Sir Charles Fergusson, 7th Baronet

Last updated

Sir Charles Fergusson

Sir Charles Fergusson, ca 1926.jpg
Sir Charles Fergusson, circa 1926
3rd Governor-General of New Zealand
In office
13 December 1924 8 February 1930
Monarch George V
Preceded by The Viscount Jellicoe
Succeeded by The Lord Bledisloe
Personal details
Born(1865-01-17)17 January 1865
Died20 February 1951(1951-02-20) (aged 86)
Maybole, Ayrshire
Relations Sir James Fergusson, 6th Baronet (father)
Children Bernard Fergusson, Baron Ballantrae
Military service
Allegiance Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Branch/service Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service1883–1922
Commands 5th Division
9th (Scottish) Division
II Corps
XVII Corps
Battles/wars Mahdist War
First World War
Awards 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

General Sir Charles Fergusson, 7th Baronet GCB , GCMG , DSO , MVO (17 January 1865 – 20 February 1951) was a British Army officer and the third Governor-General of New Zealand.

General is the highest rank currently achievable by serving officers of the British Army. The rank can also be held by Royal Marines officers in tri-service posts, for example, General Sir Gordon Messenger the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff. It ranks above lieutenant-general and, in the Army, is subordinate to the rank of field marshal, which is now only awarded as an honorary rank. The rank of general has a NATO-code of OF-9, and is a four-star rank. It is equivalent to a full admiral in the Royal Navy or an air chief marshal in the Royal Air Force.

Distinguished Service Order UK military decoration

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Since 1993 all ranks have been eligible.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.


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. [1] 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. [1] 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. [1] 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. [2] He took the 5th Division to France in August 1914 at the start of the First World War [2] and then briefly took command of 9th (Scottish) Division from October to December 1914. [3] He commanded II Corps from January 1915 and then, from May 1916, XVII Corps which he led until the end of the war. [2]

Sir James Fergusson, 6th Baronet Governor of South Australia (1869-1873), and New Zealand (1873-1874)

Sir James Fergusson, 6th Baronet was a British soldier, Conservative politician and colonial administrator.

Eton College British independent boarding school located in Eton

Eton College is an English 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as Kynge's College of Our Ladye of Eton besyde Windesore , as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.

Royal Military College, Sandhurst British Army military academy

The Royal Military College (RMC), founded in 1801 and established in 1802 at Great Marlow and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, England, but moved in October 1812 to Sandhurst, Berkshire, was a British Army military academy for training infantry and cavalry officers of the British and Indian Armies.

After the war he was a Military Governor of Cologne before he retired in 1922. [1]

Cologne city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and its 1 million+ (2016) inhabitants make it the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. The largest city on the Rhine, it is also the most populous city both of the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas, and of the Rhineland. Centred on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Bonn. It is the largest city in the Central Franconian and Ripuarian dialect areas.

Governor-General of New Zealand

A year after an unsuccessful attempt to enter Parliament through the South Ayrshire constituency in the 1923 general election, [4] Fergusson was appointed Governor-General of New Zealand and served until 1930. [1] 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.

South Ayrshire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1868 until 1983, when it was abolished. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP), elected by the first past the post voting system.

1923 United Kingdom general election

The 1923 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 6 December 1923. The Conservatives, led by Stanley Baldwin, won the most seats, but Labour, led by Ramsay MacDonald, and H. H. Asquith's reunited Liberal Party gained enough seats to produce a hung parliament. It was the last UK general election in which a third party won more than 100 seats, or received more than 26% of the vote.

Bernard Fergusson, Baron Ballantrae Military leader, historian, viceroy

Brigadier Bernard Edward Fergusson, Baron Ballantrae, was a British Army officer, a military historian and the last British-born Governor-General of New Zealand.

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. [5]

1929 Murchison earthquake earthquake

The 1929 Murchison earthquake occurred at 10:17 am on 17 June. It struck the Murchison region of the South Island, with an estimated magnitude of 7.3, and was felt throughout New Zealand. There were 17 casualties, mostly as a result of landslides triggered by the earthquake. The rumbling sound of the earthquake was loud enough to be heard at New Plymouth, more than 250 km (155 mi) away.

Paekakariki Place in Wellington, New Zealand

Paekakariki, prior to 1905 also known as Paikakariki, is a town in the Kapiti Coast District in the south-western North Island of New Zealand. It is 22 km (14 mi) north of Porirua and 45 km (28 mi) northeast of Wellington, the nation's capital city. The town's name in Māori means "kākāriki (parakeet) perch".

Pukerua Bay Suburb in Porirua, New Zealand

Pukerua Bay is a small seaside community at the southern end of the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand. In local government terms it is the northernmost suburb of Porirua City. It is 12 km north of the Porirua City Centre on State Highway 1 (SH1), and 30 km north of central Wellington. In Māori, the words puke rua literally mean two hills but it is not clear to which hills the name refers. The community's population was 1,896 people in 2013, and there were 89 businesses.

