Charles Ernest Higginbotham, born in July 1866 in Glasgow, was the second son of Mr and Mrs C T Higginbotham of Craigmaddie, Milngavic. He was educated at Cargifield Prep School in Scotland and at Rugby before proceeding through Sandhurst to obtain a commission in the Northamptonshire Regiment in February 1887. He followed a military career and was promoted to Lieutenant with the 2nd Battalion in April 1890. In 1909, he married Lucy Frances Round in Essex, the daughter of the Right Hon James Round of Birch Hall, Essex. They made their home at Highcliffe, Alexander Road, Farnborough, Hampshire.