Friday, September 30, 2016

Born Today September 30: Frederick Sleigh Roberts


The subject of early documentary newsreel style films, Lord Roberts, was born in India into a prominent Anglo-Irish military family.  Eton educated, he later attended Addiscombe Military Seminary, before entering the East India Company Army as a Second Lieutenant.  He eventually rose all the way to Field Marshall and served as the Commander in Chief of the Forces for the British Military.  He later became the 1st Earl Roberts.  Starting in 1899 he was featured in a number of short documentaries by various early British film companies performing various official duties.  The first of these was Lord Roberts Unveils Statue of Queen Victoria by the Hepworth company.  He continued to be the subject of, and in, such shorts right up until a year before his death; the last of which was England's King at Liverpool (1913), produced by the Kalem company.  On the 14th of November 1914 he passed away from pneumonia in St. Omer, France at the age of 82.  His body lay in state before he was given a state funeral and buried at St. Paul's Cathedral.  He is only one of two non-royal individuals to lay in state in the 20th century; the other being Sir Winston Churchill.  For more about his extensive life, see the Wikipedia link below.

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