General Lord Roberts AKA "Bobs"

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Where: Waterford, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: Unknown

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
This Poole image of a much decorated British General is a fine portrait shot. Kipling adored Roberts and wrote a poem especially about him.
THERE’S a little red-faced man,
   Which is Bobs,
Rides the tallest ’orse ’e can—
   Our Bobs.
If it bucks or kicks or rears,
’E can sit for twenty years
With a smile round both ’is ears—
   Can’t yer, Bobs?

From our researchers we find that Field Marshal Viscount Roberts came from a Waterford family and he had strong Waterford roots. He was the winner of the Victoria Cross and had accumulated many decorations and awards including Knight of St. Patrick. Among the many positions he held was as the last Commander in Chief of the British Army.
Many thanks to Beachcomber Australia, Niall McAuley, Paul O'Farrell and many others for filling in the details on this distinguished soldier. Indeed not to allow Rudyard Kipling to be the only poet on the block Beachcomber composed a limerick especially for "Bobs"!
Map and tags updated.

Photographer: A. H. Poole

Collection: Poole Photographic Studio, Waterford

Date: Catalogue range c.1901-1954. Likely c.1901-1910. Certainly before 1914 (death)

NLI Ref: POOLEWP 0311

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 26911
ahpoole arthurhenripoole glassnegative nationallibraryofireland vc victoriacross frederick sleigh roberts limerickbybeachcomber skiingenthusiast general fieldmarshal earl viscount lordfrederickrobertsvc waterford newtown plaque war rudyardkipling poem battles orderofstpatrick dublin curraghmutiny poolephotographiccollection

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    derangedlemur

    • 24/Feb/2016 08:31:59

    The pocket general.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 24/Feb/2016 08:35:37

    He was a very small man but was genuinely respected by the men who served under him including the Irish men many of whom served with him in India!

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 24/Feb/2016 08:39:11

    Victoria Cross, VC - top left medal. Details at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Roberts,_1st_Earl_Roberts "He was awarded the Victoria Cross medal for actions on 2 January 1858 at Khudaganj. The citation reads: Lieutenant Roberts' gallantry has on every occasion been most marked. On following the retreating enemy on 2 January 1858, at Khodagunge, he saw in the distance two Sepoys going away with a standard. Lieutenant Roberts put spurs to his horse, and overtook them just as they were about to enter a village. They immediately turned round, and presented their muskets at him, and one of the men pulled the trigger, but fortunately the caps snapped, and the standard-bearer was cut down by this gallant young officer, and the standard taken possession of by him. He also, on the same day, cut down another Sepoy who was standing at bay, with musket and bayonet, keeping off a Sowar. Lieutenant Roberts rode to the assistance of the horseman, and, rushing at the Sepoy, with one blow of his sword cut him across the face, killing him on the spot.

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    Swordscookie

    • 24/Feb/2016 08:40:39

    Roberts actually lived in Waterford for a while which might explain why his portrait is among the Poole collection! There's a plaque on a wall out the Dunmore Road giving details!

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 24/Feb/2016 08:58:00

    Red Herring - Well I never! There is a pub in Sydney, Australia renamed (1901) after him. www.lordrobertshotel.com.au/

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 10:01:08

    Per https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia's wiki article: Born at Cawnpore, India, on 30 September 1832, Roberts was the son of General Sir Abraham Roberts, a native of County Waterford in the south-east of Ireland.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 10:17:26

    Also, Military Offices: Commander-in-Chief, Ireland 1895–1900 Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in South Africa 1900

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 24/Feb/2016 10:20:00

    The wiki article also says "He was promoted field marshal on 25 May 1895 and received the Order of St Patrick during 1897." at the end of this section en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Roberts,_1st_Earl_Roberts... Which implies this photo as "General" is before 1895, and there is no sign of the Order of St Patrick insignia (??) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_St_Patrick

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 10:20:37

    He died in 1914 - so that's a definite latest date.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 10:25:54

    At comeheretome, you can read about Roberts' horse Vonolel, buried in a grave at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 10:36:58

    Riverview House in Newtown (later the family home of Field Marshal Lord Roberts),

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 24/Feb/2016 10:52:50

    I cannot work out if the insignia on his left epaulette is for a Field Marshal or General ? Anyone know ? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_marshal_(United_Kingdom) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_(United_Kingdom)

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 10:54:16

    These images are in the archive again, like this one, listed as Press Agency Ltd, with title Earl Roberts : who is opening the Grand Military Bazaar Saturday 13th, Sounds like they were used in a newspaper story, which would give a latest date.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 11:33:31

    He would have been addressed as Lord Roberts from the time he was made a Baron in 1892. He could still be described in writing as Lord Roberts even after he was made an Earl and Viscount in 1901, so no help really.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 24/Feb/2016 11:58:05

    His medals are listed here with dates. I don't see the "Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902, with clasps: Cape Colony, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast." for example, which should have 5 clasps.

