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WILLIAM COMYNS (ACTIVE 1880)

Field Marshal Earl Roberts (1832-1914), in silver frame

1899 - 1900

RCIN 52388

A rectangular silver frame surmounted by a wreathed crown and banners, containing a photograph of Frederick Sleigh Roberts, first Earl Roberts of Kandahar, Pretoria and Waterford. Earl Roberts began his long and distinguished military career in the Bengal Artillery in India. At the time of the Indian Uprising in 1857, Roberts won the Victoria Cross for his actions at Khudaganj. After serving in Abyssinia, he was appointed in 1878 to the command of the Punjab frontier force. During the Afghan campaign of 1880 he led a column to relieve Kandahar, threatened with attack by the Afghans. As a result of this he became a popular hero. During the next two decades Roberts served as Commander-in-Chief, first in India and then in Ireland. On the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899 he was appointed to the supreme command of the British forces in South Africa, at the age of sixty-seven. Every important Boer town was in British hands by 24 September 1900 and by the close of the year, when he handed over the command to Kitchener, he had made victory certain by the reorganisation of the British transport system and by manoeuvring the Boers out of their positions. Roberts arrived back in England in January 1901 and was one of the last people to be received in audience at Osborne by Queen Victoria, three weeks before her death. On 2 January she gave him the Order of the Garter and an earldom, with a special remainder to his daughter, as his only son had been killed fighting in South Africa.

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