Sir Charles Fergusson, 7th Baronet
Sir Charles Fergusson
Bt GCB GCMG DSO MVO
Sir Charles Fergusson, circa 1926
|3rd Governor-General of New Zealand|
13 December 1924 – 8 February 1930
|Preceded by||The Viscount Jellicoe|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Bledisloe|
|Born||17 January 1865|
20 February 1951 (aged 86)|
|Relations||Sir James Fergusson, 6th Baronet (father)|
|Children||Bernard Fergusson, Baron Ballantrae|
|Years of service||1883–1922|
9th (Scottish) Division
First World War
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath|
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order
Member of the Royal Victorian Order
Early life and military career
Charles was the son of Sir James Fergusson, 6th Baronet, the 6th Governor of New Zealand. He was educated at Eton College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, before joining the Grenadier Guards in 1883. He served in Sudan from 1896 to 1898, becoming Commanding Officer of the 15th Sudanese Regiment in 1899 and Commander of the Omdurman District in 1900. He was made Adjutant General of the Egyptian Army 1901 and Commanding Officer of 3rd Bn Grenadier Guards in 1904 before becoming a Brigadier-General on the staff of the Irish Command in 1907. He was appointed Inspector of Infantry in 1909 and General Officer Commanding 5th Division in Ireland in 1913 – in this capacity he played a key role during the Curragh incident, ensuring his officers obeyed orders. He took the 5th Division to France in August 1914 at the start of the First World War and then briefly took command of 9th (Scottish) Division from October to December 1914. He commanded II Corps from January 1915 and then, from May 1916, XVII Corps which he led until the end of the war.
Governor-General of New Zealand
A year after an unsuccessful attempt to enter Parliament through the South Ayrshire constituency in the 1923 general election, Fergusson was appointed Governor-General of New Zealand and served until 1930. His father, Sir James Fergusson, had served as a Governor of New Zealand, and his son Bernard Ballantrae was the tenth and last British-appointed Governor-General.
On 20 June 1929 Fergusson was involved in a railway accident, following the 1929 Murchison earthquake. Attached to the rear of a train leaving the National Dairy Show at Palmerston North with 200 passengers on board, the Viceregal carriage contained the Governor-General and his wife and other members of the Viceregal party. The train hit a slip between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay, with the locomotive falling down a steep bank and injuring the driver. The first three carriages of the train also left the rails, but the Viceregal carriage remained on the tracks, and Fergusson and his party suffered only minor cuts and bruises.
Marriage and family
- Helen Dorothea Fergusson (born 15 October 1902) married 1925 Major Leonard Proby Haviland
- Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, 8th Bt (born 18 September 1904, died 25 October 1973)
- The Reverend Simon Charles David Fergusson (born 5 June 1907, died 1982)
- Brigadier Bernard Edward Fergusson, Baron Ballantrae, KT, GCMG, GCVO, DSO, OBE (born 6 May 1911, died 28 November 1980)
- Charles Fergusson (born 16 January 1917, died 22 January 1917)
After his term in New Zealand, he became chairman of the West Indies Closer Union Commission and was Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire from 1937 until his death on 20 February 1951.
- Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Army Commands Archived 5 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
- McLintock, A. H., ed. (23 April 2009) [First published in 1966]. "Fergusson, General Sir Charles, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., D.S.O., M.V.O., LL.D. (Glasgow), Bt.". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Gavin McLean (October 2006), The Governors, New Zealand Governors and Governors-General, Otago University Press, ISBN 978-1-877372-25-4
- The Peerage, entry for Lady Alice Boyle
- Vice Regal Grand Masters - Who and Why? Archived 9 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sir Charles Fergusson, 7th Baronet.|
| GOC 5th Division
| GOC 9th (Scottish) Division
| GOC II Corps
| GOC XVII Corps
The Viscount Jellicoe
| Governor-General of New Zealand
The Viscount Bledisloe
The Marquess of Ailsa
| Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire
Sir Geoffrey Hughes-Onslow
|Baronetage of Nova Scotia|