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  • Memorial St Olave’s Church, Gatcombe, Isle of Wight, Courtesy of Cliff Housley
Person Details
29 Nov 1894
Arnold Nottingham
Charles was the son of Charles Hilton Seely and Hilda Lucy Seely née Grant. His father was born in Pinxton, Derbyshire, the son of Charles and Emily Seely. He was baptised on 21 August 1859 at Brooke parish church, Isle of Wight. In 1891 the family was living at Queens Gate Gardens, Kensington, London. Both Charles and his father were described as colliery owners and both were magistrates. Charles snr. was made a baronet on 19 February 1896 and Charles Hilton inherited the title from his father in 1915. The family homes were at Langford Hall, Lincolnshire, and later at Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, and also Brooke House at Brooke, Isle of Wight. Charles Hilton and Hilda Lucy were married in 1891 (O/N/D Isle of Wight Hants) and had six children: Charles Grant b. Arnold 29 November 1894 (birth registered 1895 J/F/M Basford) bap. 8 January 1895 Arnold St Mary, Violet Lucy Emily b. London 13 January 1897 (J/F/M Strand London) bap. 15 February 1897 St Martin in the Fields, Hugh Michael and Ivy Angela b. Langford 2 October 1898 (O/N/D Newark) bap. 18 November 1898 Lincoln St Mary Magdalene, Victor Basil John b. London 18 May 1900 (A/M/J St George Hanover Square) bap 25 June 1900 St George Hanover Square and Nigel Richard William b. Langford 13 November 1902 (O/N/D Newark). In 1901 Charles Hilton (41) an MP and colliery owner, and Hilda (32) were living at Langford Hall, Newark, with their five children Charles (6), Violet (4), Hugh and Ivy (2) and Victor (under 1 year). There were 11 indoor servants including three nurses (domestic). The youngest child, Nigel, was born the following year. At the time of the 1911 census Charles Hilton and Hilda were visitors at a hotel, Grand Mansions, The Leas, Folkestone, along with their six children: Charles (16), Violet (14), Hugh (12), Ivy (12), Victor (10) and Nigel (8). The four boys were described as students but not the two girls although they were of school age, so it is probable they had a governess. All four boys went to public school; Charles was educated at Cheam School and Eton College and then went up to Trinity College, Cambridge. His father Charles Hilton died at Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, on 26 February 1926 and his mother Hilda Lucy died at Kings Manor, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, on 24 August 1939. Of Charles' siblings: Violet Lucy Emily married Wentworth Henry Canning Beaumont (2ndViscount Allendale) on 20 July 1921 at St Martin in The Fields, London; they had one daughter and five sons. She died on 6 May 1979. Hugh Michael served as a second lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards (1917-1919) and in the South Notts Hussars (1920-1923). He married Molly Patricia Chatwode, the daughter of William Ewart Berry 1st Viscount Camrose, in 1942. Hugh was created Baron Sherwood of Calverton on 14 August 1941. He died on 14 August 1941 without heirs and the title passed to his brother, Victor. Ivy Angela served as a nursing member of the British Red Cross Society Volunteers from 26 November 1917 until March 1919 at the Chelsea Hospital 13 Grosvernor Crescent and St George's Auxiliary Hospital Church Hill. She died unmarried on 12 February 1987 (J/F/M Kensington & Chelsea). Victor Basil John (4th Bt) married (1) Sybil Helen Shiffner (née Grant) in 1922 (J/A/S St George Hanover Square) one child Nigel Edward Seely b. 28 July 1923 (5th Bt d. 25 April 2019) (2) Patience MAUDE (née Kemp dtr. 1st Baron Rochdale) in January 1931 (J/F/M London City, St Ethelburga) d. 1936 one child Victoria b. 6 September 1933 (3) Mary Frances Margaret Collins (b. 5 March 1905) on 8 June 1937 (A/M/J London City) two children Alexandra Mary Hilda b. 16 September 1938 and Victor Ronald b. 1 August 1941. Victor died in 1980 (A/M/J Westminster). Nigel Richard William was gazetted Pilot Officer General Duties in the County of London Auxiliary Air Force on 2 July 1929 (effective date 9 April 1929), qualified as a pilot and relinquished his commission on completion of service on 9 April 1936 (gazetted 9 May 1936). He married Isabella Elinor Margarete von Rieben (b. 1914) on 24 March 1937; they had four children. He served in the RAF in the Second World War (90150 Squadron Leader RAF/RAAF) and died on 10 May 1943 (buried Brook St Mary churchyard Brightstone).
