Eric Thesiger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Eric Richard Thesiger DSO, TD (17 February 1874 – 2 October 1961),[1] styled The Honourable from 1878, was a British soldier and page to Queen Victoria.


He was the fourth son of Frederic Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford and his wife Adria Fanny Heath, daughter of Major-General John Coussamker Heath.[2] His older brothers were Frederic Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford and the diplomat Wilfred Gilbert Thesiger.[2] Thesiger was educated at Winchester College and in 1884, he was nominated Page of Honour to the Queen, a post he fulfilled for the following six years.[3] In 1893, he became a Staff Commissioner of Police.[3]


Thesiger joined the Imperial Yeomanry as a private during the Second Boer War,[4] when he was appointed a lieutenant of the 15th Battalion (Imperial Yeomanry) on 29 November 1900.[5] On 1 November 1901 he was promoted to captain in the battalion, with the temporary rank of captain in the Army.[6] He stayed in South Africa until the war ended in June 1902, left Port Elizabeth for Southampton on the SS Colombian the following month,[7] and relinquished his commission in the Imperial Yeomanry on 3 September 1902, when he was granted the honorary rank of Captain in the Army.[8] In late 1902 he became a second lieutenant of the Surrey Yeomanry.[9] He was transferred as major from the Yeomanry into the Territorial Force in 1908.[10] In the First World War Thesiger was wounded twice and was mentioned in despatches as many times.[3]

He was appointed to the 10th Battalion, Royal West Surrey Regiment in 1917,[11] commanding it until 1918, and subsequently the 10th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment for another year.[12] In March of the latter year, he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order (DSO)[13] and in August, he received the Territorial Decoration (TD).[14] He was made an Officer of the Order of the Crown of Belgium and also awarded the Belgian Croix de guerre in October[15] and some days later, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel.[16]

He retired from the Territorial Army in 1929, having reached the age limit.[17]


On 29 October 1904, he married firstly Pearl Marie Coupland, only daughter of John Coupland, and had by her a daughter and two sons.[1] She died in 1922, and Thesiger remarried Sydney Hilda Hutton-Croft, daughter of George Arthur Hutton-Croft on 3 October 1929, but she died only a year later.[1] He married thirdly Mary Pudsey, daughter of Reverend F. W. Pudsey, on 27 March 1953.[1] His third wife sadly also died the next year, and Thesiger survived her until 1961.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "ThePeerage — Lt-Col Eric Richard Thesiger". Retrieved 25 March 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1929). Armorial Families. vol. II. London: Hurst & Blackett. p. 1917. 
  3. ^ a b c Who Is Who 1935. London: A. & C. Black Ltd. 1935. p. 3340. 
  4. ^ Whitaker's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companioage. J. Whitaker & Sons. 1923. p. 193. 
  5. ^ "No. 27251". The London Gazette. 27 November 1900. p. 7823. 
  6. ^ "No. 27385". The London Gazette. 10 December 1901. p. 8717. 
  7. ^ "The Army in South Africa - Troops returning home". The Times (36821). London. 16 July 1902. p. 11. 
  8. ^ "No. 27474". The London Gazette. 16 September 1902. p. 5960. 
  9. ^ "No. 27513". The London Gazette. 6 September 1903. p. 112. 
  10. ^ "No. 28159". The London Gazette. 17 July 1908. p. 5222. 
  11. ^ "No. 30584". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 March 1918. p. 3449. 
  12. ^ "No. 31428". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 July 1919. p. 8314. 
  13. ^ "No. 31435". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 July 1919. p. 8505. 
  14. ^ "No. 31511". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 August 1919. p. 10551. 
  15. ^ "No. 31615". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 October 1919. p. 12996. 
  16. ^ "No. 31626". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 October 1919. p. 13406. 
  17. ^ "No. 33470". The London Gazette. 26 February 1929. p. 1348. 

External links[edit]

Court offices
Preceded by
Percy Cust
Page of Honour
1884 – 1890
Succeeded by
Hon. Maurice Drummond