2 Autograph Letters Signed ("Wolseley", "G. Wolseley") to "My dear Colonel Surtees" [Charles Freville Surtees (1823-1906) Soldier and politician),

WOLSELEY, Sir Garnet 1833-1913. Field Marshal (1899)


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3 1/2 pages with one associated envelope: one letter on Commander in Chief headed paper, the other, United Service Club, Pall Mall, the first dated 26 June 1899, the other, undated.

One letter dated shortly before the Second Boer War, conveying how "very sorry" he is that he won't see Surtees in Newcastle, because of Surtees' injury. Wolseley "fully sympathise[s]" with "the circumstances that prevents your being on parade", citing his own injuries, sustained many years before, "I know what it is to be laid up with injuries to a leg", and suggests a remedy, "have you tried any German Baths?", opining, "they often work wonders in cases like yours." In the early stages of Wolseley's army career he sustained injuries that would linger for the rest of his life - particularly his left leg (wounded in 1853) and his right eye (in 1855, losing the sight in that eye).

From 1865 to 1868 Surtees was the Member of Parliament for South Durham, and in 1873 he was High Sheriff of County Durham. From 1873 he was Colonel of the 3rd Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. His son, Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Conyers Surtees, served mostly with the Coldstream Guards and fought in the Boer War, which commenced in October 1899, 5 months after this letter. 

The second letter, undated, mentions the India Office: "I have written to Hawley about the 30th & will see him personally about it in the course of the week. I shall let you know the result - I shall be very glad to see you at the India Office next friday - our Council sits at 2pm.." 

Garnet Wolseley, later Field Marshal Viscount Wolseley, was one of the most distinguished soldiers of the Victorian age. He devoted much energy to Army reform and organisation, to such effect that the phrase "All Sir Garnet" became popular slang for "all correct". His long career had seen him take part in conflicts including the Crimea, where he first met Charles George Gordon, to leading the expedition to relieve the siege of Khartoum, arriving too late to save his friend.

Both near fine, envelope with some glue damage.

Stock Code: 240657

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