THE BRAVEST SOLDIER: SIR. ROLLO - GILLESPIE By Eric Wakehatri . Mr.
Wakeharn Should have remem- bered that comparisons are " odious before he adopted a thoughtless-phrase of Fortescue's as the title for his memoir (Blackwood, Ifs. 6d.). -Rolld Gillespie (1760-1814) was unquestionably a good fighting maii, and his Seiyice§ in India and Java wouldjustify this new bio- graphy; the. suggestion that he was braver than Many- Other soldiers who have acted promptly and iightlY in an emergency merely raises controversy. There can T be little 116iibt; indeed, despite-Mr. Wakeham's special pleading, that when Gillespie led storiting party of Royal Irish to attack a Gurkha hill fort at Kalunga in October, 1814, he was virtually committing suicide and risking the loss of British prestige ..in Nepal.; The young Scottish Ulster- man had ahownhi Coinage fo better purpose when in i8o6 he crushed a meeting of native troops. at Vellore that might well have spread as perilously as the agitation Of 1857. :And lila skill as • a general was .exhibited in 181 when he defeated tiie.,-bvtch-and-French garrison of Jaya .inIseveral ihatia actions and made our occupation- of the Colony effective by T suptiressing native evolts. Gillespie could not Work with Stamford Raffles, a spirit as fiery as' his own, but his services which Mr. Wakeham records very clearly with some good maps, were =questionably' valuable.