A life-long student of the Peninsular War
In the death of Senhor Frederico Ferreira Pinto Basto students of the 1802-1812 campaign in Portugal have suffered the loss of one who was an enthusiastic and generous investigator, ever ready to give encouragement, information and advice to all who shared this pursuit.
Belonging by birth to both nations - for his mother was English - he was equally at home in both languages, and nothing gave him greater pleasure than to discuss the course of the war with a present-day representative of either of the Allied Armies.
His beautiful property of Gaeiras lies within a short distance of the battlefields of Vimeira and Roliça, and not far from the ancient walled city of Óbidos. Few British soldiers, artists or writers visited the latter without receiving a kind invitation from Senhor Pinto Basto, for the keeper of the little pension had instructions that on the arrival of such an one he was to inform Gaeiras, and a car would be sent over to fetch him.
Besides the beautiful gardens and fine house, Senhor Pinto Basto had arranged a museum of unusual interest which he delighted to show to his visitors. It included a relief map of the Lines of Torres Vedras, measuring 4m,28cm x 86cm: scale 1.10,000. Besides an extensive library, there are many autograph letters from various generals; photographs and elaborate surveys of the battlefields of Roliça and Vimeira; contemporary maps; a collection of coins used by the armies; a set of surgical instruments of the period; and Wellington's day by day "Orders".
In the interest of future historians of the Portuguese and British armies it is greatly to be hoped that this most valuable collection will never be dispersed, and that from time to time it will continue to receive additions.
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