Search the Collection

John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Earl of Ypres (1852-1925), Field Marshal

Sitter in 21 portraits
Born at Ripple in Kent, French had a distinguished career in the Sudan, in the expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum, and in South Africa where he relieved the siege of Kimberly. As Commander-in-Chief, Aldershot, from 1902, he was responsible for the total reform of military manoeuvres. He became Chief of the Imperial General Staff in 1912 and in 1914 held supreme command of the British Expeditionary Force in France. Failure to break the German line at the Battles of Ypres and Loos, saw him succeeded by Sir Douglas Haig on the Western Front in 1915. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Home Forces until the end of the war, and became Lord Lieutenant in Ireland in 1918.