General Sir Neville Lyttelton (1845-1931) was born the third son of the 4th Baron Lyttelton, of Hagley Hall, in Worcestershire, 28th October 1845; his mother was sister-in-law of William Gladstone. He was educated at Eton College and entered the Rifle Brigade in 1865. He helped to suppress Fenian rising in Canada, 1866; was Secretary ofm the Oregon Boundary Dispute Commission, Canada, 1867; then ADC to Viceroy of Ireland, 1868-1873. He served in the Jowaki Expedition, India, 1877, and in the Egyptian Campaign, 1882. He was appointed private secretary to the Secretary of State for War in the Liberal Government, 1880; Military Secretary to Governor of Gibraltar, 1883-1885, and to Governor of Bombay, 1885-1890; 2nd in Command, 3rd Battalion, Rifle Brigade, Jullundar, India, 1890-1893. He was made Lieutenant Colonel, 1892; commanded 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade, in Dublin, Ireland, 1893-1895. He was appointed Assistant Adjutant General War Office, 1895 and then Assistant Military Secretary, War Office, 1897-1898. He commanded the brigade during the Nile Expedition, Sudan, 1898; commanded 2nd Infantry Brigade, Aldershot, 1899.

In South Africa he commanded the 4th Infantry Brigade, 2nd and 4th Divisions, 1899-1900 and served in Natal, 1901-1902 becoming Commander-in-Chief, South Africa, 1902-1904.

His latter career saw him become Chief of General Staff and First Military Member of Army Council, 1904-1908; and Commander-in-Chief, Ireland, 1908-1912. He was appointed Governor of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, 1912 and published the book "Eighty years: soldiering, politics, games" (Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1927). He died at the Royal Chelsea Hospital on 6th July 1931. He married Katherine Stuart-Wortley in 1883 and they had 3 daughters, of whom Lucy (1884-1977) a writer and poet, married Charles Masterman (1873-1927), the Liberal politician.

Extract from "British Commanders in the Transvaal War 1899-1900" published by W.D. & H.O. Wills Ltd:


Of the well-known Worcestershire family, of which so many members have gained prominence, was born October 28th, 1845. He was educated at Eton, and there gained great popularity and esteem. He entered the Army in 1865 and served with the Rifle Brigade in Canada and India. He was in the Jowaki Expedition of 1877, and five years later served in the Egyptian Campaign, including the battle of Tel-elKebir, and for his distinguished services was granted marks of honour. In the Nile Expedition of 1898 he commanded a brigade under Lord Kitchener, and was present at the battle of Khartoum. For bravery and resource here shewn he was promoted to the rank of Major-General. Since 1885 his services have been chiefly devoted to Home appointments.

On the formation of our Field forces for South Africa, Major-General Lyttelton was appointed to the command of the Fourth Brigade of the Second Division, acting under the direction of General Sir Redvers Buller. He has been through all the heavy fighting, always exhibiting conspicuous skill in leading his Brigade, which was the first to cross the Tugela in our advance on Ladysmith. In the middle of February General Clery was taken ill, and Major-General Lyttelton was consequently placed in temporary command of the Second Division in his stead. The appointment has since been made permanent, and the promotion has given universal satisfaction in military circles.

General Lyttelton is a member of the I Zingari and Free Forester Cricket Clubs. His brother Alfred, is at present Recorder of Oxford and M.P. for Leamington, and another brother is now Bishop of Southampton.

Last updated 5 February, 2009
Personalties Menu

Copyright © 2005-