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 TROOP SERGEANT MAJOR SIMEON KAMBULA,(EDENDALE), NATAL NATIVE HORSE

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PostSubject: TROOP SERGEANT MAJOR SIMEON KAMBULA,(EDENDALE), NATAL NATIVE HORSE   Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:30 pm

This non-commissioned officer has also set an excellent example to the men of the Troop, of courage and ready obedience under fire. At the White Umvolozi River on the occasion of Lieut Colonel Buller's reconnaissance towards "Ondine", the day before the Battle of Nodwengo, Simeon Kambula saved the life of an officer of the Frontier Light Horse, by bringing him out of a very heavy fire behind him on his horse. He was present at "Sandhlwana", "Hlobane", "Kambula" and "Nodwengo", besides many smaller actions, and has taken part in every patrol of the mounted Troops of the Flying Column, since 14 March 1879.'
The following day, 4 July, the Edendale Contingent was in action again, as Chelmsford moved his famous square past the Nodwengu kraal to the open ground in front of Ulundi. Sensing an easy victory, a repeat of Isandlwana, the Zulu impis hurled themselves at the exposed square. But they had not reckoned with the devastating effect of disciplined and controlled volley fire by the well-drilled British infantry. None reached closer than thirty paces. The attack began to falter. Then Chelmsford launched the 17th Lancers, as hesitation changed to retreat and soon to rout. 'In this pursuit' states the official report, 'the efficacy of the lance as a cavalry weapon was abundantly proved.' Buller's mounted men with the Natal Native Horse to the fore mopped up behind the Lancers. The Edendale men were the last to return to camp at the close of that well-fought day. Some 1 500 Zulus died on the battlefield. The Zulu military power was shattered. The Zulu War of 1879 was over.
Soon the Edendale Contingent could return home to be welcomed as heroes by their Elders and their people. They were given a banquet in Durban 'for having given good service at the chief action of the campaign'. Simeon Kambula had truly served 'The Great White Queen'. In due course he received the Distinguished Conduct Medal 'from the hands of an English General', wrote the Rev Owen Watkins, 'at a grand parade of the troops. Had he been a white man, he would have received The Victoria Cross'.


References
The Zulu War and the Colony of Natal (Natal Provincial Administration).
O Watkins, article in The Methodist Reader.
Cmdt S Bourquin.
Narrative of the Field Operations connected with the Zulu War of 1879,(London, 1881).
D R Morris The Washing of the Spears (London, 1966).
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TROOP SERGEANT MAJOR SIMEON KAMBULA,(EDENDALE), NATAL NATIVE HORSE
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