- Kelvingrove Park
- Lord Roberts Statue

The Scotland Guide
© David Williams


(1916, Harry Bates)

This statue stands in a prominent position in Kelvingrove Park looking over to Glasgow University. Field Marshall Lord Roberts (1832-1914) was born into a military family and served in many of the British Empire`s overseas possessions. He is best known for his role in what the British call the `Indian Mutiny`; Indians call it `The Great Revolt`. It is also known as the `Sepoy Mutiny` after the sepoys (the Indian soldiers) in one of the British East India Company`s three armies who took part in a military revolt in 1857-8. It was brutally put down.

This very fine bronze monument shows Lord Roberts mounted on a horse and below it there are relief carvings of soldiers and horse-drawn wagons. The very fierce-looking man at the rear of the monument is War, the female figure at the front is Victory and the motto Virtute et valore means `By virtue and courage`. The main inscription is quite typical of its time - art and politics often go hand in hand - and it is all about fighting for an empire and putting down rebellions. This is actually a copy of the monument erected in Calcutta in 1898, though the Indian version does not have the same inscription.

This article is based on the guidebook "The Glasgow Guide".

The Lord Roberts equestrian statue commands a fine view over Kelvingrove Park towards Glasgow University.

The exploits of Lord Roberts have also been commemorated by the Dundee poet William McGonagall (1830-1902) who, in his poem General Roberts in Afghanistan, summed up the soldier`s achievements with the words:

Success to Lord Roberts; he`s a very brave man,
For he conquered the Afghans in Afghanistan,
With an army about seven thousand strong,
He spread death and desolation all along.
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