Lord Edward Cecil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Lord Edward Cecil
Lord Edward Cecil Vanity Fair 1899-11-09.jpg
"at Mafeking"
Cecil as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, November 1899
Birth name Edward Herbert Gascoyne-Cecil
Born (1867-07-12)12 July 1867
Died 13 December 1918(1918-12-13) (aged 51)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 17 years.
Rank Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel
Unit Grenadier Guards
Commands held ADC (Egypt) to Lord Kitchener.
Battles/wars Second Boer War
Relations Marquess of Salisabury

Lord Edward Herbert (Gascoyne-)Cecil KCMG DSO (12 July 1867 – 13 December 1918) was a distinguished and highly decorated soldier. As colonial administrator in Egypt and advisor to the Liberal government he helped to implement Army reforms.


Lord Edward was the fourth son of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury and Georgina Charlotte. Gascoyne-Cecil became a Second Lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards in 1887. He served for four years in the regiment before being promoted first lieutenant and appointed to the staff of Field Marshal Garnet Wolseley. On the Dongola Expedition in 1896 he served with distinction: mentioned in despatches he was a Brevet Major, 4th Class Medjidie, Khedive' Medal for service in Egypt and Sudan, with two clasps. He was appointed a special missionary adviser to King Menelik of Abyssinia in 1897. On the Nile Expedition (that culminated at Omdurman) in 1898 he was mentioned in despatches at the battle of Atbara. For his part in the re-capture of Khartoum he was mentioned in despatches and two clasps. He was aide de camp to Lord Kitchener in the Egyptian campaign of 1896, the battle of Omdurman.[1]

During the Second Boer War he was mentioned in despatches, made Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, awarded Queen's Medal, with two clasps. He was Agent-General to the Government of Sudan and Director of Intelligence at Cairo for two years. Returning to Britain the new Liberal Government appointed Lord Edward Cecil to be Under-Secretary of War in 1906. He was Under-Secretary of Finance from 1907 until 1913, and Financial Advisor to War Office from 1912 until the end of the Great War. In 1915 he was awarded Grand Cordon Order of the Nile.

His book The Leisure of an Egyptian Official, published posthumously in 1921, gives a detailed account of his role and interactions with the Egyptian politicians in nominal control of the country.

He married Violet Georgina Maxse, second daughter of Admiral Frederick Augustus Maxse, a son of Baron Berkeley on 18 June 1894. Lady Cecil was appointed Grand Dame of the Order of St John, and Chevalier Légion d'honneur.[2] Her second husband was First and last Viscount Milner, KG, GCB, GCMG, PC (died 13 May 1925.). The had two children: George Edward Gascoyne-Cecil born on 9 September 1895. He was a Lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards, and was killed in action on 1 September 1914 on the Western Front. Helen Mary Gascoyne-Cecil was born on 11 May 1901. She was an author. She married the 2nd Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, and died in 1979.


  1. ^ Burke's Peerage & Baronetage (106th ed.) (Salisbury)
  2. ^ My Picture Gallery (ed.) National Review 1932-48.

External links[edit]

  • The Leisure of an Egyptian Official. Reprinted, with a new Introduction by Julian Hardinge (Hardinge Simpole, 2008).[1]