Lord George Wellesley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lord George Wellesley
Lady and Lord George Wellesley in 1918.jpg
Lady and Lord George Wellesley in 1918
Born(1889-07-29)29 July 1889
Died31 July 1967(1967-07-31) (aged 78)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Royal Air Force
Years of service1909–1919
RankSquadron Leader
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsMilitary Cross
Mentioned in Despatches

Lord George Wellesley MC (29 July 1889 – 31 July 1967) was an English soldier and airman.


Wellesley was born on 29 July 1889, the son of Colonel Lord Arthur Wellesley (later the 4th Duke of Wellington), and Kathleen Emily Bulkeley Williams. His great-grandfather was Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.

Wellesley was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire. He was Managing Director of Coxeter and Son plc. He was commissioned a second lieutenant (on probation) in the Grenadier Guards on 3 February 1909 and was confirmed in his rank on 1 February 1911.[1][2] He was promoted to lieutenant on 15 September 1912, and was appointed a flying officer in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) on 30 June 1914.[3][4] He was promoted to flight commander on 11 December 1914, with the temporary rank of captain, and was appointed an instructor at the Central Flying School of the RFC on 19 December.[5][6] He fought in the First World War between 1914 and 1918, where he was mentioned in despatches in June 1916. He was appointed a squadron commander on 1 July 1916, with the permanent rank of captain and the temporary rank of major.[7] He was decorated with the Military Cross in 1916.

On 19th November 1910 Wellesley rescued May Haviland, aged 20,from an attempted suicide when she threw herself into the Thames from Putney Bridge with two six pound weights attached to her neck.[8]

Wellesley married Louise Nesta Pamela FitzGerald, the widow of his older brother Richard, in New York, on March 12, 1917.[9] She was the daughter of Sir Maurice FitzGerald, 2nd Baronet, and Amelia Catherine Bischoffsheim. Richard, a Captain in the Grenadier Guards, was killed in action on October 29, 1914.

Wellesley was appointed a wing commander in the RFC, with the temporary rank of lieutenant colonel, on 1 October 1917.[10] He gained the rank of squadron leader in 1939 in the service of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR). He fought in the Second World War between 1939 and 1945. He was decorated with the Royal Humane Society Medal. He relinquished his commission in the RAFVR on 10 February 1954, retaining the rank of squadron leader.[11]

After the death of his first wife on 21 February 1947, Wellesley married secondly Jean McGillivray, daughter of John McGillivray and Jane Ann Stuart, on 25 November 1955. He had a son, Richard, with his first wife.

Wellesley died on 31 July 1967.


  1. ^ "No. 28220". The London Gazette. 2 February 1909. p. 830.
  2. ^ "No. 28462". The London Gazette. 3 February 1911. p. 857.
  3. ^ "No. 28658". The London Gazette. 29 October 1912. p. 7942.
  4. ^ "No. 28870". The London Gazette. 14 August 1914. p. 6398.
  5. ^ "No. 29015". The London Gazette. 22 December 1914. p. 10922.
  6. ^ "No. 29052". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 January 1915. p. 894.
  7. ^ "No. 29687". The London Gazette. 28 July 1916. p. 7483.
  8. ^ West London Observer 25/11/1910
  9. ^ "Lord Wellesley Weds A Wellesley. Youngest Son of the Duke of Wellington Quietly Marries His Brother's Widow. In St. Thomas's Chapel. Bridegroom, Here on a Mission for His Government, Is a Captain of Grenadier Guards". New York Times. 13 March 1917. A marriage of international interest was solemnized yesterday in this city when Lord George Wellesley, youngest son of the Duke of Wellington and Louise Nesta Pamela Wellesley, widow of Richard Wellesley, a brother of the bridegroom, were married in the chapel of St. Thomas's Church. The Rev. Dr. Ernest M. Stires officiated.
  10. ^ "No. 30496". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 January 1918. p. 1348.
  11. ^ "No. 40281". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 September 1954. p. 5380.