1905, with the equestrian statue loaded into a GWR well wagon. Photo: Mike Peart collection.

During a spell working in Exeter in 1970, my daily route to work took me past the bronze equestrian statue of General Sir Redvers Buller VC. Born in Crediton near Exeter, Buller was an Eton College boy who bought an army commission in 1858 and rose quickly through the ranks having distinguished himself in numerous campaigns. He was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1879. His fortunes changed and his behaviour and strategy in the Second Boer War from 1899 brought criticism which eventually led to his sacking in 1901. Amongst other things, he stood accused of poor decisions in the field and introducing concentration camps for prisoners taken in the second Boer War. At one stage in 2020 the statue risked being removed because of the General’s reputation later in his military career, but I believe it’s still in place.