Colonel Arthur William Wellington Freer's (Freear's) Character

It would seem from the following account that Colonel Freer, was a compassionate man, not only recognizing a situation but forthright to the point of doing something about setting it right. This item signed by "Senex" was published in the Watford Guide and News of February 14, 1890:

....when the order to "turn out" went through the township of Warwick, [the time of the McKenzie Uprising in October of 1837] Andrew Harrower, though a young man in the prime of life, found himself bordering on a stale of helplessness from a severe attack of rheumatism in one of his legs. To attend the muster at Warwick Village, the place of rendezvous for the township, he looked upon as all impossibility as he was unable to walk across the floor, and as the penalty for disobeying orders was the forfeiture of the owner's land--- which at first was only held by location ticket, and could be cancelled by the Government. The situation was particularly embarassing; Andrew Harrower had no horse of his own at the time, but a neighbour, who had kindly offered him the use of his, telling him if he could only put in an appearance and answer to the call, nothing further would be asked of him. This offer Andrew gladly accepted, as he was very unwilling to lose his land. With great difficulty, he managed lo get on the horse's back, and no little vigilance was needed to pilot his way throught the unbroken forest [Andrew Harrower lived just to the northeast of the present day Village of Watford] as the affected leg would ever and anon come into collision with some tree standing close to the trail.

Arriving at the muster ground, all present answered as their names were called, that done, Andrew sat down on a log, while the others were being put through a rude sort of drill. Colonel Freer, the commanding officer, caught sight of Andrew, sitting a part. Going up to him, he asked in a gruff voice why he was not "falling in" with the others. Andrew pointed to his leg, which he was unable to bend, and told the Colonel he was unable to walk from rheumatism. Colonel Freer told him to sit there till the drill was over and he would give him a cure for rheumatism. After the military duties of the day were over, the Colonel went into a shed of his own near by where he hunted up a bottle and from a jar of turpentine poured about a pint into the bott le, putting in a piece of camphor about the size of a goose egg. Giving the bottle to Andrew, he told him to make his way home as quickly as possible, by which time the camphor would be completely dissolved, then to give the whole leg a thorough rubbing with the contents of the bottle, two or three times, which Andrew did with the happy result of a complete cure being effected. SENEX

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