Berkeley Vincent

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Berkeley Vincent
Born 4 December 1871
Died 29 January 1963
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1891 - 1924
Rank Brigadier-General
Commands held 35th Infantry Brigade
Battles/wars Second Boer War
World War I
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George

Brigadier-General Sir Berkeley Vincent, KBE CB CMG (4 December 1871 — 29 January 1963) was a British army officer and sportsman.

Military career[edit]

Born the son of Colonel Arthur Hare Vincent and Elizabeth Rose Manson[1] and educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, Vincent was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1891.[2] He was promoted to lieutenant in 1894 and to captain in 1900.[2] He served with the China Expeditionary Force and then in the Second Boer War.[2] In 1903, Vincent was sent to Tokyo to learn Japanese:[3] he served as British military attaché with the Japanese Army during the Russo-Japanese War and, from 1 March 1904, was attached to the 2nd Division of the First Japanese Army in Manchuria.[4]

Vincent was a protégé of Ian Hamilton, also an observer in the Russo-Japanese War. Vincent attended Staff College, Camberley. The then Commandant, Wilson, was sceptical of Berkeley's claims that Japanese morale had enabled their infantry to overcome Russian defensive firepower.[5] He was promoted to major in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons in 1908.[2] In 1911, when Vincent learned that he was to leave his job, and was shown General Haig's critical report on him, he availed himself of his right to Appeal to the King, under Section 42 of the Army Act, claiming unfair dismissal.[6]

He served in World War I as a General Staff Officer at Headquarters Indian Corps and then transferred to the 37th Division.[2] Appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1916, he took part in the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Ancre.[2] Promoted to lieutenant-colonel in January 1917, he became Commander of the 35th Infantry Brigade.[2] He took part in the Battle of Arras in April 1917, when he was buried alive, and the subsequent retreat, when he was gassed.[2] He also took part in the attack on the Hindenburg Line.[2]

After the war, he became commanding officer of the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons.[2] He went on to be Commander of the British Forces in Iraq in 1922 and retired in 1924.[2]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Peerage: Brig.-Gen. Sir Berkeley Vincent, ID #17156
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Obituary: Sir Berkeley Vincent Irish Times, 2 February 1963
  3. ^ 28. "Sir Bart, merchant, Brown. Shipley and Co Brown Alexander Hargreaves-55317"
  4. ^ Great Britain War Office, p.280.
  5. ^ Jeffery 2006, p82-3
  6. ^ Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives at King's College London, Hamilton 5/1/10 and Capper 2/4/17