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Michael Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne

Michael Herbert Rudolf Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne, GCSI, GCIE, MC (8 May 1894 – 23 February 1939) was a British peer and soldier, the son of the 4th Baron Brabourne.

The Lord Brabourne

1929 Michael Knatchbull.jpg
Michael Knatchbull in 1929
Member of Parliament for Ashford
In office
27 October 1931 – 17 March 1933
Preceded byRoderick Kedward
Succeeded bySir Patrick Spens
Governor of Bombay
In office
Preceded bySir Frederick Sykes
Succeeded bySir Lawrence Lumley
Governor of Bengal
In office
Preceded bySir John Anderson
Succeeded byJohn Arthur Herbert
Personal details
Born(1894-05-08)8 May 1894
Died23 February 1939(1939-02-23) (aged 44)
Spouse(s)Lady Doreen Browne
ChildrenNorton Knatchbull, 6th Baron Brabourne
John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne
Military career
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Royal Air Force
Years of service1914–1920
UnitRoyal Artillery
Battles/warsWorld War I
 • Gallipoli
AwardsMilitary Cross


Early lifeEdit

Baptised Michael Herbert Rudolf Knatchbull-Hugessen, he dropped the Hugessen part of his surname by deed poll in June 1919.[1] Knatchbull was educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.

Military careerEdit

Damage from enemy anti-aircraft fire sustained by a Farman of No. 3 Squadron RNAS, flown by Reginald Marix with Lt. Knatchbull as observer, June 1915.

Knatchbull was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery on 17 November 1914.[2] He served in the Gallipoli Campaign from April 1915, attached to No. 3 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, flying artillery spotting missions,[3] receiving promotion to lieutenant on 23 July.[4] On 22 September 1915 he received a mention in despatches from General Ian Hamilton, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force,[5] and on 8 November was awarded the Military Cross for his "distinguished service in the Field during the operations at the Dardanelles."[6]

Knatchbull was seconded to the staff to serve as an aide-de-camp on 8 June 1916,[7] serving until 20 April 1918,[8] when he was seconded to the Royal Air Force as a Staff Officer, 3rd Class.[9] He was later promoted to the acting rank of captain, and then to acting major on 11 October 1918 when appointed Staff Officer, 2nd Class (Air).[10] On 8 November 1918 he received a mention in despatches from Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig.[11]

After the end of the war, on 1 August 1919, he was granted a permanent commission in the RAF with the rank of lieutenant.[12] However, he was placed on half-pay on 1 April 1920,[13] and on 1 October was placed on the retired list on account of ill-health contracted on active service, with the rank of flight lieutenant.[14]

House of CommonsEdit

Knatchbull was elected Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashford in 1931 and served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Samuel Hoare, Secretary of State for India, from 1932 to 1933.

House of LordsEdit

In 1933, upon his father's death, he succeeded as Baron Brabourne following which he was made Governor of Bombay and was invested as a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire.[15]

Governor of BombayEdit

While Governor of Bombay he laid the foundation stone at the historic Brabourne Stadium cricket ground in 1936 after conducting negotiations for the land with Anthony de Mello of the Cricket Club of India (CCI).

Governor of BengalEdit

The grave of The 5th Baron Brabourne at St. John's Churchyard, Kolkata, India.

In 1937 he also became a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India[16] and served as Governor of Bengal until 1939, the year he died.


On 22 January 1919, he married Lady Doreen Browne, youngest daughter of the 6th Marquess of Sligo, in St Peter's Church, Eaton Square.[17] They had two children:

His widow, The Dowager Lady Brabourne, was murdered in the 1979 bombing by the Provisional Irish Republican Army of The 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma's boat. One of their grandsons also died in the bombing.

Styles of addressEdit

  • 1895-1915: Mr Michael Knatchbull-Hugessen
  • 1915-1919: The Honourable Michael Knatchbull-Hugessen
  • 1919-1931: The Honourable Michael Knatchbull
  • 1931-1933: The Honourable Michael Knatchbull MP
  • 1933: The Right Honourable The Lord Brabourne[a]
  • 1933-1937: His Excellency The Right Honourable The Lord Brabourne GCIE
  • 1937-1939: His Excellency The Right Honourable The Lord Brabourne GCSI GCIE
  1. ^ Although The Lord Brabourne was a baronet, by custom the post-nominal of "Bt" is omitted, as Peers of the Realm do not list subsidiary hereditary titles.


  1. ^ "No. 31495". The London Gazette. 8 August 1919. p. 10145.
  2. ^ "No. 28976". The London Gazette. 13 November 1914. p. 9384.
  3. ^ Isaacs, Keith (1990). "Wings Over Gallipoli" (PDF). Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  4. ^ "No. 29380". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 November 1915. p. 11736.
  5. ^ "No. 29354". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 November 1915. pp. 10995–10996.
  6. ^ "No. 29357". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 November 1915. p. 11027.
  7. ^ "No. 29698". The London Gazette. 8 August 1916. p. 7787.
  8. ^ "No. 30712". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 May 1918. p. 6345.
  9. ^ "No. 30776". The London Gazette. 2 July 1918. p. 7770.
  10. ^ "No. 30987". The London Gazette. 1 November 1918. p. 12900.
  11. ^ "No. 31089". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 December 1918. p. 15232.
  12. ^ "No. 31486". The London Gazette. 1 August 1919. p. 9870.
  13. ^ "No. 31851". The London Gazette. 6 April 1920. p. 4143.
  14. ^ "No. 32078". The London Gazette. 8 October 1920. p. 9815.
  15. ^ "No. 33993". The London Gazette. 7 November 1933. p. 7187.
  16. ^ "No. 34451". The London Gazette. 5 November 1937. p. 6889.
  17. ^ "Personal: Married". Flight. XI (538): 183. 6 February 1919. Retrieved 8 April 2017.

External linksEdit