John French, 1st Earl of Ypres

John FrenchSir John FrenchFrenchLord FrenchField Marshal Sir John FrenchGeneral FrenchViscount FrenchThe Viscount FrenchField Marshal FrenchThe Earl of Ypres
Field Marshal John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Earl of Ypres, (28 September 1852 – 22 May 1925), known as Sir John French from 1901 to 1916, and as The Viscount French between 1916 and 1922, was a senior British Army officer.wikipedia
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Horace Smith-Dorrien

Sir Horace Smith-DorrienSmith-DorrienHorace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien
After the British suffered heavy casualties at the battles of Mons and Le Cateau (where Smith-Dorrien made a stand contrary to French's wishes), French wanted to withdraw the BEF from the Allied line to refit and only agreed to take part in the First Battle of the Marne after a private meeting with the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, against whom he bore a grudge thereafter.
He commanded II Corps at the Battle of Mons, the first major action fought by the BEF, and the Battle of Le Cateau, where he fought a vigorous and successful defensive action contrary to the wishes of the Commander-in-Chief Sir John French, with whom he had had a personality clash dating back some years.

I Corps (United Kingdom)

I Corps1st Army CorpsBritish I Corps
During the Edwardian Period he commanded I Corps at Aldershot, then served as Inspector-General of the Army, before becoming Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS, the professional head of the British Army) in 1912.
In early October 1902 a memorandum was issued showing the organization and allocation of the 1st Army Corps, to which Sir John French had recently been appointed in command:

British Expeditionary Force (World War I)

British Expeditionary ForceBEFExpeditionary Force
French's most important role was as Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) for the first year and a half of the First World War.
Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, who was famously dismissive of the BEF, allegedly issued an order on 19 August 1914 to "exterminate ... the treacherous English and walk over General French's contemptible little army".

First Battle of the Marne

Battle of the MarneMarneMarne 1914
After the British suffered heavy casualties at the battles of Mons and Le Cateau (where Smith-Dorrien made a stand contrary to French's wishes), French wanted to withdraw the BEF from the Allied line to refit and only agreed to take part in the First Battle of the Marne after a private meeting with the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, against whom he bore a grudge thereafter.
Field Marshal Sir John French, commander of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), began to plan for a full British retreat to port cities on the English Channel for an immediate evacuation.

Charles Lanrezac

LanrezacGeneral Charles Lanrezac
He had an immediate personality clash with the French General Charles Lanrezac.
He is particularly remembered in British writing as his army fought on the right of the small British Expeditionary Force, with whose commander-in-chief, Sir John French, he had a poor relationship.

Battle of Loos

LoosLoos offensivea battle
After the Battle of Loos, at which French's slow release of XI Corps from reserve was blamed for the failure to achieve a decisive breakthrough on the first day, H. H. Asquith, the British Prime Minister, demanded his resignation.
Field Marshal Sir John French and Haig (GOC First Army), regarded the ground south of La Bassée Canal, which was overlooked by German-held slag heaps and colliery towers, as unsuitable for an attack, particularly given the discovery in July that the Germans were building a second defensive position behind the front position.

Siege of Kimberley

relief of KimberleyKimberleyrelief of Kimberly
He then commanded the Cavalry Division, winning the Battle of Klip Drift during a march to relieve Kimberley.
The 124-day siege was finally relieved on 15 February 1900 by a cavalry division under Lieutenant-General John French, part of a larger force under Lord Roberts.

Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig

Douglas HaigSir Douglas HaigHaig
By summer 1915 French's command was being increasingly criticised in London by Kitchener and other members of the government, and by Haig, Robertson and other senior generals in France.
While waiting to take up his place, he travelled to Germany to report on cavalry manoeuvres there, and also served as staff officer to Colonel John French (whom he had met in November 1891 whilst French was Commanding Officer of the 19th Hussars) on manoeuvres.

Hubert Gough

GoughSir Hubert GoughHubert de la Poer Gough
During the Curragh incident he had to resign as CIGS after promising Hubert Gough in writing that the Army would not be used to coerce Ulster Protestants into a Home Rule Ireland.
Along with Smith-Dorrien and Allenby, he served under the overall command of Lieutenant-General French.

Curragh incident

Curragh incident mutinychose to resigncivil war
During the Curragh incident he had to resign as CIGS after promising Hubert Gough in writing that the Army would not be used to coerce Ulster Protestants into a Home Rule Ireland.
Although the Cabinet issued a document claiming that the issue had been a misunderstanding, the Secretary of State for War J. E. B. Seely and the Chief of the General Staff (CIGS, professional head of the Army) Field Marshall Sir John French were forced to resign after amending it to promise that the British Army would not be used against the Ulster loyalists.

Battle of Mons

Monsretreat from MonsBattle of
After the British suffered heavy casualties at the battles of Mons and Le Cateau (where Smith-Dorrien made a stand contrary to French's wishes), French wanted to withdraw the BEF from the Allied line to refit and only agreed to take part in the First Battle of the Marne after a private meeting with the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, against whom he bore a grudge thereafter.
At the request of the Fifth Army commander, General Charles Lanrezac, the BEF commander, Field Marshal Sir John French, agreed to hold the line of the Condé–Mons–Charleroi Canal for twenty-four hours, to prevent the advancing German 1st Army from threatening the French left flank.

