The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 1

The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 1

The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 1

The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The first entry in Lugard's diary is on November 4th, 1889. To know what sort of man wrote that entry and how he came to be sailing towards Mombasa at that date we must review in a few pages the earlier years of the eventful life which fills two large volumes in the biography written by the editor.

Lugard's first five years were passed in India. He was the son of Frederick Lugard, who was the son and brother of distinguished soldiers. But Frederick senior, after an orthodox career at St. Paul's School and Cambridge, chose ordination and went to India as an army chaplain to work mainly in Madras. His third wife was a missionary of the Church Missionary Society, a young woman of gentle, northcountry birth, and possessed of remarkable courage and powers of affection. She bore young Frederick in 1858, the year of the Indian Mutiny, but the birth was in Madras, far from the areas of disorder. It was, undoubtedly, from this mother, who provided a home in which she softened the strict evangelical discipline of the period with her loving service to husband and children, that the boy drew his main characteristics. She brought young Lugard and his stepsisters and sisters to England in 1863, travelling in a dirty and dangerously ill-found sailing troopship. With her health undermined by the Madras climate and by annual child-bearing, she died in 1865 shortly after the birth of young Frederick's brother, Edward, who, for the rest of their long lives, was his devoted and admiring friend and helper. Lugard's father lived on for many years as a Worcestershire vicar, but, though an attractive man and a good Christian, his weak and unbusinesslike character made him more of a responsibility than a support to his son.

Lugard, deprived so early of the influence of a remarkable mother, was forced to be self-reliant. He had the double spur of his energy and ambition in that he was born a gentleman, of a union of families distinguished for their services to Church and State, while at the same time he was desperately poor. Following a hard and not altogether happy boyhood at boarding schools, he went to Sandhurst in 1878. After only eight weeks there he was hurriedly given a commission in the East Norfolk Regiment and almost at once volunteered for service in India, the usual resort then of the impecunious subaltern. The reason for this truncation of his military training was the Russo-Turkish war, and from this date, for the next nine years, the young man was shifted hither and . . .

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