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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Frederic Villiers

Another correspondent for The Men Who Would be Kings (Paid Link) is Frederic Villiers (23 April 1851 – 5 April 1922), was a British war artist and war correspondent. Along with William Simpson and Melton Prior, Villiers was one of the most notable 'special' artists of the later 19th century. He may have been the model for the Kipling war-artist character, Dick Heldar in The Light that Failed.

 Villiers on horseback in the Batal Colony prior to the fight in Chaimbellistan.

 He reported on the Russo-Turkish War, witnessed the events at the Battle of Plevna and traveled to Afghanistan to cover the Second Afghan War that had broken out in 1878.  In 1882 he was in Egypt to cover the Anglo-Egyptian War and was present at Battle of Tel-el-Kebir. The following year saw him in Russia to cover the coronation of Tsar Alexander III but he was soon back in North Africa, this time to provide sketches of the fighting in the Sudan during the Gordon relief expedition.

The last outpost before entering the Byber Pass from Batal to Chaimbelastan.

In 1898, he was one of the artists sent to cover the campaign in Sudan which culminated at Battle of Omdurman. Villiers brought along an early cine-camera and was filming when an explosion caused the boat to rock in the Nile River, tipping over the apparatus. His other campaigns included the Boer War where he accompanied the Kimberley Relief Column.

 Making a quick sketch of the Gordan Highlanders.

The Frederic Villiers figure is from Perry Miniatures SU4 Newspaper Correspondents pack.