Bernard Cyril Freyberg, known as ‘Tiny’, lived from 1889 – 1963 and culminated his career as the 7th Governor General of New Zealand. His biography is extensive and he is famous enough to have his own statue in Auckland.
He moved to New Zealand when he was two and was British born. He was one of New Zealand’s best swimmers in his junior and senior years, winning both titles and Freyberg Pool in Wellington is named after him. He volunteered for the First World War in 1914 and earned the Victoria Cross for courage for his work in the Somme, plus another four special medals for acts of bravery. For example in the Gallipoli campaign he won a special award (DSO) for swimming ashore and setting flares.
In London when war broke out in 1914 Freyberg met and persuaded the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill (later to become one of Britain’s greatest Prime Ministers) to give him a commission into the Hood Battalion of the infant Royal Naval Division. By 1917 he had been promoted and at 27 was the youngest Brigadier General in the British Army.
He served in battles up until 1945 and became New Zealand Governor General in 1946.
For a comprehensive read on his rich biography click here.
If you would like to pay respect to Lord Freyberg you can visit him in the churchyard of St Martha on the Hill, near Guildford, Surrey
Note to parents: Free parking is available in either of the two St Martha’s Hill car parks. If you need to drive up the hill’s sandy track, please contact the Vicar.