rorkesdriftvc.com Forum Index


rorkesdriftvc.com
Discussions related to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879
Reply to topic
Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
Reply with quote
Sapper

No, as far as I know "Bob Head" did not claim to be an Isandlwana survivor but a R/Drift defender.

As I'm sure you'll recall from detailed discussions about Bob Head on the old and new forum, the letter to his brother was apparently published in the Irish Times in 1879 and an account of his death appeared in the same paper in 1932. You're probably also familiar with the coverage of these press reports in Alan Baynham Jones' & Lee Stevenson's work, RDbyTWWT.

I still find this confusing. I would have thought "Bob Head" would have been the letter writer's "civvie" name, known to his brother back home but not necessarily (at least at first) to the Army, but I gather that Bob Head is assumed to be John Fielding/Williams VC these days, unless I've misunderstood something somewhere. So presumably Bob Head was therefore an early "civvie" alias of John Fielding before he assumed Williams on enlistment? Is that it, or have I got it completely wrong? Someone will know! Julian? Lee?

Peter
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mail
Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
Reply with quote
Further to the above (i.e. the theory that John Fielding/Williams was Bob Head), the Irish Times report (reproduced in R/D by Those Who Were There) says that the brother whom Williams/Head wrote to was F. Williams, yet WG Lloyd, the biographer of John Fielding/Williams, gives the names of all John Fielding's brothers - and none begins with an "F."

Nowhere in his research on the Fielding family of Ireland and Cwmbran, or on the matter of the alias, does Lloyd mention any surname of "Head." The Irish Times claims Williams was the real surname and Head the alias - no mention of Fielding.

It seems to me that Bob Head is likely to be the civilian name (as Morris also presumes) rather than his assumed name on enlistment. Morris also asserts that Bob Head's letter was written to a brother in Cape Town, not Grafton Street (presumably meaning Grafton St., Dublin). Of course, true to form, Morris gives no source for this statement but his only possibly source, surely, can have been the letter itself or an envelope containing it. The original is still at Brecon, but presumably if any Cape Town clue can be found on - or with - the surviving letter, than it would have surfaced during the discussions of recent years? Unless the addressee is actually named - or his relationship made clear, as in "My dear brother" - do we know for certain that he was not writing to a sister? (Let alone that the sibling was residing in Cape Town, but surely not even Morris would have made that up completely - would he?) Can Martin, perhaps, confirm that Morris has quoted accurately and fully, with no clues omitted?

I can' t be the only one who finds the Bob Head-John Fielding/Williams theory unlikely, surely, unless there is alternative corroborative evidence linking them? Plenty of family research work has been done on these S Wales VCs - what is the considered view these days, please, among all these researchers?

Peter
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mail
Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 435
Reply with quote
Re Hudd, to help you I'm quoting from my own work:

25B/210 Pte. (George) William Hudd
In a newspaper article this 1/24th soldier claimed to have been wounded in the leg at, and been a survivor of, Isandhlwana. He claimed that he hid in bushes to elude the Zulus. He further claimed that the survivors, including himself, were met at Waterloo Station by Queen Victoria who shook hands with each man. This claim is without any validity whatsoever. Furthermore a modern American author compiled a work in which he maintained that Hudd participated in the defence of Rorke’s Drift (never so claimed by Hudd himself) and invented a preposterous series of events and miraculous escapes involving Hudd, for which there is no documentary or hearsay evidence whatsoever. To further complicate matters Hudd may well have enlisted under a false name and then reverted to his real name. The following entries occur in Holme under 1st battalion soldiers:

HUDD, William George. 25B/210 Private
Born at Warminster, Wiltshire. Attested at Devizes, Wiltshire 26/5/1874; age 19 years. In possession of 1 Good Conduct Badge. Obtained a 3rd Class Certificate if Education. Transferred to Army Reserve. Discharged 19/5/1886. South Africa Medal with clasp 1877-8-9.(Regimental property)

WYER, George. 25B/210 Private
Enlisted at Devizes, Wiltshire 23/5/1874; age 19 years. Transferred to Army Reserve prior to 16/11/1880. Discharged 31/5/1886. South Africa Medal with clasp 1877-8-9.

The regimental numbers, places and ages are the same. The dates are almost the same. Neither is Hudd listed in the Medal Roll but a medal exists in the regimental museum with his name inscribed around the edge. Hudd served in the Constabulary in Hastings after leaving the army and he left the army with an exemplary record. He served as William Hudd but his Parchment Certificate of Discharge has the Christian name George inserted before William. Further research may well establish that Hudd enlisted as ‘Wyer’ and then reverted to Hudd at some later date and that he was actually a member of D or G coy at Helpmekaar on the 22nd-23rd January 1879.
View user's profileSend private message
George W Hudd
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 2 of 2  

  
  
 Reply to topic