|Cecil||Edward Herbert||Captain||CECIL, LORD EDWARD HERBERT, Brevet Major, was born on 12 July 1867, and was the fourth son of the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury and of Georgina, daughter of the Honourable Sir Edward Hall Alderson, a Baron of the Exchequer. He was educated at Eton, and was gazetted to the Grenadier Guards 30 April 1887, and was for some time on the Staff of Lord Wolseley, Commander-in-Chief in Ireland. He became Lieutenant 16 March 1892. On 18 June 1894, he married Violet Georgina, daughter of Admiral Maxse, and they had one daughter, Helen, and a son, George Edward, who was killed in action in France in September 1914. As ADC to the GO Commanding, he served with the Dongola Expeditionary Force in 1896, being present at the operations of 7 June and 19 September 1896; was mentioned in Despatches 3 November 1896; was given the Brevet of Major, and received the 4th Class Medjidie, the British Medal, and the Khedive's Medal with two clasps. He accompanied Sir Rennell Rodd in the special mission to King Menelik of Abyssinia in 1897, receiving the Star of Ethiopia and the Abyssinian Order. In 1898 he served in the Egyptian Campaign, which culminated in the fall of Khartoum and the conquest of the Sudan, being present at the action of Atbara and the Battle of Omdurman. Lord Edward Cecil was mentioned in Despatches 24 May and 30 September 1898; received two clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 15 November 1898]: "Lord Edward Herbert Cecil, Captain and Brevet Major, Grenadier Guards. In recognition of services in Egypt and the Sudan, including the Battles of Atbara and Khartoum". The Insignia were presented by the Queen at Windsor 1 December 1898. He served throughout the South African War, in which he took a prominent part as Chief of the Staff, and afterwards as AAG for the defence of Mafeking. Sir A Conan Doyle tells us, in 'The Great Boer War' (page 305), how, before the siege, "Baden-Powell, with the aid of an excellent group of special officers, who included Colonel Gould Adams, Lord Edward Cecil, the soldier son of England's Premier, and Colonel Hore, had done all that was possible to put the place in a state of defence". Lord Edward was subsequently Administrator of Marico and Rustenburg Districts (Queen's Medal with two clasps; Despatches, 8 February 1901; Brevet of Lieutenant Colonel 29 November 1900). He returned to Egypt at the close of the South African War, and was subsequently for a time Sudan Secretary in Cairo. He was promoted to Major on 19 August 1903, and Brevet Colonel 29 November 1906, and retired 3 August 1907, with the rank of Colonel. In 1904 Lord Edward became Agent-General of the Sudan and Director of Intelligence to the Egyptian Army at Cairo, where his conspicuous abilities soon came under the notice of Lord Cromer. In 1906 he was appointed Under Secretary of War to the Egyptian Government, and in the same year became Under Secretary of State for Finance, jointly with Mr Mitchell-Innes, and in 1907, on the retirement of Mr Mitchell-Innes, he became sole Under Secretary for Finance, and in 1912 was appointed, in succession to Sir Paul Harvey, Financial Adviser to the Egyptian Government, a post which he held up to the time of his death. He had become Colonel, and had retired from the Grenadier Guards on 3 August 1907. The 'Times' says of Lord Edward Cecil that "it fell to his lot, in a country where, perhaps more than in any other, all questions tend to resolve themselves into questions of finance, to take a prominent part in nearly every question of importance which arose in Egypt during a period of upwards of ten years. As Financial Adviser he had to deal with the new and unexpected situation created on the outbreak of the war and the consequent establishment of a protectorate in Egypt; and it is in no small measure due to the tact and firmness with which the financial aspects of the situation were handled that the Egyptian masses have remained quiet and contented throughout the war. Lord Edward Cecil possessed in a high degree that aptitude for public affairs which is a tradition of his great family. Imbued with the highest ideals and always unsparing of himself, he was ever most considerate and loyal both to superiors and subordinates, regardless of possible prejudice to his own interests or advancement. To all with whom he came in contact his manner was always most cordial and utterly devoid of condescension. In him the British Empire loses a servant who worked for it with a single-minded devotion to duty and without a thought of self-advancement. To his friends in Egypt and elsewhere (and they were many) Lord Edward's charm of manner, ability to talk well and interestingly on almost any subject, and readiness to help and advise when asked, will always be a grateful memory". He died at midnight on Saturday, 14 December 1919, at Leysin, Switzerland, after a long illness contracted in serving his country. |
KCMG, DSO, Queen's Sudan (Capt & Bt Major Lord Gren Gds), QSA (2) Tr DofM (Lt Col Lord Gren Gds), Ethiopia Order of the Star 4th Class b/b, Turkey Order of Medjidie 3rd Class n/b, Khedive Sudan (4) Firket Hafir The Atbara Khartoum (unnamed and local riveting). Glendining Dec 66 £370. Spink May 67 £445. Spink Oct 99 £10,000.
Source: DSO recipients (VC and DSO Book)