Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts


Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts

Infobox Military Person
name= The Earl Roberts
lived= 30 September 183214 November 1914
placeofbirth= Cawnpore, India
placeofdeath= St Omer, France. Buried in St Paul's Cathedral, London.


caption="Lord Roberts of Kabul and Kandahar on his Celebrated Charger" [Harper's Magazine, European Edition, December 1897, p27]
nickname=Bobs
allegiance= flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom
branch=
serviceyears= 1851 - 1904
rank= Field Marshal
commands= Kuram field force
Kabul and Kandahar field forces
Governor of Natal
Commander-in-Chief of British forces in South Africa
Commander-in-Chief in Madras
Commander-in-Chief, India
Commander-in-Chief, Ireland
Command of British troops in Second Boer War
Commander-in-Chief of the Forces
unit=Royal Artillery
battles= Umbeyla Campaign (1863)
Abyssinian Campaign (1867–1868)
Lushai campaign (1871–1872)
Second Afghan War
Battle of Kandahar (1880)
Second Boer War (1899-1902)
awards= Victoria Cross
Knight of the Order of the Garter
Knight of the Order of St Patrick
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Order of Merit
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of India
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Indian Empire
laterwork=

Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, VC, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, PC (30 September 183214 November 1914) was a distinguished Anglo-Irish soldier and one of the most successful commanders of the Victorian era. He was affectionately known as 'Bobs' by the troops he commanded.

Early life

Born at Cawnpore, India on 30 September 1832, Roberts was the second son of General Sir Abraham Roberts, a member of the famous Waterford city family that contributed so much to the city. At the time Sir Abraham was commanding the 1st Bengal European Regiment. Roberts was named Sleigh in honour of the garrison commander, Major General William Sleigh. His mother was Isabella, daughter of Abraham Bunbury of Kilfeacle, County Tipperary. He was educated at Eton, Sandhurst and Addiscombe before entering the British East India Company Army as a Second Lieutenant with the Bengal Artillery on 12 December 1851.

Indian rebellion of 1857

He fought in the Indian rebellion, seeing action during the siege and capture of Delhi, and was present at the relief of Lucknow, where he was attached to the staff of Sir Colin Campbell, Commander In Chief, India. In January 1858, at Khudaganj, he won the Victoria Cross.

On 2 January 1858 at Khudaganj, India, on following up the retreating enemy, he saw in the distance two sepoys going away with a standard. He immediately gave chase, overtaking them just as they were about to enter a village. Although one of them fired at him, Roberts was not hit and took possession of the standard, cutting down the man who was carrying it. On the same day he saved the life of a sowar who was being attacked by a sepoy.

He married Nora Henrietta Bews on 17 May 1859.

Abyssinia and Afghanistan

After serving with the British Army in the Umbeyla and Abyssinian campaigns of 1863 and 1867–1868 respectively, Roberts fought in the Lushai campaign (1871–1872), for which he was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB). Six years later, he was promoted to Major-General and given command of the Kuram field force in the Second Afghan War, distinguishing himself enough to receive the thanks of Parliament and the Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB). In the wake of this success he was appointed commander of the Kabul and Kandahar field force, leading his 10,000 troops through Afghanistan to the relief of the latter city (" see" Battle of Kandahar). He also managed to capture Kabul, and defeated Muhammad Yakub Khan, the Afghan emir. For his services, Sir Frederick again received the thanks of Parliament, and was appointed both Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) and Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1880, becoming a baronet the following year.

After a very short interval as Governor of Natal and Commander-in-Chief of British forces in South Africa, Roberts (having been promoted to Lieutenant-General in 1883) was appointed Commander-in-Chief in Madras, a post he held for four years. In 1885 he succeeded this appointment as Commander-in-Chief throughout the whole of India, and two years later was appointed Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (GCIE). This was subsequently followed by his promotion to General in 1890, and in 1892 he was created Baron Roberts, of Kandahar in Afghanistan and of the City of Waterford.

After relinquishing his Indian command and becoming Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India in 1893, Lord Roberts two years later returned to his homeland as Commander-in-Chief of British forces in Ireland, becoming Field Marshal in 1895 and receiving the Order of St Patrick in 1897.

Boer War

Two years later, he returned to South Africa on the RMS "Donottar Castle" in command of British troops fighting in the Second Boer War, relieving Kimberley and advancing to Pretoria. After a year, he was succeeded in the command by Lord Kitchener, and returned to England to receive yet more honours: he was made a Knight of the Garter and also created Earl Roberts, of Kandahar in Afghanistan and Pretoria in the Transvaal Colony and of the City of Waterford, and Viscount St Pierre. He also became the honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards in 1900, an appointment he kept for the remainder of his life, which gained the regiment the nickname 'Our Bobs'. He was also the following year, in 1902, appointed one of the first members of the Order of Merit.

