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John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st earl of Ypres

French, John Denton Pinkstone, 1st earl of Ypres (ēˈprə) [key], 1852–1925, British field marshal. After a long career in the army, during which he served in Sudan (1884–85) and in the South African War (1899–1902), he was chief of the imperial general staff (1912–14) and became a field marshal in 1913. His command of the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium from the outbreak of World War I (Aug., 1914) to Dec., 1915, was marked by failure to coordinate the movements of his forces and heavy casualties in the first and second battles of Ypres and the battle of Loos. On his return to England he reorganized the home defenses. He was lord lieutenant of Ireland (1918–21) and was created earl in 1922. He wrote 1914 (1919).

See biography by R. Holmes (1981).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History: Biographies


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