Thursday, 22 June 2017

OSWALD, Oswald Charles Williamson

Brigadier-General, Royal Artillery
Died: 25th August 1938
Age: 74

Interred in Bangor cemetery

Charles Williamson was born in Meerut, India, in 1864, the son of Colonel James Williamson (formerly Oswald)† of the 29th Punjab Infantry.

Educated at St. Peter's School, York, and Woolwich, Charles enlisted with the Royal Artillery in 1883 with the rank of Lieutenant and promoted Captain on 1 January 1892.

He served in the Burmese expedition of 1887-89 were he was slightly wounded and awarded Medal with two clasps.

He had a further award for service in the Waziristan Expedition of 1894-95; served with the Chitral Relief force under Sir Robert Low in 1895 (Medal with clasp); saw action in the the campaign on the North West Frontier of India under Sir William Lockhart in 1897-98 with the Tochi Field Force in command of No 6 (Bombay) Mountain Battery (clasp); fought in the South African War, receiving the Queen's Medal; and later saw action in Persia.

He was promoted to Major in 1901, Lieut.-Colonel in 1911 and Colonel in 1914.

He served throughout the Great War in Belgium, France, Macedonia, and Palestine. He was twice wounded and mentioned in despatches and received his appointment as Brigadier-General in 1917.

In 1919 he was G.O.C. Kantara (Suez area) and acted as Brigadier-General Royal Engineers in Egypt and Palestine, retiring with the rank of Hon. Brigadier-General in 1920.

He was made a Companion of the Bath in the Kings Birthday Honours in 1917 and awarded the Order of the Crown of Italy later that year. He also received the Order of St. Michael and St. George and the Order of the Nile (3rd Class) in 1918.

In 1908 he married Margaret (Meta) Carson, a daughter of Mr. William Carson, J.P., of Carnalea House, Bangor.

Brigadier-General Oswald wrote several publications including "61, or How Some Wheels Went Round,"‡ and contributed to several newspapers.

Oswald -- August 25, 1938, Brigadier-General Charles Williamson Oswald, C.B., C.M.G., F.R.G.S. (late R.A.), of Breathtulla, Helen's Bay, Co. Down.
Belfast Newsletter, 26th August 1938

†: I would be interested if anyone was able to enlighten as to why Col. Williamson was "formerly Oswald" or why Charles adopted the surname Williamson-Oswald later in his career.

‡: "61, or How Some Wheels Went Round" was a unit history of the 61st Heavy Artillery Group in the Great War. The unit, which was mainly composed of men enlisting under the 'Derby Scheme' midway through the war, served at Ploegsteert Wood in Belgium, on the Macedonian front and in Palestine. Oswald was the 61st's commander.

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