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Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament. We begin a series of his memoirs taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.
This initial entry is an excerpt of the introductory note by Mr L Cope Cornford.
THE HOUSE OF BERESFORD
Charles William de la Poer Beresford, born in 1846, was the second of five brothers, sons of Sir John de la Poer Beresford, fourth Marquess of Waterford. Lord Charles’s elder brother, Sir John Henry de la Poer Beresford (to give him his full title), Earl and Viscount of Tyrone, Baron de la Poer of Curraghmore in the county of Waterford, and Baron Beresford of Beresford in the county of Cavan, in the Peerage of Ireland, and Baron Tyrone of Haverfordwest in the county of Pembroke, in the Peerage of Great Britain, Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick, succeeded to these titles in . Sir John joined the 1st Life Guards. He died in , and was succeeded by his son (nephew to Lord Charles), as presently to be noted.
Of the other three brothers, Lord William de la Poer joined the 9th Lancers and became Military Secretary to five successive Viceroys of India, was a patron of the Turf, and died in ; Lord Marcus de la Poer joined the 7th Hussars, took charge of the King’s racehorses, an office which he still fulfils, and was appointed Extra Equerry to King George; Lord Delaval James de la Poer (sixteen years younger than Lord Charles) ranched in North America and was killed in a railway accident in .
The five brothers were keen sportsmen, hard riders, men of their hands, high-couraged, adventurous, talented in affairs, winning friendship and affection wherever they went.
Lord John-Henry, fifth Marquess, the eldest brother, inherited the family tradition of good landlordship. There was never any oppression of tenants on the Waterford estate. In the House of Lords and in the country, Lord Waterford took a strenuous part in the troubled and complex issues of Irish politics; although during the last years of his life he was crippled and helpless, the result of an accident which befell him in the hunting field. Lord William won the V.C. by an act of cool and audacious gallantry in the Zulu war of ; renowned for reckless hardihood, there was hardly a bone in his body which he had not broken; and it is probable that his injuries, diminishing his powers of resistance, caused him to succumb to his last illness. Lord Charles has broken his chest-bone – a piece of which was cut out in his boyhood, leaving a cavity – pelvis, right leg, right hand, foot, five ribs, one collar-bone three times, the other once, his nose three times; but owing to his extraordinary physique and strict regimen, he is younger and stronger at the time of writing than most men of half his age.
Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.
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