Eustace Fiennes

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Sir Eustace Edward Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 1st Baronet (29 February 1864 – 9 February 1943), known as Sir Eustace Fiennes, was a British soldier, Liberal politician and colonial administrator.


Fiennes was born in Reading, Berkshire, the second son of John Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 17th Baron Saye and Sele and his wife, Lady Augusta Hay-Drummond, a daughter of the 11th Earl of Kinnoull. He was educated at Malvern College,[1]

In 1894, Fiennes married Florence Agnes Fletcher née Rathfelder (from Constantia, Cape Town).[2] They lived in Windlesham and Sunningdale and had two children: John Eustace (1895–1917, Battle of Arras) and Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 2nd Baronet (1902–1943).[3]

Military career

Fiennes fought in the North-West Rebellion in 1885, was stationed in Egypt from 1888–89, and took part in the expedition to Mashonaland in 1890. He was commissioned into the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars in 1895, and promoted Lieutenant on 29 April 1899. Following the outbreak of the Second Boer War in late 1899, Fiennes volunteered for service in South Africa, and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Imperial Yeomanry on 3 February 1900,[4] serving in the 40th (Oxfordshire) company of the 10th Battalion. He left London the same day on board the SS Montfort.[5] He was promoted Captain in 1901, Major in 1905, and Lieutenant-Colonel in 1918. He fought in Flanders and the Dardanelles during World War I.[6]

Political career

At the 1906 general election, Fiennes was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Banbury and with a brief interruption in 1910, held the seat until the 1918 general election.[7] He was also Parliamentary Private Secretary to Winston Churchill (then First Lord of the Admiralty) from 1912–14. Created a baronet in 1916, Fiennes left the Commons two years later to become Governor of the Seychelles and was then Governor of the Leeward Islands from 1921-29.[8]

Fiennes died in 1943 aged 78 and his title was inherited by his son who died the same year. His grandson, the famous explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, inherited the title on his birth in 1944.[9] Fiennes is also related to the actors Ralph and Joseph Fiennes.


  1. The Malvern Register 1865-1904
  2. "Sitter: Hon. Mrs. Eustace Fiennes, later Lady Fiennes, née Florence Agnes Rathfelde (d.1950)". Lafayette Negative Archive.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Who's Who
  4. The London Gazette: no. 27160. p. 692. 2 February 1900.
  5. "The War - The Imperial Yeomanry" The Times (London). Saturday, 3 February 1900. (36056), p. 12.
  6. Who's Who
  7. Who's Who
  8. Who's Who
  9. Who's Who

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Albert Brassey
Member of Parliament for Banbury
1906January 1910
Succeeded by
Robert Brassey
Preceded by
Robert Brassey
Member of Parliament for Banbury
December 19101918
Succeeded by
Rhys Williams
Government offices
Preceded by
Charles O'Brien
Governor of the Seychelles
1918 – 1921
Succeeded by
Sir Joseph Byrne
Preceded by
Sir Edward Merewether
Governor of the Leeward Islands
1921 – 1929
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas St. Johnston
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Banbury)
1916 – 1943
Succeeded by
Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes