George Arthur French

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Sir George Arthur French
StateLibQld 2 126279 Sir George Arthur French, 1883.jpg
Colonel George Arthur French, 1883
Born(1841-06-19)19 June 1841
Roscommon, Ireland
Died7 July 1921(1921-07-07) (aged 80)
Kensington, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1860–1902
RankMajor General
Commands heldCommandant of the New South Wales Military Forces (1896-02)
Commandant of the Queensland Defence Force (1883–91)
Commissioner of the North-West Mounted Police (1873–76)
Battles/warsRed River Rebellion
North-West Frontier
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

Major General Sir George Arthur French, KCMG (19 June 1841 – 7 July 1921) was a British Army officer who served as the first Commissioner of the North-West Mounted Police, from October 1873 to July 1876, and as Commandant of the colonial military forces in Queensland (1883–91) and New South Wales (1896–1902)

George Arthur French was born at Roscommon, Ireland. He was educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1860.

In 1871, at the request of the Canadian government, he was sent to Canada as a military inspector, eventually becoming head of the School of Gunnery at Kingston, Ontario.

French was appointed to organise the North-West Mounted Police on its creation in 1873, and the next year he led the force on its famous march to the foothills of the Rockies.

French resigned in 1876 and returned to duty in the British Army, eventually attaining the rank of major general. The organizational skills developed in Canada were used to establish local defence forces in India and Australia. In September 1883 he was appointed Commandant of the Queensland Local Forces with the local rank of colonel, and arrived in the colony on 4 January 1884. Colonel French married, in 1862, Janet Clarke, daughter of the late Robert Long Innes, formerly of the 37th Regiment. Colonel French retired in 1891, and returned to England.[1]

He retired from the army on 3 September 1902,[2] and was knighted as Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the November 1902 Birthday Honours list.[3][4]

For the next 19 years much of his time was spent guarding the crown jewels in London, where he died in 1921.

External links[edit]

  • "George Arthur French". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.
  1. ^ Mennell, Philip (1892). "French, Colonel George Arthur" . The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co – via Wikisource.
  2. ^ "No. 27470". The London Gazette. 2 September 1902. p. 5685.
  3. ^ "Birthday Honours". The Times (36921). London. 10 November 1902. p. 10.
  4. ^ "No. 27493". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 November 1902. pp. 7161–7163.
Police appointments
Preceded by
William Osborne Smith
Commissioner of the North-West Mounted Police
Succeeded by
James MacLeod