Edmond Schreiber

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Sir Edmond Schreiber
Born(1890-04-30)30 April 1890
London, England
Died8 October 1972(1972-10-08) (aged 82)
Exmouth, Devonshire, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1909–1947
UnitRoyal Artillery
Commands heldX Field Brigade, Royal Artillery
61st Infantry Division
45th Infantry Division
V Corps
First Army
Western Command
South-Eastern Command
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Knight of the Order of St John
Mentioned in dispatches
Other workDeputy Lieutenant of Devon (1948)
National President, Old Contemptibles Association (1960)

Lieutenant-General Sir Edmund Charles Acton Schreiber, KCB, DSO, KStJ, DL (30 April 1890 – 8 October 1972) was a senior British Army officer who served in both the First World War and the Second World War. In the latter he commanded the 45th Infantry Division, V Corps and the British First Army.

Military career[edit]

Born in London, England, on 30 April 1890, the son of Brigadier-General Acton Lemuel Schreiber, Edmond Charles Acton Schreiber was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, from where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the British Army's Royal Field Artillery on 23 December 1909.[1] He was promoted to lieutenant on 23 December 1912.[2] He served in the First World War with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front, earning the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on December 1914, for his "Very gallant conduct on 14th September in saving horses which had become entangled in blocked road, and man-handling guns away from a position which had become untenable from a very heavy shell fire, continuing to work, although wounded".[3] He was several times mentioned in dispatches and ended the war as a brevet major, having been promoted to that rank on 1 January 1918.

In the 1930s, during the interwar period, he served at the Staff College, Camberley, the War Office and the Senior Officers' School, Sheerness and was Brigadier Royal Artillery in Southern Command.[4]

During the Second World War Schreiber served with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France between 1939 and 1940.[5] Promoted to acting Major-General on 26 April 1940,[6] he became General Officer Commanding (GOC) 61st Infantry Division on the same date, before being made GOC 45th Infantry Division later in 1940. In May 1941 he was promoted to acting Lieutenant-General[7] to take command of V Corps later that year. In 1942 he was appointed to command the British First Army (in reality an Anglo-American formation) which was to be the parent organisation for Allied forces in French North Africa after Operation Torch in November; however, he developed a kidney problem and became unfit for active service.[8]

Restricted to non-field roles, he became General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Western Command in 1942 and of South Eastern Command in 1944.[4] Between 1944 and 1946, Schreiber was Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Malta.[9] He retired from the British Army after the war in 1947.[4] Schreiber became a Knight of the Venerable Order of Saint John in 1944.


He was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Devon in 1948 and National President of the Old Contemptibles Association in 1960.


Edmond Schreiber married Phyllis Barchard in 1916; there were two daughters.


  1. ^ "No. 28329". The London Gazette. 14 January 1910. p. 340.
  2. ^ "No. 28674". The London Gazette. 24 December 1912. p. 9784.
  3. ^ "No. 28992". The London Gazette. 1 December 1914. p. 10189.
  4. ^ a b c Generals.dk
  5. ^ Alanbrooke (2001), e.g. entries 29 November 1939, 11 December 1939, 22 April 1940.
  6. ^ "No. 34848". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 May 1940. p. 2881.
  7. ^ "No. 35253". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 August 1941. p. 4853.
  8. ^ Mead, p. 59.
  9. ^ Alanbrooke (2001), e.g. entries 21 August 1944, 29 January 1945, 10 February 1945.


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Adrian Carton de Wiart
GOC 61st Infantry Division
April–May 1940
Succeeded by
Adrian Carton de Wiart
Preceded by
Desmond Anderson
GOC 45th Infantry Division
Succeeded by
Harold Morgan
Preceded by
Bernard Montgomery
GOC V Corps
Succeeded by
Charles Allfrey
Preceded by
New post
GOC First Army
July–August 1942
Succeeded by
Kenneth Anderson
Preceded by
Sir James Marshall-Cornwall
GOC-in-C Western Command
Succeeded by
Sir Daril Watson
Preceded by
Sir John Swayne
GOC-in-C South-Eastern Command
Succeeded by
Eric Miles
Government offices
Preceded by
Lord Gort
Governor of Malta
Succeeded by
Lord Douglas