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Family History - Charles Edward Soutar

Charles Edward Soutar was born on January 2nd, 1853 in the city of Aberdeen Scotland.  Growing up Charles was watchful of the military forces which were a plentiful sight in those days.  When Charles was about 22 years of age he enlisted in the Scots Guards (2nd battalion).  He gradually rose through the ranks to become a colour Sgt. (drill Sgt.), demonstrating the skill of diplomacy which he possessed as demonstrated by the respectful air of military bearing that seemed to always surround him.

The officers bore a grudging admiration of his ability to get the most from his men.  Being small of stature was no hindrance to Charles.  He was a person much admired by his own men and the men of other regiments. Some people are born leaders and doer's, Charles came under that heading.

It was not until a man named Governor "Chinese" Gordon was murdered at Khartoum bringing about the first Suez Crises that Charles was to see action.  His Regiment (2nd Battalion) Scots Guards was shopped out to the Suez Region in 1884.  The force was commanded by Sir G. Graham and arrived at Suakim on March 12th.

On March 20th, 1885 the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards moved forward to Hasheem together with other Indian Brigades through desolate terrain surrounded by a Mimosa scrub of Cactus reaching eight to ten feet high. This provided an excellent cover for the Dervishes commanded by Osman Digma. They broke through the lines with the thick Mimosa scrub cover and started massacring the officers. Charles Soutar had stationed himself on a piece of high ground and upon seeing the breakdown of the ranks and the slaughter about to begin, Soutar ran between the ranks of fire shouting for the men to stand their ground. Issuing commands, which because of the respect he had governed from his men over the years, were carried out quickly and with great precision.  Charles Soutar's quick and decisive action ended the enemy breakthrough.

A painting at Scots' Guards Headquarters on Bird Cage Walk across from Buckingham Palace depicts the 2nd Battalion and Charles Soutar directing the action. A picture from the regimental guards History entitled "Hasheem 1885" is shown. A letter from Her Majesties own Court records at Kensington Palace is enclosed (telling of Charles Soutar's brave action).

Charles Soutar returned to London where Queen Victoria appointed him to the Charge of Security of the Royal Family outside the Palace grounds.  He was given the rank of Regimental Sgt. Major of the Kings Own Rifles, the Highest Yeoman Regiment on active Service.

After the death of Her Most Gracious Majesty, King Edward VII upon ascending the throne appointed Charles to the Kings Bodyguard of the Yeoman of the Guard.  He liked Charles' ability to carry out orders without question.  Having a great interest in the American West, His Majesty King Edward the VII appointed Soutar Marshal, ordering him to make a change in his medal order so that the Egyptian Star on his chest would stand out above the others for those in the know to see.

wpe44333.gif (99186 bytes)This picture taken of Charles Edward Soutar was a regimental Sgt. Major 60th Kings Royal Rifle Corps, after which he was appointed. 


wpe98628.gif (68569 bytes)The second picture is at the Coronation of George V in 1911.  Charles Soutar, Kings Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard.

wpe40854.gif (80715 bytes)The last and Final picture of Charles Soutar was taken July 27, 1914 together with that of His Royal Highness The Prince Henry William Fredrick Albert third in succession to the Throne, and later to become The Duke Of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster, Baron of Culloden, Field Marshal - Army 1955, Marshal R.A.F. 1958, Governor General of Australia 1945 - 47.

Charles Soutar died on April 26, 1917, a widower, leaving a son Charles Edward, born February 3rd, 1877 and a sister Maude. Also Charles Edward Soutar a grandson, Percival S Soutar a grandson.  Percival S Soutar is the father of Robert Soutar (Sr.).

Written and researched by Robert Soutar (Sr.), Great Grandson of Charles E. Soutar.

Last Updated: October 01, 2006 07:51:54 PM