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22nd September 2003Naval Bde/Gingindlovu/George Warrender
By Peter Ewart
I was amazed today to discover from a chance look-up in the DNB that VA Sir George Warrender had served in the AZW as a midshipman. (No reason why he shouldn't have, it's just that his family has interested me for many years & I didn't know!)

Warrender (whom Jackie Fisher dismissed as "off his head, & has a sister locked up" while Berkeley Milne, also of AZW fame, was "a sneak of the dirtiest kind"!!!) was attending German naval manoeuvres off Kiel when the Great War broke out & had a run-in with the German High Seas Fleet in 1915, but my main interest in him is through his connection with my home town.

His wife was very much the "grande dame" of Rye, Sx, for 40 years & their mansion outside the town was re-designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield (CWGC etc, also of Rye). In her own memoirs "My First 60 Years" she managed to avoid mentioning hubbie a single time!

To get to the point, I wondered on which ship he was serving in 1879? I have now located a reference which says he served, not surprisingly, at Gingindlovu. Knight & Castle give the Boadicea, Shah & Tenedos as the ships' companies (or parts thereof) which were present at that battle. Does anyone know on which of these vessels Warrender was serving, please? I've tried the KLH site but he's not up yet (under those three ships, anyway). Someone with a complete medal roll? Would this give ship's names?

I'd be very grateful for any advice.


PS. You won't believe this, but it's true. Warrender's son Harold once deliberately run out my Uncle Cecil when both were batting in the same innings at Rye (c1919).
22nd September 2003rai england
Hi, Warrender served on the Boadicea as a Midshipman.
Rai KLH.
22nd September 2003John Young

From Mackinnon & Shadbolt:
'H.M.S. "Boadicea."
...Acting Sub-Lieut. Warrender, G.J.S.
Time on Shore. 19 Mar.,'79 - 27 May, 79...
Accompanied the Etshowe (sic) Relief Column; ...present at the battle of Ginghilovo (sic), and accompanied the Brigade to Port Durnford.'

John Y.
22nd September 2003Peter Ewart
That was quick!

Very many thanks Rai and John for sorting that out - I'm very grateful.

John, I'd overlooked "Mack & Shad" (I have one of the modern versions) and didn't refer to it - wasn't trying to be lazy!

Rai, I'd be surprised if there wasn't a memorial to Warrender somewhere in St Mary's, Rye, even though his grave is probably in London, where he died (8 Jan 1917). His widow survived him by over 20 years & was just the sort to make sure a plaque was raised somewhere.

Many thanks again.

27th September 2003raiengland
Hi Peter,
Have checked the parish church in Rye Town without any success, if you find anymore information I would be interested?
Rai KLH.
27th September 2003Peter Ewart

Right, I shall dig around a bit. The missus, too?

30th September 2003Peter Ewart

Have completed the digging around:

Warrender has a memorial in St Mary's parish church, Rye. It is in the Clare Chapel, which is just inside the north (i.e. main) door, which faces Lion St. Turn left once inside, go through the ancient wooden screen entrance into the chapel itself & it is up on the north wall.

Unveiled 14th Jan 1920 by Admiral of the Fleet Earl Beatty who was presented with the Honorary Freedom of Rye on the same day. The memorial is up on the north wall & depicts a statue of St George & the inscription confirms that it was placed there by his widow, Lady Maud. Warrender's ashes are deposited under a memorial stone in the same chapel.

If you don't tick him off during your autumn trip, let me know as I visit Rye every now and again. I also have a commemorative booklet describing the day's activities & published a few weeks later. Should've known I had it but my Rye collection is quite large & it took some locating. It was knowing that Lady Maud would never have passed up the chance of a bit of drama that convinced me there must be something to him in Rye.


PS. You collect some wives, too, I see. I don't know off hand where Lady Maud (a g'daughter of Lord Shaftesbury of Eros fame) rests but she shouldn't be too problematical.