John Ponsonby (British Army officer)

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Sir John Ponsonby
Born (1866-03-25)25 March 1866
Died 26 March 1952(1952-03-26) (aged 86)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1888–1928
Rank Major-General
Commands held 2nd Guards Brigade
40th Division
5th Infantry Division
Madras District
Battles/wars Second Boer War
World War I
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order

Major-General Sir John Ponsonby KCB CMG DSO (25 March 1866 – 26 March 1952) was a British Army officer who commanded 5th Division during World War I.

Military career[edit]

Born the son of Sir Henry Ponsonby and educated at Eton College, Ponsonby was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1888.[1] He served in Uganda in 1898 and was seconded for service in the Second Boer War in South Africa in February 1902.[2][1] He fought in World War I as Commander of the 2nd Guards Brigade from 1915 and then as General Officer Commanding 40th Division from 1917, leading his Division at the Battle of Cambrai.[3] In July 1918 he went on to become General Officer Commanding 5th Division remaining in that role until the end of the War.[3] After the War he became General Officer Commanding the Madras District of India.[3] He retired in 1928.

He lived at Haile Hall near Beckermet in Cumbria.[3]


In 1935 he married Mary (Mollie) Robley; they had no children.[3]


Military offices
Preceded by
Reginald Stephens
General Officer Commanding the 5th Division
Succeeded by
Hugh Jeudwine
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Morland
Colonel of the Suffolk Regiment
1925 – 1939
Succeeded by
Sir Walter Norris Nicholson