Lone grave at Rorkes drift

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Lone grave at Rorkes drift

Postby ray » 05 Jan 2018 11:52

There is a grave in the cemetary at Rorkes drift of a Private Thorne, 6th Dragoons, who drowned in the river on 25th Oct. 1884. Does anyone have any further information on this man?
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Re: Lone grave at Rorkes drift

Postby Isandlwana » 09 Jan 2018 16:04

Ray,

Nothing to do with the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. Private Thorne was drowned when a ferry was upset in the Mzinyathi (Buffalo) River. This happened during a period of unrest in the Kingdom of KwaZulu between King Cetshwayo kaMpande and his cousin, Zibhebhu kaMapita, inkosi of the Mandlakazi tribe, that followed the restoration, albeit with partial powers, of King Cetshwayo.

The 6th Dragoons had assisted in the evacuation of uSuthu - the Royal faction - refugees into the safety of British-controlled Natal to avoid further recriminations by Zibhebhu’s faction.

Have you tried contacting the regimental museum to see if they have further information? If not their address is:
The Inniskillings Museum,
The Castle, Enniskillen
BT74 7HL, UK

John Y.
Not theirs to save the day but where they stood, falling, to dye the earth
with brave men's blood for England's sake and duty...
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Re: Lone grave at Rorkes drift

Postby ray » 10 Jan 2018 18:01

Thank you John,
Since posting, I have had a search done in Kew.
There is little information on the records - his details are 2020 Herbert F. Thorne and he enlisted on 16June 1882, possibly from another regiment (no details). He joined the regiment in Africa from England on 29 March 1883. He remitted money to a Mrs. Thorne, but no indication whether mother or wife. That's about the sum of it, but no one of that first name appears on my family tree so I guess no further to go.
Years ago, I did enquire at the Royal Dragoon Guards ( successor regiment) museum in York, but they hold no records and referred me to Kew. Nothing also in the Natal newspapers of the time. However, a query to the address you mention may well be worthwhile.
Regards,
Ray
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Re: Lone grave at Rorkes drift

Postby Noman » 16 Jan 2018 18:46

I don't know if it still exists but there was a Journal of South African Militrary History...maybe a query would help :?:
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Re: Lone grave at Rorkes drift

Postby ray » 16 Jan 2018 23:27

Thank you. I had a look at the site, but don't think it covers the relevant event. Had he been a senior officer, history may have held more records, but a common soldier...?
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