Marriage and family

Fergusson married Lady Alice Mary Boyle on 18 July 1901. She was a daughter of David Boyle, 7th Earl of Glasgow. They had five children: [6]

David Boyle, 7th Earl of Glasgow British colonial governor

David Boyle, 7th Earl of Glasgow,, was a British naval commander and colonial governor. He served as Governor of New Zealand between 1892 and 1897.


Fergusson was a Freemason. During his term as Governor-General (1925-1928), he was also Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. [7]

Later life

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.


Related Research Articles

Earl of Glasgow hereditary title in the Peerage of Scotland

Earl of Glasgow is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1703 for David Boyle, Lord Boyle.

Willoughby Norrie, 1st Baron Norrie Military leader, viceroy

Lieutenant-General Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, 1st Baron Norrie,, was a senior officer of the British Army who fought in both World Wars, following which he served terms as Governor of South Australia and the eighth Governor-General of New Zealand.

Fergusson baronets

The Fergusson Baronetcy, of Kilkerran in the County of Ayr, is a title in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia. It was created on 30 November 1703 for the prominent advocate John Fergusson. The second Baronet represented Sutherland in the House of Commons and served as a Lord of Session under the judicial title Lord Kilkerran. The third Baronet sat as Member of Parliament for Ayrshire and Edinburgh. In 1796 he claimed the earldom of Glencairn. The House of Lords decided that he had successfully proved that he was heir-general to Alexander Cunningham, 10th Earl of Glencairn, but that he had not proved his right to the earldom. The sixth Baronet was a Conservative politician and colonial governor and notably served as Governor of New Zealand from 1873 to 1874 and as Governor of Bombay from 1880 to 1885. The seventh Baronet was Governor-General of New Zealand between 1924 and 1930. The eighth Baronet was an author and historian and also served as Lord-Lieutenant of Ayrshire.

Lieutenant-General Sir George Charles Gordon-Lennox was a senior British Army officer who served during the Second World War.

Allan Adair British general

Major General Sir Allan Henry Shafto Adair, 6th Baronet, was a senior officer of the British Army who served in both World wars; as a company commander in the Grenadier Guards in the First World War, and as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Guards Armoured Division in the Second World War.

Sir Standish O'Grady Roche, 4th Baronet, DSO of Ireland, was commanding officer of the destroyer HMS Beaufort in the World War II Second Battle of Sirte on 22 March 1942. He earned the Distinguished Service Order and Croix de Guerre while protecting convoys near Malta. He also served as aide-de-camp to the Governor-General of New Zealand through January 1938 while a Royal Navy lieutenant.

Bertram Sergison-Brooke British Army general

Lieutenant General Sir Bertram Norman Sergison-Brooke, was an Anglo-Irish senior British Army officer who served as Major-General commanding the Brigade of Guards and General Officer Commanding London District.

The 1937 Coronation Honours were awarded in honour of the coronation of George VI.

The Coronation Honours 1911 for the British Empire were announced on 19 June 1911, to celebrate the coronation of George V which was held on the 22 June 1911.

Admiral Sir James Andrew Fergusson, was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station.

Sir Charles Dalrymple Fergusson, 5th Baronet of Kilkerran FRSE (1800–1849) was a Scottish lawyer.

Major-General Henry Charles Hovell-Thurlow-Cumming-Bruce, 7th Baron Thurlow, was a British Peer and British Army officer.

The 1913 Birthday Honours were appointments in the British Empire of King George V to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens. The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of The King, and were published on 3 June 1913 and 6 June 1913.

Sir James Fergusson, 8th Baronet of Kilkerran, (1904-1973) was a Scottish peer, broadcaster, journalist and historian.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  2. 1 2 3 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  3. Army Commands Archived 5 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  4. 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.
  5. Gavin McLean (October 2006), The Governors, New Zealand Governors and Governors-General, Otago University Press, ISBN   978-1-877372-25-4
  6. The Peerage, entry for Lady Alice Boyle
  7. Vice Regal Grand Masters - Who and Why? Archived 9 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine
Military offices
Preceded by
William Campbell
GOC 5th Division
Succeeded by
Thomas Morland
Preceded by
Colin Mackenzie
GOC 9th (Scottish) Division
October–December 1914
Succeeded by
Herman Landon
Preceded by
Horace Smith-Dorrien
GOC II Corps
Succeeded by
Claud Jacob
Preceded by
Julian Byng
Succeeded by
Post disbanded
Government offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Jellicoe
Governor-General of New Zealand
Succeeded by
The Viscount Bledisloe
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Ailsa
Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire
Succeeded by
Sir Geoffrey Hughes-Onslow
Baronetage of Nova Scotia
Preceded by
James Fergusson
(of Kilkerran)
Succeeded by
James Fergusson