It has been 140 years since the Battle of Isandhlwana, on 22nd January 1879, when up to 20,000 Zulu Warriors, attacked Regiments of Queen Victoria's Army, killing them all. A career soldier with the Royal Engineers, Colonel Anthony William Durnford was blamed for the disaster by General Chelmsford. He became the General's scapegoat.
Much has been written about him over the years, but little has been written of the events peculiar to his life. It takes family to understand their ancestor's characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, qualities, traits and behaviours. His brother wrote a memoir "A Soldier's Life and work in South Africa" 1872 - 1879, which included research to disprove the General's claims. Edward was to write an update in 1886, but didn't, as he was pressured.
Anthony Durnford had two families, his ancestral one, which we share, and his military one. Both had one thing in common, to prove that he did "follow orders". His brother investigated and in, 1882 published his findings. The Royal Engineers also investigated and amassed a huge file of evidence, never before seen by the public.
The Royal Engineers Evidence file, comprising over 300 pages of fact, has lain hidden from public view, in the drawers of the Royal Engineers Library since 1932. It rebukes much "confirmation bias" of currently held perceptions.
This file has been fully transcribed, placed in logical context, and additional research included from the Royal Archives, the National Army Museum and archives in South Africa.
"Durnford 1879" comprises 2 volumes and is an extension of Colonel Edward Durnford's research.
It could perhaps be described as a Military Mystery, created as a result of Genealogical research and Military History colliding. A story which would not be told, had it been for a series of "mistakes".