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Gerald Le Marchant Saumarez

The Hon. Gerald Le Marchant Saumarez was born in Cheltenham in 1859 as the second son and third child of Colonel John St. Vincent Saumarez, 3rd Baron de Saumarez.

He enlisted in the 3rd Battalion of the East Kent Regiment as a Lieutenant at the age of 22 in March 1882. Although he had a very short army career of less than 2 years, he was with the Buffs in Egypt in the year he enlisted. He resigned his commission in December 1883 and perhaps he gave up army life to work as an artist. A curiosity is that we have some paintings by Saumarez in Egypt and the Sudan that were executed at least 4 years after he resigned his commission. Given that we have other paintings by Saumarez of English locations it would seem that he returned to North Africa after he left the army to follow the conflict. His paintings show both important events in Egypt and Sudan in the 1880s (such as start of Suakin Berbar Railway and the Parade of Officers mentioned at the battle of Gemaizah of 1888) as well as everyday events such as loading horses onto ships and patrols. Saumarez's work shows a good ability and raises the thought that he was more than simply an amateur officer artist.

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