World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy

Article Id: WHEBN0000273581
Reproduction Date:

Title: Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon, List of Quebec senators, 3rd Cavalry Division (United Kingdom), William Egbert, Arthur Meighen
Collection: 10Th Royal Hussars Officers, 1862 Births, 1935 Deaths, British Army Cavalry Generals of World War I, British Army Personnel of the Mahdist War, British Army Personnel of the Second Boer War, British Field Marshals, British Militia Officers, Byng Family, Chief Scouts of Canada, Commissioners of Police of the Metropolis, Foreign Recipients of the Distinguished Service Medal (United States), Governors General of Canada, Grand Crosses of the Order of the White Eagle (Serbia), Grand Officiers of the Légion D'Honneur, King's Royal Rifle Corps Officers, Knights Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George, Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Members of the Royal Victorian Order, People Educated at Eton College, People from Barnet, Recipients of the Croix De Guerre 1914–1918 (France), Royal Military College of Canada People, Scouting and Guiding in Canada, South African Light Horse Officers, Viscounts in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, Younger Sons of Earls
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy

Field Marshal the Right Honourable
the Viscount Byng of Vimy
12th Governor General of Canada
In office
2 August 1921 – 5 August 1926
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Canadian
  • Arthur Meighen
  • William Lyon Mackenzie King
  • David Lloyd George
  • Andrew Bonar Law
  • Stanley Baldwin
  • Ramsay MacDonald
Preceded by The Duke of Devonshire
Succeeded by The Viscount Willingdon
Personal details
Born Julian Hedworth George Byng
(1862-09-11)11 September 1862
Wrotham Park, England
Died 6 June 1935(1935-06-06) (aged 72)
Thorpe-le-Soken, England
Spouse(s) Evelyn Byng, Viscountess Byng of Vimy
Profession Officer
Religion Anglican
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1879–1919
Rank Field Marshal
Commands Third Army
Canadian Corps
XVII Corps
IX Corps
Egypt Command
1st Cavalry Brigade
2nd Cavalry Brigade
Battles/wars Mahdist War
  • Battles of El Teb
  • Battle of Tamai
Second Boer War
First World War
  • First Battle of Ypres
  • Battle of Gallipoli
  • Battle of Vimy Ridge
  • Battle of Cambrai
  • Hundred Days Offensive
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Member of the Royal Victorian Order
See complete list

GCMG MVO  (11 September 1862 – 6 June 1935) was a British Army officer who served as Governor General of Canada, the 12th since Canadian Confederation.

Known to friends as "Bungo", he was born to a the Duke of Devonshire as viceroy, and occupied that post until succeeded by the Viscount Willingdon in 1926. Byng proved to be popular with Canadians, due to his war leadership, though his stepping directly into political affairs became the catalyst for widespread changes to the role of the Crown in all of the British Dominions.

After the end of his viceregal tenure, Byng returned to the United Kingdom and there served as the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and was promoted within the peerage to become Viscount Byng of Vimy. Three years after being appointed as a field marshal, Byng died at his home on 6 June.


  • Early life 1
  • Military career 2
    • Staff College 2.1
    • Commanding officer and First World War 2.2
  • Governor General of Canada 3
    • King-Byng Affair 3.1
  • Post-viceregal life 4
  • Titles, styles, and honours 5
    • Titles 5.1
    • Honours 5.2
      • Honorary degrees 5.2.1
    • Honorific eponyms 5.3
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • Sources 9
  • External links 10

Early life

Byng was born at the family seat of the Earl of Strafford, who due to the size of his family ran a relatively frugal household, and Harriet Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of the Lord Chesham.[1] Until the age of 17, Byng was enrolled at Eton College, although he did not enter the sixth form. At Eton Byng first received the nickname "Bungo"—to distinguish him from his elder brothers "Byngo" and "Bango"[2]—but his time at the college was undistinguished, and he received poor reports; indicative of his attitude towards academics, he once traded his Latin grammar book and his brother Lionel's best trousers to a hawker for a pair of ferrets and a pineapple. Byng later claimed that he had been the school's worst "Scug", the colloquial term for an undistinguished boy.[3]

