Brigadier-General Arthur Henry Seton Hart-Synnot, CMG, DSO[1]

Male 1870 - 1942  (72 years)


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  • Name Arthur Henry Seton Hart-Synnot 
    Prefix Brigadier-General 
    Suffix CMG, DSO 
    Born 19 Jul 1870  Boulogne, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Gender Male 
    Died 22 Nov 1942  Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 9, 10, 11
    Probate 25 Jan 1943  LLandudno, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    _UID F93AEFEF74944687B8C4CB0C929D8A413300 
    Person ID I9048  Treefive
    Last Modified 13 May 2017 

    Father Major-General Arthur Fitzroy Hart-Synnot, C.B., C.B.E.,   b. 4 May 1844, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Apr 1910, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years) 
    Mother Mary Susanna May Synnot,   b. 17 Jul 1844, Liverpool, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jul 1913, Ballymoyer, County Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Married 22 Dec 1868  Boulogne, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
    Address:
    the British Consulate 
    Family ID F2986  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Masa Suzuki,   b. 1878, Japan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1965, Tokyo, Japan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Children 
     1. Kiyoshi Suzuki,   b. 14 Dec 1906, Tokyo, Japan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Dec 1945, Zavitinsk, Siberia, Russia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years)
     2. Hideo Suzuki,   b. Dec 1910, Tokyo, Japan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 1915, Japan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 5 years)
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F4274  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Florence Violet Drower,   b. 3 Jul 1884, Balham, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Nov 1969, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 3 Jul 1919  [6, 9, 15, 16
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F2997  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 


    • P. Hore Synnott Pedigree (1913), page 15:
      'Arthur Henry Seton Hart-Synnot, Capt E. Surrey Regt. D.S.O. b. 12 July 1870.'

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Henry_Seton_Hart-Synnot acccessed 15 Jul 2014

      Arthur Henry Seton Hart-Synnot

      Brigadier-General Arthur Henry Seton Hart-Synnot CMG, DSO and Bar, FRGS (19 July 1870 - 1942)[1] was a British Army general who saw service in Japan, Hong Kong, Burma, India, and the European War of 1914 to 1918.

      Early life
      Hart-Synnot was from a family with a history of military service, and an uncle, Sir Reginald Hart, had been awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan. He was educated at Clifton and the Royal Military College.[2]

      Military career
      After passing out from the Royal Military College, Hart-Synnot (then Hart) was commissioned into the East Surrey Regiment as a second lieutenant on 8 October 1890.[3] He was promoted to lieutenant on 7 June 1892 and to captain on 21 June 1899.[4][5] Hart-Synnot passed the Staff College in 1899, and after the Boer War his career took the staff path, first as an Aide-de-Camp to his uncle.[6][7]

      In 1904 he was posted to Japan, and between 1907 and 1911 served in Hong Kong.[2][8][9] He was promoted major on 17 March 1909.[10] After a tour in Burma with his regiment (1911–13), he was appointed GSO2[11] at GHQ India on 27 October 1913, where he remained until October 1916, when he returned to Britain.[2]

      The Great War was now convulsing Europe, and Hart-Synnot was deployed to France on New Year’s Day 1917. Previously brevetted to lieutenant-colonel, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel on 17 January 1917.[12] He again served as a GSO2[13][14][15] with the 17th and 40th Divisions. He became a temporary Brigadier-General when he was appointed to command 6th Infantry Brigade on 28 April 1918,[16] where he was severely wounded, losing both legs.[2] In the 1918 King's Birthday Honours he was awarded a Bar to his DSO.[17] The following year, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG) in a special addition to the 1919 Birthday Honours.[18] He was also made a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur,[19] and awarded the French Croix de guerre.[20] He was placed on the half-pay list and retired as an honorary brigadier-general in 1920 as a result of these wounds.[21][22]

      Hart-Synnot married a nurse, Violet Drower, whom he met while convalescing from his wounds.

