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Bernard Freyberg

Sir Bernard Cyril Freyberg (March 21, 1889 - July 4, 1963) was a distinquished military leader of New Zealand forces during both World War I and World War II.

Freyberg was born in Richmond, London, England. But moved to New Zealand with his parents when he was two years old and raised there.

In March 1914 he left Wellington for San Francisco. After some weeks of indecision, Freyberg went south to Mexico, and may have been involved in the civil war then raging in that country. Upon hearing of the outbreak of World War I in Europe in August 1914, he immediately set off for England.

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World War I

In 1914 Freyberg met and persuaded the then First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill to give him a commission into the Hood Battalion[?] of the infant Royal Naval Division.

During the initial landing at Battle of Gallipoli Freyberg swam from ship to ship lighting flares to distract the enemy, for this he received his first Distinguished Service Order[?].

Received the Victoria Cross during World War I at the Battle of the Somme.

On November 13, 1916 at Beaucourt sur Ancre[?], France, after carrying the initial attack through the enemy's front system of trenches, Lieutenant Colonel Freyberg's battalion was much disorganised, but after rallying and re-forming his own men and some others, he led them on a successful assault of the second objective, during which he was twice wounded, but remained in command and held his ground throughout the day and the following night . When reinforced the next morning he attacked and captured a strongly fortified village, taking 500 prisoners. He was wounded twice more, the second time severely, but he refused to leave the line until he had issued final instructions.

World War II

Freyberg was given command of allied forces during the defence of Crete.

Post War

Served as Governor-General of New Zealand from 1946 until 1952.

Made a baron (of Wellington, New Zealand and Munstead, Surrey[?]) in 1951.

On the March 1, 1953 he was made the deputy constable and lieutenant governor of Windsor Castle, he took up residence in the Norman Gateway the following year. He died at Windsor on July 4, 1963 following the rupture of one of his war wounds, and was buried in the churchyard of St Martha on the Hill[?], Guildford Surrey.

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