Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts

Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, VC, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, VD, PC, FRSGS (30 September 1832 – 14 November 1914), was a British Victorian era general who became one of the most successful British military commanders of his time. Born in India to an Anglo-Irish family, Roberts joined the East India Company Army and served as a young officer in the Indian Rebellion during which he was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry. He was then transferred to the British Army and fought in the Expedition to Abyssinia and the Second Anglo-Afghan War, in which his exploits earned him widespread fame. Roberts would go on to serve as the Commander-in-Chief, India before leading British Forces for a year during the Second Boer War. He also became the last Commander-in-Chief of the Forces before the post was abolished in 1904.

The Earl Roberts
Birth nameFrederick Sleigh Roberts
Nickname(s)Bobs
Born(1832-09-30)30 September 1832
Cawnpore, British India
Died14 November 1914(1914-11-14) (aged 82)
St Omer, France
Buried
AllegianceBritish Empire
Service/branchBengal Army
British Army
Years of service1851–1904
RankField Marshal
UnitRoyal Artillery
Commands heldCommander-in-Chief of the Forces
Command of British troops in Second Boer War until 1900
Commander-in-Chief, Ireland
Commander-in-Chief, India
Commander-in-Chief in Madras
Governor of Natal
Kabul and Kandahar Field Force
Kabul Field Force
Kurram Valley Field Force
Battles/warsIndian Rebellion

Umbeyla Campaign
1868 Expedition to Abyssinia

Lushai Expedition
Second Anglo-Afghan War

Second Boer War

AwardsVictoria Cross
Knight of the Order of the Garter
Knight of the Order of St Patrick
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Member of the Order of Merit
Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India
Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire
Knight of the Order of St John
Mentioned in Despatches
RelationsFrederick Roberts (son)
Sir Abraham Roberts (father)
Garter encircled shield of arms of Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, as displayed on his Order of the Garter stall plate in St. George's Chapel

A man of small stature, Roberts was affectionately known to his troops and the wider British public as "Bobs" and revered as one of Britain's leading military figures at a time when the British Empire reached the height of its power.[1] He became a symbol for the British Army and in later life became an influential proponent of stronger defence in response to the increasing threat that the German Empire posed to Britain in the lead up to the First World War.[2]