Basil Temple Blackwood

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Basil Temple Blackwood
Basil Temple Blackwood 1916.jpg
Lord Basil Temple Blackwood in the uniform of the Grenadier Guards in 1916
Born 4 November 1870
Clandeboye, Ireland
Died 3 July 1917(1917-07-03) (aged 46)
Ypres, Belgium
Occupation Lawyer, Administrator, Civil servant, Soldier.
Nationality British
Spouse Unmarried

Ian Basil Gawaine Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood (4 November 1870 – 3 July 1917) styled Lord Basil Temple Blackwood, was a British lawyer, civil servant and book illustrator.

Early life[edit]

Basil Temple Blackwood was the third son and fifth child of Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava and Hariot Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood. He was born in Clandeboye in Ireland. After spending part of his childhood in Canada, where his father was Governor General, he attended Harrow School.[1] He went up to Balliol College, Oxford in 1891, but never graduated. Whilst at Oxford, he became friends with Hilaire Belloc, with whom he would enjoy long walks and canoeing trips.[2]

Illustrations[edit]

In 1896, Belloc approached Blackwood to illustrate his book of humorous children's verse, The Bad Child's Book of Beasts.[3] Blackwood's amusing pen and ink sketches were in a style which has been described as "German expressionism",[4]:123 and were credited only to "B.T.B.". The book was an immediate success. Blackwood went on to illustrate several more of Belloc's books, including: The Modern Traveller (1898), A Moral Alphabet (1899), More Peers (1900), Cautionary Tales for Children (1907) and More Beasts for Worse Children (1910).[5] In the rhyming introduction to the Cautionary Tales, Belloc describes Blackwood's drawings as "...the nicest things you ever saw". Some critics claim that there is anti-Semitism in Blackwood's drawings.[4]:124

"Milner's Kindergarten"[edit]

Blackwood studied law and was called to the Bar in 1896.[6] In 1900, he was taken to South Africa by Lord Milner, who had been appointed High Commissioner of South Africa in 1897 and assembled a body of talented young assistants who became known as "Milner's Kindergarten". Blackwood was employed in the Judge Advocate's Department for a year, then was Assistant Colonial Secretary of Orange River Colony from 1901 to 1907. He became Colonial Secretary of Barbados in 1907 and returning to England in 1910, was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Land Development Commission.[7]

Military service[edit]

On the outbreak of World War I, Blackwood obtained a Commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 9th Lancers, at the age of 44. He served as a "galloper" at the Battle of Mons and was severely wounded in October 1914 and returned to the United Kingdom. While not yet fit for active service, he served in the Intelligence Corps, and was Private Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1916; but had recovered sufficiently to became a Lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards in the same year.[8] Blackwood was killed in action in a night raid at Boesinghe near Ypres on 4 July 1917.[9] His name is inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Who's Who, Volume 61, A & C Black 1909
  2. ^ Hilaire Belloc: A Biography, A N Wilson, Hamish Hamilton Ltd 1984 ISBN 0-241-11176-5 (p.51)
  3. ^ Old Thunder: a life of Hilaire Belloc, Joseph Pearce, Harper Collins Publishers 2001, ISBN 0-89870-942-3 (p.58)
  4. ^ a b Styles, Morag (1998). From the garden to the street : an introduction to 300 years of poetry for children. London: Cassell. 
  5. ^ Worldcat Identities: B.T.B. (Basil Temple Blackwood) 1870-1917
  6. ^ Harrow Memorials of the Great War: 23 August 1914, to 20 March 1915. Philip Lee Warner, 1918
  7. ^ The Anglo-American Establishment, Carroll Quigley, Books in Focus 1981 (Chapter 4)
  8. ^ Cracroft's Peerage: Dufferin and Ava, Marquess of (UK, 1888-1988)
  9. ^ Harrow Memorials of the Great War
  10. ^ Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Casualty Details