh site,
"i enclose you a card,a four of diamonds, which lay close to the colonel of the 24th.
they had evidently been playing cards, as a whole pack was kicked about"

would anyone know whether this is true or not.
3rd June 2004Julian whybra
More details please are required to give an adequate response. Who found it, whose letter, date, unit, etc.
3rd June 2004Martin Everett
We must be talking about June/July 1879 - when did the 17L arrive in SA? Would the cards still be there?
3rd June 2004steve
the quote above is reputed to be from a letter published in the sheffield daily telegraph, 5th july 1879,dated from rorkes drift 24th may.

I took the details from the samh site,from a paper published by frank emery,as you allready know,author of the red soldier.
Mr emery states that he draws on fresh letters which have come to light,since the publication of his book in 1977.
unfortunately he doesnt state the lancers name,but if true i am sure it would shed light on pulleines final moments.

i have listed the details and web link below.

south african military history site
military history journal vol5 n/o-5
the anglo zulu war as depicted in soldiers frank emey.

the letter is dated at rorkes drift 24th may, the 17th lancers i believe were part of the expedition of the 21st may,under gen.frederick marshall,and included other units.If the letter was genuine it would seem likely that the author was a member of the patrol on that date.
makes you wonder what a zulu would have made of playing cards,perhaps their were so many other interesting booty items,the cards maybe held no more facination than scraps of paper ,and other flotsom and jetsom.

best regards
3rd June 2004steve
just a quick note.

The sheffield daily telegraph 1855-1900 is electronically stored at sheffield university.
shelfmark rbr pamq942.741(s)
barcode 302750101

i have emailed the library for further assistance in obtaining more details on the elusive 17th lancers report.
best regards
4th June 2004Peter Quantrill
The exact quote is:
A man from the 17th Lancers, " I enclose you a card of four of diamonds which lay close to the colonel of the 24th ( i.e. Lt.Col. Pulleine).They had evidently been playing cards, for a whole pack was kicked about, lots of music, too, I picked up."
The source, as pointed out by Steve, is a paper by Frank Emery after publication of The Red Soldier.
Emery quotes his authority as : " Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 5 July 1879, dated from Rorke's Drift, 24 May." This indicates the Lancer was based at RD on that date.
4th June 2004John Young
Also appears in 'Marching over Africa' by Frank Emery, page 64. Same original source as quoted above.

Just to clarify for Martin's sake, the 17th Lancers were all ashore by 14th April, 1879 in Natal.

John Y.
4th June 2004Julian Whybra
Thanks John, that's where I've seen it before!
Re-reading it, it's interesting, if the lancer was correct in his identification, but sadly doesn't help identify the location as the playing cards could have come from anywhere, fallen from a pocket, been discarded by a fugitive, a Zulu, a.... Somehow, i don't see Pulleine having his fortune read at the last moment, do you?
4th June 2004John Young
This from Private Wye, 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards, does not mention any playing cards:

... I witnessed a horrible scene at Isandhlwana. The cavalry brigade was ordered there, and we marched over the disastrous place where the 24th were cut up. The men still remain unburied, and their bones are whitening in the sun. The stench was very bad. We all dismounted, took off our hats, and examined many of the bodies. Some lay in complete marching order. Most of them assegaied in many places, with their bodies ripped up, and maltreated in a manner too horrible to relate. One poor lad's head and hands were cut off and placed in his belly, his hands holding his head there. Another unfortunate lad was sitting in the attitude of putting a bandage on his leg, as though he were alive. Men were getting out of the bottom of tents just as if they still breathed the breath of life. We went further amongst the waggons, and found everything in confusion. Stores of potted meat, new shoes, and every description else were all over the spot, scattered, and assegaied. One of our officers recognized the bodies of the Colonel and his Lieutenant, lying beside each other, and we buried them. I might remark here on the sagacity of the horse. When we got mounted it was just as if they knew all about it. Some commenced neighing, and it was wonderful how careful they were not to tread on any bodies. They would go round them, rather than tread on them. The first thing we did on our arrival was to look in every kraal round about there, set fire to them, and away we went. I could tell a book-full about the horrors I witnessed, but let us away from this scene of sorrow...'

Leicester Mercury, Saturday, July 19th, 1879

John Y.
4th June 2004steve
thanks for the full quote,by music i would assume they meant sheet music,and would probably have belonged to the regimental band.
thanks for the passage from private wye,i hadnt seen that report before,very interesting,
would the officer have filed a report on the colonels burial place?
i agree , i dont think the colonel would have carried cards.Probably discarded,as was the sheet music,by a triumphant zulu raiding the tent area,who then saw something even more interesting to loot.