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Maurice Gifford.png

Cabinet Photograph
John Edwards - Photographer
1 Park Side, Hyde Park Corner, S.W., London, England
c. 1893

The second son of Robert Francis Gifford, 2nd Baron Gifford, Maurice Gifford was born on 5 May 1859 at Ampney Park, Gloucester. His elder brother was Edric Gifford who while a lieutenant in the 2/24th Foot won the Victoria Cross during the Ashanti Expedition of 1874.

Educated at Worcester he served in the mercantile marine between 1876 and 1882. While assistant correspondent to the Daily Telegraph he was present at the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir during the Egyptian Campaign of 1882.

He spent over ten years in Canada and served with French's Scouts during the Riel
Rebellion in 1885.

Later he made his way to South Africa and found work as a General Manager of the Bechuanaland Exploration Company and soon became involved in the First Matabele War of 1893 as a scout with the Salisbury Column. He raised and commanded Gifford's Horse during the Matabele Rebellion of 1896 and during this campaign lost his right arm to a Matabele bullet.

In 1897 he returned to England as Commandant of the Rhodesian Contingent during Queen Victoria's Jubilee procession.

During the Anglo-Boer War, he served with the Kimberley Horse at the relief of Mafeking.

On 21 September 1897 Gifford married Marguerite Thorold, the daughter of Capt Thorold. According to an article in the 22 September 1897 edition of the New York Times titled " Capt. Maurice Gifford Weds" among the presents Gifford gave to his wife at the wedding, was the bullet that cost him his arm. The bullet was set in Matabele gold and arranged so that the yellow metal formed a double-headed serpent.

In addition to being General Manager of the Bechuanaland Exploration Company, Gifford was a director of the British Columbia Electric Company, British Empire Trust, and the
Rhodesian Copper Co.

Maurice Gifford died on 1 July 1910.

The above photograph depicts Gifford before the loss of his arm in the Second Matabele War of 1896.

Originally unidentified and posted as "The Man in Question", I would like to extend a special thanks to Colonel P. Michael Phillips, U.S. Army for attaching a name to this photograph.

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