Brigadier-General Lord Chesham, Charles William Compton Cavendish, Baron Chesham, of Chesham

BRIGADIER-GENERAL LORD CHESHAM, Charles William Compton Cavendish, Baron Chesham, of Chesham, in the County of Buckinghamshire, was born 13th December 1850. He received his first commission in the Coldstream Guards on 30th March 1870, but was transferred immediately afterwards to the 10th Hussars, of which regiment he became Adjutant 17th May 1876. Obtaining his troop 13th October 1877, he exchanged to the 16th Lancers, and shortly afterwards retired from the Regular Army, and was appointed 2nd July 1897, to a troop in the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry. He was promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the regiment on 24th April 1889. He raised the corps to such a high standard of efficiency, that it is was arguably unequalled in the whole Yeomanry Service. It was only, therefore, in the nature of things that he should have been offered the command of the 10th Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry when it came into existence in the January. His command consisted of two Companies drawn from his own County and one each from Berkshire and Oxfordshire. This battalion was one of the first to land in South Africa, and was at once pushed on to the front. Thus it came about that the 10th Battalion was the first Yeomanry unit to receive its baptism of fire, its behaviour in Lord Methuen's action at Boshof having been highly commended by Methuen, who pronounced the gallantry of the yeoman troopers as worthy the best traditions of the British Cavalry.

His son Charles William Hugh Cavendish, 2nd Lieutenant. The Honourable, 17th Lancers was killed in action at Diamond Hill, near Pretoria. 11th June 1900. Aged 21. Born September 1878. He was the only son of Lord Chesham. Educated at Eton (Mr Ainger's). Entered 17th Lancer's from Royal Military College August 1898. Sent to South Africa February 1900. Served with is regiment in Orange River County and the Transvaal before being killed at Diamond Hill. There is a memorial to him in Northampton Cathedral - "To the Glory of God and in memory of Brave Men, inhabitants of this County and neighbourhood, who gave their lives for their Sovereign and Country during the War in South Africa 1899-1902, the Western Window of this Cathedral was filled with stained glass, AD 1903........ 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers, 2nd Lieut. The Hon. C.W.H. Cavendish ........"

Last updated 23 September, 2008
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