Essex Regiment & Essex Militia History

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Colonel Sir George Murray Home Stirling

George Stirling was born on 4 September 1869 son of Sir Charles Elphinstone Fleming Stirling 8th Baronet of Glorat.

He was educated at Eton and then Sandhurst before joining the 2nd Essex as a second lieutenant in 1889.

In January 1900 he was part of a company that was detached from the Regiment and sent to South Africa to take part in the Boer War.

In March 1900 at Sanna's Post the Boers were gaining the upper hand and an artillery officer asked Lieut Stirling to help in recovering a gun that was in danger of being lost to the Boers.

George Murray and 4 men including Driver Glosach made several attempts to take 2 horses from a barn to the gun so that it could be ridden away.

The gunfire was so intense that on every occasion the horses were shot dead and by the end all 87 horses that were in the barn had been killed or wounded. Witnesses describe a hail of bullets that were braved by the 5 men.

With the final pair of horses Lieut Stirling managed to get then to the gun and harnessed but both horses and the driver were shot and so he was forced to withdraw.

Lord Roberts recommended that Lieut Stirling be awarded the VC although this was varied to the DSO. Shortly afterwards he was promoted to Captain.

During the South African campaign he was wounded at Zandfointein, mentioned in Despatches, awarded the South African medal with 4 clasps and the Kings medal with 2 clasps.

From 1903 to 1904 he served in Somalialand as a Special Services Officer and added to his medal collection with The Somalialand medal and clasp.

In 1904 he married Mabel Elizabeth Sprot who later became a well known authoress. The couple had two sons and three daughters.

His father died in 1910 and as the oldest son he became the 9th Baronet of Glorat.

Stirling became a major in 1912 as the war approached and served with distinction being mentioned in despatches on four occasions, being awarded three more medals and promoted to Brevet Lieut-Colonel.

On 15 November1915 he was appointed at commander of the 2nd battalion of the Essex Regiment which position he held until he was wounded on 1 July 1916. After recuperation he joined the 1st Battalion of the Essex Regiment until April 1918.

On retirement he moved back to the family seat of Glorat where he took command of the 9th Battalion of Argyll and Sutherland Higlanders Territorial Army, became Lord Lieutenant of Stirlingshire, Keeper of Dumbarton Castle, a JP and  a member of the Kings Bodyguard for Scotland.

He died on 1 May 1949

 

 

 

 

Sources P 184 of With General French and the cavalry in South Africa by Charles Sydney Goldmann 1902