      Popular culture
      The record of approximately 800 extant letters document an extended love affair with a Japanese woman. This correspondence was the subject of a 2006 biography, The Sword and the Blossom by Peter Pagnamenta.[23]
      [1] Summary of military career
      [2] Profile at a Birmingham University website
      [3] The London Gazette: no. 26095. p. 5327. 7 October 1890. Retrieved 2014-05-13.
      [4] The London Gazette: no. 26315. p. 4494. 9 August 1892. Retrieved 2014-05-13.
      [5] The London Gazette: no. 27095. p. 4140. 4 July 1899. Retrieved 2014-05-13.
      [6] The London Gazette: no. 27517. p. 390. 20 January 1903. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [7] The London Gazette: no. 27625. p. 8198. 11 December 1903. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [8] The London Gazette: no. 28010. p. 2330. 5 April 1907. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [9] The London Gazette: no. 28015. p. 2734. 23 April 1907. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [10] The London Gazette: no. 28233. p. 2038. 16 March 1909. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [11] The London Gazette: no. 28785. p. 9541. 26 December 1913. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [12] The London Gazette: no. 29996. p. 2865. 23 March 1917. Retrieved 2014-05-13.
      [13] The London Gazette: no. 30005. p. 3110. 30 March 1917. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [14] The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30056. p. 4423. 8 May 1917. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [15] The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30213. p. 7877. 31 July 1917. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [16] The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30731. p. 6757. 4 June 1918. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [17] The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30716. pp. 6451–6457. 31 May 1918. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [18] The Edinburgh Gazette: (Supplement) no. 13538. p. 4044. 15 December 1919. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
      [19] The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30848. p. 9650. 16 August 1918. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [20] The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31736. p. 701. 13 January 1920. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [21] The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31762. p. 1341. 30 January 1920. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [23] The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31772. p. 1661. 6 February 1920. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
      [23] WorldCat Identities: Hart-Synnot, Arthur Henry Seton 1870-1942

      Further reading
      Pagnamenta, Peter. (2006). Sword and Blossom: a British Officer's Enduring Love for a Japanese Woman. New York: Penguin Press. 10-ISBN 1594200890/13-ISBN 9781594200892; OCLC 63125612
      __________________________________________________________________________

      This love story shows another facet of Arthur Hart-Synnot: it is a book review on http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=109921

      Arthur Hart-Synnot and Masa Suzuki

      Falling Blossom, the story of the British Brigadier-General and his Japanese mistress:

      Ignore the incomparably wet title. Peter Pagnamenta and Momoko Williams, both seasoned TV documentary-makers, tell this profoundly moving love story well. Arthur Hart-Synnot was an Anglo-Irish soldier from a distinguished military background. During the Boer War he earned a DSO. He was then, in 1904, sent to Tokyo, to learn Japanese, accompany Japan's army to Manchuria, and observe its campaign against the Russians.

      Britain and Japan were firm allies, and Japan's victories were hailed in the British press. In Tokyo, Hart-Synnot was permitted to use the strait-laced Kaikosha, a club for Japanese officers, and it was there he met Masa Suzuki, an employee. Captain Hart-Synnot fell for Masa, but she was never, properly speaking, a "temporary wife" of the kind found by Westerners in the capital's entertainment establishments. Rather, she was a self-supporting young woman who reciprocated Hart-Synnot's feelings, though the fact she was already divorced set her at a disadvantage in her own society.

      They were together for 17 years, and had two sons. But the difficulty was Hart-Synnot's career. His proximity to Masa depended on his postings, and the British Army contrived to take him further from her. He did not want to resign his commission until he had achieved high rank, and the pension that went with it. He was sent to Hong Kong, then Burma, then transferred home.

      He implored Masa to join him in England, but because she had an ageing mother to look after, and wanted their children schooled in Japan, she wouldn't. Then in May 1918, Brigadier-General Hart- Synnot was horribly wounded on the Western Front, losing both legs. Convalescing, he met and decided to marry a nurse, Violet Drower, despite having promised Masa he would return to Japan and marry her. On the face of it, the "English gentleman" behaved like an utter cad. Yet soon they began writing to each other again.

      Falling Blossom is much more than a sad romance made all the more pitiable by the death of their son Kiyoshi in a Soviet POW camp in 1945. Drawing on 800 letters written by Hart-Synnot over 37 years, it furnishes a finely researched backdrop of the events and prejudices which crushed their lives. For those of us who have Japanese partners today, the authors provide a stark reminder that time and circumstance used not to be so accommodating.

