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Lawrence Edward Grace Oates was an officer in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (now The Royal Dragoon Guards). He had previously been Second Lieutenant of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, the Suffolk Regiment from 12 May, 1897, and Second Lieutenant of the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, the Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment), a militia corps in which his father previously served, from 28 December, 1898. Oates was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 6 (Inniskilling) Dragoons on 30 May, 1900. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 10 July, 1901, vice Chippindall H. Higgin who had been promoted Captain. Oates was appointed Adjutant on 1 August, 1906, which he held until 1 August, 1909, when Captain Charles R. Terrot occupied the post. Oates was promoted Captain on 19 November, 1906.

In their 2009 biography of Oates, Limb and Cordingley described the centrality of horses to Oates’s life: ‘Horses were everything to him. He spent lavishly on them, was endlessly fascinated by them; they were his business, his pleasure, and his passion.’ As an owner and a jockey, Oates found joy in horse racing during his time in Ireland with his regiment. He was successful at various meetings. The annual, regimental meetings of 1904 and 1905 brought significant wins.

Oates and his horse Titus won the Subalterns’ Cup at the regimental point-to-point meeting on 15 March, 1904 (a subaltern is a junior commissioned officer in the army with rank lower than captain). It was held in the ‘portion of the country hunted over respectively by the Meath and Ward Union Hounds and known as the Glascairn’, within reach of Fairyhouse Racecourse in Ratoath, Co. Meath. Oates’s win was only confirmed after an objection as told here by The Freeman’s Journal:

We had an interesting struggle for the Subalterns’ Cup, which fell to the share of The Minx [the horse of Lieutenant Cecil F. Wilkins]. She, however, was objected to on the grounds of carrying wrong weight, and, on investigation, the protest was upheld, and the race was awarded to Titus [horse of Oates], a son of Red Prince II.

Titus also made a showing at Barretstown Castle for the Barretstown Cup on 8 April, 1904, and at Punchestown for the Irish Military Steeplechase on 26 April, 1904. Wilkins was promoted to Captain on 17 March, 1906 vice the aforementioned Charles

R. Terrot, who was seconded for service as an Adjutant of the Imperial Yeomanry. Wilkins resigned his commission, however, dated 17 November, 1906.

In the Subalterns’ Cup the following year of 1905, Oates and Titus finished in a dead heat, after four and a half miles, with Lieutenant Stuart Lund Holland and Brown Livery at Fairyhouse on 16 March, 1905. Titus ran at Punchestown in the Irish Military Steeple-chase on 11 April, 1905, and at Fairyhouse in the Military Steeple-chase on 24 April, 1905. Holland was commissioned Second Lieutenant on 23 May, 1900. Like Oates, he served in the Second Boer War and during that time he was promoted to Lieutenant on 10 July, 1901. Holland was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with five clasps—Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902. Oates received the same medal with the same claps. Holland was promoted to Captain on 17 November, 1906, and appointed Adjutant of the Royal North Devon (Hussars), on 18 October, 1908, vice the twice aforementioned Terrot—presumably a skilled administrator as Adjutant—whose tenure had expired. Holland was appointed Captain of the General Reserve of Officers on 7 June, 1911. He later succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Rotherham and 2nd Baronet Holland following the elder’s death on 26 December, 1927.