Edward Woodgate

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Edward Woodgate
Born November 1845
Belbroughton, Worcestershire
Died (1900-03-23)23 March 1900 (aged 54)
Mooi River, Natal
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1865–1900
Rank Major General
Unit King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
Commands held 9th Brigade of the 5th Division
Battles/wars Abyssinian War
Anglo-Ashanti wars
Anglo-Zulu War
Second Boer War, Battle of Spion Kop
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Other work Killed in action
Woodgate's monument on the Spion Kop battlefield, Natal, South Africa

Major General Sir Edward Robert Prevost Woodgate, KCMG, CB, (November 1845 – 23 March 1900) was an infantry officer in the British Army.

Family and education[edit]

Woodgate was born in November 1845 at Belbroughton, Worcestershire, the son of Rev Henry Arthur Woodgate, Rector of Holy Trinity parish church there.[1] He was educated at Radley College in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire).


In April 1865 Woodgate was commissioned into the 4th (King's Own) Regiment of Foot, which in 1881 was renamed the King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). He served in the Abyssinian War, the Ashanti War, and the Anglo-Zulu War. In the Second Boer War he commanded the 9th brigade of the 5th Division. At the Battle of Spion Kop he commanded a large force that was sent to capture the strategic hill in a night assault on 23 January 1900.[2] The next morning a shell splinter struck Woodgate's head above the right eye.[3] He suffered a brain injury associated with a shattered orbit.[1]

While being carried down the hill to hospital on a stretcher, he struggled to rejoin his men and had to be forcibly restrained. As a result of the trauma he lost all recent memory and had no recollection of the war.[1]

Woodgate later fell into a coma and died at Mooi River, Natal on 23 March 1900, aged 54. He is buried in the churchyard of St John's Anglican Church just outside Mooi River.[1]

Medieval churchyard cross in Belbroughton churchyard, Worcestershire, restored as a monument to Woodgate

Woodgate left a fiancée, Gladys Newbolt.[1] At his birthplace in Belbroughton his father had the Medieval churchyard cross restored as a monument to him.[4]

Honours and awards[edit]

Abyssinian War Medal (1868)[5] Ashanti War Medal (1873–4) and bar and mentioned in dispatches,[5] Zulu War Campaign Medal (1879)[1] and bar and mentioned in despatches,[5] Sierra Leone 1898 and mentioned in despatches, invested as a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).[5] He was invested as a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in May 1896[5] and Knight Commander in Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in January 1900.[5]


Woodgate's will was proved in the Principal Registry of the Probate Division of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice on 30 June 1900, by his two executors, Lieutenant-Colonel Edward De Barry Barnett of 32 Cambridge Square, Hyde Park, London and George Nicholas Hardinge of 17 Lower Berkeley Street, London. His home address was given as United Services Club, Pall Mall, London[6]


External links[edit]

"WOODGATE Edward R.P. -1900". eGGSA Library. The Genealogical Society of South Africa.  – photograph of the inscribed ledger stone on Woodgate's grave.