      Review, Justin Wintle, 2006 Independent Newspapers UK Limited

      [Note: there appear to be two titles, Sword and Blossom and Falling Blossom for the same book]

      The well-known painting of the 3 children of Sir Walter Synnott entitled “The Synnot Children” was at Ballymoyer for many years. It was sold at an auction by Christies in London on 5 July 1918 to Ellis and Smith for £1,200. The consignor was Major R. Hart-Synnot (i.e. Ronald). His brother Arthur had been severely wounded in France on 11 May, and had both legs amputated on 12 May. His military career was over.
      It is not known if these events were a factor in the sale of the painting. There were no other items sold as part of this consignment in this sale. The painting is now at the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia, after being donated by Mrs Michael Hawker (nee Patricia Synnot) in 1980.

      The National Museum of Ireland has one item relating to Arthur. It is a letter he addressed to ‘My Dear Little Sister’, on the headed paper of the King Edward VIII Hospital for Officers at 9 Grosvenor Gardens, London S.W.1. The letter was two pages with writing on both sides. It was dated 4th November (most likely 1918) informing her of his progress and thanking her for her kindness. The letter was in an envelope with no postmarks, addressed to Miss Burrowes, No 8 General Hospital, Rouen. The letter is part of a collection relating to the Burrowes Sisters of Co. Cavan. Anna and Rosamund were nurses in the service during the period, serving in Northern France at the British Military General Hospital No. 8 Rouen, which operated from 1914 to 1919, also known as the Sick Sisters Hospital. The letter is available to view in the Historical Collections on the NMI website.

      The main topic of the letter is, naturally, Arthur's recuperation after losing his legs. He also mentions getting a car, so that he could drive to Holyhead instead of going by car. The letter must pre-date his purchase of 'Little David' which he drove in France.

  • Sources 
    1. [S4823] BOK Synnott Pedigree (Philip H. Hore, unpublished, 1913), page 15.

    2. [S4011] TRE Family tree - Sinnett Family Tree (owner James Sinnett) on ancestry.com accessed 12, 22 Jul 2014, 18 Feb 2015, Arthur Henry Seton Hart-Synnot.

    3. [S4042] TRE Family tree - WADDELL: Northern Ireland to Northern Ontario (owner ffreeband55) on ancestry.com accessed 19, 26 Jul, 21 Oct 2014, 11 Feb 2015.

    4. [S4492] BOK The County Families of the United Kingdom (1909) by Edward Walford, page 509 (Hart-Synnot, Arthur Fitzroy).

    5. [S4493] BOK The County Families of the United Kingdom (1911) by Edward Walford, page 520 (Hart-Synnot, Mrs).

    6. [S4494] BOK The County Families of the United Kingdom (1919) by Edward Walford, page 622 (Hart-Synnot, Arthur Henry Seton).

    7. [S4501] BOK Burke - A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. 2 (Burke, 1894), page 1971, 1972 (Synnot).

    8. [S4502] BOK Burke - A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Ireland (Burke, 1912), page 679-681 (Hart-Synnot).

    9. [S4504] BOK Burke - Burke's Irish Family Records (1976), pages 1089-1092 (Hart-Synnot).

    10. [S1822] ancestry.com England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007, Oxfordshire: Arthur H. S. Hart-Synnot.

    11. [S2306] ancestry.com England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, Llandudno, Wales: Arthur Henry Seton Synnot-Hart.

    12. [S4011] TRE Family tree - Sinnett Family Tree (owner James Sinnett) on ancestry.com accessed 12, 22 Jul 2014, 18 Feb 2015, Mary Susanna Synnot.

    13. [S3940] TRE Family tree - Matsons and Harts (owner Fenella_L) on ancestry.com accessed 30 Jun, 3, 7, 19 Jul and 11 Nov 2014.

    14. [S4532] MAR Marriage Hart, Arthur Fitzroy and Synnot, May S., marriage of Arthur Fitzroy Hart and May S. Synnot; 29 December 1868.

    15. [S4014] TRE Family tree - AlexMatt family tree (owner gillianmatthews50) family tree on ancestry.com accessed 12 Jul 2014, Arthur Hart-Synnot.

    16. [S4390] FreeBMD England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 (ancestry.com), Hart-Synnot, Arthur H. S. and Drower, Florence V., reg. Sep 1919 St Geo H Sq, vol. 1a, p. 1416.