Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Gregan Craufurd GCB

Charles Gregan Craufurd was from a Scottish family, born in 1763 the second son of Sir Alexander Crauford, 1st Baronet, and the elder brother of Robert Craufurd. He entered the 1st Dragoon Guards in 1778 and promoted to captain in the Queen's Bays in 1785, he became the equerry and intimate friend of the Duke of York. He studied in Germany for some time, and, with his brother Robert's assistance, translated Tielke's book on the Seven Years' War: The Remarkable Events of the War between Prussia, Austria and Russia from 1756 to 1763. As ADC he accompanied the Duke of York to the French War in 1793, and was at once sent as commissioner to the Austrian headquarters, with which he was present at Neerwinden, Caesar's Camp, Famars, Landrecies, etc.

Promoted to major in 1793, and lieutenant-colonel in 1794, he returned to the British Army in 1794, and at Villers-en-Cauchies distinguished himself at the head of two squadrons, taking 3 guns and 1000 prisoners. When the British army left the continent Craufurd was again attached to the Austrian Army, and was present at the actions on the Lahn, the combat of Neumarkt, and the battle of Amberg. At the last battle, fought in 1796, a severe wound rendered him incapable of further service, and cut short a promising career. He succeeded his brother Robert as Member of Parliament for East Retford (1806-1812). He died in 1821, having become a lieutenant-general and a GCB.

The painting, by an unknown artist, belongs to the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards Heritage Trust. It is taken from the BBC website. There is no explanation for the oval patch strapped to his head. It may be to cover the injury he sustained at the battle of Amberg which caused him to terminate his military career. The artist has concentrated much detail in the badge pinned to his chest. This is the GCB (Knight Grand Cross) which came into being after 1815. Before that year the award was simply KB (Knight of the Bath). It is clear that Craufurd directed the painter to ensure that the badge was prominent. What is unclear is why he did not wear a hat, or wig, to conceal the strange 'patch' on his head.

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by Stephen Luscombe