b. 05/07/1849 Cirencester, Gloucestershire. d. 05/06/1911 Chichester, Sussex.
Edric Frederick Gifford (1849-1911) was born on 5th July 1849 at Ampney Park, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire. He was the eldest son of Robert Francis, 2nd Baron Gifford, and of the Honourable Frederica Charlotte, eldest daughter of 1st Baron Fitzhardinge. His brother was Maurice Gifford, CMG, who raised “Gifford’s Horse” in the Second Matabele War. He was educated at Harrow, and entered the Army in 1869. He became a Lieutenant in the 62nd in 1872, and later that year, succeeded his father as the 3rd Baron Gifford.
In 1873, he transferred to the 24th Regiment of Foot (later South Wales Borderers) , and shortly afterwards was involved in the Ashanti War of 1873-1874 which would eventually lead to the award of the VC. In his citation published in the London Gazette on 28th March 1874, Gifford was recommended by his commanding officer for his leadership of the Scouts after the Army had crossed the Prah at Becquah. Gifford was heavily involved in hanging back to the rear of the enemy at great risk, discovering their position and working out their tactics. He also captured a number of prisoners single-handed, and was also at the forefront of the successful assault on Becquah.
He was presented with his medal at an investiture in Windsor Great Park, two days after his citation’s publication on 30th March 1874 by Queen Victoria. Following his service in the Ashanti War, he became a Captain in the 57th Regiment in 1876. In 1879, at the conclusion of the Zulu Wars, Lord Gifford nearly had the distinction of capturing Cetewayo. He had been searching for the Zulu King for fifteen days, and when he finally discovered his whereabouts, his Scouts were exhausted. He decided to wait until nightfall before attempting the capture. Meanwhile Major Marter had also found Cetewayo’s hiding place and marched straight in and captured the King.
In 1880, Lord Gifford became Brevet Major in the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. He became Colonial Secretary for Western Australia and a Senior Member of the Legislative Council from 1880 to 1883. From 1883-1888, he became Colonial Secretary in Gibraltar. Following his army career, he retired to Sussex, where he died at his home, “Old Park”, near Chichester on 5th June 1911, aged 61. He was buried with full military honours, with the route lined by Boy Scouts in Fairfield Road Cemetery, Bosham. His medals are held by the Gifford family.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: FAIRFIELD ROAD CEMETERY, BOSHAM, WEST SUSSEX.
Plot G 12 in the South Plot.
Kevin Brazier – Gifford VC Grave in Bosham, West Sussex.