Sir Charles Warren

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General Sir Charles Warren, GCMG, KCB, FRS

Sir Charles Warren, (7 February 1840 – 21 January 1927) was an officer in the British Royal Engineers. He was also an archaeologist of the Biblical Holy Land, but mainly focused on the Temple Mount. Most of his military time was spent in the South Africa, after that he became the Commissioner of Police , the head of the London Metropolitan Police, from 1886 to 1888, during the time of the Jack the Ripper murders. He was criticized for his command in combat during the Second Boer War, however achieved considerable success during his long life in his military and civil duties.

Warren was born in Wales and attended the Royal Military College and then the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich (1855–1857). On 27 December 1857, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. On 1 September 1864, he married Fanny Margaretta Haydon and they had two sons and two daughters. Warren was a freemason he became the third District Grand Master of the Eastern Archipelago in Singapore and the founding Master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge.[1]

From 1861 to 1865, Warren was assigned to Gibraltar. He surveyed the Rock of Gibraltar using advanced mathematics and with the help from Major-General Frome, he created two, 26 ft long scale detailed models of Gibraltar. The models not only showed what the Rock looked like but included the harbor and also every road and building.[2] From 1865 to 1867, he was an assistant instructor in surveying at the School of Military Engineering in Chatham. He was promoted Captain for this work. The Palestine Exploration Fund recruited Warren in 1867, to conduct Biblical archaeology and to research and excavate in Ottoman Syria, but more specifically the Holy Land or Biblical Palestine. His first major excavation was Jerusalem's Temple Mount, starting a new age of Biblical archaeology. His most significant discovery was a water shaft, now known as Warren's Shaft, and a series of tunnels underneath the Temple Mount. In 1870, Warren returned to England due to ill-health.[3]

In 1876, the Colonial Office appointed him special commissioner to survey the boundary between Griqualand West and the Orange Free State. In the Transkei War (1877–1878), he commanded the Diamond Fields Horse and was wounded at Perie Bush. For this service, he was advanced to Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel. He then was appointed special commissioner to investigate "native questions" in Bechuanaland and commanded the Northern Border Expedition troops in stopping the rebellion there. In 1879, he became Administrator of Griqualand West. The town Warrenton in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa is named after him.[4]

In 1880, Warren returned to England to become Chief Instructor in Surveying at the School of Military Engineering. In 1882 the Admiralty sent him to Sinai to find out what had happened to Professor Edward Henry Palmer's archaeological expedition. He discovered that the members had been robbed and murdered. He located their remains, and brought their killers to justice. For his investigation he was created Knight Commander of St Michael and St George in 1883 and was also created a third class Mejidiye by the Egyptian government.[5] In 1883, he was made Knight of Justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and in June 1884 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

In December 1884, Major-General Warren was sent as HM Special Commissioner to command a military expedition to Bechuanaland, to assert British sovereignty in the face of encroachments from Germany and the Transvaal, and to suppress the Boer freebooter states of Stellaland and Goshen, which were backed by the Transvaal and were stealing land and cattle from the local Tswana tribes. Becoming known as the Warren Expedition, the force of 4,000 British and local troops headed north from Cape Town, accompanied by the first three observation balloons ever used by the British Army in the field. The...
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