General Sir Charles Carmichael Munro Bt GCB GCSI GCMG



Charles Munro was born on 15th June 1860 and educated at Sherbourne. After Sandhurst he was commissioned into the 2nd Queen's Royal Regiment at Colchester in 1879. He served in India, campaigning with the Malakand Field Force and the Tirah Expedition of 1897.

When the South African War broke out he was on the staff, appointed to the 6th Division with the rank of major. He was at Paardeberg, Driefontein and Pretoria. After the war he was promoted and became commandant at the Hythe School of Musketry, from 1901 to 1907. While there he introduced new innovations in rapid aimed fire, and fire and movement.

In World War 1 he was in command of the 2nd Division in Haig's I Corps BEF. He played a part in the Mons Retreat and was in the 1st Battle of Ypres. In December 1914 he was promoted to Lieut-General and given command of I Corps at Aubers Ridge, Festubert and Givenchy. In July 1915 he was in charge of the new 3rd Army but by October he was appointed to the command of the Mediterranean. He gave his assessment of the Gallipoli situation to the cabinet and poured cold water on the invasion plan, which put him at odds with Winston Churchill. In the event he was sent there in October 1915 to replace Ian Hamilton and organised a successful withdrawal from the Dardanelles.

Another spell in France followed, in command of the 1st Army from January 1916. He had to bear the misfortunes at Vimy Ridge in May, and at Fromelles in June. In October that year he was sent to India with the position of Commander-in-Chief. He modernised the indian Army and had responsibility for Indian troops in Mesopotamia, the NorthWest Frontier and had to deal with the war in Waziristan. Towards the end of his term of office, in April 1919, he had the task of calming the Indian people after the Amritsar massacre perpetrated by Brigadier-General Dyer (also a former officer of the Queen's). Although Dyer had been relieved of his command, Munro told him to resign, and that he would not be re-employed.

He left India in 1920 and was created 1st Baronet of Bearcrofts, appointed Bath, King of Arms and became Colonel of the Queen's Royal West Surreys on 13th Oct 1920. In 1923 he was sent to Gibraltar as Governor. He was so popular there that the Chamber of Commerce petitioned the Government for an extension of his 5 year term. It was to be his last job because the year following his return to the UK he died, on 7th Dec 1928. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery.



Regimental details | Colonels




Share



by Stephen Luscombe