Roberts, Frederick Sleigh, 1st Earl Roberts of Kandahar

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Roberts, Frederick Sleigh, 1st Earl Roberts of Kandahar

(kăndəhär`), 1832–1914, British field marshal. He joined the Bengal artillery in 1851 and fought with distinction in the Indian Mutiny (1857–58), earning the Victoria Cross. By 1875 he was quartermaster general of the Indian army and a strong advocate of the "forward" policy of controlling the Himalayan passes to forestall Russian encroachments; this became the general defensive policy of the British in India. He became a popular British hero for the relief of Kandahar in the second Afghan War (1878–80). Roberts was made commander in chief of the Madras army in 1880 and of the entire Indian forces in 1885. In 1893 he returned to England and wrote his reminiscences, Forty-one Years in India (1897). He became field marshal in 1895. In 1899, when the English were meeting reverses at the hands of the Boers in the South African WarSouth African War
or Boer War,
1899–1902, war of the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State against Great Britain. Background
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, Roberts was appointed commander in chief. Aided by his chief of staff, Horatio Kitchener, Roberts reorganized the transport system, achieving a mobility that had been lacking. By late 1900 the war seemed near a successful conclusion, and Roberts was brought home, awarded an earldom, and appointed commander in chief of the British army. His office was abolished in 1904, and thereafter he devoted himself to the advocacy of compulsory military service for home defense.


See biography by D. James (1954).

References in periodicals archive ?
Army (retired) in which General Roberts identified the people in the photograph along with his description of the event.
1900: British forces under General Roberts captured Bloemfontein in the second Anglo-Boer War.
Major General Roberts said on whether William would serve in dangerous situations, 'I don't think it would be sensible to rule any of those things in or out.
Major General Roberts added, 'It's certain he will have an unusual military career.
In Kabul General Roberts argued for another approach: to march his forces the 300 odd miles south-west from Kabul to Kandahar.
Thus, on August 6 1879, General Roberts left Kabul at the head of 10,000 men, 2,000 native bearers, 4,500 mules and 912 donkeys.
who stumbles on a life-threatening plot by corrupt General Roberts (played by Martin Sheen) to control the weather.
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