Edmund Allenby - a brief history

SAILING, swimming, birdnesting, and fishing were some of the summertime activities young Edmund Allenby would enjoy in Victorian Felixstowe.In the 1860s, Felixstowe was still a tiny fishing village - it would be 30 years before it became the fashionable resort enjoyed by the London set.

SAILING, swimming, birdnesting, and fishing were some of the summertime activities young Edmund Allenby would enjoy in Victorian Felixstowe.

In the 1860s, Felixstowe was still a tiny fishing village - it would be 30 years before it became the fashionable resort enjoyed by the London set.

Allenby's father owned Felixstowe House, which the family lived in each summer and permanently after his death in 1878, and also 2,000 acres in Norfolk.

Edmund was born in 1861 and after barely surviving whooping cough as a small child, grew up strong and healthy and enjoyed the country life.

At Felixstowe he enjoyed spending time with his cousins in what was a village by the sea - with no railway at that time, and one horse-drawn bus to Ipswich a few times a week, a scattering of cottages, the church of St Peter and St Paul, and a few farms.

The boys explored the countryside, playing in the woods and fishing in streams, learning to fire a gun, and especially loved the sea and the chance to sail and swim.

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Edmund was a country man at heart - even as a soldier, he would return to England and head straight for the solitude of Felixstowe and his family.

It was not until he was in his 60s and on the death of his mother that he gave up his home by the sea and went to live in London.

In his military career he served in the Second Boer War and the Western Front before his Middle East campaigns, and is widely credited with developing the Blitzkrieg tactics so widely used in World War Two.

He worked closely with Lawrence of Arabia - who also has Felixstowe connections, having served at the town's air station - and because of the strict and severe way he ruled over the men under him was nicknamed Bloody Bull.