THE HISTORY OF FRERE ROAD
It is believed that Frere Road in Kirkee Cantonment was named after Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, 1st Baronet GCB CGSI (29 March 1815 – 29 May 1884), a British colonial administrator. He had a successful career in India rising to become Governor of Bombay.
Frere was born at Clydach House, Clydach, Monmouthshire, the son of Edward Frere, manager of Clydach Ironworks and Mary Ann Green. His elder sister, Mary Anne Frere was born circa 1802 in Clydach, and his younger sister Frances Anne Frere was born circa 1819 in Clydach. He was the grandson of John Frere and a nephew of John Hookham Frere; William Frere; Bartholomew Frere;James Hatley Frere; and Temple Frere – canon of St Peters, Westminster. He was educated at the East India Company College.
On 10 October 1844, he married Catherine Arthur (born c.1821 in Honduras), daughter of Sir George Arthur, 1st Baronet who was the Governor of Bombay and to whom he had been appointed private secretary two years earlier. They had five children.
After leaving the East India Company College Frere was appointed a writer in the Bombay (now Mumbai) civil service in 1834. Having passed his language examination, he was appointed assistant collector at Poona (now Pune) in 1835, and in 1842 he was chosen as private secretary to Sir George Arthur, Governor of Bombay.
He became a member of the Viceroy's Council in 1859, and in 1862 was appointed Governor of Bombay, where he continued his policy of municipal improvements, establishing the Deccan College at Pune, as well as a college for instructing Indians in civil engineering. His order to pull down the ramparts of the old Fort allowed the city to grow, and theFlora Fountain was commissioned in his honour. During Frere's administration his daughter, Mary Frere, collected Old Deccan Days (1868), the first English-language field-collected book of Indian folklore. Some maintain that Frere Road was named after Mary Frere.
Along with Burr Road, this road provided the British Army and Civil Servants
the ability to move freely in Kirkee Cantonment. The CO, his 2i/c and the Adjutant had magnificent bungalows, with stables, outhouses, external kitchens, pantries, riderboys’ accommodation and so on. The Officer’s Mess was a colonial castle.