Charles Egerton (Indian Army officer)

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For other persons named Charles Egerton, see Charles Egerton.
Sir Charles Egerton
Born 10 November 1848
Parsonstown, Ireland
Died 20 February 1921 (aged 72)
Christchurch, Hampshire
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch British Raj Red Ensign.svg Indian Army
Years of service 1867–1907
Rank Field Marshal
Commands held Bannu column
Frontier District
British troops in British Somaliland
Madras Command
Battles/wars Second Anglo-Afghan War
Hazara Expedition
Tochi Expedition
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Relations Grey Egerton Baronets

Field Marshal Sir Charles Comyn Egerton, GCB, DSO (10 November 1848 – 20 February 1921) was a senior Indian Army officer. Early in his career he took part in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, the Hazara Expedition and operations in the Khyber Pass. He went on to command the Bannu column during operations in Waziristan in 1894 and to serve as senior staff officer for the Tochi Expedition in 1897. Egerton took command of the troops in British Somaliland fighting the Somalis under Mohammed Abdullah Hassan in June 1903; he had a significant success at Jidbali in January 1904 killing 1,000 of Hassan's men. His last appointment was as General Officer Commanding Secunderabad District in 1904 before retiring in 1907.

Military career[edit]

Born the third son of Major-General Caledon Egerton and Margaret Egerton (née Cumming) and educated at Rossall School and the Royal Military College Sandhurst, Egerton was commissioned into the 31st Regiment of Foot on 9 June 1867.[1] He immediately transferred to the 76th Regiment of Foot in India.[2] Promoted to lieutenant on 19 October 1869,[3] he joined the Indian Staff Corps on 11 December 1872[4] before being promoted to captain on 8 June 1879[5] on appointment to a squadron in the 3rd Punjab Cavalry.[2]

Egerton served with his regiment in the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1879 and was mentioned in despatches.[6] He became Assistant Adjutant-General of the Punjab Frontier Force on 30 November 1886[7] and, having been promoted to major on 8 June 1887,[8] he took part in the Hazara Expedition in 1888 and in operations in the Khyber Pass in 1891 for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on 30 May 1891.[9] Promoted to lieutenant colonel on 1 September 1891,[10] he became Second-in-Command of his regiment in 1892 and commanded the Bannu column during operations in Waziristan in 1894[11] before becoming Assistant Quartermaster-General at Bengal Command on 21 June 1895.[12] He was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) and then promoted to colonel on 1 September 1895.[13]

Egerton commanded a contingent of troops sent to Suakin in 1896 to hold the town when its permanent garrison was withdrawn for service under Lord Kitchener following which he became an aide-de-camp to the Queen on 17 November 1896.[14] He was senior staff officer and Commander of the 1st Brigade for the Tochi Expedition in 1897 before becoming Commander-in-Chief Punjab Command with local promotion to major-general on 1 April 1899.[15] He was promoted to the local rank of lieutenant general on 3 April 1900,[16] and reverted to the Frontier Force in October 1901 when his command in Punjab ended.[17] A promotion to the substantive rank of major-general followed on 1 April 1902[18] and, after leading an expedition to Waziristan later that year, he was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) on 1 January 1903.[19]

Egerton took command of the troops in British Somaliland fighting the Somalis under Mohammed Abdullah Hassan on 27 June 1903.[20] Promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant general on 28 October 1903,[21] he became Commander-in-Chief Madras Command.[22] He had a significant success at Jidbali in January 1904 killing 1,000 of Hassan's men.[23] However in March 1904 questions were still being asked in the British Parliament as to whether Hassan (then known as the "Mad Mullah") understood that operations would only end when he was captured or killed.[24]

Egerton became colonel of the 23rd Punjab Cavalry (Frontier Force) in 1904.[25] He was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) on 24 June 1904[26] and promoted to full general on 28 October 1906.[9] After retiring on 5 February 1907,[27] he became a member of the Council of India from which post he stood down in 1917.[25] In recognition of his long service he was promoted to field marshal on 16 March 1917.[28]

In retirement Egerton wrote about his wartime experiences and was the author of a book entitled "Hill Warfare on the North-West frontier of India".[29] He died on 20 February 1921 and was buried at St Mark's Churchyard at Highcliffe in Dorset.[30]

Family[edit]

In 1877 Egerton married Anna Wellwood and they went on to have three sons.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23260. p. 3229. 7 June 1867. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Heathcote, p. 115
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23939. p. 219. 17 January 1873. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23927. p. 6254. 10 December 1872. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24761. p. 5456. 12 September 1879. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24909. p. 6538. 3 December 1880. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25811. p. 2399. 27 April 1888. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25727. p. 4243. 5 August 1887. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Sir Charles Egerton". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26226. p. 6229. 24 November 1891. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26639. p. 3737. 2 July 1895. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26636. p. 3528. 21 June 1895. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26667. p. 5407. 1 October 1895. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26795. p. 6272. 17 November 1896. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27095. p. 4141. 4 July 1899. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27205. p. 3969. 26 June 1900. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence" The Times (London). Monday, 14 October 1901. (36585), p. 10.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27546. p. 2618. 24 April 1903. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27511. p. 4. 30 December 1902. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27601. p. 5967. 29 September 1903. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27666. p. 2302. 12 April 1904. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  22. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 1905, p. 484
  23. ^ "1,000 Dervishes slain; British Rout the "Mad" Mullah's Forces in Somaliland". New York Times. 12 January 1904. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  24. ^ "The Mad Mullah". Hansard. 28 March 1904. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  25. ^ a b Heathcote, p. 116
  26. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27688. p. 4007. 21 June 1904. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28005. p. 1929. 19 March 1907. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: no. 29986. p. 2634. 16 March 1917. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  29. ^ "Hill Warfare on the North-West frontier of India". Amazon books. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  30. ^ "Sir Charles Comyn Egerton". Find a Grave. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 

Sources[edit]

  • Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals 1736–1997. London: Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-696-5. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Egerton, Sir Charles. Hill Warfare on the North-West frontier of India. ASIN B000X7G7IE. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir George Wolseley
C-in-C, Madras Command
1903–1907
Succeeded by
Post Disbanded