Wyndham Childs

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Sir Wyndham Childs
Born15 December 1876
Died27 November 1946 (aged 69)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service1900–1922
Battles/warsSecond Boer War
World War I
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath

Major-General Sir Borlase Elward Wyndham Childs KCMG KBE CB (15 December 1876 – 27 November 1946) was a British Army officer who also served as Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis from 1921 to 1928.

Military career[edit]

Childs was born in Cornwall, the son of a solicitor. He initially entered the law himself, as an articled clerk to his father. He was also a Captain in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. When the Second Boer War broke out he volunteered for overseas service, but was turned down. He decided to volunteer for regular service instead, intending to return to the law after the war, and in 1900 was commissioned into the regular DCLI, being immediately posted to the 1st Battalion in Dum Dum, India. Shortly afterwards, the battalion moved to Ceylon as a guard battalion for the Boer prisoner of war camp. After two years, the battalion was finally posted to South Africa, where Childs was appointed adjutant and quartermaster of the rest camp at Stellenbosch. There he came to the attention of Colonel Nevil Macready, then Chief Staff Officer at Cape Colony, who appointed him garrison adjutant of Cape Town Castle. He was promoted Lieutenant in April 1904[1] and returned to England in 1905, where he became adjutant of his battalion. He transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment as a Captain in 1910.[2]

In February 1911 he was seconded to the War Office as a Staff Captain.[3] In November 1910 he accompanied his old friend, Macready, by then Director of Personal Services, as his staff officer to Tonypandy in South Wales, where rioting had broken out. In February 1912 he was promoted to the brevet rank of Major.[4] In April 1914 he was appointed Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General at the War Office[5] and in September 1914 he was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General with the British Expeditionary Force and promoted to the temporary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel[6] and shortly afterwards to the temporary rank of Colonel.[7] While with the BEF, he instituted court martial reforms that increased the remission of death sentences for deserters to 89 per cent of all those sentenced to death by military courts.

In 1916 he returned to the War Office as Assistant Adjutant-General, mainly dealing with conscientious objectors, and later the same year was appointed Director of Personal Services, in charge of Army discipline. In September 1915 he was given the substantive rank of Major in the DCLI,[8] in 1916 he became a Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, in 1917 a Brevet Colonel, and in 1919 a Temporary Major-General. In 1919 he also became a Deputy Adjutant-General.

Police career[edit]

Childs was appointed Assistant Commissioner "C" (Crime) in December 1921.[9][10] He retired from the Army in December 1922 with the honorary rank of Major-General.[11] While Assistant Commissioner he attempted with some success to stamp out the illegal arms trade. He resigned from the Metropolitan Police on 6 November 1928[12] over the Sir Leo Chiozza Money incident.[13]

He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1916, Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1918, Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1919, and Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in February 1921.[14]

He was appointed High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire for 1932-33 when he was living in Thriplow House, Thriplow, Cambridgeshire.[15]

He died in the Stoke Newington district of London in 1946. He had married Ethel (Young) Allanson in 1925.


  • Episodes and reflections: being some records from the life of Major-General Sir Wyndham Childs, K.C.M.G., K.B.E., C.B., one time second lieut., 2nd Volunteer Battalion, the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, Cassell, 1930
  • John Bull's Book of Pitfalls, Pryor Publications, 1999, ISBN 0-946014-80-9


  1. ^ "No. 27684". The London Gazette. 10 June 1904. p. 3711.
  2. ^ "No. 28425". The London Gazette. 18 October 1910. p. 7352.
  3. ^ "No. 28467". The London Gazette. 21 February 1911. p. 1334.
  4. ^ "No. 28582". The London Gazette. 20 February 1912. p. 1262.
  5. ^ "No. 28822". The London Gazette. 17 April 1914. p. 3231.
  6. ^ "No. 28925". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 October 1914. p. 7900.
  7. ^ "No. 29084". The London Gazette. 26 February 1915. p. 1989.
  8. ^ "No. 29391". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 December 1915. p. 12159.
  9. ^ "No. 32544". The London Gazette. 9 December 1921. p. 10024.
  10. ^ "Sir B. Thomson's Successor", The Times, 5 December 1921
  11. ^ "No. 32777". The London Gazette. 15 December 1922. p. 8877.
  12. ^ "Sir Wyndham Childs: Resignation of Police Post", The Times, 8 October 1928
  13. ^ The North American Review, Vol. 227, No. 2, February 1929
  14. ^ "No. 32234". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 February 1921. p. 1445.
  15. ^ "No. 33809". The London Gazette. 18 March 1932. p. 1854.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Major-General Finlay Beatson
Director of Personal Services, British Army
Succeeded by
Major-General Felix Ready
Police appointments
Preceded by
Sir Basil Thomson
Assistant Commissioner "C", Metropolitan Police
Succeeded by
Trevor Bigham