Burton was a soldier, secret agent, diplomat, linguist par excellence, prolific author, and explorer who searched for the source of the Nile and penetrated Mecca disguised as a Muslim (the penalty for that, if he was exposed, was death). He was also a thoroughgoing patriot. Of the Amazons of Dahomey, he wrote that they “were mostly elderly and all of them hideous. The officers were decidedly chosen for the size of their bottoms. . . . They maneuver with the precision of a flock of sheep. . . . An equal number of British charwomen, armed with the British broomstick would . . . clear them off in a very few hours.” For a Burton costume, one might want to replicate the look he sported on the coast of Somalia where he was attacked by Somali tribesmen. He drove them off but had a spear jammed through his cheek and into his jaw. It was still there when sailors found him on the beach the next morning.
One might also consider Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer. Class warriors would be affrighted by the aristocratic Templer, who was an Olympic athlete and who as an old man (in a dressing gown and waving a swordstick) chased down a burglar; he breathed his last while nursing a pink gin. Templer was the man who gave us the “hearts and minds” strategy for defeating Communist insurgents, which the British used successfully in Malaya. But it was not all a matter of public uplift and good works. Templer employed hard measures too. He found, for instance, that headhunters made excellent trackers of Communist guerrillas. Among Templer’s other stratagems was to have planes flying above the clouds over the jungle broadcasting, as if in the voice of God, the words “World Communism is doomed” over and over again — an egregious (in liberal eyes surely) state support of religion, and Western anti-Communist religion at that.
Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer