Burnaby, Frederick Gustavus, was born of an old and distinguished family in 1842. He obtained a commission in the Royal Horse Guards in 1859, and rose to be lieutenant-colonel in 1881. A man of restless energy, reckless daring, and eccentricity that occasionally defied the laws of common sense, he spent his long periods of leave in difficult and dangerous expeditions, chiefly in South America or Central Africa. In 1875, stimulated by the accounts of Russian advances, he rode alone to Khiva, publishing a lively record of his adventures, which were cut short by the officers of the Czar. Next year found him exploring Asia Minor and Persia (On Horseback through Asia), but he ended it as correspondent of the Times with Don Carlos in Spain. He now took to politics and unsuccessfully contested Birmingham as a Conservative in 1880. Ballooning next occupied his attention, and in 1882 he crossed the Channel to France. In the service of the Intelligence department he took part in General Graham's operations against the Soudanese at Suakim in 1884, and was severely wounded at El Teb. He was not permitted to join the Nile expedition, but as a volunteer pushed on to the front late in the year and attached himself to General Herbert Stewart's column in its march from Korti to Metamneh. When the square was broken at Abu Klea by a charge of dervishes he exerted all his courage and his great personal strength to rally his comrades, and fighting in advance of the line was pierced by an Arab spear.