Sir Charles Alexander Anderson KCB KCIE AM

b. 10/02/1857 India.  d. 20/02/1940 Ivybridge, Devon.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 30/06/1906 Ferozepore, India.

Sir Charles A Anderson


Lt.-Gen. Sir Charles Alexander Anderson was born on 10 February 1857. He was the son of Surgeon-Major Robert Carew Anderson and Jane Wallis Bolton. He married Ellen Katherine Russell, daughter of George Bevan Russell and Ellen Anderson, on 11 January 1893. He died on 20 February 1940 at age 83.

He fought in the Jowaki Afreedee Expedition between 1877 and 1878. He fought in the Afghan War between 1878 and 1880. He fought in the Burmese Expedition between 1885 and 1886. He fought in the Northwest Frontier of India between 1897 and 1898.

He was invested as a Companion, Order of the Bath (C.B.) in 1904. He fought in the Expeditions against Zakka Khel and Mohmands in 1908. He gained the rank of Lieutenant-General in the service of the Royal Horse Artillery. He was the commanding officer of the troops in South China between 1910 and 1913. He fought in the First World War.

He was the commanding officer of the 7th (Meerut) Division Native Army and Indian Corps. He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) in 1915. He was the commanding officer of the 11th and 1st Corps in 1916. He was the General Officer Commanding of the Southern Command, India between 1917 and 1919. He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of the Indian Empire (K.C.I.E.) in 1919.



On the 30th August, 1906. a fire broke out in one of the Magazines of the Ferozepore Arsenal comprising 5 cells, in which were stored cordite, small arms’ ammunition and gunpowder. At an early stage the ends of one of the outer cells (No. 10) were blown out by an explosion of cordite, while from cell No. 9, where small arms’ ammunition was stored, smoke was seen to be issuing. Major-General Anderson, who directed the subsequent operations from a roof at the edge of the Magazine Compound, at a distance of some 20 yards, having ordered all persons to be cleared out of the fort, and placed a cordon round it at 1,000 yards distance, a steam fire engine was got to work, and the fire party which had been organized commenced their highly dangerous task of clearing cell No. 8, in which was stored some 19,000 Ibs. of gunpowder; they eventually succeeded in so doing, thereby cutting off the fire by the intervention of an empty cell. Had the powder in this cell exploded, the explosion must have been communicated to cells in an adjoining magazine, where 300,000 Ibs. of gunpowder were stored. Captain Donovan volunteered to clear cell No. 8, and led the fire party, and all concerned acted with the greatest coolness in circumstances calling for a high degree of courage. The door of the cell was opened and the fire hose turned on. Major Campbell joined the party by the cell, and returned in a short while and reported to General Anderson that though the cell was full of smoke, and the barrels hot, there was .no actual fire in the cell. As, however, the explosions in the ruined cell No. 10 were becoming more violent, General Anderson, fearing that the barrels of powder which were being removed from cell No. 8 would be ignited, ordered the discontinuance of efforts to clear the cell; the pumping engine was, however, kept at work by Mr. DOW. and some native assistants. A series of heavy explosions of cordite now took place, and on the occurrence of a lull Captain Clarke went to reconnoitre, and reported that cell No. 9 was still apparently intact. Major Campbell and Mr. Pargiter subsequently went into the enclosure to investigate, and on their report being received a party including 50 lascars was organized, and the removal of the powder barrels in cell No. 8 was recommenced under cover of the fire hose. During their removal the last important explosion of cordite took place some 12 yards away. Eventually all the barrels were removed without accident.




Allan Stanistreet – Image of Charles Anderson AM Grave in Cornwood, Devon.