Dictionary of National Biography, 1927 supplement/Carrington, Frederick

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CARRINGTON, Sir FREDERICK (1844-1913), general, was born at Cheltenham 23 August 1844, the second son of Edmund Carrington, J.P., by his wife, Louisa Sarah Henney. Educated at Cheltenham College, he entered the army, 24th Foot (South Wales Borderers), in 1864. He quickly made himself expert in musketry, and became instructor to his regiment in 1870; five years later a rebellion in Griqualand West melted before a small force commanded by Lieutenant Carrington, who had been selected for the duty on the strength of this special qualification. For the Transkei War in South Africa (1877-1878) he raised and commanded the Frontier Light Horse, which he led with extraordinary success against the Kaffirs, the Transkeian territories subsequently being annexed to Cape Colony. Early in 1878 he was given his captaincy, and in the same year he commanded the Transvaal volunteer force, with temporary rank, against the native chief, Sekukuni, in the Transvaal. In recognition of his previous work and of his services in this campaign he was gazetted brevet major, and later (1880) given a step in brevet rank and the C.M.G. After a brief respite Carrington was soon in action again, commanding the native levies against the Zulus. In the Basuto War, while in command of the colonial forces, he was surrounded at Mafeteng for nearly a month (September—October 1880) by 5,000 well-mounted Basutos. Though rations were so much reduced that horse-flesh had to be eaten, he and his little force gallantly held out until relieved by Brigadier-General (Sir) Charles Mansfield Clarke. Carrington was promoted colonel in 1884, and in the following year accompanied Sir Charles Warren’s expedition to Bechuanaland in command of the 2nd Mounted Infantry, better known as Carrington’s Horse. Subsequently he raised and commanded the Bechuanaland Border Police (1885-1893). He received the K.C.M.G. in 1887, and, in the Matabele War of 1893 he was appointed military adviser to the high commissioner.

In 1895, on promotion to major-general, Carrington took command of the infantry at Gibraltar; but before his time in that appointment expired he was again sent to South Africa, where he succeeded in quelling the rebellion in Rhodesia (1896). For his services in this campaign he was created K.C.B. (1897). On the outbreak of the Boer War (October 1899) Carrington’s unique experience of irregular warfare in South Africa made his appointment to a high command natural; and, with the temporary rank of lieutenant-general, he was selected to organize and lead an expedition which, starting from the east coast and marching through northern Rhodesia, entered the Transvaal soon after Lord Roberts had captured Pretoria (5 June 1900). In 1904 Carrington retired from the army, and pursued his favourite recreations—hunting, shooting, and fishing—at Cheltenham, where he died 22 March 1918. He married in 1897 Susan Margaret, only daughter of Henry John Elwes, F.R.S., of Colesborne, Cheltenham, by whom he had two daughters.

[The Times, 24 March 1918; Sir J. F. Maurice and M. H. Grant, (Official) History of the War in South Africa, 1906-1910.]

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