The Soltau-Symons Family

Lionel Culme (Soltau) Soltau-Symons

Birth: 1876, in Tarrant Rushton, Dorset, England

Father: George William Culme (Soltau) Soltau-Symons

Mother: Mary Elizabeth (Todd, Coventry) Soltau-Symons

Education: Eton College, which he entered in 1890 and left in 1894
The Eton register 1836-1890 p12:
Soltau-Symons (J.M.E., R.C.R.) LIONEL CULME. Son of J. W. C. S.-S. of Chaddlewood, Plympton, Devon; April 1890, July 1894; Lieut. 1st Bn. Durham Light Infantry, serving in S. Africa.

In Annals of an Eton House p420, Lawrence Buxton recalls an incident at Eton involving Lionel:
  'I remember W. H. Jenkins, now of the 7th Dragoon Guards, and Soltau-Symons, of the Durham Light Infantry, having a great battue with a Service revolver on the top floor. A lexicon was usually the stop-butt; but on this occasion they forgot it, and the bullets went through the wall and nearly slew Godley, now in some Government Office. For some reason, I escaped being captured with them, as did Clem Mitford (10th Hussars). They were dealt with by Greenly, now of the 12th Lancers, and as far as I remember he was not merciful.

Married: Hon. Lucy Jessie Lyon Playfair on 21 November 1907, in Wimborne district, Dorset, England. Lucy was born on 24 September 1877, in Moorefield, county Kildare, Ireland, the daughter of Brig.-Gen. George James Playfair, 2nd Baron Playfair, and Lucy Osborne Matthews. She died on 6 April 1956, at The Ryelands, Randwick, Stroud, Gloucestershire.
1901: Fintray House, Aberdeenshire
1911: The Gables, Shorecliffe, Durham

Occupation: Lionel was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment on 13 March 1895 (London Gazette 12 March 1895 p1472), and transferred to the Durham Light Infantry on 9 December 1896 (London Gazette 8 December 1896 p7231). He was promoted to Lieutenant on 1 September 1898 (London Gazette 20 September 1898 p5536). Lionel was mentioned in despatches from South Africa on 4 September 1901 for having "rendered special and meritorious service" (London Gazette 10 September 1901 p5949) and promoted as Captain into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 19 February 1902 (London Gazette 18 February 1902 p1039). On 8 April 1903, Lionel was seconded to the Staff and appointed Aide-de-Camp to Lieutenant-General Sir H. Le G. Geary K.C.B., Royal Artillery, Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Bermuda (London Gazette 25 August 1903 p5350), and this appointment carried over to be Aide-de-Camp to Sir R. MacG. Stewart K.C.B., Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Bermuda, on 29 April 1904 (London Gazette 3 May 1904 p2842). Lionel transferred back to the Durham Light Infantry as a captain on 26 July 1908 (London Gazette 7 August 1908 p5812). Lionel was seconded for service in the Territorial Infantry, and appointed Adjutant in the 5th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers on 24 September 1911 (London Gazette 31 October 1911 p7882). On 30 October 1914, Lionel was appointed temporary Major of the 12th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (London Gazette 4 December 1914 p10301). He was injured in 1915, as described in The Durham County Advertiser 7 May 1915:
Capt. Soltan-Symons, of the 2nd D.L.I., husband of the Hon. Mrs Soltan-Symons, of Shincliffe, Durham, was seriously wounded on Friday night. The injury is over the right eye and the gallant captain is in hospital at Rouen. Mrs Soltan-Symons has left Durham for the latter place.

Lionel was made a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order on 3 June 1915 (at that time listed as a captain, and again attached to the 5th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers) (London Gazette 22 June 1915 p6125). He was promoted to major on 1 September 1915 (London Gazette 3 September 1915 p8809) but he was absorbed into the establishment, as a supernumerary major, on 12 December 1915 (London Gazette 21 December 1915 p12803) and on 22 June 1926 he ceased to belong to the Reserve of Officers, "having attained the age limit of liability to recall" (London Gazette 22 June 1926 p4042).

A lot of information about Lionel is held at the Durham Record Office (ref D/DLI 7/654/1) which is a "scrapbook of Captain L. Soltau-Symons concerning his service with the 1st Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, in the South African War, including photographs, newspaper cuttings, caricatures and a letter, 28 October 1899 – 1 November 1902"

Death: 1944, in Stroud district, Gloucestershire, England, aged 67.

Census & Addresses:
1881: South Cliff Silverton House, Holdenhurst, Hampshire
1891: Lockeby Hall, Bournemouth, Hampshire
1911: The Gables, Shorecliffe, Durham: Lionel Culme Soltan Symons is aged 34 and Captain Durham Light Infantry


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