Educated at Cheam School, Eton College and Trinity College Cambridge.
19 Apr 1917
651275 - CWGC Website
Hampshire Regiment
Charles Grant Seely volunteered for service and enlisted on 4 August 1914. He followed his father in his military career being commissioned into the 8th (Isle of Wight) battalion the Hampshire Regiment in 1914. He served initially in the Isle of Wight and was promoted lieutenant in April 1915. He served with the regiment in Gallipoli from 10 August 1915 and was promoted temporary captain and acting adjutant until the regiment left the peninsula in December 1915. The Battalion was sent to Egypt and Charles in command of a company served in the canal zone during the summer and autumn of 1916. He took part in the attacks on Gaza, Palestine, in 1917. It was during this Second Battle of Gaza that Charles was three times wounded but continued to lead his men forward until he was killed in action on the 19th April 1917. He was initially reported missing and it was thought that he might have been taken prisoner. However, his body was recovered the following November and he was buried in Gaza war cemetery, Palestine & Israel (grave ref. XXi.E).
Captain Charles Grant Seely is also commemorated on memorials at Trinity College Chapel Cambridge, Brook St Mary Church Isle of Wight, the Isle of Wight Rifles memorial in the Chapel of St Nicholas Carisbrooke Castle, the Isle of Wight Rifles memorial in Newport Isle of Wight Drill Hall, and Gatcombe St Olave (ROH). There is also a private memorial in Gatcombe St Olave, Isle of Wight - a marble statue representing Captain Seely on a box tomb sculpted by Sir Thomas Brock and unveiled on 2 October 1922 by HRH Princess Beatrice, dedication: ‘We pray you commend to the mercy of God the soul of Charles Grant Seely eldest son of Sir Charles Seely, Baronet, and Dame Hilda, his wife. Born on Nov. 29, 1894, and educated at Cheam, Eton and Trinity College,, Cambridge, he joined the Isle of Wight Rifles at the outbreak of the Great War and, after serving with distinction in the Gallipoli and Egyptian Campaigns, fell gloriously, thrice wounded, at Gaza in Palestine on April 19, 1917, while leading the advance upon the Turkish position. Greatly beloved – for he was a very gallant gentleman – he lies in the cemetery at Gaza, surrounded by the men of his regiment who fell with him that day. Mizpah.’ (Mizpah - 'The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another' KJB Genesis 31:49) A memorial service for Charles was held at St Thomas' church, Newport, Isle of Wight, in January 1918. His father, Sir Charles Seely MP, represented Mansfield Division Nottinghamshire and his son's death was widely reported in the national press. isle of Wight Mercury dated Friday, April 27, 1917: 'News has reached the Island that the Isle of Wight Rifles have been engaged in the recent severe fighting in the Holy Land. A telegram received by the County Press announces that Captain Charles Seely is reported wounded and missing in the fighting in Palestine. Captain Seely is the eldest son of Sir Charles Seely. His cousin was reported killed a few days ago.' Daily Mirror, 19 November 1917 (photograph): ‘MP’s son killed. Captain Charles Grant Seely, eldest son of Sir Charles Seely MP whose body has been found. He was reported wounded and missing at Gaza in April, and it was hoped he might be a prisoner his body has only recently been found.