A commemorative silk Handkerchief of Lord Roberts of Kandahar.
Frederick Sleigh Roberts was known as Bobs to his soldiers and the public alike. This affection came not only from his war record but also because he was active in helping disabled and retired soldiers. In fact the Lord Roberts Workshops, for which he campaigned, were re-named after him on his death in 1914.
Roberts was born in 1832 at Cawnpore, India, the son of General Sir Abraham Roberts. He was educated in England at Eton, Sandhurst and Addiscombe Military College in preparation to join the East India Company. He joined the Bengal Artillery at the age of 19 and returned to India. He was a very good soldier and was awarded the Victoria Cross during the Indian Mutiny. In all, Roberts spent over 40 years in India and it was perhaps his knowledge of the country that helped him to be one of the few successful commanders in Afghanistan.
The title of this Handkerchief notes his title bestowed following his success at Kandahar as well as his campaigns in India from 1879 to 1893 and the Boer War in 1900.
It was common during the late 19th Century for manufacturers to capitalise on the public's interest in their heroes through the production of commemorative ceramics and other items such as this Handkerchief. It is printed with a picture of Roberts in uniform and hemmed with a wide red border. Although it has been folded over a period of time and so has crease marks, it could be gently ironed and framed. Early 20th Century.