Military career

With three sons already in the army and another already put up for the 7th Queen's Own Hussars, Byng's father did not think he could afford a regular army commission for his youngest son. Thus, at the age of 17, Byng was instead sent into the militia and on 12 December 1879 commissioned as a second lieutenant into the 2nd (Edmonton) Royal Middlesex Rifles.[3][4][n 1] He was promoted to lieutenant on 23 April 1881.[5] During this period, Byng also developed a liking for theatre and music halls, and by the age of twenty had taken an interest in the banjo.[6]

At a meeting of the Jockey Club in 1882, Byng's father was asked about his sons by his long-time friend, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. Upon hearing that Byng had not yet found a permanent career, the Prince offered a place for him in his own regiment, the 10th Royal Hussars. This was the most expensive regiment in the army, and the Earl of Strafford could only afford to give Byng two hundred of the six hundred pounds he would need each year, but the Prince's offer could not be refused. Byng himself was delighted at the opportunity, as both his uncle, Lord Chesham, and his cousin, Charles Cavendish, had served in the regiment. By raising money through buying polo ponies cheaply, using his excellent horsemanship to train them, and then selling on them at a profit,[7] Byng was able to transfer to the 10th Royal Hussars on 27 January 1883,[8] and less than three months later he joined the regiment in Lucknow, India.[9]

It was while the regiment was on the way home to Great Britain in 1884 that the Hussars were diverted to the Sudan to join the Suakin Expedition, and on 29 February Byng, along with the rest of his regiment, rode in the first line of the charge at the first Battle of El Teb. The attack, which resulted in the deaths of both of Byng's squadron's other officers, was unsuccessful,[10] and fighting continued, with Byng's horse being killed under him on 13 March at the Battle of Tamai. Most of the rebels were then dispersed shortly after, and on 29 March the regiment re-embarked for Britain, arriving on 22 April, and proceeding to their new base at Shorncliffe Army Camp in Kent. During the summer of 1884, Byng spent much of his time playing polo and training recruits and horses, and in July, for his services in Sudan, he was mentioned in despatches.[11]

In June 1885, the regiment was relocated to the South Cavalry Barracks at adjutant on 20 October 1886,[12] only nine days before the death of his father, who left Byng a watch and £3,500.[13] The regiment then moved again in 1887 to the barracks at Hounslow, where, after suspecting that contractors were selling him inferior meat, Byng spent several early mornings at the Smithfield market to learn the meat trade, eventually proving his case and having the contractors changed.[14] It was also at this time that Byng became acquainted with the Lord Rowton, who, along with the Guinness Trust, was trying to improve housing for skilled workers in London. Byng accompanied Rowton around the poorest areas of the city and suggested that retired senior soldiers from the rank-and-file be hired to maintain order in the Rowton Houses that Rowton had set up, thus starting a long-lived tradition.[15]

Staff College

In 1888, the hussars again moved, this time to York, where Byng kept his men busy by raising successful cricket and football teams. Byng was promoted to captain on 4 January 1890,[16] around the time he began to consider entering the Staff College at Camberley. He thus, in order to dedicate his time to preparatory studies, which continued when the regiment moved in 1891 to Ireland, resigned his commission as adjutant and turned down an invitation from Prince Albert Victor to join him in India as an equerry. After being detached for a time in order to serve and gain more experience in the infantry and artillery,[17] Byng sat and passed his entrance exams into the Staff College and secured a nomination in September 1892.[18] A year before Byng entered the college, however, Albert Victor fell victim to the influenza pandemic that raged around the world, and, at the Prince's funeral on 20 January 1892, Byng commanded the pallbearers (all from the 10th Royal Hussars),[19] which was a significant display of trust shown Byng by the Prince of Wales.[20]

Once Byng was enrolled at the Staff College, he found amongst his fellow students men with whom he would be closely associated more than two decades later—Henry Rawlinson, Henry Hughes Wilson, Thomas D'Oyly Snow, and James Aylmer Lowthorpe Haldane—and in 1894, while en route to visit a friend at Aldershot, travelled with a cadet at the nearby Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Winston Churchill.[21] Byng also journeyed with his class to see the battlefields of the Franco-Prussian War at Alsace-Lorraine and accompanied to the United States one of his lecturers who was compiling information on a book on Stonewall Jackson.[22] By December 1894, Byng graduated from the Staff College and was immediately appointed to command the A Squadron of the hussars. Only three years later, though, the regiment returned to Aldershot and Byng left to become adjutant of the 1st Cavalry Brigade, shortly before becoming the Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General (DAAG) of the Aldershot Command, and was promoted to the rank of major on 4 May 1898.[23] Later that same year, Byng met at a local party Marie Evelyn Moreton, the only daughter of Sir Richard Charles Moreton, who had himself served as comproller at the Canadian royal and viceroyal residence of Rideau Hall, under the then Governor General of Canada the Marquess of Lorne.[24] Evelyn, as she was known, later described her early encounters with Byng:

