Who's Who - George Gorringe

General George Frederick Gorringe (1868-1945) served as an active field commander in the British army during World War One, on the Palestine and Western Fronts.

Gorringe's appointment to Major-General in 1911 made him one of the youngest commanders of that rank at the time.  A combination of deep unpopularity and unluckiness during the First World War condemned him to forego promotion throughout the war.

His war started in 1914 with the Indian army.  As commander of the so-called Tigris Corps in 1916 Gorringe was handed the unenviable task of relieving Sir Charles Townshend's besieged force at Kut.

Gorringe, who held no high opinion of the fighting capacities of the Turkish army - in common with many of his contemporaries - went at his task in bull-at-a-gate fashion, optimistic of accomplishing his goal in short order.

Unsuccessful in his efforts (and by no means entirely to blame), Gorringe was redeployed to the Western Front when Townshend's force surrendered in humiliation in April 1916 in what was the greatest defeat of the British Army to date.

In October 1916 Gorringe replaced Sir Charles Barter as commander of 47th (2nd London) Territorial Division, in which capacity he remained for the conclusion of the war.

In spite of his unsavoury reputation as something of a bullying man his Chief of Staff from July 1918, Bernard Montgomery, always spoke highly of him and credited the efficiency of his own World War Two staff upon Gorringe.

The "Blue Max" was a reference to the prestigious German Pour le Merite medal.

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Who's Who