Sir Hugh Douglas Cumberbatch
Hugh Douglas Cumberbatch was born 29th July 1897 in Smyna, now Izmir, Turkey. He was the second son of Henry Alfred Cumberbatch H.M. Consul at Smyrna and his wife Helene Gertude daughter of Thomas Bowen Rees. Hugh was educated at Kings School, Canterbury, Kent.
He became a temporary second lieutenant on 6th November 1914. He was appointed temporary lieutenant of The Buffs-9th Battalion East Kent Regiment on 3rd October 1915 and arrived in France two days later. He was transferred to the General List on January 10th, 1917. He was described on 21 Jan 1917 as being: 6" 0' tall, of dark complexion, with dark brown hair and brown eyes.
He was made temporary Captain of The Buffs-6th Battalion East Kent Regiment on May 1st, 1918.
He was twice mentioned in dispatches for distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty. Firstly by the Earl of Cavan, the Commander in Chief of British Forces in Italy and secondly by the Commander in Chief of British Forces in Salonika. He relinquished his commission and retained the rank of Captain on 1 May 1919.
Mentioned in dispatches
5th June, 1919.
The following despatch has been received by the Secretary of State for War from General F. E. Earl of Cavan, K.P., K.C.B., M.V.O., Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in Italy :—
General Headquarters, Italy,
18th January, 1919.
I have the honour to submit a list of names of those Officers, Ladies, Non-commissioned Officers and Men serving, or who have served, under my Command during the period 15th September, 1918, to 31st December, 1918, whose distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty I consider deserving of reward.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant,
The British Forces in Italy
Cumberbatch, T./Lt. H. D.
5th June, 1919.
The following Despatch has-been received by the Secretary of State for War from Lieutenant-General
Sir G. F. Milne, K.C.B.,
K.C.M.G., D.S.O., Commander-in-Chief,
British Salonika Force: —
British Salonika Force,
9th March, 1919.
I have the honour to submit herewith a list of names of the Officers, Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, Men and Nursing Staff, whom I desire to bring to your notice for their distinguished and gallant services during the period from 1st October, 1918, to the 1st March, 1919.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant, G. F. MILNE, Lieut.-General,
Commanding-in-Chief, British Salonika Force.
Cumberbatch, T./Lt. (A./Capt.), attd. Maltese Lab. Corps.
Hugh Douglas Cumberbatch married Sheelagh Elphinstone daughter of Robert Elphinstone Bradley on 21st January 1925 in Calcutta, India. Between 1936 and 1938 Hugh was the 23rd President of the Saturday Club in Calcutta, India.
Hugh was the Chairman of the Directors of Messrs. Andrew Yule and Company Limited in 1945. The company had been converted into a Public Limited Company in 1946.
At the time of independence in 1947, the Company was at the zenith of its prosperity and influence. The Group managed about 57 Companies, provided employment to about 86 thousand people and in addition indirect employment to many more. The turnover of the Group in 1947 was Rs.23 crore, but what is more remarkable that the amount paid to the exchequer of Rs.1.80 crore was one sixtieth of Government’s total current revenue at that time.
Between 1947 and 1948 Hugh was elected President of both the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and of the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India. Hugh retired in 1948 and arrived back in England on 20 May 1948 aboard the Cilicia.
He was knighted in the New Years Honours list of 1948.
The KING has been graciously pleased to signify, as on the 14th August, 1947, His Majesty's intention of conferring the Honour of Knighthood upon the following:—
Hugh Douglas CUMBERBATCH, Esq., Chairman of the Directors, Messrs. Andrew Yule and Company, Limited, Calcutta, Bengal.
The London Gazette
Publication date:30 December 1947 Supplement:38161 Page:2
Hugh died at his home Monks Park, Wadhurst, Sussex, England on 26th October 1951. His obituary in The Times read:
Sir Hugh Cumberbatch
Sir Hugh Cumberbatch, a former president of the Associated Chambers of Commerce India, died at his home at Wadhurst, Sussex, yesterday at the age of 54.
Hugh Douglas Cumberbatch was the son of the late H.A. Cumberbatch, C.M.G., and was born on July 29, 1897. He was educated at Kings School, Canterbury, and served in The Buffs during the 1914-18 war, being twice wounded and once mentioned in dispatches. After the end of hostilities he joined the staff of Andrew Yule and Co. and quickly attained a prominent position in the firm. He was elected Chairman in 1945 and such was his reputation in business circles in India that in 1947 he was elected president of both the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and of the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India. He retired in 1948 and a knighthood was conferred upon him in the New Years Honours of that year.
He married in 1925 Sheelagh Elphinstone, daughter of Mr. R.E. Bradley.
(The Times, Saturday, Oct 27, 1951; pg. 8; Issue 52143; col F)
Hugh was buried at St Peter & St Pauls Churchyard, Wadhurst, Sussex, England on 30 October 1951.