Later life

Lord Roberts served as the last Commander-in-Chief of the British Army for three years before the post was abolished in 1904, and for the last ten years of his life was showered with yet more honours, including numerous honorary degrees and the Colonelcy of the National Reserve. He was founding president of the Pilgrims Society in 1902. ["The Pilgrims of Great Britain: A Centennial History " (2002) - Anne Pimlott Baker, ISBN 1-86197-290-3] He was a keen advocate of introducing conscription in Britain (heading the National Service League) to prepare for a Great European War. Immediately after his return from the Boer War, he was instrumental in promoting the mass training of civilians in rifle shooting skills through membership of shooting clubs, and a facsimile of his signature appears to this day on all official targets of the National Smallbore Rifle Association. He died of pneumonia at St Omer, France, while visiting Indian troops fighting in the First World War. After lying in state in Westminster Hall (one of three non-Royals to do so in the 20th century, the others being Winston Churchill and Edward Carson.) He was awarded a State Funeral

Roberts' estate was probated in 1914 at £77,304 (equivalent to £4.8 million in 2004).

Both his sons predeceased him, including Frederick Hugh Sherston Roberts VC who was killed in action at the Battle of Colenso during the Boer War. Roberts and his son were one of only three pairs of fathers and sons to be awarded the VC. Today, their Victoria Crosses are in the National Army Museum. His barony became extinct, but under the special remainder granted with them he was succeeded in the earldom and viscountcy by his elder surviving daughter.

Roberts Barracks at Larkhill Garrison is named after him.

Titles and Honours

* 1858-1872 Frederick Roberts VC
* 1872-1878 Frederick Roberts VC CB
* 1878-1880 Major-General Frederick Roberts VC CB
* 1880-1881 Major-General Sir Frederick Roberts VC GCB CIE
* 1881-1883 Major-General The Rt Hon. Sir Frederick Roberts VC GCB CIE
* 1883-1887 Lieutenant-General The Rt Hon. Sir Frederick Roberts VC GCB CIE
* 1887-1890 Lieutenant-General The Rt Hon. Sir Frederick Roberts VC GCB GCIE
* 1890-1892 General The Rt Hon. Sir Frederick Roberts VC GCB GCIE
* 1892-1893 General The Rt Hon. The Lord Roberts VC GCB GCIE PC
* 1893-1895 General The Rt Hon. The Lord Roberts VC GCB GCSI GCIE PC
* 1895-1897 Field Marshal The Rt Hon. The Lord Roberts, VC GCB GCSI GCIE PC
* 1897-1900 Field Marshal The Rt Hon. The Lord Roberts VC KP GCB GCSI GCIE PC
* 1900-1902 Field Marshal The Rt Hon. The Earl Roberts VC KG KP GCB GCSI GCIE PC
* 1902-1914 Field Marshal The Rt Hon. The Earl Roberts VC KG KP GCB OM GCSI GCIE PC

Other

Roberts is a Senior Boys house at the Duke of York's Royal Military School, where, like Welbeck college all houses are named after prominent military figures.

Notes

References

*
*
*

External links

*gutenberg author| id=Frederick+Sleigh+Roberts | name=Frederick Roberts
* [http://www.garenewing.co.uk/angloafghanwar/articles/roberts_funeral.php Account of Earl Roberts' funeral]
* National Portrait Gallery: [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?search=ss&sText=Roberts&LinkID=mp03806 Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts (1832-1914), Field Marshal]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Frederick Roberts — Naissance 30 septembre 1832 Cawnpore, Inde Décès 14 novembre 1914 (à 72 ans) Origine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Frederick Roberts — or Fred Roberts may refer to:* Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts (1832 ndash;1914), Anglo Irish soldier and one of the most successful commanders of the Victorian era * Frederick Hugh Sherston Roberts (1872 ndash;1899), Anglo Irish soldier, the …   Wikipedia

  • Frederick Roberts, 1. Earl Roberts — John Singer Sargent: Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1. Earl Roberts, Öl auf Leinwand, 1906 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roberts, Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl, Viscount St. Pierre — ▪ British field marshal also called  (from 1892) Baron Roberts Of Kandahar   born Sept. 30, 1832, Cawnpore, India died Nov. 14, 1914, Saint Omer, Fr.       British field marshal, an outstanding combat leader in the Second Afghan War (1878–80) and …   Universalium

  • Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma — Admiral of the Fleet The Right Honourable The Earl Mountbatten of Burma KG GCB OM GCSI GCIE GCVO DSO PC FRS …   Wikipedia

  • David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty — Admiral of the Fleet The Earl Beatty Born 17 January 1871(1871 01 17) Nantwich, Cheshire …   Wikipedia

  • Kitchener, Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl — ▪ British field marshal in full  Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and of Broome  also known as  Viscount Broome of Broome, Baron Denton of Denton , also called  Baron Kitchener of Khartoum and of Aspall (from 1898)  and… …   Universalium

  • Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener — Infobox Military Person name=Field Marshal The Earl Kitchener lived= 24 June 1850 – 5 June 1916 caption= nickname= placeofbirth= Ballylongford, County Kerry, Ireland placeofdeath= HMS Hampshire , sunk west of the Orkney Islands, Scotland (aged… …   Wikipedia

  • E. F. L. Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax — Infobox Officeholder honorific prefix = The Right Honourable name = 1st Earl of Halifax honorific suffix = KG, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, PC imagesize = 230px order = Viceroy of India term start = 3 April 1926 term end = 18 April 1931 predecessor =… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Derby — Robert I de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Derby (c. 1062 1139), was born in Derbyshire, England, a younger son of Henry de Ferrières and his wife Bertha Roberts (I Aigle). His father, born in Ferrieres, Normandy, France accompanied William the Conqueror… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.