Sir William Maynard Gomm - Encyclopedia

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SIR WILLIAM MAYNARD GOMM (1784-1875), British soldier, was gazetted to the 9th Foot at the age of ten, in recognition of the services of his father, Lieut.-Colonel William Gomm, who was killed in the attack on Guadaloupe (1794). He joined his regiment as a lieutenant in 1799, and fought in Holland under the duke of York, and subsequently was with Pulteney's Ferrol expedition. In 1803 he became Captain, and shortly afterwards qualified as a staff officer at the High Wycombe military college. On the general staff he was with Cathcart at Copenhagen, with Wellington in the Peninsula, and on Moore's staff at Corunna. He was also on Chatham's staff in the disastrous Walcheren expedition of 1809. In 1810 he rejoined the Peninsular army as Leith's staff officer, and took part in all the battles of 1810, 1811 and 1812, winning his majority after Fuentes d'Onor and his lieutenant-colonelcy at Salamanca. His careful reconnaissances and skilful leading were invaluable to Wellington in the Vittoria campaign, and to the end of the war he was one of the most trusted men of his staff. His reward was a transfer to the Coldstream Guards and the K.C.B. In the Waterloo campaign he served on the staff of the 5th British Division. From the peace until 1839 he was employed on home service, becoming colonel in 1829 and major-general in 1837. From 1839 to 1842 he commanded the troops in Jamaica. He became lieutenantgeneral in 1846, and was sent out to be commander-in-chief in India, arriving only to find that his appointment had been cancelled in favour of Sir Charles Napier, whom, however, he eventually succeeded (1850-1855). In 1854 he became general and in 1868 field marshal. In 1872 he was appointed constable of the Tower, and he died in 1875. He was twice married, but had no children. His Letters and Journals were published by F. C. Carr-Gomm in 1881. Five "Field Marshal Gomm" scholarships were afterwards founded in his memory at Keble College, Oxford.

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