Matabele War and Rebellion

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Matabele War and Rebellion

Postby kopje » 03 Aug 2010 11:34

First posting here. My interest is the Matabele nation from the reign of King Shaka to the death of Cecil Rhodes, and the way events of that period shaped the history of Rhodesia and Zimbabwe.

Of special interest to me is the Matabele War of 1893/94 and the Rebellion of 1896/97 with special reference to the weapons used on both sides.

Regards
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Re: Matabele War and Rebellion

Postby matopos » 03 Aug 2010 16:18

Sorry about the duplicate user name. I thought I had previously registered, but had problems connecting and thought it had not registered properly and set up another link on my isp. All sorted now, and I will be using this forum under the name of 'matopos'

To add a bit to my original post, I have a Masters degree (MA) in South African and Zulu history, with Matabeleland as my core subject, and am now working on a PhD on 'Weapons of the Matabele War of 1893/94 and the Rebellion of 1896/97' Not just the technical stuff and development of the weapons, which is readily available to anyone, but what exactly they were and when and how they were used.

Most writers, with one or two notable exceptions, of the period were hunters, prospectors, farmers, miners, etc. Excellent riflemen with a good knowledge of the bush, who described tactics and the like, but had no eye for the finer points of ordnance, and the same weapons being used at different times and given different descriptions does not make it any easier, but I am getting there and hope to find a fellow enthusiast on this forum.
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Re: Matabele War and Rebellion

Postby KOYLI » 21 Jan 2013 20:48

Can anyone recommend literature on the first and or second Matabele Wars? I trying to construct links with the Jameson Raid
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Re: Matabele War and Rebellion

Postby kopje » 03 Jul 2017 15:52

I see it is nearly seven years since I posted of my interest in the Matabele Wars, and so sorry to have missed that 2013 request for information re linking with the Jameson Raid of December 1895 as that is something I could have helped with.

My interest in the old Rhodesia is still very much alive and I am currently working on schedules of deaths and presumed dead during the Rebellion of 1896/97, and am struck by the geographical locations being consistent with events of the war of 1893/94, giving rise to questions as to whether it was co-incidental, appropriate to the old Mzilikazi area of Matabeleand, or deliberately planned murders after the accidental start of the Rebellion one night earlier, i.e. on 24 March 1896 instead of the night of the full moon on 25 March.

I would like to hear from anybody with a similar interest.
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Re: Matabele War and Rebellion

Postby RobD » 03 Jul 2017 16:11

PM sent
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Re: Matabele War and Rebellion

Postby kopje » 03 Jul 2017 17:35

Thanks for the PM Rob, to which I have replied, but not sure if in trying to edit my message I deleted it, I will check it out.
Cheers,
John
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Re: Matabele War and Rebellion

Postby RobD » 03 Jul 2017 19:41

Hi Jon

I thought the other forummers might be interested: here's my Mk IV Martini Henry infantry rifle in .577/.450 calibre, with stamps of teh Southern Rhodesia Govt. and the Union of South Africa. I am interested to know whether this may have gone North with the pioneer columns of the British South Africa Company.

I have seen, for what it's worth, a standard Military Mk II Martini Henry stamped on the nocks form to the BSA Co.
Important to recognise, on a Victorian firearm, BSA Co is Cecil Rhodes' British South Africa Company.... and is different from the manufacturer, BSA&M Co., namely Birmingham Small Arms and Munitions Co.
Confusingly, BSA&M Co changed their logo to BSA Co some time prior to 1902.

Rob
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Re: Matabele War and Rebellion

Postby kopje » 04 Jul 2017 06:52

Hi Rob,
You are absolutely right in saying there will be others here who are interested in that rifle if anything to go by are the excellent replies I had to a mysterious Martini I posted on here some years ago, one which had been brought to UK from South Africa by an acquaintance of mine.

I doubt we will have the same success with this weapon, but I did trace the Bulawayo Gardner Gun (Serial No. 577) from factory to being downloaded from HMS Raleigh at Simonstown, taken north in 1890 for the Occupation of Mashonaland. It was at Battle of Shangani October 1893, Bembesi on 1 November 1893 where it featured in giving covering fire for what became the legend of White's Run, was in the Bulawayo Laager in 1896, then replaced the Poodle Lion on a plinth at junction of Selborne Avenue/Main Street, Bulawayo. It was pointed towards the Matopos Hills, stronghold of the rebels during the Rebellion.

I have some excellent photo's of my dear friend Jeremy W. of Bulawayo in the process of giving the gun a spring clean in he 1970's, and his description of the process, including a report of how the working parts had not been greased when it had been put on its plinth after the Rebellion, and had rusted beyond repair, and finally photo's of the gun in the National History Museum, Bulawayo.

Cheers,

John
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