Major Auston Morgan Rotheram



Auston Morgan Rotheram was born on 11 June 1876 in Sallymount House, Fore, Co. Westmeath, third son of Edward Rotheram and his wife Maria Louisa Rotheram (nee Cooper). The family later moved to Co. Meath when his father inherited the Rotheram family house Crossdrum House, Oldcastle.

Rotheram was educated at Cheltenham College and Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 4th (Queen’s Own) Hussars on 5 August 1896, serving with his regiment in India. He was promoted to lieutenant on 8 June 1898 and was appointed aide de camp to the Governor of Madras on 9 June 1900. He resigned his commission on 30 March 1901 and the following year returned to Ireland.

On 16 April 1904 he joined the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, the predecessor of the North Irish Horse, with the rank of major and commanding D Squadron (Dundalk). He remained with the regiment until 17 August 1907, when he resigned his commission.



Major Rotheram with his squadron in 1904. The pictures were drawn by him.


Rotheram was accomplished at polo, captaining North Westmeath and playing for Ireland in the Patriotic Cup against England from 1903 to 1908. He also played in an All Ireland team at the 1908 London Olympic Games, winning a silver medal.

He rejoined in the 4th Hussars on 10 December 1914, being appointed captain in the Reserve Regiment. He embarked for France on 18 October 1915.

Rotheram was invalided home from France in early 1916, where he joined the 10th Reserve Cavalry Regiment at the Curragh. During the Easter Rebellion in April 1916 he commanded a company near the Guinness Brewery in Dublin and took the surrender of the Volunteers at South Dublin Union and Marrowbone Lane. He was also involved in an incident on 28 April in which two officers were shot at the brewery by a quartermaster sergeant who had become convinced that they were in league with the rebels who were occupying houses around the brewery.  Rotheram had taken the officers down to the brewery and found their bodies the next morning. He gave evidence at the court martial of the sergeant, who was acquitted, although the two officers were also exonerated of any connection with the rebels.

On 16 July 1917 he was appointed temporary major while serving in the Reserve Regiment of Cavalry. He resigned his commission in 1920.

Rotheram left Ireland in 1929 and died on 13 November 1946 at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.




Images of Major Rotheram and some of the information above kindly provided by his grandson, Patrick Rotheram.

Another image of Major Rotheram can be seen here.