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Redvers Henry Buller (1839-1908) was born at Crediton, Devon, the son of MP James Wentworth Buller and Charlotte Buller.

After completing his schooling he was commissioned into the 60th Rifles (King's Royal Rifle Corps) in May 1858. He took part in the Second Opium War and was promoted to captain before taking part in the Canadian Red River Expedition of 1870. In 1873-1874 he was the intelligence officer under Lord Wolseley during the Ashanti campaign, during which he was slightly wounded at the Battle of Ordabai. He was promoted to major and awarded the C.B.

He then served in South Africa during the 9th Cape Frontier War in 1878 and the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. In the Zulu War, he commanded the mounted infantry of the northern British column under Sir Evelyn Wood. He fought at the British defeat
at the battle of Hlobane, where he was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery under fire.

His VC citation which appeared in the 17 June 1879 issue of The London Gazette reads as follows:

"For his gallant conduct at the retreat at Inhlobana, on the 28th March 1879, in having assisted, whilst hotly pursued by Zulus, in rescuing Captain C. D'Arcy, of the Frontier Light Horse, who was retiring on foot, and carrying him on his horse until he overtook the rear guard. Also for having on 1he same date and under the same circumstances, conveyed Lieutenant C. Everitt, of the Frontier Light Horse, whose horse had been killed under him, to a place of safely. Later on, Colonel Buller, in the same manner, saved a trooper of the Frontier Light Horse, whose horse was completely exhausted, and who otherwise would have been killed by the Zulus, who were within 80 yards of him."

He saw additional active service in the Transvaal, Egypt, and the Sudan.

Commanding the Natal Field Force during the early stages of the Anglo-Boer War, he was saddled with the blame for the British reversals at the hands of the Boers even if he ultimately achieved most if not all of his objectives. His professional reputation was left in tatters but he would remain idolized by the public.

At least one recent historian has been kinder to Buller's reputation:

"Buller's achievements have been obscured by his mistakes. In 1909, a French military critic, General Langlois, pointed out that it was Buller, not Roberts, who had the toughest job of the war – and it was Buller who was the innovator in countering Boer tactics. The proper use of cover, of infantry advancing in rushes, co-ordinated in turn with creeping barrages of artillery: these were the tactics of truly modern war, first evolved by Buller in Natal."

The town of Redvers, in Canada, is named after him, as is the Royal Logistic Corps barracks at Aldershot.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Green Jackets Museum, Winchester, England.

Below: Buller's cut signature autograph.

Autograph on Paper

4 inches by 1 1/8 inches

(10.5cm x 3.5cm)

No Date

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