Commanding officer and First World War

A wartime sketch of General Byng

Byng was deployed in November 1899 to South Africa, where he was to act as a provost marshal,[26] but was instead immediately given the local rank of lieutenant colonel and tasked with raising and commanding the South African Light Horse during the Second Boer War.[27] Byng thereafter served on the front lines, during which time he ended up in command of a group of columns, was mentioned in despatches five times, and in November 1900 was promoted to brevet lieutenant colonel and in February 1902 to brevet colonel.[28] The beginning of 1902 brought more significant events for Byng, with his return to England in March,[29] his marriage to Evelyn the following month, and in May his appointed to the Royal Victorian Order as a member 4th class.[30] However, by the midpoint of the year, Byng was sent back to India to command the 10th Royal Hussars at Mhow and was appointed to the rank of a substantive lieutenant colonel on 11 October 1902.[31]

In his first two years of marriage, Byng's wife suffered several miscarriages, resulting in the declaration that she would be unable to bear children. By January 1904, Byng had also, while playing polo, broken his right elbow so severely that it was feared he would have to quit the army. After four months' treatment in England, though, he was pronounced to be again fit for duty and in May became the first commandant of the new cavalry school at Netheravon.[32] The posting was to be only a brief one, as, on 11 May 1905, Byng was made commander of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade at Canterbury, with the simultaneous temporary rank of brigadier general and substantive rank of colonel.[33] After appointment as a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1906, he was again back in Aldershot, in command of the 1st Cavalry Brigade.[34]

It was April 1909 when Byng was promoted to

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir John Maxwell
General Officer Commanding the British Troops in Egypt
Succeeded by
Sir John Maxwell
Preceded by
Frederick Stopford
GOC IX Corps
August 1915 – January 1916
Succeeded by
Alexander Hamilton-Gordon
New title
New Corps
January 1916 – May 1916
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Fergusson
Preceded by
Sir Edwin Alfred Hervey Alderson
General Officer Commanding Canadian Corps
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur William Currie
Preceded by
Edmund Allenby
General Officer Commanding British Third Army
June 1917 – November 1918
Army disbanded
Preceded by
Viscount Downe
Colonel of the 10th Royal Hussars
Succeeded by
Viscount Hampden
Government offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Governor General of Canada
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Willingdon
Police appointments
Preceded by
Sir William Horwood
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Succeeded by
Lord Trenchard
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Byng of Vimy
Baron Byng of Vimy
  • Website of the Governor General of Canada entry for Julian Byng
  • First World War entry for Julian Byng

External links

  • Turner, Alexander (2005). Vimy Ridge 1917: Byng's Canadians Triumph at Arras. Osprey Publishing.  
  • Williams, Jeffery (1983). Byng of Vimy: General and Governor General. Leo Cooper in association with Secker & Warburg.  


