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William Frederick Butler

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Category: Military
Reference No: 8630
Status: Available
Price: £15.00
  William Frederick Butler

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Irish-born British Army officer, writer, and adventurer.

Butler entered the army as an ensign in 1858, becoming captain in 1872 and major in 1874. He took part with distinction in the Red River Expedition in Canada (1870–71) and the Ashanti operations of 1873–74 under Wolseley.

He again served with Wolseley in the Zulu War (as brevet lieutenant colonel), the campaign of Tel-el-Kebir and the Sudan in 1884–86, during which time he rose to the rank of Brigadier-General  and was knighted.

In 1898 he succeeded General Goodenough as commander-in-chief in South Africa, with the local rank of lieutenant-general. For a short period (December 1898 – February 1899), during the absence of Sir Alfred Milner in England, he acted as high commissioner. Sadly, Butler expressed views on the subject of the probabilities of war which were not approved by the home government; his punishment was to be ordered home to command the Western District (Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and South Wales) and held this post until 1905.

In June 1877 Butler married Elizabeth Thompson, an accomplished painter of battle scenes, notably The Roll Call (1874), Quatre Bras (1875), Rorke's Drift (1881), The Camel Corps (1891), and The Dawn of Waterloo (1895). They had six children.

This is a fine ink signature, cut from a letter on a piece measuring 4" x 2.75". In very good condition.