He is standing among the British team at Creedmoor. He watches the wind, directs every shot, knows the fate of each bullet before it reaches the target. A figure tall and erect; a commanding presence. His men obey him implicitly; he is their Marlborough, their Welllington. As the books write him down, he is Sir Henry St. John Halford, Bart., of Wistow Hall, in the County of Leicestershire, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Leicestershire Rifles.
Sir Henry Halford (1828-1897)
"The country owes to him the debt which is due to a man who made the science of rifles, as well as the practice of rifle-shooting, the main pursuit of his life, who without thought of pecuniary advantage, laboured without ceasing to discover all that could be discovered about the infantry weapon and to bring that weapon to a state of perfection." The Times, 5 January 1897
The painting to the right is oil on canvas, by John Collier in 1896.
- Men of The Hour: Sir Henry Halford - A short biographic article published in the USA in 1882.
- An Illustrated Interview with Sir Henry Halford - Published in The Strand magazine, London, in 1893.
- Death of Sir Henry Halford - Obituary from The Times, London, 5 January 1897.
- Death of Sir Henry Halford - Obituary from the Morning Post, London, 5 January 1897.
- Sir Henry St. John Halford - Biography of Sir Henry St John Halford from the Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement.
In 1893 the influential London magazine 'The Strand' published an illustrated interview with Sir Henry Halford. "The Grand Old Man of Shooting," Sir Henry Halford revelled in records almost from the very first meeting at Wimbledon in 1860, and it is a remarkable fact that amongst his prizes are those of the Albert at Wimbledon in 1862 and the same trophy at Bisley in 1893, a record lapse of thirty-one years!
We record with a regret which will be shared in many circles, and particularly amongst those who have taken an interest in the development of rifle-shooting in this country, the death at Wistow Hall, Leicester, yesterday, after a long illness, arising from a heart affection, of Sir Henry St. John Halford, of Wistow.
We regret to record the death of Sir Henry St. John Halford, C.B., which occurred at Wistow Hall, his residence at Leicester, at two o’clock yesterday afternoon after an illness of several months’ duration.
It was, however, in connection with rifle shooting and the volunteer movement that Sir Henry was best known. At the beginning of the movement in 1860 he took command of a company of the Leicestershire volunteers. In 1862 he became colonel of the battalion. In 1868 he resigned, but resumed the office in 1878, and held it till 1891, in which year he became honorary colonel. In 1886 he received the order of C.B.