1. Memorial:Taveta Military CemeteryIII. B. 3.
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.129
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour23B GQS

Awards & Titles:

Mentioned in Despatches

Family :

Son of the late Wilmot Mainprise R.N. and Mrs. Mainprise husband of Nesta Mainprise of Faridkst Earlsfield Road Hythe Kent.

Education & Career :

Bertie Mainprise had been the subject of questions in the House of Commons in 1887 when he was rejected on medical grounds for a Naval Cadetship.

Hansard records the question and answer: ?
MR. EVELYN (Deptford) asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, relative to the case of Bertie Wilmot Mainprise, of the Royal Naval School, New Cross, nominated by the Lords of the Admiralty for a Naval Cadetship, and rejected on medical examination in June last, Whether it is in conformity with usage that Mainprise should have undergone the literary examination before the Civil Service Commissioners notwithstanding such medical rejection; whether there are not precedents for re-instating a candidate who has passed the literary examination after such medical rejection; and, on what grounds the Civil Service Commissioners have declined to assign marks to Mainprise, or to publish such marks if assigned, thus concealing the result of the literary examination? ?

THE FIRST LORD (Lord GEORGE HAMILTON) (Middlesex, Baling) the case of Mr. Mainprise was not in accordance with usual custom. Mr. Mainprise had been rejected as medically unfit; but a request asking for a reversal of this decision having been received at the Admiralty, the usual intimation was not sent to the Civil Service Commissioners pending a final decision. There are no precedents for admitting candidates after medical rejection. The assigning and publication of marks rest altogether with the Civil Service Commissioners. I am unable to say for what purpose they have been withheld on the present occasion.

Sources: GWF - Major B.W. Mainprise, Royal Engineers Hansard; Search Help HANSARD 1803?2005 ? 1880s ? 1887 ? July 1887 ? 15 July 1887 ? Commons Sitting ? QUESTIONS. ADMIRALTY?CASE OF BERTIE WILMOT MAINPRISE?LITERARY EXAMINATION.HC Deb 15 July 1887 vol 317 c944 944

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: Faridkot Sappers & Miners 

Action : Africa 

The East African Campaign was a series of battles and guerrilla actions which started in German East Africa (now Tanzania) and ultimately impacted portions of Mozambique, Northern Rhodesia, British East Africa, Uganda, and the Belgian Congo. The German colonial forces, led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, skillfully fought for the duration of World War I and surrendered only after that war had ended. Other campaigns were conducted in West and South West Africa.

Major Bertram Wilmot Mainprise R.E., was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1894, and spent most of his career with the Roorkee Sappers and Miners.

He served in the Tirah Campaign (1897-8) and in China (1901-2).

During the course of his career he received four Mentions in Despatches. In 1911 Mainprise married Nesta Port and had a son born in 1913. He accompanied the Faridkot Sappers to East Africa in October 1914.

Mainprise left the Faridkots when he was appointed Brigade Major to Brigadier General W. Malleson of the Voi Brigade. He lost his life gallantly leading 25 Baluchis in a charge at the centre of the enemy’s position at the battle for the Kitovo Hills on 12 March 1915. Mainprise fell riddled with bullets from three German machine guns. Only two of the Baluchis survived.

Detail :

Prior to the advance into German East Africa the commander of 1st East African Brigade, Brigadier-General W. Malleson, obtained the services of Major Mainprise as his Brigade Major. Whilst this was a good career move it must also have been a sometimes difficult one for Bertie Mainprise as Malleson was allegedly a particulary nasty & incompetent Brigade Commander, having spent much of his service on rear echelon duties.

On 11 March 1916 Malleson's Brigade attacked the Latema-Reata Nek but in the mid-afternoon, having lost control of the battle, Malleson reported sick with abdominal pain & had himself quickly driven to Voi, 40 miles to the rear.

Major-General M.J.Tighe, commanding 2nd East African Division, took over command of 1st East African Brigade's attack. The initial assault by 3 King's African Rifles & 130th Baluchis did not reach the main objectives (the CO of 3KAR being killed), & a later assault by 2nd Rhodesia Regiment similarly failed. Tighe requested reinforcements from General Smuts. After dark the 5th & 7th South African Infantry assaulted but both were repulsed.

The British Artillery was not in action that night, perhaps because of concerns about fire control in the dark. Major Mainprise was forward on the battleground when he met the wounded CO of 5th South African Infantry, Lt Col the Honourable J.J. Byron, withdrawing with his Bn.

Bertie Mainprise, perhaps feeling frustrated by the lack of progress, gathered a party of 130th Baluch together & charged the Nek. He was hit by three German machine guns & killed in action along with over 20 of his party.

Citations & Commemorations :

  Major Bertie Mainprise did receive one of his four Mentions in despatches for his work with the Faridkot Sappers at Bukoba.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Beauchamp No. 1422 E.C.West Kent
Joined : Khyber No. 582 E.C. London

19th January 1904
16th February 1904
15th March 1904

Past Provincial Asst Grand Director of Ceremonies

Discrepancies (Require checks, clarity or further research) :

Family Name - rendered as both "Wilmot Mainprise" and "Mainprise"

Unclear whether Wilmot is a middle/given name or double barrelled surname.

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-04-22 08:01:37