Edward Lisle Strutt

Edward Lisle Strutt

Lt-Col. Edward Lisle Strutt CBE, DSO (8 February 1874 - 7 July 1948) was an English soldier and mountaineer, and President of the Alpine Club from 1935–38. [ [http://imagingeverest.rgs.org/Units/94.html Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt ] ]

Early life

Strutt was the son of Hon. Arthur Strutt and Alice Mary Elizabeth Philips de Lisle. His paternal grandfather was Edward Strutt, 1st Baron Belper. On 10 October 1905 he married Florence Nina, daughter of John Robert Holland MP DL, of Wonham, Bampton, Devon. They had no children. [ [http://www.thepeerage.com/p7639.htm thePeerage.com - Person Page 7639 ] ]

Educated at Beaumont College, Windsor, then at Christ Church, Oxford, and Innsbruck University, Strutt served in the Boer War and the First World War, gaining many decorations and attaining the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Scots.

He escorted the family of Charles I, the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor-King, to safety in Switzerland in 1919 [ [http://imagingeverest.rgs.org/Units/94.html Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt ] ] , after having served as the family's protector at Eckartsau on the personal initiative of King George VGordon Brook-Shepherd, "Uncrowned Emperor - The Life and Times of Otto von Habsburg", Hambledon Continuum, London 2003. ISBN 1852855495.Gordon Brook-Shepherd, "The Last Habsburg", Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1968. ISBN 0297176501.. Strutt was also involved in a Hungarian Habsburg restoration bid in February 1921 and as a communication link between the Habsburg Imperial and Royal couple aboard the HMS Cardiff, on their way to exile in Madeira, and their children in Switzerland in November 1921Brook-Shepherd, "Uncrowned Emperor"..

In 1920 he was appointed Allied High Commissioner of the League of Nations in Danzig. [ [http://www.thepeerage.com/p7639.htm thePeerage.com - Person Page 7639 ] ]


In 1922 Strutt was climbing leader and deputy to expedition leader C. G. Bruce on the British expedition to Mount Everest that included George Finch and George Mallory. Strutt proved to be an unpopular member of the party, being thought of as 'pompous and pontificating'. [ [http://imagingeverest.rgs.org/Units/94.html Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt ] ] The expedition was called off when an avalanche killed seven Sherpa climbers.

Strutt was editor of the "Alpine Journal" from 1927–37, these being the years – according to Alan Hankinson – in which 'the Alpine Club [. . .] had declined into a stuffy, snobbish, backward-looking institution.' Hankinson added:quote|Its dominant figure was Colonel E. L. Strutt [. . .] for many years the autocratic and outspoken editor of the "Alpine Journal". His views were rigid and intolerant. The only decent and honourable way to climb was the way in which he had climbed as a young man. Crampons were inadmissable; pitons anathema. Alan Hankinson, "Geoffrey Winthrop Young: Poet, Educator, Mountaineer", London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1995, p. 304 As editor, Strutt published a number of attacks on what he saw as the insidious modern trends in mountaineering, more often than not on the part of the Germans. Although Strutt had words of praise for those climbers (on expeditions to peaks such as Kangchenjunga and Nanga Parbat) whom he perceived as climbing in the classical tradition – 'We yield to no one in admiration for the German overseas parties led by Rickmers, Bauer, Borchers, Merkl, and others. The modesty of these parties have been excelled only by ther skill'E. L. Strutt, 'A Superiority Complex', in "Mirrors in the Cliffs", ed. J. Perrin, London: Diadem, 1983, p. 437 Daniel Anker notes in this context, 'The German attempts on Nanga Parbat were, during the same period, every bit as deadly as those on the Eiger, yet the "Alpine Journal" maintained a serious tone in its accounts of them. The reason is that Nanga Parbat was considered by the British to be an interesting mountaineering problem.' "Eiger: the Vertical Arena", Seattle: The Mountaineers, 2000, pp. 21–2 – he had a different reaction to climbers using modern tactics in the Alps. He continued in this article from the 1935 "Alpine Journal":

The trend towards climbing (and descending) the great peaks at great speed also disgusted Strutt. On hearing of an American who had hired a guide to take him up and down the Matterhorn in five hours, Strutt commented that this was the kind of crime 'for which the death penalty is inadequate'.Strutt quoted in Claire Engel, "Mountaineering in the Alps", London: George Allen and Unwin, 1971, p. 198The ongoing attempts on the north face of the Eiger (the "Eigerwand") – which had thus far resisted all efforts, and had taken the lives of six German and Austrian climbers – were a particular object of his disdain, provoking his most notorious outburst (in his 1938 Presidential Valedictory Address to the Alpine Club, just before the first successful ascent by Anderl Heckmair and party):


*Queen's South Africa Medal and four clasps, King's South Africa Medal and two clasps (Second Boer War)
*Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1918
*Chevalier, Order of Leopold (Belgium)
*Chevalier, Order of Romania
*Croix de Guerre (Belgium)
*Croix de Guerre (France) with four palms
*Officer, Légion d'honneur
*Commander, Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1919 [ [http://www.thepeerage.com/p7639.htm thePeerage.com - Person Page 7639 ] ]
*Mentioned in despatches four times


*"STRUTT, Lt-Col Edward Lisle", in Who's Who 1948 (London: A. & C. Black, 1948)

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