Most Irish with a passing knowledge of South American history will be aware of Bernardo O'Higgins role in the achievement of Chile's independence, but until reading Tim Pat Coogan's Wherever Green Is Worn, I was unaware that the original Liberator owed some of his success to a military Kerryman. Arthur Sandes (presumably a member of the family that owned Newtownsandes, now Moyvane) was born in Kerry in 1793, fought at Waterloo, before volunteering to join an Anglo-Irish Brigade organised at the bequest of the independence movement. Swiftly becoming commander, the force gained a string of victories across Venezuela, Colombia and Peru, culminating in the continent's liberation. Indeed, in recognition of his achievements, Sandes was appointed Governor of Azuay (Ecuador), before an early death in 1832. While his aristocratic background may be partially to blame for his current obscurity, he appears to have been on good terms with Daniel O'Connell, whose son, Morgan, was another volunteer for the Bolivar campaign.