Francis Grenfell, 1st Baron Grenfell

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The Lord Grenfell
Francis Wallace Grenfell.jpg
Lord Grenfell
Born 29 April 1841
Swansea, Wales
Died 27 January 1925 (aged 83)
Windlesham, Surrey
Buried at Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1859–1908
Rank Field Marshal
Commands held Egyptian Army
4th Army Corps
Commander-in-Chief, Ireland
Battles/wars 9th Xhosa War
Anglo-Zulu War
Anglo-Egyptian War
Mahdist War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Other work Pilgrims Society
Winchester Cathedral, memorial for Field Marshal Lord Grenfell

Field Marshal Francis Wallace Grenfell, 1st Baron Grenfell, GCB, GCMG, PC (29 April 1841 – 27 January 1925) was a British Army officer. After serving as aide-de-camp to the Commander-in-Chief, South Africa, he fought in the 9th Xhosa War, the Anglo-Zulu War and then the Anglo-Egyptian War. He went on to become Sirdar (Commander-in-Chief) of the Egyptian Army and commanded the forces at the Battle of Suakin in December 1888 and at the Battle of Toski in August 1889 during the Mahdist War. After that he became Governor of Malta and then Commander-in-Chief, Ireland before retiring in 1908.

Early life and career[edit]

Born the son of Pascoe St Leger Grenfell and Catherine Anne Grenfell (née Du Pre), Grenfell was educated at Milton Abbas School in Dorset but decided to leave school early.[1]

Military career[edit]

Grenfell purchased a commission as an ensign in the 3rd Battalion of the 60th Royal Rifles on 5 August 1859.[2] He then purchased promotion to lieutenant on 21 July 1863[3] and to captain (in the last year in which purchase was allowed) on 28 October 1871.[4] He became aide-de-camp to Sir Arthur Cunynghame, Commander-in-Chief, South Africa, in 1874.[5] After taking part in the Battle of Quintana in February 1878 during the 9th Xhosa War in 1878, he was promoted to brevet major on 11 November 1878.[6] He next fought at the Battle of Ulundi in July 1879 during the Anglo-Zulu War and then returned to England to become brigade major at Shorncliffe Army Camp shortly before he was promoted to brevet lieutenant colonel on 29 November 1879.[5] He became brigade major of an infantry brigade in South Africa in April 1881[7] and, having been promoted to the substantive rank of major on 1 July 1881,[8] he fought at the Battle of Tel el-Kebir in September 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War.[5] Promoted to brevet colonel on 18 November 1882, he was made aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria that same year.[1]

Grenfell became Deputy Sirdar (Commander-in-Chief) of the Egyptian Army in late 1882 and, after commanding the Egyptian troops stationed at Aswan during the Nile Expedition, he became Sirdar himself in April 1885.[5] He was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath on 25 August 1885,[9] and having led his troops at the Battle of Ginnis in December 1885, was promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant-colonel on 7 January 1886.[10] He was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 25 November 1886.[11] He went on to command the forces at the Battle of Suakin in December 1888 and at the Battle of Toski in August 1889 during the Mahdist War and was promoted to major-general for distinguished service in the field on 3 August 1889.[12] In recognition of the transformation he had achieved in making the Egyptian Army a successful fighting force, he was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George on leaving Egypt on 25 May 1892.[13]

The Battle of Toski, at which Grenfell commanded the British forces, during the Mahdist War

Returning to England Grenfell became Deputy Adjutant-General at the War Office in 1892 and Inspector General of Auxiliary Forces at the War Office in August 1894.[14] He returned to Egypt to command the British forces there (under the new Sirdar) in 1897, and having been promoted to lieutenant-general on 1 April 1898,[15] he was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 15 November 1898.[16] He became Governor of Malta[17] with the local rank of general on 1 January 1899[18] and was created Baron Grenfell, of Kilvey in the County of Glamorgan on 15 July 1902.[19] He went on to command the newly created 4th Army Corps in April 1903[20] and, having been promoted to full general on 16 March 1904,[21] he became Commander-in-Chief, Ireland and General Officer Commanding 3rd Army Corps in May 1904.[22] He was promoted to field marshal on retirement on 11 April 1908.[23] In May 1910 he attended the funeral of King Edward VII[24] and in June 1911 he attended the coronation of King George V.[25]

Grenfell served as colonel of the 1st Surrey (South London) Regiment,[26] colonel of the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards and then colonel of the 1st Regiment of Life Guards[27] as well as, latterly, colonel commandant the King's Royal Rifle Corps[28] and colonel of the King's Own Malta Regiment of Militia.[29] He was also a founding committee member of the Pilgrims Society in 1902.[30] He died aged 83 at Windlesham in Surrey on 27 January 1925 and was buried at St Mary and All Saints Churchyard at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire.[31]

Family[edit]

In 1887 Grenfell married Evelyn Wood, daughter of Major General Robert Blucher Wood; they had no children. Following the death of his first wife, he married Margaret Majendie (daughter of Lewis Majendie MP) in 1903; they had two sons and a daughter.[23]

Arms[edit]

Arms of Grenfell

Arms of Grenfell: Gules, on a fess between three clarions or a mural crown of the first.[32] These arms are a difference of the arms of the ancient family of Grenville (alias Granville, Greenfield, etc.) of Bideford in Devon and Stowe in Cornwall.

Foreign decorations[edit]

Grenfell was awarded the Order of the Medjidie (second class) and the Order of Osmanieh (third class) on 27 May 1886.[33] He was advanced to the Order of the Medjidie (first class) on 17 May 1888[34] and to the Order of Osmanieh (first class) on 25 July 1892.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Francis Grenfell, 1st Baron Grenfell". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22295. p. 3005. 5 August 1859. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22755. p. 3618. 21 July 1863. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23789. p. 4386. 27 October 1871. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d Heathcote, p. 152
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24650. p. 6683. 28 November 1878. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24947. p. 1072. 8 March 1881. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24999. p. 3677. 26 July 1881. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25505. p. 4050. 25 August 1885. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25573. p. 1536. 30 March 1886. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25650. p. 5975. 26 November 1886. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25963. p. 4318. 9 August 1889. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26291. p. 3139. 25 May 1892. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26544. p. 4867. 21 August 1894. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26958. p. 2439. 19 April 1898. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27023. p. 6688. 15 November 1898. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27024. p. 6791. 18 November 1898. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27059. p. 1513. 3 March 1899. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27455. p. 4587. 18 July 1902. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27545. p. 2527. 21 April 1903. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27666. p. 2302. 12 April 1904. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27676. p. 3083. 13 May 1904. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  23. ^ a b Heathcote, p. 153
  24. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28401. p. 5473. 26 July 1910. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28535. p. 7081. 26 September 1911. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25987. p. 5668. 25 October 1889. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28020. p. 3192. 10 May 1907. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27023. p. 6692. 15 November 1898. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  29. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28940. p. 8254. 16 October 1914. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  30. ^ The Pilgrims of Great Britain: A Centennial History (2002) – Anne Pimlott Baker, ISBN 1-86197-290-3
  31. ^ "Francis Grenfell, 1st Baron Grenfell". Find-a-Grave. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  32. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.510
  33. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25591. p. 2572. 28 May 1886. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  34. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25817. p. 2828. 18 May 1888. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  35. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26310. p. 4247. 26 July 1892. Retrieved 17 August 2013.

Sources[edit]

  • Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals 1736–1997. Barnsley (UK): Pen & Sword. ISBN 0-85052-696-5. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Obituary in The Times, 28 January 1925
  • Grenfell, Lord (1925). Memoirs of Lord Grenfell. Hodder & Stoughton. ASIN B0008564IE. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Evelyn Wood
Sirdar of the Egyptian Army
1885–1892
Succeeded by
Lord Kitchener
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Fremantle
Governor of Malta
1899–1903
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Clarke
Military offices
Preceded by
HRH The Duke of Connaught
Commander-in-Chief, Ireland
1904–1908
Succeeded by
Sir Neville Lyttelton
Preceded by
Sir Redvers Buller
Colonel-Commandant of the 2nd Battalion
King's Royal Rifle Corps

1898–1908
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Hutton
Preceded by
The Lord Chelmsford
Colonel of the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards
1905–1907
Succeeded by
The Earl of Dundonald
Preceded by
The Lord de Ros
Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Life Guards
1907–1920
Succeeded by
The Viscount Allenby
Preceded by
Sir Redvers Buller
Colonel-Commandant of the 1st Battalion
King's Royal Rifle Corps

1908–1925
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Morland
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Grenfell
1902–1925
Succeeded by
Pascoe Grenfell