FREDERICK ROBERTS V.C. AUTOGRAPH LETTER Signed
British soldier and holder of theVictoria Cross. Frederick Sleigh Roberts, known affectionately as "Bobs" was arguably the most successful British Commander of the 19th century.
ALS. 3pp. Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. 11th October, 1895. To [William] Woodall. Together with a fine portrait photograph.
"I am really very sorry that I cannot accept your kind invitation to distribute the prizes to the Shropshire and Staffordshire Volunteer Artillery this year. I would do so with pleasure, and thank you very much for thinking of me but I find there is a good deal to do here on first taking command. I am the more reluctant to ask you to excuse me, because I am aware that I made you a half promise that I would distribute the prizes this year, and it would also be a great pleasure for me to see you again, and, perhaps have another talk over Sudan frontier affairs!"
8vo. Approx 7 x 4.5 inches. Mounting damage to verso of last leaf resulting in some small holes and tears where the paper surface has been 'skinned' but the LETTER
is otherwise in acceptable, clean condition. The photograph is a fine 19th century gelatin silver print measuring approx 6 x 4 inches (excluding mount) laid down on card. It shows Frederick Roberts staring fixedly at the camera, wearing dress uniform and displaying his Victoria Cross, Order of the Bath and other medals and honours. It has slight mounting traces to verso of mount but the photograph is in fine condition.
Both the letter and the photograph are from a 19th century collection made by the radical Liberal M.P., William Woodall. Frederick Roberts would have had close dealings with Woodall whilst the latter was Surveyor-General of the Ordnance and then Financial Secretary to the War Office under both Gladstone and Lord Rosebery. Roberts had been relocated to Ireland as Commander of the forces there in October 1895. Frederick Roberts was one of the greatest soldiers in British military history. He had won his Victoria Cross as a Lieutenant in the Indian Mutiny and served with distinction in Abyssinia, the Afghan War and the Boer War.