rorkesdriftvc.com Forum Index


rorkesdriftvc.com
Discussions related to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879
Reply to topic
Sgt Stratton 2 /24th
Sapper Mason


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 333
Location: ANGLESEY
Reply with quote
Smile ,
Dear Forum , I am not sure if this topic has been covered before , if so apologies , if not perhaps someone can enlighten me please.

Page 160 ( Road To Isandlwana by Philip Gon )

" Sgt Stratton , while directing the fire of his section , suddenly turned to the soldiers nearest him and yelled a quick , cheerful farewell. He then placed his rifle barrel in his mouth and blew his head off. Stratton had appeared quite happy that morning , but some of the men later recalled a remark he had made about shooting himself rather than fall into XHOSA hands. Yet when he shot himself , it was the XHOSA who were in danger of being taken prisoner. Stratton was buried in a shallow grave where he fell. The following morning his body was discovered sitting bolt upright in its grave, as if regretting a hasty decision. It turned out someone had thought it a great waste to bury a good pair of boots along with the Sgt" .

Quite a story you will agree . Then i read this same person is indicated as having died of disease at PMB on the 30th April 1878 ! . I think you will agree quite a diffrence in the fate concerning Sgt Stratton. It poses the question , where did Philip Gon get this information and as i have not seen regimental records i cannot form an opinion on the fate of said Sgt Stratton .

As Norman Holme points out it would be very difficult to dispatch oneself with a rifle in this manner . I have some data on Sgt Stratton but would appreciate the CORRECT circumstance regarding this man , thank you , " Sapper "
View user's profileSend private message
Keith Smith


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 540
Location: Northern NSW, Australia
Reply with quote
Graham

I can't help you with the source of Gon's tale but I can tell you that elsewhere he has misled his readers with regard to witnesses to the Isandlwana eclipse. He says that Lieutenant Wilfred Heaton noted in his diary that the eclipse of the sun began at 11:51 (p. 228). This information was, in fact, printed by the diary publisher. I know this to be a fact as Martin Everett showed me Heaton's diary several years ago.
Mr Gon's tales should therefore be treated with some scepticism.

KIS
View user's profileSend private message
Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 781
Location: Brecon
Reply with quote
2-24/1680 Sgt Alfred Stratton is commemorated by name at the Edward Street – Garden of Remembrance in King William’s Town. This cemetery contains the remains of soldiers of the 24th moved there in 1972 from Pirie Bush Post, Fort Jackson, Fort White, Kabousie, Izeli, Bailie’s Post, Fort Murray, Debe Nek, Isidence and Mncoesha. So one can assume that Sgt Stratton was originally buried in one of these places.

As to the cause of death, there are some sources:
1. Norman Holme in The Noble 24th states he died of disease taken from the muster roll (WO16/1579?) and place was Pietermartzburg. Did he get the place wrong?
2. See Philip Gon’s The Road to Isandlwana, page 160.
3. Medal Roll for 2/24th states Died of Disease on 3/4/1878 (?).
4. He is recorded in the casualty roll WO25/3368 – which is often inaccurate over dates and spelling of names – and caused further mis-entries to be carried over into the London Gazette and ‘Casualty Roll for Zulu & Basuto Wars’ 1877-79 by I T Tavender. So all three sources are, are in my view, less than reliable and caused many problems with casual researchers.
5. The key document has to be the Pay & Muster Roll for 2/24th 1878-79 – WO16/1579 – which from memory states ‘died of disease 30/4/1878’.

Remember that 711 men of the 24th Regiment were lost in South Africa during the period 1875-1879 – nearly a battalion’s worth of soldiers.

That’s best I can do.

_________________
Martin Everett
Brecon, Powys
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailVisit poster's website
Thank You.
Sapper Mason


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 333
Location: ANGLESEY
Reply with quote
Smile , Dear Martin , Thank you for the information on this forum regarding Sgt Stratton . I have only recently received a copy of the GON book and do find it rather alarming that he refers to a headless corpse sitting upright in his grave minus his boots ! , the regimental records having has died of disease !!! , quite a difference in circumstance . I ask myself what source Mr Gon employed to come to this dramatic item on page 160 of his book ? . If i were a descendant of Sgt Stratton i would be quite upset at this quite frankly and hope if there are descendants the fate of their ancestor proved to be the version held by the regiment. It`s quite obvious that an immense amount of research still needs to be carried out by full - time reseachers and the casual ones as well . If there were ever a further reprint of " The Noble 24 th " i hope someone would investigate this particular incident more fully . Thank you again for your detailed response Martin , " Sapper "
View user's profileSend private message
Sgt Stratton 2 /24th
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
All times are GMT  
Page 1 of 1  

  
  
 Reply to topic