Forty-one years in India

Author :Frederick Sleigh Roberts [Earl]

Category : Home

ISBN No :

Language :English

Formats: ePub



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I would never have ventured to intrude upon the public with my personal reminiscences had I not been urged to do so by friends who, being interested themselves in what I was able to tell them of India as my father knew it, and as I found it and left it, persuaded me that my experiences of the many and various aspects under which I have known the wonderful land of my adoption and its interesting peoples would be useful to my countrymen. It was thought that I might thus contribute towards a more intimate knowledge of the glorious heritage our forefathers have bequeathed to us, than the greater number of them possess, and towards helping them to understand the characteristics and requirements of the numerous and widely different races by whom India is inhabited.

It is difficult for people who know nothing of Natives to understand and appreciate the value they set on cherished customs, peculiar idiosyncrasies, and fixed prejudices, all of which must be carefully studied by those who are placed in the position of their Rulers, if the suzerain Power is to keep their respect and gain their gratitude and affection.

Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts VC, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, KStJ, VD, PC (30 September 1832 – 14 November 1914) was a British soldier who was one of the most successful commanders of the 19th century. He served in the Indian rebellion, the Expedition to Abyssinia and the Second Anglo-Afghan War before leading British Forces to success in the Second Boer War. He also became the last Commander-in-Chief of the Forces before the post was abolished in 1904.

Born at Cawnpore, India, on 30 September 1832, Roberts was the son of General Sir Abraham Roberts, a native of county Waterford in the south-east of Ireland. 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 Edinburgh-born Isabella Bunbury, daughter of Major Abraham Bunbury from Kilfeacle in County Tipperary.

Roberts was educated at Eton, Sandhurst,and Addiscombe Military Seminary before entering the East India Company Army as a second lieutenant with the Bengal Artillery on 12 December 1851. He became Aide-de-Camp to his father in 1852, transferred to the Bengal Horse Artillery in 1854 and was promoted to lieutenant on 31 May 1857.

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