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B C Freyberg


What were the most significant experiences for B C Freyberg at Wellington College?


Family and early Childhood
 
Bernard Cyril Freyberg was born in London on the 21st of March, 1889 and he was the son of James Freyberg and Julia nee Hamilton. At the age of two Freyberg and his family moved to Wellington and they lived in Hawker Street, Mount Cook. Bernard was the only child of James Freyberg and Julia Hamilton.
 
 
Time at Wellington College
 
Bernard Cyril Freyberg attended Wellington College from 1897 to 1904. While he was there he learnt a lot about swimming and he was a very good at it. He won junior and senior competitions and also this would have helped his famous act of scouting the beach at Gallipoli in WW1. He was very good at sports and was well known for them, all this would have helped him in the war.
 
 
Time after College/Before War
 
He was a very strong swimmer and in 1906 he won the New Zealand, 100 yard championship and he won it a second time in 1910. In 1911, Freyberg gained a formal registration as a dentist and he worked as a dental assisstant in Morrinsville and later practicing in Hamilton and Levin. Freyberg's first military involvement was as a junior officer in Territorial Force. In 1912 he unsuccesfully sought a commission in the New Zealand Staff Corps. In January 1913 he served as a liutenant in a senior cadet company. In March 1914, Freyberg left New Zealand for San Fransisco and from there travelled to Mexico and he possibly became involved with the civil war going in on in Mexico. But on hearing of the outbreak of the First World War in August he immediantly left for England to volunteer himself.


What were the most significant experiences for B C Freyberg during the First World War?

Volunteering

 
As soon as Bernard Cyril Freyberg heard of the the outbreak of World War One he went straight to England to voluteer himself to fight in the war. A man named G.S.Richardson arranged Freyberg to join the 7th "Hood" Battalion of the Royal Naval Brigade and he appeared on the Belgian Front in September 1914. Freyberg befriended Rupert Brooke who was a officer in the 2nd "Anson" Battilion. Their friendship lasted till Brooke's death at Lemnos
 
 
The War
 

Victoria Cross awarded to Bernard Freyberg for his achievements in WWI
In April 1915, the brigade Freyberg was with was sent to the Dardanelles. There on the night of the 24th of April 1915, Freyberg volunteered to swim the gulf of Saros to divert the attention of the Turks from the main landing and he used flares and although he was under heavy fire he managed to succesfully escape unsctathed thus earning him his first D.S.O.
After the Gallipoli campaign he was sent to France and on the 13th of November 1916 while he was in command of the "Hood" Battalion near Beaumont Hotel he won the Victoria Cross because of the capture of the Beaumont Village. While doing so he was wounded four times in 24 hours which is the reason he won the Victoria Cross.
 
 
The End of WWI
 
At the end of the war, Freyberg was a Temporary Brigadier with the 29th Division. Bernard Freyberg had won the Victoria Cross, the D.S.O and two bars, the C.M.G, was mentioned six times in dispatches and he had been wounded nine times. He won many achievements and must of nearly been killed many times beacuse he was wounded nine times. At the end of WW1 Freyberg attended the Staff College of Camberly and from 1929 to 1931 he commanded the 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment, and he was Assistant Quartermaster-General, Southern Command from 1931–33, before becoming a General Staff Officer first class at the War Office.