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 17 November 1917: ‘Death of Capt. CG Seely. Missing since April 19th. Much sympathy will be felt for Sir Chas. And lady Seely, Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, in the (-) news which has just arrived of the death of their eldest son, Captain Charles Grant Seely, who was reported wounded and missing at the second battle of Gaza on 19th April. It was reported at the time that the gallant officer, who was attached to the Hants. Regt., was wounded twice, but continued to lead his men towards the Turkish position, and was finally reported missing. At first it was thought that he might have fallen into Turkish hands a a prisoner, but Sir Chas. Seely has now received an intimation that his body has been found. Born in 1894, the late Capt. Seely was at Trinity College, Cambridge, when war broke out, and at once joined the army. He was given a commission in the Hampshire Regt. In August, 1914, fought at Gallipoli, was gazetted captain in July of last year. It is a pathetic coincidence that Sir Charles Seely’s youngest brother, Brigadier-General JEB Seely has also been bereaved of his eldest son, who died of wounds in France. The late Capt. Seely was reported missing upon the same day as the son of Mr Bonar Law.’ [Cousin Frank Reginald Seely 2/Lt 1st Bn Hampshire Regiment KIA 13 April 1917 age 20. Andrew Bonar Law MP leader of the Conservative Party from 1911 who served in Lloyd George’s coalition government. Lost two sons in the war] (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 23 November 1917: ‘Sir Charles Seely’s Son. Captain Charles Grant Seely who is now reported killed in action in Palestine on April 19th last, was the eldest son of Sir Charles Seely Bart., MP. He was born on November 29th 1904, and was educated at Cheam School and Eton College. He was at Trinity College, Cambridge, when the war broke out. He enlisted on August 4th 1914, in the Hampshire Regiment, and received a commission a few days later. He served in the Isle of Wight during the winter, and was promoted lieutenant in April, 1915. He accompanied the regiment to Gallipoli, where they landed on August 10th, 1915. After the action at Suvla bay on August 12th he became temporary captain and acting-adjutant, which post he held till the regiment left the peninsula in December, 1915, for Egypt. He served on the outposts east of the canal in command of a company during the summer and autumn of 1916, and was promoted captainin July, 1916. He was present during th fighting at Gaza in March and April this year, being wounded three times during the advance. His body has only recently been found.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: Seely Charles Grant of Sherwood Lodge Arnold Nottinghamshire died 19 April 1917 in Palestine killed in action Administration London 26 February to sir Charles Hilton Seely baronet. Effects £1647 10s. 8d. Lieut Col Frank Evelyn Seely TD, Charles Grant Seely's uncle, High Sheriff of Nottingham 1922, performed the unveiling ceremony of the Arnot Hill Memorial in 1922. Colonel Charles Hilton Seely had served with the 1st Nottinghamshire Rifle Volunteers as a Captain (1887-1908) and became a Lieut Colonel with the 5th Bn Hampshire Regiment. In 1914 he was a co-opted member of the Nottingham Territorial Force Association. He was High Sheriff of Nottingham in 1912. The title passed to Charles Hilton Seely's second son, Hugh, who died without issue so then passed to his brother Victor Basil (4th Bt). Victor died in 1980 and the title pased to his son by his first marriage, Nigel Edward (5th Bt). Probate: Seely Charles Hilton (baronet) of Sherwood Lodge Arnold Nottinghamshire died 26 February 1926 Probate (save and except settled land) London 29 June to Frank Evelyn Seely colonel HM Army sire Hugh Michael Seely baronet Victor Basil John Seely coal contractor and Nigel Richard William Seely esquire. Effects £189139 8s. 10d. Further Grant 20 July 1926 [limited to settled land] Probate: Seely dame Hilda Lucy of Kings Manor Freshwater isle of Wight widow died 24 August 1939 Probate London 28 December to Ivy Angela Seely spinster. Effects £8120 16s. 1d.
Remembered on


  • Memorial St Olave’s Church, Gatcombe, Isle of Wight, Courtesy of Cliff Housley
    Charles Grant Seely - Memorial St Olave’s Church, Gatcombe, Isle of Wight, Courtesy of Cliff Housley
  • Photograph Daily Mirror, 19 November 1917
    Charles Grant Seely - Photograph Daily Mirror, 19 November 1917