Major-General Sir Geoffrey Barton KCVO CB CMG


Geoffrey Barton commanded the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers from Sep 1890 to 1894. The photo shows him in his regimental uniform with colonel's rank insignia, but his medals show that the photo was taken after 1902 when he received the CMG. There are also his Queen's and King's medals for South Africa, the medal for the Ashanti Expedition, in which he was wounded, the Zulu War, the Nile Expedition and Egypt 1882. The large medal is the Turkish Order of the Medjidie. He also served in Hong Kong with the rank of lieutenant-colonel as Military Secretary to Major-General John Sargent.

Sir Geoffrey Barton achieved fame in the Boer War as a result of his command of the 6th (Fusiliers) Brigade in the South Natal Field Force, comprising 4 companies of the 2nd battalion Royal Fusiliers, 2nd Btn Royal Scots Fusiliers, 1st Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and the 2nd Btn Royal Irish Fusiliers. In his book 'From London to Ladysmith via Pretoria' Winston Churchill refers to the brigade as Barton's Brigade. Barton was familiar with at least two of the battalions having been a Royal Fusilier Officer who during the Ashanti Expedition of 1873 had served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Barton himself was wounded on 27th Feb 1900 in the relief of Ladysmith. When his brigade was held in reserve at Colenso he made the decision not to send them in to support the withdrawal of troops in the first attack, especially Dundonald's mounted troops and Hildyard's 2nd Brigade, a decision that was criticised for being over-cautious. After the relief of Ladysmith and Mafeking he was posted to the Transvaal to take command in the Krugersdorp and Pretoria districts until the end of the war.

After the Boer War he retired to Dumfrieshire and was involved in the Red Cross Society and the Boy Scouts. His marriage to Beryl Marie Baskerville Mackenzie resulted in 3 children, Philip in 1891, Charles in 1893 and Joanna in 1894.

1844 born on 22nd Feb in Stuttgart
1862 Entered Royal Fusiliers as an ensign. 30th Oct
1865 Lieutenant.
1869 Adjutant of 1st Btn Royal Fusiliers
1873 Ashanti Expedition attached to Welsh Fusiliers
1874 Captain in Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Nov
1874 ADC to Brigadier Shipley, Aldershot (until 1877)
1875 Returned to Royal Fusiliers
1879 Zulu War. OC 4th Btn NNC
1879 Battle of Gingindlovu 2nd Apr
1882 Egypt OC Foot Police. Kassasin, Tel-el-Kebir
1882 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel
1884 Hong Kong. Assistant Military Sec.
1885 Suakin. Assistant Military Sec.
1885 Served in Britain for several years
1889 Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB)
1890 Commanding Officer of 2nd Btn Royal Fusiliers (up to 1894)
1890 married Beryl Mackenzie
1895 AAG Thames District
1897 AAG Northwest District
1898 Major General. 27th Oct
1899 In Command of 6th (Fusiliers) Brigade
1899 Colenso. 15th Dec. Barton's decision criticized
1900 Colonel of 7th Royal Fusiliers. 1st May until his death
1901 Commanded Krugersdorp and Pretoria Districts
1902 Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG)
1904 Retired from Army. Aug
1906 Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO)
1922 Died on 8th July


Regimental Details | Colonels | Commanding Officers




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by Stephen Luscombe