Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts
Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts Bt VC KG KP GCB OM GCSI GCIE KStJ PC (30 September 1832 – 14 November 1914) was one of the most distinguished commanders of the British Empire.
Career[change | change source]
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.
- "Lieutenant Roberts' gallantry has on every occasion been most marked".
Warning about Germany[change | change source]
In an important speech in Manchester on 22 October 1912 Roberts warned of the threat posed by Germany:
In the year 1912, just as in 1866 and just as in 1870, war will take place the instant the German forces by land and sea are, by their superiority at every point, as certain of victory as anything in human calculation can be made certain...We may stand still. Germany always advances and the direction of her advance, the line along which she is moving, is now most manifest. It is towards...complete supremacy by land and sea.
He claimed that Germany was making enormous efforts to prepare for war and ended his speech by saying:
Gentlemen, I say, “Arm and prepare to acquit yourselves like men, for the day of your ordeal is at hand”.
This speech was much criticised in the liberal and radical press, such as the Manchester Guardian. Much later, a historian said: "At this distance of time the verdict upon Lord Robert's Manchester speech must be that, in speaking out clearly on the probability of war, he was doing a patriotic service comparable to Churchill's during the Thirties".
Death[change | change source]
Roberts died on November 14, 1914. He died of pneumonia. He got sick when he was visiting British troops. Few non-royal people in four centuries have been given a State Funeral in the United Kingdom. Roberts was one of them.
Son a VC also[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- "Kipling and Lord Roberts". Kipling.org.uk. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- Gifford, Don; Robert J. Seidman (2008). Ulysses annotated: notes for James Joyce's Ulysses. University of California Press. p. 438. ISBN 978-0-520-25397-1. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- Robson, Brian 2008. Roberts, Frederick Sleigh, first Earl Roberts (1832–1914) in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 
- James, David 1954. Lord Roberts. London: Hollis & Carter, p. 424/8
- Terraine, John 1993. Impacts of War: 1914 & 1918. London: Leo Cooper, p. 38.
- "Rugby Union Footballers are Doing their Duty. Over 90% Have Enlisted. British Athletes! Will You Follow this Glorious Example?". World Digital Library. 1915. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- "No. 27160". The London Gazette. 26 January 1900.