Sir Robert Pringle (1855-1926)

A Veteran buried in Green Lane Cemetery, Farnham (A289)

Researched and written by Jenny Mukerji

Green Lane Cemetery has a number of retired Army officers, mostly men who have come to Farnham after serving at Aldershot after long careers engaged in the various theatres of war or in the Indian sub-continent, commanding native regiments. They usually lived in large houses and employed many of the local people to work as servants or to maintain their gardens.

Major-General Sir Robert Pringle is a fine example and represents all his fellow officers today. He was born in Scotland in 1855 and entered the Army Veterinary Department in 1878. The following year he saw active service in the Afghan War, then in 1881 he was in the Wuzeree Expedition and in 1884 he was in the Zhob Valley Expedition. For serving in the South African War he was awarded the DSO. When Salisbury Plain was taken over he was appointed Principal Veterinary Officer and later he was selected as Inspecting Veterinary Officer in India, serving on the North West Frontier. He returned to England, where he was appointed Principal Veterinary Officer at Aldershot. After improving the sick-lines and hospital treatment of horses and the farriery, he was soon removed to the War Office to be Director-General of the Army Veterinary Service. He was in that post when the First World War broke out and it was through him that the conditions for wounded horses were improved with evacuation stations and motor horse ambulances introduced. He left the War Office towards the end of WW1. Having received his CB in 1909, he was created KCMG in 1917.

Sir Robert died at his home, Fairbourne (Great Austins?), Farnham, on 30 June 1925, aged 70. He had married Sophie MOIR-BYRES in 1898 and she died at Knareborough Nursing Home in London in January 1964, aged 91, and was buried here with him.

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