Arundel Vat

General Abercrombie, Queen Street, Arundel.

Blaster Fred Slaughter.

Arundel Vat  NPG 1538; Sir Ralph Abercromby after John Hoppner

This former pub was permanently closed in the 1980’s and was demolished and replaced by the houses pictured above.

By the late 1920’s the pub had been run by the Slaughter family since 1878. Blaster Fred Slaughter may have been related to the landlady at the time.

The General Abercrombie Tavern could have been named after General Sir Ralph Abercrombie who included under his command the Royal Sussex Regiment.  Abercrombie restored discipline and prestige to the British Army after the disastrous campaigns in the Low Countries between 1793 and 1799. He prepared the way for the successful campaign against Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt.

Entering the army in 1756, Abercrombie served in the Seven Years’ War. When war with Revolutionary France broke out in 1793, he commanded a brigade under the Duke of York in Flanders. He commanded the army’s rear column in its retreat from the Netherlands during the winter of 1794–95. Returning home, he was made a Knight of the Bath and appointed to the command of the British forces in the West Indies, where he seized the French sugar islands.

He served under the Duke of York in the second expedition to the Netherlands in 1799. In 1800, after the failure of a descent on Cádiz, Spain, he was ordered to Egypt to expel or destroy the army left there by Bonaparte. Landing at Abū Qīr Bay on March 8, 1801, he advanced toward Alexandria. A French attack before daybreak on March 21 was beaten back with heavy loss, and Abercrombie was mortally wounded. He died at sea on board the flagship “Foudroyant” and was buried at Malta.