William Eyre (British Army officer)

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Sir William Eyre
Crimean War 1854-56 Q71473.jpg
Sir William Eyre
Born 21 October 1805
Died 18 September 1859 (1859-09-19) (aged 53)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Major-General
Commands held 3rd Brigade
3rd Division
British troops in Canada
Battles/wars Cape Frontier War
Crimean War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Major General Sir William Eyre KCB (21 October 1805 – 18 September 1859) was an officer in the British Army.


Eyre was the younger son of Vice-Admiral Sir George Eyre. He was educated at Rugby School; commissioned as an ensign in 1823. He received a company in the 73rd Regiment in 1829. Ten years later he was a major.[1][2]

He served in Cape Frontier War of 1847 and was promoted to lieutenant-colonel the same year. In the Cape Frontier War of 1851 he defeated the Xhosha at the battle of Quibigui River and the battle of Committees Hill. In 1852 he commanded the right wing in the punitive attack on Moshoeshoe I at Berea in Basutoland.

The same year he was appointed Companion of the Bath, served as aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria, and was promoted to colonel. In 1854 he commanded the 3rd Brigade and later the 3rd Division in Crimean War and was promoted to major-general. In 1855 he accepted appointment as commander of Her Majesty's forces in British North America[3] and was appointed Knight Commander of the Bath and in the following year, 1856, he was decorated by France and Turkey. His health had been broken during the Crimean War and he resigned due to ill health in June 1859. He died on 18 September of that year.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b Lee, Sidney (1903), Dictionary of National Biography Index and Epitome, p. 414 (also main entry xviii 104)
  2. ^ a b H. M. Stephens, ‘Eyre, Sir William (1805–1859)’, rev. James Lunt, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 ;online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 30 July 2010
  3. ^ "Major General Sir William Eyre, K.C.B. - British North America - As Commander-in-Chief". National Archives. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir William Rowan
Commander-in-Chief, North America
Succeeded by
Sir William Williams