Battle of Elandslaagte

Elandslaagtebattle at ElandslaagteElandalaagte
He won the Battle of Elandslaagte near Ladysmith, escaping under fire on the last train as the siege began.
Learning that the telegraph had been cut, Lieutenant General Sir George White sent his cavalry commander, Major General John French to recapture the station.

Shell Crisis of 1915

Shell Crisiscrisis in inadequate artillery shell productionshell shortage
In May 1915 he leaked information about shell shortages to the press in the hope of engineering Kitchener's removal.
Lack of shells had been a serious problem since autumn 1914, and the British Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Sir John French gave an interview to The Times (27 March) calling for more ammunition.

Siege of Ladysmith

Ladysmithdefence of LadysmithRelief of Ladysmith
He won the Battle of Elandslaagte near Ladysmith, escaping under fire on the last train as the siege began.
Major General French and his Chief of Staff, Major Douglas Haig escaped on the last train to leave, which was riddled with bullets.

Second Boer War

Boer WarAnglo-Boer WarSouth African War
French became a national hero during the Second Boer War.
The British under Major General John French and Colonel Ian Hamilton attacked to clear the line of communications to Dundee.

Battle of Passchendaele

PasschendaeleThird Battle of YpresYpres 1917
Whilst the Third Battle of Ypres was in progress, French, as part of Lloyd George's manoeuvres to reduce the power of Haig and Robertson, submitted a paper which was critical of Haig's command record and which recommended that there be no further major offensives until the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) was present in strength.
Sir Douglas Haig succeeded Sir John French as Commander-in-Chief of the BEF on 19 December 1915.

Evelyn Wood (British Army officer)

Evelyn WoodSir Evelyn WoodField Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood
He impressed Evelyn Wood by his initiative in organising his regiment into squadrons commanded by majors.
Like his near contemporary John French, Wood began his career in the Royal Navy, serving under his uncle Captain Frederick Mitchell on HMS Queen, but vertigo stopped him going aloft.

Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces

Home ForcesGHQ Home ForcesC-in-C Home Forces
French was then appointed Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces for 1916–18.
The post was created for Field Marshal John French, 1st Earl of Ypres in December 1915, after his enforced resignation as the Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in the aftermath of the Battle of Loos.

Sir Henry Wilson, 1st Baronet

Henry WilsonSir Henry WilsonHenry Hughes Wilson
He suspected a War Office plot led by the rising staff officers Henry Rawlinson and Henry Wilson, whom at this stage he distrusted.
As Sub Chief of Staff to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), Wilson was John French's most important advisor during the 1914 campaign, but his poor relations with Douglas Haig and William Robertson saw him sidelined from top decision-making in the middle years of the war.

Battle of Diamond Hill

Diamond HillDonkerhoekBattle of Donkerhoek
French played a key role at the victory over Louis Botha at Diamond Hill (11–12 June) in the north-east Transvaal.
`The cavalry of John French with Edward Hutton's brigade attacked on the left in an attempt to outflank the Boers to the north, while the infantry of Ian Hamilton with Lieutenant Colonel Beauvoir De Lisle's corps attempted an outflanking movement on the right.

Aldershot Command

AldershotAldershot DistrictSouth-Eastern Command
During the Edwardian Period he commanded I Corps at Aldershot, then served as Inspector-General of the Army, before becoming Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS, the professional head of the British Army) in 1912.
15 September 1902 Lieutenant General Sir John French

Battle of Le Cateau

Le CateauMonsMons le Cateau
After the British suffered heavy casualties at the battles of Mons and Le Cateau (where Smith-Dorrien made a stand contrary to French's wishes), French wanted to withdraw the BEF from the Allied line to refit and only agreed to take part in the First Battle of the Marne after a private meeting with the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, against whom he bore a grudge thereafter.
Although credited at the time by Field Marshal Sir John French for having saved the BEF, Smith-Dorrien was later criticized for his decision to stand at Le Cateau by French.

Aide-de-camp general

ADC GeneralAide-de-Camp General to The KingADC
French was made an Aide-de-Camp General to the King on 19 June 1911.

5th Royal Irish Lancers

5th Lancers5th (Royal Irish) Lancers5th (or Royal Irish) Regiment of Dragoons
Taking with him the 5th Lancers, six squadrons of Natal Carbineers and Natal Mounted Rifles, a battery of field artillery and a brigade of infantry under Colonel Ian Hamilton, he made contact with the Boers at 13.00 that day.
In January 1901, still under General Smith-Dorrien, they covered the left of General Sir John French′s big movement down to the Swaziland border.

James Grierson

Sir James GriersonGriersonLieutenant-General Sir James Moncrieff Grierson
In February 1906 French told Major General Grierson (Director of Military Operations) that he was to be Commander-in-Chief of the BEF during the next war, with Grierson as his chief of staff.
He was appointed Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, Intelligence, at Army Headquarters in 1890 and then became Brigade Major for the Royal Artillery at Aldershot from 1895 to 1896 when he became Military Attaché in Berlin acquiring what Sir John French later described as "an intimate knowledge of the German army."