Letters of Major-General Sir Frederick William Benson

Scope and Content

Three letters from Maj.-General Sir Frederick William Benson to Mrs. Eastwood,wife of Col. Hugh Eastwood who had been severely wounded in the South AfricanWar, 1899-1902, describing his activities and the progress of the fighting.The letters are dated Kimberley, 2nd February 1900, Camp Kraalfontein, 17thFebruary 1901, and Mashadodorp, 5th June 1901.

Administrative / Biographical History

Maj.-General Sir Frederick William Benson (1849-1916), KCB (1910), CB (1901)was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, serving as a volunteer during the Fenian raids in Canada,1866, joining the 21st Hussars, 1869, exchanging to the 12th Royal Lancers in1876, and becoming ADC to the Lieut.-Governor, North-West Provinces, India, 1877. He passed Staff College, 1880, became a Captain in the 5th DragoonGuards, 1880 and exchanged to the 17th Lancers, 1881. He was Brigade-Major,Poona, 1882-1884, Garrison Instructor, Bengal, 1884-1890 and commanded theEgyptian cavalry, 1892-1894. He was [?Deputy Assistant Adjutant General] (Instruction) Dublin, 1895-1898 and Assistant Adjutant General, Chief Staff Officer, South-Eastern District, 1898-1900. He undertook special service in South Africa as [?Assistant Adjutant General], 6th Division, South AfricanField Force, 1900-1901 and served at Headquarters, 1901-1903. He was Inspector-General of Remounts, 1903-1904, Director of Transport and Remounts, 1904-1907 and Maj.-General in charge of Administration, 1907-1909.

He was married to Caroline Couper in 1881.

Colonel Hugh de Crespigny Eastwood (1863-1934), DSO (1902) was educated at Eton, entering the Army from the 1st Royal Lanark Militia, 1885 and serving in India, 1887-1888. He was Assistant Adjutant, Cavalry Depot, Canterbury, 1889-1891 and of the King's Dragoon Guards, 1891-1894, served in the South African War, from 1901 to 1902, and was made Adjutant and instructor, Imperial Yeomanry, Aldershot, 1902-1904. He served in Aldershot Command, 1910-1914, was Commandant, Army Cyclist Training Centre, 1915-1917 and Inspector of Cyclist units, 1916-1918.

In 1887 he married Ellinor Smyth, with whom he had three sons and two daughters.

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Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library ofCommonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

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