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    Rory_Sherlock

    • 24/Feb/2016 12:01:00

    I think it dates to between June 1893 and 1897, as he is wearing his star as a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India, but he's not wearing a star of the Order of St Patrick. One could narrow it a little further, since it is in the Poole collection (and therefore probably taken in Ireland) - he came to Ireland in the autumn of 1895 and was appointed to the Order of St Patrick in August 1897, so that leaves a window of a little less than two years in which this photo was probably taken.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 12:35:27

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I agree. Interestingly, he had been in Ireland before that, he was married in St. Patrick's Church, Patrick Street, Waterford on 17 May 1859

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 12:36:48

    I think this date fits with the second copy in the archive being labelled Earl Roberts - it dates from after he was Earled in 1901.

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    patrick.vickers1

    • 24/Feb/2016 13:49:11

    His son also won a Victoria Cross. And he reputably was behind the Curragh Incident of 1914. He also brought into being the 'concentration camps' in South Africa for which Kitchener was blamed.

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    ofarrl

    • 24/Feb/2016 14:37:14

    Roberts came from a very prominent Waterford family, his great grandfather was architect John Roberts who designed both of Waterford's cathedrals. Another member of the family was landscape artist Thomas Sautelle Roberts. I think 1895 is probably the year this was taken as he was promoted to Field Marshall and made commander in chief of the forces in Ireland. This is a carte de visite I have that was published by Poole from the above photo Field Marshall Frederick Sleigh Roberts

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    O Mac

    • 24/Feb/2016 14:54:47

    This same image was used in the London Illustrated News Dec 23 1899.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 15:16:51

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] That's a new latest date, so.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 15:33:23

    A newspaper search suggests Roberts was in Waterford in September 1893 and again in August 1896

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    sharon.corbet

    • 24/Feb/2016 16:33:48

    Kipling wrote a memorial poem on his death as well. Plus a Wax and calico doll representing Field Marshal Lord Roberts, is in the V&A in London.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 24/Feb/2016 16:56:52

    This 3/4 length version, beside the fancy hat as in [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] 's carte de visite, is catalogued as 1890-1910, which is more like it.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 24/Feb/2016 21:20:55

    The Not-Kipling 'Bobs' Limerick There once was a soldier called Bobs Who really got on with the jobs - The medals we see Include a VC, A this'n'that, and shiny thingamabobs.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 24/Feb/2016 22:49:02

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia The bould Rudyard himself would be proud of you!

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 25/Feb/2016 03:05:25

    Certainly you can narrow down the date range to 1901-1914, he was long gone by 1950 as the date above says. Nice sleuthing everyone. Here's my 2 eurocents worth (no pennies anymore in Canada): He penned a book about his time in India: www.gutenberg.org/files/16528/16528-h/16528-h.htm

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 25/Feb/2016 03:11:31

    Hmm, I doubt they were related, but seems to have been a Canadian soldier named after him.http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2266127

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 25/Feb/2016 03:18:30

    Oh, here's my fun tidbit. He was an avid athlete and ski enthusiast. Ski race in Switzerland named after him: "When not conducting colonial wars, however, Roberts was a keen sportsman, and after returning to Britain became vice-president of the Public Schools Alpine Sports Club and a significant patron of the emerging sport of downhill skiing. He gave his name to the “Roberts of Kandahar,” a 1911 race in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, a forerunner of the modern World Cup in which some of the most challenging races still bear his title." skicanadamag.com/travel/tour-of-duty and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kandahar_Ski_Club

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    Ray Mallon1

    • 25/Feb/2016 20:12:33

    The grave of Roberts' charger Vonolel (named after a Lushai warrior whose descendants Roberts had fought in 1871) is marked by a headstone in the gardens of The Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin.

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    henryfoster150

    • 31/Mar/2016 18:27:08

    Roberts is on the dark side of the Empire establishing concentration camps during the Boer war where 4,177 women, 22,074 children under sixteen and 1,676 men died. Emily Hobhouse is the real hero in bring this to our notice. www.sahistory.org.za/topic/women-children-white-concentra...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 31/Jul/2016 21:18:27

    Fantastic https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]! Thanks for choosing our image for such a brilliant piece of colourisation work.

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    Chicken 62

    • 01/Aug/2016 04:43:30

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Thank you very much also for you to share those photos

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 24/Aug/2017 10:04:52

    Just found this unusually chatty 1898 Trove article about "Field-Marshal Lord Roberts" - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/71285406