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DateOriginal Topic
1st April 2003Sir Bartle Frere 2nd Bart
By Martin Everett
Why is Lt Frere - son of High Commissioner Sir Bartle - not listed in Mac & Shad. Rifle Brigade. He appears to have been ADC to Lord Chlemsford at Ulundi.
1st April 2003John Young

The only suggestion I can put forward that Lt. Bartle Compton Arthur Frere, of the 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own) was missed off when the work was compiled - he is not the only one!

I know of one officer who so unimpressed that he name did not feature on the pages that the publishers did him a special addendum. Which features in his own copy of the work.

The work like many others is not without error for example Richard Thomas Glyn becomes 'W.P. Glyn'.

John Y.
3rd April 2003Peter Ewart

Martin & John

As a piece of useless minutiae, you might (or might not!) like to know that besides Sir Bartle having a son serving in Zululand, a distant kinsman - the Rev Leonard Hanbury Frere - also served there, albeit a few years later (and as a missionary at Hlazakazi and other locations rather than as a soldier) in the 1890s. Given Sir Bartle's strong support for missionary work in India and Africa, his own earlier spell in Zanzibar and his publication "Eastern Africa as a Field for Missionary Labour," it's quite an interesting coincidence that Leonard Frere went on to serve in both Zanzibar and Zululand.

As Sir Bartle was born not a dozen miles (if my geography is correct!) from Martin's museum, it may be that he received the news of the losses at Isandlwana with almost as much sadness (as if the shock alone wasn't enough) as those in Brecon and Builth, etc?

3rd April 2003Martin Everett
That's true - he was born at Clydach, Brecknockshire - maybe that is why he donated the cross for Melvill and Coghill's grave at Fugitives' Drift.
3rd April 2003Peter Ewart

Yes, that sounds very plausible. However, perhaps an even stronger reason for his philanthropy may have been due to Coghill having very recently served Frere as extra ADC for nearly four months between mid-September 1878 and early Jan 1879.

The fact that Coghill was privy to the confidential Boundary Commission findings, as well as the conditions of the forthcoming ultimatum, suggests he worked very closely with the Governor once they'd moved up from the Cape to PMB, going by his correspondence with his parents.

Frere must have got to know Coghill very well in that short time and would presumably have been affected by his death and the reported courageous manner of it, as well as his having been partially involved & responsible during the the change of plans involving Melville's & Coghill's respective regimental duties back in September. And obviously he couldn't honour one officer and not the other.

What do you think?


26th April 2003Peter Ewart

Just reading the new Frere biography tonight & seen that one of his his younger brothers, Arthur, had been KIA while serving with the 24th in India. Not knowing how early your pre-SWB remit extends at the Museum, I wondered if you'd been aware of this - until I saw the footnote acknowledging your assistance on this very point!

The point is - reading about Frere & his brothers - surely he already had a soft spot for the 24th long before 1879, and perhaps identified with the two young officers in some way? This, of course, in addition to his recent very close association with Coghill anyway, which I rather think was the strongest reason of all for the memorial at FD.