Frances Isabella Duberly

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FID was a letter-writer and diarist of considerable talent, who reached print in both these forms when she was the only officer's wife to remain with the British army throughout the Crimean war. Her letters in their full form vividly narrate her personal experiences and frustrations; those which were carried anonymously by newspapers blew the whistle on incompetence and criminal negligence in military high places. Her published journal from the Crimea and to a lesser extent her later journal from India (which rank both as travel writing and as military history) combine these themes with those of the horrors of war and the persistence through it all of the human spirit: sometimes comic, occasionally proto-feminist, often satirical.
Black-and-white photo of Frances Isabella Duberly on a horse in front of her husaband Captain Henry Duberly during the Crimean War, 1855.
"Frances Isabella Duberly" by Roger Fenton, 1855-01-01. Retrieved from https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/captain-henry-duberly-paymaster-of-the-8th-hussars-with-his-news-photo/73500257. This image is licensed under the GETTY IMAGES CONTENT LICENCE AGREEMENT.

Milestones

27 September 1829
Frances Isabella Locke (later Duberly) was born at Rowdeford House in the village of Rowde, near Devizes in Wiltshire. She was the youngest by some years in a family of nine children.
Duberly, Frances Isabella. “Editor’s Introduction”. Mrs Duberly’s War. Journals and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6, edited by Christine Kelly, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. xi - xlviii.
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2 July 1855
FID , who had experienced the loss en route of many letters sent home to England from the Crimea, sent her sister Selina the greater part of her war journal, for safety, in the care of a friend.
Duberly, Frances Isabella. “Editor’s Introduction”. Mrs Duberly’s War. Journals and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6, edited by Christine Kelly, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. xi - xlviii.
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December 1855
FID 's Journal Kept during the Russian War, a record of military manoeuvres and engagements in the Crimea, appeared in time for the Christmas market while the war was still going on.
Duberly, Frances Isabella. “Editor’s Introduction”. Mrs Duberly’s War. Journals and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6, edited by Christine Kelly, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. xi - xlviii.
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Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
January 1903
FID died at her home, St Clair, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, after more than eleven years as a widow.
This is her editor's date. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography puts her death on 19 November 1902.
Duberly, Frances Isabella. “Editor’s Introduction”. Mrs Duberly’s War. Journals and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6, edited by Christine Kelly, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. xi - xlviii.
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Biography

Birth and Family

27 September 1829
Frances Isabella Locke (later Duberly) was born at Rowdeford House in the village of Rowde, near Devizes in Wiltshire. She was the youngest by some years in a family of nine children.
Duberly, Frances Isabella. “Editor’s Introduction”. Mrs Duberly’s War. Journals and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6, edited by Christine Kelly, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. xi - xlviii.
xii