Captain Michael Hugh Hicks-Beach, Viscount QUENINGTON
Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
Date of birth: 19 January 1877
Date of death: 23 April 1916
Died of wounds received in action aged 39
Buried at the Cairo New British Protestant Cemetery. Grave ref; G 321-4
Michael Hugh was born at 40 Portman Square, London, the eldest son of the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, and his second wife, Lady Lucy Catherine nee Fortescue. He had one older sister, and two younger.
In 1906 Sir Michael was raised to the peerage as Viscount St Aldwyn, of Coln St Aldwyn, in the County of Gloucester, and in 1915 he was further created Viscount Quenington, of Quenington, in the County of Gloucester, and Earl St Aldwyn, of Coln St Aldwyn, in the County of Gloucester. From 1915, Michael Hugh held the courtesy title of Viscount Quenington, as a subsidiary title held by his father.
Michael Hugh was educated at Eton and came up to Christ Church in 1895. From 1906 until his death, he was Conservative MP for Tewkesbury, and a board member of Lloyds Bank.
On 28 September 1909, he married Marjorie Dent-Brocklehurst of Sudely Castle; their daughter, Delia Mary, was born in August 1910, and their son, Michael John, on 9 October 1912. In 1911 they were living at Mill House, Coln St Aldwyn, Fairford, Gloucestershire.
Michael Hugh served as a Captain in the 4th (Militia) Battalion. Gloucestershire Regt at St Helena during the South African War. He joined the St Helena Masonic Lodge No 488 (St Helena) resigning on 31 July 1901, and joined Cotswold Lodge No. 592 at Cirencester on the 16 October 1901 when his occupation was given as J.P.
At the outbreak of war, he joined the 1/1st Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (RGH) as a 2nd Lieutenant and served with them at Gallipoli as a Troop Officer. He took part in the Yeomanry action at Chocolate Hill on 21 August 1915. After the evacuation the RGH returned to Egypt. He was Mentioned in Dispatches.
His wife, Marjorie, went out to Egypt as a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment a voluntary organisation providing field nursing services), and died from typhus in Cairo on 15 March 1916.
Michael Hugh died of wounds received when serving as Adjutant in severe fighting with the Turks, some 40 miles from the Suez Canal, near Katia in the Canal Zone. He and his wife are buried at the Cairo New British Protestant Cemetery.
There is a plaque to their memory in All Saints Church Fittleton, and he is commemorated on the Lloyds Bank Lombard Street Memorial, and the Cirencester War Memorial (below). The chancel of St John the Baptist church, Coln St Aldwyn was refurbished in the early 20th century in memory of the 1st Earl St Aldwyn, Michael Hugh, and Marjorie.
There are further two memorials to him, both at Gloucester Cathedral. The one is for local Freemasons, and is in the Cloisters while the other reference is on the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars memorial in College Green (in front of the West Door). We are grateful to Alan O. Watkins for the two photographs below.
His father, who had been elevated to the Peerage in February 1915, died a week after Michael Hugh, and his infant son, who followed his father and grandfather to Eton and Christ Church, succeeded to the title. Michael's mother Lady Catherine St Aldwyn and his two spinster sisters - Lady Victoria and Lady Susan Hicks-Beach - went out to Egypt in 1921 aboard the Narkunda which left London on 7 January 1921- presumably to visit the graves.