Soldier becomes SEVENTH generation of his family to serve in the Army

Bloodline of military service stretching back to Battle of Waterloo: Soldier, 24, tells of his pride at becoming SEVENTH generation of his family to serve in the Army over past 222 years

  • Alexander Cartwright passed out of Sandhurst in front of father, Stephen 
  • Family’s military link began in 1799, when Scotsman Donald Stewart joined up
  • Donald went on to serve at Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated in 1815
  • His son fought against Russian forces in the Crimean War from 1853 to 1856
  • Alexander’s great-grandfather Peter Baxter Stewart died in the First World War
  • His son, Major Francis Ernest Hadgraft Cartwright, also served in WW1 and WWII
  • Alexander’s grandfather Ian Gordon Stewart Cartwright, served from 1958-1990
  • Captain Peter Cartwright died in a training accident while serving in 1953
  • Brigadier Paul Cartwright, Alexander’s uncle, served in the First Gulf war

When Brigadier Stephen Cartwright watched his son pass out from Sandhurst recently, the tearful occasion marked 222 years of military service for his family which stretches back to the Battle of Waterloo and beyond.

Members of the Cartwright / Stewart family have also served on the battlefields of Crimea, in the Great War, at Dunkirk in the Second World War and, more recently, when Brigadier Cartwright commanded the Black Watch in Afghanistan.

Second Lieutenant Alexander James Stewart Cartwright, 24, graduated from the British Army’s officer training school earlier this year.

Father-of-four Brigadier Cartwright told The Sun that he cried when watching his son in the ceremony, whilst Alexander said he was hoping to ‘do my forefathers proud’.

When Brigadier Stephen Cartwright watched his son Alexander pass out from Sandhurst recently (the pair pictured on the day), the tearful occasion marked 222 years of military service for his family which stretches back to the Battle of Waterloo and beyond

The family’s military history began in 1799, when Scotsman Donald Stewart joined the 72nd Regiment of Foot (also known as the Duke of Albany’s Own Highlanders).

Donald, who the family do not have an image or painting of, went on to serve at Waterloo, where French forces led by Napoleon Bonaparte were defeated in 1815.

Donald’s son, who was given the same name, served in the 8th Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders and fought against Russian Emperor Nicholas I’s forces in the Crimean War from 1853 to 1856.

The third member of the family to serve for Britain was Alexander’s great-grandfather Peter Baxter Stewart, who joined the 2nd Gordon Highlanders in 1891.

Although he retired in 1912, he re-joined following the outbreak of the First World War, where he was killed aged 42 in the Battle of Loos in 1915.

The skirmish is remembered for being the first time that Britain used poison gas on the battlefield.



The family’s military history began in 1799, when Scotsman Donald Stewart joined the 72nd Regiment of Foot. He went on to serve in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, when British forces defeated Napoleon Bonaparte’s men. Donald’s son (left), who was given the same name, fought in the Crimean War of 1853-56. Peter Baxter Stewart, Alexander’s great-great-grandfather (pictured centre), was killed in the First World War. His son, Major Francis Ernest Hadgraft Cartwright (right) served in both the Great War and the Second World War. 



Alexander’s grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel Ian Gordon Stewart Cartwright (left), served from 1958 until 1990. His brother, Captain Peter Cartwright (centre), died in a training accident while serving with the British Army’s elite SAS unit in Malaya in 1953. Brigadier Paul Cartwright (right), is Alexander’s uncle. He served with the Royal Highland Fusiliers during the First Gulf War

The British went on to suffer more than 50,000 casualties at Loos, nearly double the number of German losses.

Alexander’s great-grandfather, Major Francis Ernest Hadgraft Cartwright, also served in the Great War.

He went on to serve in the Second World War and was sent to northern France as part of the British Expeditionary Force shortly before Allied troops were hemmed in by German forces and had to be evacuated from Dunkirk.

Major Cartwright retired in 1951 after also serving on the Western Front in Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s North West Europe campaign of 1944/45, which led to Nazi German’s surrender.

Alex’s father, Brigadier Cartwright, served in Bosnia and Kosovo before commanding the Black Watch in Helmand Province

Captain Peter Cartwright, Alexander’s great-uncle, died in a training accident while serving with the British Army’s elite SAS unit in Malaya in 1953.

The next generation of soldiers is Lieutenant Colonel Ian Gordon Stewart Cartwright, 84, who now lives in Lincolnshire.

He was commissioned into the Royal Highland Fusiliers and served from 1958 to 1990 in various conflicts, including in what became known as the Aden Emergency in Yemen.

His brother, Lieutenant Frank Cartwright, was commissioned into the same regiment in 1945 and was seconded to the Gurkha Regiment until 1948.

Alex’s father, Brigadier Cartwright, served in Bosnia and Kosovo before commanding the Black Watch – which is part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland – in Helmand Province.

His brother, Brigadier Paul Adrian Stewart Cartwright, held the same position with the Royal Highland Fusiliers during the First Gulf War.

Alexander’s father, who was awarded an OBE for his service in Afghanistan, is now leading a military and diplomatic team in Palestine.

The young officer, who had his Sandhurst ceremony in August, added: ‘None of us joined the Army to be wealthy. 

‘But they’ve looked after us extremely well. It’s in our blood. I’ve genuinely loved every minute of it.’

Members of the Cartwright / Stewart family have also served on the battlefields of Crimea, in the Great War, at Dunkirk in the Second World War and, more recently, when Brigadier Cartwright commanded the Black Watch in Afghanistan

The seven generations of military heritage, and how they are related to Second Lieutenant Alexander Cartwright  

Donald Stewart (great, great, great, great-grandfather)

Born: 1769

Regiment: 72nd Regiment of Foot

Campaigns: Battle of Waterloo, 1815

Donald Stewart (great, great, great-grandfather)

Born: 1827

Regiment: 8th Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders

Campaigns: Crimean War 

Peter Baxter Stewart (great, great-grandfather)

Born: 1873

Regiment: 2nd Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders

Campaigns: Killed in action in 1915 Battle of Loos

Major Francis Ernest Hadgraft Cartwright (great, great-grandfather)

Born: 1896 

Regiment: 1st Battalion Sussex Yeomanry (WW1), Royal Scots Fusiliers (WW2)

Served: First World War, Second World War

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Gordon Stewart Cartwright (grandfather) 

Born: 1937

Regiment: Royal Highland Fusiliers

Campaigns: from 1958 to 1990 in various conflicts, including in what became known as the Aden Emergency in Yemen.

Captain Peter Baxter Stewart Cartwright (great-uncle)

Born: 1929

Regiment: Royal Scots Fusiliers

Service: Killed in training accident while serving with SAS in Malaya in 1953

Lieutenant Frank Edward Stewart Cartwright (great-uncle

Born: 1927

Regiment: Royal Scots Fusiliers, 7th Royal Gurkha Regiment

Brigadier Paul Adrian Stewart Cartwright (uncle)

Born: 1961

Regiment: Royal Highland Fusiliers

Campaigns: First Gulf War

Brigadier Stephen John Cartwright (father)

Born: 1968

Regiment: Royal Household Fusiliers, later Black Watch, Royal Regiment of Scotland  

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