Major-General Sir Charles William Wilson
Royal Engineers
K.C.B., K.C.M.G., F.R.S., D.C.L., LL.D., M.E.

by
Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis 2008

Backmark of original cabinet card photograph reads:
Artist & Photographer: Lafayette, Late of Paris
30 Westmoreland Street, Dublin

An Outline of His Life and Military Service

14 Mar 1836: Born at Liverpool. Son of Edward Wilson, Esq.
of Hean Castle, Pembrokeshire.

1844: At St. David’s School, Pembrokeshire.

1845: At the Collegiate Institute, Liverpool.

1852-54: At Cheltenham College.

1854:Student at the University of Bonn.

1855: Commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers.
Passed second in first open admission to the Royal
Engineers.

1855-57: At the School of Military Engineering, Chatham.

1857: Employed at Dover.

[Photograph from the Larimore Collection]

1857-58: Employed at Portsmouth.

1858-62: Assigned as the Secretary of the North American Boundary
Commission in British Columbia, Canada.

1863-64: Employed at Chatham.

1864: Promoted Captain.

1864-65: Carried out the Ordnance Survey of Jerusalem.

1865-66: Exploration in Palestine.

1866-68: In charge of the Ordnance Survey of Scotland.

1867: Married Olivia, daughter of the late Colonel Duffin, Bengal Cavalry.

1868-69: In charge of the Ordnance Survey of the Sinai.

1869-70: Executive Officer of the Topographical Department.

1870-73: Director of the Topographical Department.

1873: Promoted Major.

1873-76: Assigned as Assistant Quartermaster-General at the Intelligence Department.

1874: Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (F.R.S.). Also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
President, Geographical Section, British Association, Belfast.

1876-79: In charge of the Ordnance Survey, Ireland.

1877: Created Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.)(Civil).

1878-79: British Representative on the Serbian Boundary Commission. Royal Commissioner for Registration of Deeds and Insurances in Ireland.

1879: Promoted Lieutenant Colonel.

1879-82: Consul-General in Asia Minor (Anatolia).

1881: Created Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. Employed while Consul-General in Asia Minor on a Special Mission to Rumelia, and on the inspection of the
Consular stations in Asia Minor, Syria, and Palestine.

1882-83: Employed on a Special Mission in Egypt, on the trial of Arabi Pasha, and under the Earl of Dufferin.
Awarded Egypt 1882 Medal and Khedive’s Star.

1883-84: In charge of the Ordnance Survey, Ireland.

1883: Honorary Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.), Oxford.

1883: Promoted Brevet Colonel.

1884-85: Deputy Adjutant-General and Chief of the Intelligence Department for the Nile Expedition. Present at the action at Abu Klea. Commanded the troops at the battle of El Gubat on the 19th of February 1885.
Mentioned in despatches, thanks of the Government and two clasps to the Egypt Medal.

1885: Created Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.).

1885-86: In charge of the Ordnance Survey, Ireland.

1886: Honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), Edinburgh.

1886-94: Director-General of the Ordnance Survey of the United Kingdom.

1888: President, Geographical Section, British Association, Bath.

1893: Appointed Temporary Major-General. Honorary Master in Engineering (M.E.), Dublin University.

1894: Promoted to Major-General.

1895-98: Director-General of Military Education.

1898: Retired from the Army by age.

1899: Traveled in Palestine. Edom, and Moab.

Address: 9 Warwick Square, London, S.W. Club: Athenaeum. Recreations: traveling and exploration.

1904: Traveled in Palestine.

25 Oct 1905: Died at Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

REFERENCES:

1. WATSON, SIR CHARLES M. The Life of Major-General Sir Charles William Wilson, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., F.R.S., D.C.L., LL.D., M.E. E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, 1909.

2. HUNTER, A.A. (ed.). Cheltenham College Register, 1841-1910. G. Bell and Sons, Ltd., 1911, p. 149.

3. SLADEN, D. (ed.). Who’s Who, 1899. Adam & Charles Black, London, 1899, p. 991.