Earl of Ypres

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John French, 1st Earl of Ypres.

Earl of Ypres was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was a victory title, referring to the Flemish city of Ypres, which gave its name the Salient of Ypres, site of extremely bloody fighting in the Great War.


It was created in 1922 for Field Marshal John French, 1st Viscount French. He was Chief of the Imperial General Staff from 1912 to 1914, Commander of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War from 1914 to 1915 and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland from 1919 to 1922. French had already been created Viscount French, of Ypres and of High Lake in the County of Roscommon (in Connaught, Ireland), in 1916. This title was also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The suffragette and writer Charlotte Despard was the elder sister of the first Earl.

He was succeeded by his son John Richard Lowndes French, the second Earl, who was a Captain in the Royal Artillery, as well as a talented artist.

On his death, the titles passed to his son John Richard Charles Lambart French, the third Earl. He fought in the Second World War as a Captain in the King's Royal Rifle Corps. Lord Ypres had four daughters but no sons, so on his death in 1988 his titles became extinct. His youngest daughter, Lady Lucy French, became a prominent journalist and has done extensive work for charity and fundraising for the arts, most notably for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Earls of Ypres (1922–1988)[edit]