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Geoffrey Scoones

Sir Geoffrey Scoones
Lieutenant General Geoffrey Scoones, September 1944
Born (1893-01-25)25 January 1893
Died 1975
Allegiance  United Kingdom
 British India
Service/branch  British Indian Army
Years of service 1912–c.1949
Rank General
Commands held 2nd Battalion 8th Gurkha Rifles
IV Corps
Southern Command (India)
Central Command (India)
Battles/wars First World War
North-West Frontier
Second World War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Star of India
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches
Relations Major General Sir Reginald Scoones (brother)

General Sir Geoffrey Allen Percival Scoones KCBKBECSIDSOMC (25 January 1893 – 1975) was a general in the British Indian Army during the Second World War. His younger brother was Reginald "Cully" Scoones.

Contents

  • Military career 1
    • First World War and inter-war period 1.1
    • Second World War 1.2
    • Post-war 1.3
  • References 2
  • Sources 3

Military career

First World War and inter-war period

Scoones was commissioned a second lieutenant on the unattached list for the Indian Army on 20 January 1912.[1] He was accepted into the Indian Army and appointed to 2–2 Gurkha Rifles with a promotion to lieutenant on 8 Mar 1913.[2] He served in the First World War becoming aide-de-camp to the Commander of Meerut Division, then aide-de-camp to the commander 21st Division and finally aide-de-camp to the Army Corps Commander, 2nd Army Corps in France between 8 Sept 1915 and 10 July 1917.[3] Promoted to captain on 20 January 1916,[4] he became a Brigade Major in India on 27 October 1917.[3][5] He was mentioned in despatches three times,[6][7][8] and awarded the Distinguished Service Order[9] as well as the Military Cross.[5][10]

After the War Scoones saw service during the Afghanistan North West Frontier operations in 1919.[5] He served as Brigade Major in India from 3 March 1924 to 30 November 1926[5] and then became a General Staff Officer.[5] Brevetted to major on 7 January 1925,[11] he transferred to 1–2 Gurkha Rifles on 22 January 1928[5] He was promoted to major on 20 January 1929[12] and brevetted to lieutenant-colonel on 1 January 1933.[13] From 14 February 1935 to 23 April 1938 was Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion of the 8th Gurkha Rifles.[14] He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for earthquake work at Quetta in 1935.[15]

Second World War

Scoones served in the Second World War initially as a General Staff Officer on the Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence.[5] On 17 May 1940 he was appointed Deputy Director of Military Operations, India. The following year, he became Director of Military Operations and Intelligence, India,[14] with the rank of major-general.

In 1942, he briefly commanded the Indian 19th Infantry Division[16] before being promoted to lieutenant-general and appointed to command IV Corps part of William Slim's Fourteenth Army.[14] This Corps defended Imphal in Manipur, on the frontier between India and Japanese-held Burma. It also had responsibility for a large rear area, and a very large tract of unmapped and trackless jungle-covered frontier. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Star of India in 1942.[17]

Scoones commanded the Corps through the gruelling Battle of Imphal. In December 1944 he and his fellow corps commanders Stopford and Christison were knighted and invested as Knights Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the viceroy Lord Wavell at a ceremony at Imphal in front of the Scottish, Gurkha and Punjab regiments.[18] Slim was knighted and invested as Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath at the same occasion. Slim valued Scoones as a defensive commander but when Fourteenth Army went onto the offensive after Imphal he wanted a more aggressive and less calculating commander for IV Corps[19] and Scoones was appointed to Central Command, India,[14] an Army-level HQ which was nevertheless essentially a rear-area and administrative command.

Post-war

In 1947 he was briefly the last High Commissioner to New Zealand.[14]

References

  1. ^ The London Gazette, 19 January 1912
  2. ^ The London Gazette, 18 July 1913
  3. ^ a b Quarterly Army List for quarter ending 31 March 1922
  4. ^ The London Gazette, 22 May 1917
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Indian Army List Supplement 1941
  6. ^ London Gazette 1 January 1916
  7. ^ London Gazette 4 January 1917
  8. ^ London Gazette 15 May 1917
  9. ^ London Gazette 4 June 1917
  10. ^ London Gazette 1 January 1916)
  11. ^ The London Gazette, 6 January 1925
  12. ^ The London Gazette, 8 March 1929
  13. ^ The London Gazette, 3 January 1933
  14. ^ a b c d e f Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  15. ^ London Gazette 19 November 1935
  16. ^ Geoffrey Scoones at Orders of Battle.com
  17. ^ London Gazette 11 June 1942
  18. ^ London Gazette 28 September 1944
  19. ^ Mead, p. 416.
  20. ^ The military in British India: the development of British Land Forces in South Asia, 1600–1947 By T. A. Heathcote, Page265 Manchester University Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0-7190-3570-8
  21. ^ London Gazette 1 January 1947.

Sources

  • Mead, Richard (2007). Churchill's Lions: A biographical guide to the key British generals of World War II. Stroud (UK): Spellmount. pp. 414–417.  
  • Indian Army List Supplement 1941. 
  • Quarterly Army List for quarter ending 31st March 1922. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Noel Irwin
GOC, IV Corps
1942–1944
Succeeded by
Sir Frank Messervy
Preceded by
Henry Willcox
GOC-in-C, Central Command, India
1944–1946
Succeeded by
Post disbanded
Preceded by
Sir Mosley Mayne
Military Secretary to the India Office
1947
Succeeded by
Post disbanded
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