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DateOriginal Topic
2nd January 2005Photograph of Adendorff?
By Glenn Wade
Is anybody certain if the supposed photograph of Lt Adendorff in Ian Knight's 'Nothing remains but to fight' is the man himself?
2nd January 2005Chris
I'd have thought that if it is Ian Knight's name on the book, you can take it to the bank.
3rd January 2005Robert Jones
I agree--and while you are there you could even cash it!
3rd January 2005Peter Ewart

I think what Glenn is getting at is that Ian Knight's caption to the photo indicated that he didn't know whether it was Adendorff or not, the original in the Talana Museum merely bearing the name "Adendorf" (sic) on the reverse. In other words, there were plenty of Adendorffs in Natal - could this just possibly be THE Adendorff, by any chance?

The question is whether it has been possible, in the 12 years which have elapsed since publication of Ian's book, for anyone to establish matters one way or another. I certainly have heard anything.

Others who have researched the Adenforff family/families in recent years may be able to help. There was a recent Adendorff thread on this forum but it ws one of those lost in the crash, unfortunately.

3rd January 2005Peter Ewart
For "have heard" please read "haven't heard" (para 3 above).

Incidentally, there was an Adendorff involved in the 1879 commemorations, whom the Adendorff family historians presumably know about?

3rd January 2005Peter Ewart
For 1879 read 1979! (Force of habit ...)

3rd January 2005Paul Cubbin
Peter - I take it then that Adendorff has now been identified as a real person? I guess my books are a little out of date as they mention him, but cast doubt on his whereabouts - he is mentioned by some people as being present but not by others. Do you think this was just an accidental omission since he wasn't in the 24th? Or has new-ish information been found?
4th January 2005Peter Ewart

He was most certainly a real person all right! (Ian Knight's caption of a snapshot purporting to be AN Adendorff simply surmised whether it might the THE very Adendorff. IK showed typical and commendable objectivity in not claiming it to BE the very man).

Yes, doubts had, in the past, been cast about his movements, actions and whereabouts on that day (but certainly not to his existence). I think one of them was the late author of the book you've just finished reading.

However, I'm not aware of any of the more recent researchers who have followed that claim, as they have preferred to rely on their own examination and careful evaluation of primary sources and have independently, it seems, come to their own conclusions.

The upshot is that experts such as Julian Whybra, John Young, Lee Stevenson and other authors have finally "put to bed" the notion that Adendorff was anything other than the only man known to have taken part in both the Battle of Isandlwana and the Defence of Rorke's Drift - quite a distinguished claim for his descendants, and there are a few of them about!

So the currently accepted view is that Adendorff is unique. A trawl of the back postings of this forum will give you a fair bit of detail behind the reasons for this position.

P.S. Unless there are still any genuine doubters I haven't heard of?

PPS - another trawl will provide you with numerous other reasons why Morris's work is often seen in a different light these days.
4th January 2005Julian Whybra
According to the family, the photo is genuine and is the Adendorff in question.
4th January 2005Glenn Wade
Thank you gentlemen