Frederick Augustus Thesiger
2nd Lord Chelmsford GCB GCVO


Lord Chelmsford is most famous for having lost the battle of Isandlwana where the British Army was wiped out by the Zulus. When news of this disaster reached England, he was ordered to stand down and be replaced by Lord Wolesley. But the battle of Ulundi occurred before Wolesley arrived, and Chelmsford's reputation was restored, but not his command.

He had four sons, the eldest of whom became Viceroy of India. The photo shows him in the scarlet uniform of a General. He has a red sash on his right shoulder as a holder of the GCB. The badge on his chest is the star of the Royal Victorian Order. His medals include the British, Turkish and Sardinian Crimea medal as well as the Turkish Order of the Medjidie (5th Class).

1827 (31st May) Born
1844 Commissioned into the Rifle Brigade
1845 Served in Canada
1845 Exchanged to the Grenadier Guards as Ensign and Lieutenant
1850 Promoted to Lieutenant and Captain
1852 ADC to Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Eglington
1853-4 ADC to C-in-C in Ireland, Sir Edward Blakeney
1855 Served in Crimea with Grenadier Guards
1855 (July) ADC to Lieut-Gen Markham, commander of 2nd Division.
1855 (Nov.) Deputy AQMG as brevet Major.
1857 Promoted to Captain and Lt-Col
1858 Transferred to 95th Derbyshire Regiment in Indian Mutiny
1861-2 Deputy Adjutant-General in Bombay
1863 Promoted to brevet Colonel
1868 ADC to the Queen
1869-74 Adjutant-General in the East Indies
1874 Commanded forces at Shorncliffe
1877 Commanded a brigade at Aldershot as Brigadier-General
1877 (Mar.) Promoted to Major-General
1878 Appointed commander in South Africa as temporary Lt-General
1878 (July) Ended the Ninth Cape Frontier War
1878 (Oct.) Succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Chelmsford
1878 (Nov.) Made Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB)
1879 (Jan.) Invaded Zululand
1879 (22nd Jan.) Defeated at Isandlwana and relieved of his command
1879 (4th July) Won the Battle of Ulundi then left for England
1879 (Aug.) Made Knight Grand Cross of the Bath (GCB)
1882 Promoted to Lieutenant-General
1884-9 Lieutenant of the Tower of London
1887 Colonel of 4th (West London) Rifle Volunteer Corps
1888 Promoted to General
1898 (30th Jan.) Appointed Colonel of the Sherwood Foresters
1900 (27th Sept.) Appointed Colonel of 2nd Life Guards
1902 Made Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)
1905 (9th April) Died in London at United Services Club while playing billiards.


Colonels | Regimental details




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by Stephen Luscombe