Grenfell was the son of Pascoe du Pré Grenfell, of Wilton Park, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, grandson of Pascoe Grenfell. His mother was Sophia (née Grenfell). Cecil Grenfell was one of fifteen recorded children born to Pascoe and Sophia. His schooling included time at Eton.
Of his eight brothers; three died in battle. Lieutenant Robert Septimus Grenfell died in a cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898 and his two youngest brothers (twins) were both killed in the First World War. One of the twins, Francis Octavius Grenfell received the Victoria Cross in 1914, but was killed in 1915.
Grenfell was appointed a captain in the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry on 9 March 1898. Following the outbreak of the Second Boer War in South Africa, he was in February 1900 seconded for active service with the Imperial Yeomanry, where he was on 3 February 1900 commissioned a lieutenant with the temporary rank of Lieutenant in the Army. He was later promoted to colonel. Grenfell was MP for Bodmin between the two general elections of 1910, but then stood down.
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Grenfell married Lady Lilian Maud Spencer-Churchill, daughter of George Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough, in 1898. They had two daughters. He died in August 1924, aged 60. His wife survived him by 27 years and died in January 1951, aged 77.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Cecil Grenfell
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Bodmin
January 1910 – December 1910
Sir Reginald Pole-Carew
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