top of page
Edric Gifford VC.png

Edric Frederick Gifford was born in London on 5 July 1849. His father was Robert Francis Gifford, 2nd Baron Gifford, and his mother was Swinburne Frederica Charlotte FitzHardinge Berkeley. He was educated at Harrow, and in 1869 entered the 83rd Foot. On the death of his father in 1872, he became 3rd Baron Gifford.

In 1874, at the age of 23, Gifford was a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot (later the South Wales Borderers), during the First Ashanti Expedition. During the campaign he distinguished himself and was awarded the Victoria Cross the citation for which follows:

During the 1873-74 Ashanti Campaign, Lieutenant Lord Gifford was in charge of Scouts after the army crossed the Prah, and he daily took his life in his hands, performing his dangerous duties. He ferreted out the enemy's intentions, discovered their positions, and took numerous prisoners. His courage was particularly conspicuous at the taking of Becquah, Ashanti into which he penetrated with his scouts before the troops carried it.

In 1876, Gifford left the 24th Foot, moving to the 57th Foot. In 1878 he was in Cyprus, and in 1879 he was aide-de-camp to Sir Garnet Wolesley in the Anglo-Zulu War. Shortly afterward he retired from the Army as a brevet major.

Gifford married Sophia Catherine Street in April 1880, then went to Western Australia in October 1880 and immediately took up an appointment to the position of Colonial Secretary, and a nomination to the Western Australian Legislative Council. After leaving Western Australia in January 1883, Gifford was Colonial Secretary of Gibraltar from 1883 to 1887. In 1889 he became a director of the British South Africa Company.

Edric Gifford died on 5 June 1911 in Chichester, England. He had no children.

His nephew John Fitzhardinge Paul Butler also won a Victoria Cross.

Gifford is pictured here as a Lieutenant of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot in the uniform worn during the 1874-75 Ashanti Expedition. Interestingly he appears to be wearing an 1856 pattern sword bayonet of the type normally carried by noncommissioned officers as opposed to the 1846 Pattern infantry officer's sword. Perhaps the shorter bayonet was found to be easier to handle in the confines of jungle fighting.

Carte de Visite
Maull & Company - Photographer
187A Piccadilly & 62 Cheapside, London, England
25 March 1875

bottom of page