The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 4

The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 4

The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 4

The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 4

Excerpt

The diaries printed in this volume cover, in their two periods, less than twelve months of Lugard's life, but they were months crowded with incident. In order to understand what sort of man he had become as he left Euston station at midnight on July 28th, 1894, en route for the Niger, what was the purpose of this perilous expedition and why he had been chosen to lead it, some review of his past life is needed. In the Preface readers have already been referred to the full story of the first half of his life in his biography and it has been explained that only a brief summary of this adventurous record will be given here.

LUGARD'S EARLY LIFE

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 to the Anglican priesthood 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, north-country 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 two 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 vicars, but, though an attractive man and a good Christian, his weak and unbusiness- like character made him more of a responsibility than a support to his sons.

Lugard, deprived so early of the influence of a remarkable mother, was forced to be self-reliant. He had the double spur to 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 . . .

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