Eric de Burgh

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Sir Eric de Burgh
Born 1881
Died 1973
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1901–1941
Rank General
Commands held 1st (Risalpur) Cavalry Brigade
Lahore District
Rawalpindi District
1st Indian Division
Battles/wars Second Boer War
World War I
Third Anglo-Afghan War
World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Officer of the Order of the British Empire

General Sir Eric de Burgh, KCB DSO OBE (1881–1973) was a British Army officer who became Chief of the General Staff in India.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Marlborough College and the Colonial College, Hollesley Bay, De Burgh was commissioned into the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, as a Second Lieutenant in October 1901. In February 1902 he was seconded for service with Mounted infantry during the Second Boer War,[1][2] with the local rank of Lieutenant in the Army whilst serving in South Africa.[3] He later joined the Indian Army, and served in the 19th Lancers (Fane's Horse). He served in World War I and saw action at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915, the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915 and the Battle of Loos in September 1915.[2] He later saw action at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, the Battle of Arras in April 1917 and the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917.[2]

He also fought in the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919.[2] He was appointed an Instructor at Staff College, Quetta in 1928.[4] He went on to be a Brigadier on the General Staff at Eastern Command in India in 1930, Commanding Officer of the 1st (Risalpur) Cavalry Brigade in 1931 and District Officer Commanding Lahore District in 1934.[4] After that he became Deputy Chief General Staff at Army Headquarters India in 1935, District Officer Commanding Rawalpindi District in 1936 and General Officer Commanding 1st Indian Division in 1937.[4] His last appointment was as Chief of the General Staff in India in 1939 at the start of World War II before retiring in 1941.[4]

In retirement he lived at Ard Cairn outside Naas and in 1960 acquired Bargy Castle in County Wexford.[5]


In 1923, he married Mary Fanshawe, daughter of General Sir Edward Fanshawe; they had two daughters.[5] He is maternal grandfather of singer-songwriter Chris de Burgh.[5]


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Ivo Vesey
Chief of the General Staff (India)
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Hutton