|Above: A very large Woodbury-type photograph of Sir Charles Warren taken from an as yet unidentified publication.
Charles Warren was born on 7 February 1840 in Bangor, Wales the son of Major-General Sir Charles Warren. He attended
Sandhurst and Woolwich and in 1857 was commissioned 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. He was promoted captain in
1869, and six years later became major and brevet lieutenant-colonel.
Between 1867 and 1870 Captain Warren carried out archaeological explorations in Palestine which provided the first modern
interpretation of the topography of ancient Jerusalem and the archaeology of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sherif. This
expedition served to raise the public interest in the archeology of the Holy Land sufficiently such that £60,000 was raised by
public subscription to carry out the great Survey of Western Palestine. In addition to his explorations on, under, and around
the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sherif, Warren surveyed the Plain of Philistia and carried out a very important reconnaissance
of central Jordan.
After this he was sent to South Africa where during the next few years he settled disputes in connection with the boundaries
of the British possessions, which he did with the utmost tact and diplomacy. During he Transkei War of 1877–78, he
commanded the Diamond Fields Horse and was badly wounded at Perie Bush. Returning to England in 1880, he was
appointed Instructor of Surveying at Chatham, but in 1882 he again returned to Africa, where he confirmed the claims of
Great Britain in what was to become British Bechuanaland. After briefly holding command of the garrison in Suakin (1886) he
was recalled to England the same year to be Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
It was during his tenure as commissioner (1886-88) that the Whitechapel section London was plagued by the series of grisly,
still unsolved murders attributed to the infamous Jack the Ripper. In fact Warren's resignation as commissioner took place
on the same day that the body of the Ripper's last victim, Mary Kelly was discovered. Warren received a rather negative
portrayal in the 2001 Jack the Ripper themed film From Hell. In the following year he went to Singapore, where he
commanded the troops in the Straits Settlements for five years.
During the Anglo-Boer War, now a Lieutenant-General, he commanded the 5th Division of the South African Field Force. His
defeat at Spion Kop was the widely criticized, but on the resumption of the offensive in Natal he took part in the crossing of
the Tugela River and the defeat the Boers at Pieters Hill, paving the way for the relief of Ladysmith. He was promoted
General in 1904, and the next year was appointed Colonel-Commandant of the Royal Engineers. He was an avid Freemason
and first Master of the First Lodge which was founded with the aim of conducting Masonic research.
After his retirement from public service he was involved in the Church Lads' Brigade and was a pioneering scoutmaster in the
movement founded by his friend and military colleague, Lord Baden-Powell.
Warren married Fanny Margaretta Haydon in 1864 and the couple had two sons an two daughters.
General Sir Charles Warren, GCMG, KCB, FRS passed away after a bout of pneumonia in 1927.
Mounted Woodburytype Photograph
13 1/2 inches by 9 3/4 inches (34 cm x 24 cm)
Barraud - Photographer
263 Oxford Street, London & 92 Bold Street, Liverpool, England