Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bernard Freyberg, 1st Baron Freyberg
The Rt Hon. Bernard Cyril Freyberg, 1st Baron Freyberg, VC, GCMG, KCB, KBE, DSO (March 21, 1889 - July 4, 1963) was a distinguished military leader of New Zealand forces during both World War I and World War II.
A strong swimmer, he was New Zealand 100 yards champion in 1906 and 1910.
He left New Zealand in March 1914, and is known to have been in San Francisco and Mexico, where he may have been involved in the civil war then raging in that country. Upon hearing of the outbreak of World War I in Europe in August 1914, he travelled to England.
World War I
On November 13,1916 at Beaucourt sur Ancre , France, after carrying the initial attack through the enemy's front system of trenches, Lieutenant Colonel Freyberg's battalion was much disorganised, but after rallying and re-forming his own men and some others, he led them on a successful assault of the second objective, during which he was twice wounded, but remained in command and held his ground throughout the day and the following night . When reinforced the next morning he attacked and captured a strongly fortified village, taking 500 prisoners. He was wounded twice more, the second time severely, but he refused to leave the line until he had issued final instructions.
World War II
Classified unfit for active service by the British Army in 1937, Freyberg approached the New Zealand Government to offer his services upon the outbreak of World War II. He was appointed commander of the 2nd NZ Expeditionary Force . Following his performance during the allied evacuation of Greece, he was given command of allied forces during the defence of Crete.
Served as Governor-General of New Zealand from 1946 until 1952.
He was raised to the peerage as Baron Freyberg, of Wellington in New Zealand and of Munstead in the County of Surrey, in 1951.
On the March 1, 1953 he was made the deputy constable and lieutenant governor of Windsor Castle, he took up residence in the Norman Gateway the following year. He died at Windsor on July 4, 1963 following the rupture of one of his war wounds, and was buried in the churchyard of St Martha on the Hill , Guildford Surrey.
- (Paul Freyberg)
- Monuments To Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - The Somme (Gerald Gliddon, 1994)
- New Zealand Troops who have won the Victoria Cross (brief biography details)
- Location of grave and VC medal (Surrey)
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