General Sir Frederick Sleigh Roberts, on his horse Vonolel, 1894
Oil on canvas by Charles Furse (1869-1904), 1894.
Roberts purchased his Arab charger 'Vonolel' while he was still a major soon after the Lushai Expedition in India (1871-1872), during which he defeated the son of a locally renowned chief after whom the horse was named.
Although little bigger than a pony, 'Vonolel' was his master's only reliable horse during the 2nd Afghan War (1878-1880) and carried Roberts on the celebrated march from Kabul to Kandahar. Thereafter he became a familiar sight at ceremonial parades and camps of exercise throughout India. He accompanied Roberts to Ireland where the latter served as Commander-in-Chief from 1895 to 1899.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection
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