Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby grumpy » 24 May 2012 17:49

Rather a lot of doubts cast here: provenance is all important, I think, but a good story will be needed to cover the Merchant Navy in the conflict!
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby rivoniaboy » 25 May 2012 00:46

Burgher I think you may have missed the point.
The point being this:
1) Are the Flags the type that were manufactured during the Victorian era - the answer is clearly yes otherwise the whole exercise is pointless.
2)I come back to the point that it is inconceivable that the British forces were not carrying some form of identifying flag.To make my point- the 94th Regiment were known to have carried the Union Jack at the Battle of Bronkhorst Spruit which preceded the battle of Majuba Hill.To avoid capture of the Flag, it is reported that it was hidden under a womans dress.
3)The Boer forces were known to have stripped the British dead and prisoners of possessions and held a market where valuables and relics were traded.You know as well as I do the Flags would have been considered as "war booty".

Lets work on the premise that they may indeed be great find.
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby rivoniaboy » 25 May 2012 00:53

Grumpy
I don't think that Commander Romilly was that concerned as to which colour Ensign he would have been carrying on behalf of the Naval Brigade.The important thing, would have been to have a flag that represented the Royal Navy.Perhaps that was all that was available at the time.
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby rivoniaboy » 25 May 2012 01:22

Ed
The only marking on the edge of the Union Jack is the number 1 1/2 .
The Union Jack measures 26x52 inches.
The Red Ensign measures 46x21 1/2 inches.
If it is important I can email you a picture of the markings.

Cheers
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby ED, in Los Angeles » 25 May 2012 04:28

rivoniaboy,
Unfortunatly you are makeing a lot of assumption about the flags themselves.
1-The commander of the Navel brigade did not care if he had the proper flag
2-That they ARE actually made Boer war or Pre Boer war.
3-That these are bullet holed
4-That what you were told was true when you purchased the flags decades ago.

You are making all sorts of assumptions that we would have to agree with to prove your point that "they may indeed be a great find"

I would love to believe this is true but so many people come here with items that they want authenticated and produce nothing but speculation about the item. There are a lot of collectors here that collect many things.

Right now, all I see is a pair of flags with a 'claim to fame' and no evidence. Provenence is something that should stand a judgement in a court of law. And yes I realize that you are looking for provenence, but I just can't buy your speculation that these were captured at Majuba hill or any other hill.

If something does come along that tilts toward the flags being authentic, I will, of course, be very interested. I hope you stay with the forum.
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby rivoniaboy » 25 May 2012 05:48

Ed
I am not making any assumptions about the vintage of the Flags. They are either Victorian or they are not.
I am telling you that they are. You of course are entitled to your opinion.
I think as a Range Officer and gunnery instructor that I know the difference between a bullet hole and fabric decay.

I was told when I aquired the Flags that they were captured at Majuba - it is not my speculation, I am simply repeating what I was told. I initially went to the previous owner to purchase some coins, flags were not on my agenda.

Positive research is what is need here and your positive input would be welcome, how could you be of assistance?
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby Isandlwana » 30 May 2012 17:45

Rivoniaboy,

Re-your point:

I come back to the point that it is inconceivable that the British forces were not carrying some form of identifying flag.To make my point- the 94th Regiment were known to have carried the Union Jack at the Battle of Bronkhorst Spruit which preceded the battle of Majuba Hill.To avoid capture of the Flag, it is reported that it was hidden under a womans dress.


I take it you are referring to the 94th's Queen's Colour? Forgive me for being a pedant here but that was a 4 foot x 3 foot 6 inches Union FLAG, which had in its centre the Roman Numeral XCIV Ensigned with a Crown, it was not a JACK - Jacks are flown by ships.

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: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby grumpy » 30 May 2012 22:16

Just as well Majuba was not 6 months later or the battalion would not be numbered!
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby trooper » 31 May 2012 05:19

grumpy wrote:Just as well Majuba was not 6 months later or the battalion would not be numbered!


Even had Majuba been 6 months later it would have made no difference, the 94th, which became the 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers, didn't receive new colours until 11th July 1911 when they were presented by HM George Vth at Dublin. Trooper
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby grumpy » 31 May 2012 15:28

Not quite my point: six months later they would not have been a numbered regiment, but the second battalion of the Connaught Rangers. I was not discussing the emblazoning of the Colour.
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby rivoniaboy » 11 Jul 2012 22:55

Recieved this e-mail today and am so impressed with the time and effort spent by the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Our ref: 12/05/63

Dear Mr Price

Thank you for your e-mail dated 21 May. We apologise for the delay in responding to you. We have been experiencing a very busy period in the library reading room which has impacted on our capacity to reply to information service enquiries. I hope this has not inconvenienced you in any way.

I regret that we have looked in our catalogues and we hold no relevant diaries or documents relating to the ships Dido and Boadicea c.1881 when their naval brigades would have been in action at Majuba Hill.

I have however, checked the National Archives catalogue (whom I know you have contacted and they appear not to have even bothered to check their holdings for possible relevant documents) and have located that the ship’s logs are held there – whether they contain the information you are seeking, I am not able to say. The documents in question are:

ADM 53/11593 – HMS Boadicea ship log 6 Nov 1879 – 10 June 1881

ADM 53/11762 – HMS Dido ship log 6 Aug 1880-19 Jan 1882


However, since they are not available for viewing online, your only recourse would be to hire a researcher to check the documents out for you. If you look on their website you will be able to find details of experienced freelance researchers who may be able to take your search further. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/reco ... search.htm

I am sorry we are not able to assist you on this occasion.

Allison Wareham

Librarian

National Museum of the Royal Navy
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby Jocktamson » 01 Aug 2012 01:36

I think as a couple of posters have pointed out, without provenance its impossible to prove. Even with firm proof that these are of Victorian manufacture and if indeed you could confirm by some means that two flags were taken at Majuba, and even further if you could prove one was by chance a merchant navy flag how do you prove these are the two actual flags without a rock solid provenance, as in a period letter or photo showing the person with the flags or some paper trail saying they were sold at such and such an auction house in the distant past. It would be great to discover they were indeed the real thing, but i am afraid there is nothing other than a good story.
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby rivoniaboy » 01 Aug 2012 01:50

Provenance is what I am trying to establish.You are telling me and the other readers what we already know.Please stop going over the same ground.Why do you think that I am doing research?
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby Jocktamson » 01 Aug 2012 02:45

You don't have to be so defensive....you have NO PROVENANCE that's the whole point. Its impossible to establish provenance without you having in your possession tangible evidence showing some other proof than a story and two flags, one of which is a merchant navy ensign and has no reasonable explanation why it could have been at Majuba Hill. I do understand why you would like to establish your story, sometimes our hearts over rule our heads.
Last edited by Jocktamson on 02 Aug 2012 11:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flags captured at the Battle of Majuba Hill.

Postby Stuart_Bates » 01 Aug 2012 10:01

The killer for me is the Red Ensign, as what would that be doing with the Royal Naval detachment in this situation?

Burgher suggests that the flags were possibly taken from a dead or wounded sailor, but is there any evidence of blood stains? And if not why? I would suggest that the good Boers would not fire at a simple flag rather than the British soldiers/sailors. There is more evidence of blood in this topic I suggest.

However, it is indeed a truism that nothing is sacrosanct, and what is so often quoted from any published regulation is negated by a simple period photograph.

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