  1. ^ Williams 1983, p. 2-3
  2. ^ Williams 1983, p. 5
  3. ^ a b c Williams 1983, p. 6
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24794. p. 7536. 23 December 1879. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24968. p. 2118. 3 May 1881. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  6. ^ Turner 2005, p. 19
  7. ^ Williams 1983, p. 9
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25192. p. 464. 26 January 1883. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  9. ^ Williams 1983, p. 7
  10. ^ Williams 1983, p. 13
  11. ^ a b Williams 1983, p. 14
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25635. p. 5056. 19 October 1886. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  13. ^ Williams 1983, pp. 15–16
  14. ^ Williams 1983, p. 18
  15. ^ Williams 1983, pp. 18–19
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26018. p. 476. 28 January 1890. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  17. ^ Williams 1983, pp. 19–20
  18. ^ "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times (London). Friday, 2 September 1892. (33733), col D, p. 5.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 26254. p. 602. 4 February 1892. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  20. ^ Williams 1983, p. 21
  21. ^ Williams 1983, p. 23
  22. ^ Williams 1983, p. 22
  23. ^ Williams 1983, p. 24
  24. ^ a b c d e f Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Marshal, The Viscount Byng of Vimy". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  25. ^ Williams 1983, pp. 24–25
  26. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27126. p. 6179. 13 October 1899. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27152. p. 149. 9 January 1900. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27406. p. 940. 14 February 1902. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  29. ^ "The War – Officers on passage home" The Times (London). Tuesday, 18 March 1902. (36718), p. 11.
  30. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 27430. p. 2933. 2 May 1902. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  31. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27481. p. 6410. 10 October 1902. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  32. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27682. p. 3555. 3 June 1904. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  33. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27827. p. 5618. 15 August 1905. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  34. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28012. p. 2505. 12 April 1907.
  35. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28238. p. 2591. 2 April 1909. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  36. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28424. p. 7254. 14 October 1910. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  37. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28663. p. 8375. 15 November 1912. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  38. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 29102. p. 2621. 16 March 1915. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  39. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29432. p. 418. 7 January 1916. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  40. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29507. p. 2872. 14 March 1916. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  41. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30178. p. 6956. 10 July 1917. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  42. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30398. p. 12297. 23 November 1917. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  43. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31092. p. 1. 31 December 1918. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  44. ^ Milligan, Dorothy (2007). "Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture". Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved 15 April 2009. 
  45. ^ The London Gazette: no. 31610. p. 12890. 21 October 1919.
  46. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31640. p. 13768. 11 November 1919. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  47. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 32424. p. 6483. 16 August 1921. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  48. ^ a b Cooke, O.A.; Hillmer, Norman. "Byng of Vimy, Julian Hedworth George, Viscount". In Marsh, James H. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Toronto: Historica Foundation of Canada. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  49. ^ Paliament of Canada. "Elections and Ridings: Electoral Results: Electoral Results by Party". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  50. ^  
  51. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33348. p. 366. 17 January 1928. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  52. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33437. p. 7302. 9 November 1928. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  53. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33872. p. 6416. 11 October 1932. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  54. ^ "The United Benefice of Tendring, Little Bentley and Beaumont-cum-Moze". Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  55. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27926. p. 4460. 26 June 1906. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  56. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31092. p. 1. 31 December 1918. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  57. ^ "Board of Governors". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  58. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Artifact Number 20060147-001". Tilston Memorial Collection of Canadian Military Medals. Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  59. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27282. p. 972. 8 February 1901. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  60. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27459. p. 4837. 29 July 1902. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  61. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29455. p. 1195. 28 January 1916. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  62. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29429. p. 306. 4 January 1916. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  63. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30015. p. 3475. 10 April 1917. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  64. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30554. p. 2718. 1 March 1918. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  65. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30963. p. 12425. 18 October 1918. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  66. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31111. p. 333. 3 January 1919. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  67. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29945. p. 1599. 13 February 1917. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  68. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30568. p. 3095. 8 March 1918. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  69. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31150. p. 1445. 28 January 1919. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  70. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31222. p. 3279. 7 March 1919. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  71. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31451. p. 8937. 11 July 1919. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  72. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31615. p. 13005. 21 October 1919. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  73. ^ "University of Alberta Senate: Past honorary Degree Recipients". University of Alberta. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  74. ^ "Camp Byng". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  75. ^ "Byng Place closed for reconstruction on Tuesday". Metro. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  76. ^ "Byng, Oklahoma". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  77. ^ "Byng Avenue, Toronto". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  78. ^ "Byng Avenue, Saskatoon". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  79. ^ "Welcome to Lord Byng Elementary School". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  80. ^ "Lord Byng Secondary School". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  81. ^ "General Byng School". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  82. ^ "Baron Byng High School". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 


  1. ^ In the book Byng of Vimy: General and Governor General by Jeffrey Williams, Byng's date of commissioning is given as 27 August 1879.[3]


