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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Major Patrick Forbes (1861 to 1922)
Author:McCarthy, J.D.
Periodical:Heritage of Zimbabwe (ISSN 0556-9605)
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:colonial conquest
military operations
biographies (form)
History, Archaeology
Forbes, Patrick, 1861-1922
About person:Patrick William Forbes (1861-1922)
Abstract:This paper examines the career of Major Patrick William Forbes as a soldier and administrator in the employ of the British South Africa Company (BSAC) during the first ten years of its mandate as a Chartered Company. When dealing with trouble in Rhodesia's (now Zimbabwe) Manica area in 1890 as well as on the march to Bulawayo during the campaign against the Matabele (1893), Forbes had shown great personal courage and good leadership skills, backed by sound common sense. However, the subsequent failure of the Shangani Patrol to bring in Lobengula, the king of the Matabele, and the loss of nearly 40 lives during the course of the patrol require a closer examination of the events of the patrol and the extent to which Forbes can be blamed for this debacle. The paper argues that Forbes' temperament was not suited to the irregular type of warfare involved in the Shangani campaign. Also, the failure of the patrol depended on many factors over which Forbes had no control. After his leave in England, Forbes returned to Central Africa in 1895, but this time to the BSAC's territories north of the Zambezi, as Deputy Commissioner for those territories. After a period of sick leave, Forbes returned to southern Rhodesia in 1898 to take up the post of Staff Officer to the Volunteers. At the end of the Boer War, Forbes returned to England, where he died in 1922. There can be little doubt as to the important part played by Forbes in the founding of the Rhodesias. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]