Sir (Frederick) Stanley Maude - Encyclopedia

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"SIR (FREDERICK) STANLEY MAUDE (1864-1917), British general, son of Gen. Sir Frederick Maude, V.C., was born at Gibraltar June 24 1864. Educated at Eton, he entered the Coldstream Guards in 1884, and early in the following year proceeded with his battalion to Suakin and took part in the operations undertaken in connexion with the contemplated SuakinBerber railway. He was battalion adjutant from 1888 to 1892, married Cecil, daughter of The Rt. Hon. Col. T. E. Taylor in 1893, and joined the Staff College in 1895. On completion of the course he became brigade-major in the Home District, which post he held till the end of 1899, when he was sent out to South Africa. As brigade-major of the Guards Brigade there he took part in Lord Roberts' advance from Cape Colony to Bloemfontein, in the advance to Pretoria, and in the subsequent advance by Belfast to Komati Poort. The brigade moved to the Orange river in the latter part of 1900, and Maude was for some time on the staff in that region before proceeding, early in 1901, to Canada as military secretary to the governor-general. For his services in South Africa he was given the D.S.O. He remained in Canada till 1895, receiving the C.M.G., and then returned to regimental and staff service at home. He took an active part as a lieutenant-colonel on the staff, in the development of the organization and training of the new Territorial Force. He was appointed to the War Office in 1909 as a full colonel, and was transferred to the staff of the 3rd Division at the Curragh in 1912, but was recalled to the War Office early in 1914 and, on mobilization in Aug., was posted to the staff of the III. Army Corps. He served with his corps on the Aisne and during its transfer north to Flanders, and then commanded the 14th Brigade with signal success until June 1915, having been wounded and given the C.B. in April. Promoted major-general for distinguished service, he was hurried out to the Dardanelles in Aug. to take up command of the 13th Division. There he played a conspicuous part in the successful evacuations of Suvla and of Helles, and on its being decided early in 1916 to dispatch a British division from Egypt to Mesopotamia to aid in the relief of Kut, his was chosen. They arrived in time to bear a share in the final desperate endeavours to save the doomed stronghold but the effort came to naught and after the surrender of Kut, Maude and his division remained facing the Turks on the Tigris. He had shown himself to be a skilful and resolute leader of men and was in July appointed commander of the army corps constituting the forces at the front, to be advanced in Sept. to the position of army-commander in Mesopotamia.

Realizing that victory in this theatre of war must hinge on effective organization and adequate preparation, Maude, who had been given the K.C.B., spent three months at Basrah, ensuring that when the time came his field army should be capable of acting with vigour and decision. Then, when all was ready early in Dec., he suddenly pushed forward and within a few weeks had driven the Turks in confusion out of their entrenched camp around Kut. Moving relentlessly on and making great captures he occupied Bagdad March 11. This memorable achievement he followed up by trenchant operations, which rapidly secured him a considerable area around the city and inflicted a succession of damaging strokes against the enemy, so that by May his forces could settle down in security for the hot weather. He was rewarded by promotion to lieutenant-general.

His genius for administration and grasp of military requirements were constantly in evidence during the ensuing summer. While interesting himself closely in the welfare of his troops and assuring his communications with the Persian Gulf, he was framing plans for a fresh offensive as soon as the season should become suitable. This had, however, only just made a promising commencement when, to the consternation of his army, over which he had gained a remarkable personal ascendancy, he was struck down by cholera and died at Bagdad Nov. 18 1917. His record since 1914 had been that of a great soldier. As a brigadier and divisional commander he had won to an unusual extent the confidence of superiors and subordinates. As an army commander, operating in a region that offered extraordinary difficulties to the conduct of warfare on a great scale, he had made strategy and administration move hand in hand and had framed and carried into execution plans of campaign at once comprehensive, judicious and bold. His conquest of Mesopotamia and his transformation of a depressing situation into one of signal triumph ranks as one of the finest feats in modern military history.

See Life by Maj.-Gen. Sir C. E. Callwell (1920).

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