Who's Who - Louis James Lipsett

Louis James Lipsett, painted by William Orpen Louis James Lipsett (1874-1918) was the last British general to command a Canadian division in the field and the last to be killed in the First World War.

Born on 14 June 1874 in Bundoran, Ireland to a Welsh family, Lipsett was educated first at Bedford School and then at Sandhurst prior to receiving a commission as 2nd Lieutenant into the Royal Irish Regiment (18th Foot) in October 1894.

Lipsett served in colonial disputes during the Tirah Campaign, and on India's Northwest Frontier in addition to service during the South African War of 1899-1902.  He was also given various appointments to Staff positions.

Given the local rank of Major in 1911 Lipsett was posted to Western Canada as General Staff Officer.  In this Lipsett was expected to implement a policy agreed at the Imperial Conferences of 1907 and 1909 to standardise military training among Britain and its Dominions.

During his spell in Canada Lipsett was responsible for training Arthur Currie, the later commander of the Canadian Corps during the First World War.

With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 Lipsett was handed command of the 90th Winnipeg Rifles (referred to as 'The Little Black Devils') in the Canadian Expeditionary Force's 8th Battalion.

He was subsequently appointed Currie's successor as commander of 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade when the latter was given charge of 1st Canadian Division; and he was placed at the head of 3rd Canadian Division in June 1916 following the death of its then-commander Major-General Mercer.  He remained with 3rd Division until September 1918.

Transferred back to the British Army, in command of 4th Division in September 1918, Lipsett was killed the following month, on 14 October 1918, when he was struck in the face by a machine gun bullet.  His burial - he was the 59th and last British general to die during the war - was attended by Currie, General Horne (commander of 1st Army) and the Prince of Wales.

His wartime honours included the French Legion d'Honneur, the Croix de Guerre and he was awarded a CB and CMG by the British.

Alexander Little (1895-1918) was Australia's highest-scoring fighter pilot during World War One, with 47 confirmed victories.

Born on 19 July 1895 in Melbourne, Little joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915 having sailed from Australia to England and qualified as a pilot at his own expense.  The following year, in June 1916, he was posted to Dunkirk, where (flying the Bristol Scout and the Sopwith 1 Strutter) he participated in numerous bombing raids prior to joining the 8th Naval Squadron four months later, serving on the Western Front.

Over the course of the next 19 months Little amassed a total of 47 aerial victories, becoming Australia's most prominent air ace.  All his victories were achieved in command of Sopwiths: 4 with the Pup, 24 with the Triplane; and 19 with the Sopwith Camel.  During the course of this period Little gained renown for being shot down - and then strafed - by Richthofen's Flying Circus.

His run of success came to an end however on the night of 27 May 1918 when he was shot down and killed while attempting to destroy a Gotha bomber near Noeux.

A "gutzer" was slang for a stroke of bad luck.

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Who's Who