Charles Gwynn

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Sir Charles Gwynn
Born 4 November 1870
County Down, Ireland
Died 12 November 1962
Dublin, Ireland
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1889 - 1931
Rank Major-General
Commands held Staff College, Camberley
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order

Major-General Sir Charles William Gwynn KCB, CMG, DSO, FRGS (4 November 1870 - 12 November 1962) was an Irish born British Army officer, geographer, explorer and author of works on military history and theory.

Military career[edit]

Born the son of John Gwynn (1827-1917), Regius Professor of Divinity at Trinity College, Dublin, and his wife, Lucy Josephine (1840-1907) daughter of the Irish nationalist William Smith O'Brien, Gwynn was educated at St. Columba's College, Dublin and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and was commissioned in the Royal Engineers in 1889. [1]

In 1893-94, Gwynn saw active service in West Africa in operations against the Sofas,[2] and in 1897 joined the geographical section of the Intelligence Branch of the War Office.[1] Following the reconquest of Sudan from the Mahdi, Gwynn undertook survey work there,[2] remaining until 1904. He was awarded his CMG for his survey work determining the Sudanese/Abyssian border.[1]

In June 1911, he was detailed to Australia as an instructor at the Royal Military College, Duntroon,[2] where he served as the director of military art, instructing tactics, strategy, and military history. With the outbreak of World War I, he returned to England, where he unsuccessfully sought a posting to France. In July 1915, he was sent to the Middle East where he was assigned as the GSO1 of the Second Australia Division. He was eventually posted to serve as the Chief of Staff of the II ANZAC Corps, a position he held until the end of the War.[3] His brother Stephen Gwynn and Stephen's son Denis Rolleston Gwynn also served in the Great War.

After World War I, he served in a variety of staff assignements, culminating in May 1926 when he was made Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley.[2] Upon his retirement in 1931,[2] he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.[3]

In 1934, he wrote Imperial Policing, now regarded as a classic in the field of low intensity conflict and small wars.

Publications by Charles Gwynn[edit]

  • The Frontiers of Abyssinia: a retrospect Journal of the Royal African Society, Vol. 36, No. 143 (Apr., 1937), pp. 150-161
  • Imperial Policing London: Macmillian, 1934

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Geographical Journal, Vol. 129, No. 2 (Jun., 1963), pp. 251-251
  2. ^ a b c d e Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  3. ^ a b Gavin Long, 'Gwynn, Sir Charles William (1870 - 1963)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, Melbourne University Press, 1983, pp 146-147
Military offices
Preceded by
Edmund Ironside
Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley
1926–1931
Succeeded by
John Dill