See also

Geographic locations

Honorific eponyms

Honorary degrees

Foreign honours
  • 6 February 1900: Mentioned in Despatches[59]
  • 23 June 1902: Mentioned in Despatches[60]
  • 11 December 1915: Mentioned in Despatches[61]
  • 11 December 1915: Mentioned in Despatches[62]
  • 22 December 1915: Mentioned in Despatches[63]
  • 20 February 1918: Mentioned in Despatches[64]
  • 20 July 1918: Mentioned in Despatches[65]
  • 21 December 1918: Mentioned in Despatches[66]
  • 2 May 1902 – 6 June 1935: Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO)[30]
  • 29 June 1906 – 1 January 1916: Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB)[55]
    • 1 January 1916 – 1 January 1919: Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (KCB)[40]
    • 1 January 1919 – 6 June 1935: Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (GCB)[56]
    • July 1921 – 6 June 1935: Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG)[47]
  • Chief Scout for Canada[57]


  • 11 September 1862 – 12 December 1879: The Honourable Julian Byng
  • 12 December 1879 – 23 April 1881: Second Lieutenant the Honourable Julian Byng
  • 23 April 1881 – January 1889: Lieutenant the Honourable Julian Byng
  • January 1889 – August 1897: Captain the Honourable Julian Byng
  • August 1897 – 10 October 1902: Major the Honourable Julian Byng
  • 10 October 1902 – 11 May 1905: Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable Julian Byng
  • 11 May 1905 – 1 April 1909: Colonel the Honourable Julian Byng
  • 1 April 1909 – May 1916: Major-General the Honourable Julian Byng
  • May 1916 – 24 November 1917: Lieutenant-General the Honourable Sir Julian Byng
  • 24 November 1917 – 7 October 1919: General the Honourable Sir Julian Byng
  • 7 October 1919 – 2 August 1921: General the Right Honourable the Lord Byng of Vimy
  • 2 August 1921 – 5 August 1926: His Excellency General the Right Honourable the Lord Byng of Vimy, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Militia and Naval and Air Forces of Canada
  • 5 August 1926 – 16 January 1928: General the Right Honourable the Lord Byng of Vimy
  • 16 January 1928 – 11 October 1932: General the Right Honourable the Viscount Byng of Vimy
  • 11 October 1932 – 6 June 1935: Field Marshal the Right Honourable the Viscount Byng of Vimy
Viceregal styles of
the Viscount Byng of Vimy
Reference style His Excellency the Right Honourable
Son Excellence le très honourable
Spoken style Your Excellency
Votre Excellence
Alternative style Sir


Titles, styles, and honours

Lord Byng of Vimy was buried at the 11th Century Parish Church of St. Leonard in Beaumont-cum-Moze.[54]

Byng returned to England on 30 September 1926, and in January 1928 was created Viscount Byng of Vimy, of Thorpe-le-Soken in the County of Essex.[51] Later that year, he was appointed as the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and,[52] before his retirement in 1931, introduced a number of changes to the force, including a system of promotion based on merit rather than length of service, improvement in discipline, retirement of inefficient senior officers, an irregularity to policemen's beats (which had previously allowed criminals to work out the system), police boxes, the extensive use of police cars, and a central radio control room. In July 1932, Byng was once more promoted in the British military to the rank of field marshal[53]—the highest rank an officer can attain—before he died suddenly of an abdominal blockage at Thorpe Hall on 6 June 1935.[24]

Post-viceregal life

While it had been acceptable prior to the turn of the 20th century for Canadian governors general to involve themselves in political affairs, being, as they were, representatives of the King in his British Council, Byng's tenure as viceroy of Canada was notable in that he became the first to step directly into political matters since the country had gained a degree of autonomy from the United Kingdom following the First World War: in the summer of 1926 he denied the recommendation of his prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, who sought to have parliament dissolved in order to avoid a vote of non-confidence in his government. The Governor General's course of action in what came to be colloquially known as the King-Byng Affair remains debated, though the consensus amongst constitutional historians is that Byng's moves were appropriate under the circumstances.[48] Mackenzie King, however, made much of the scenario and its outcome in the election that eventually followed on 14 September, in which King's Liberal Party won a plurality of seats in the House of Commons, while Meighen lost his seat. As a result, King was once again appointed prime minister.[49] At the 1926 Imperial Conference, King then went on to use Byng and his refusal to follow his prime minister's advice as the impetus for widespread constitutional change throughout the British Commonwealth.[24] Byng himself said of the matter: "I have to await the verdict of history to prove my having adopted a wrong course, and this I do with an easy conscience that, right or wrong, I have acted in the interests of Canada and implicated no one else in my decision."[50]

King-Byng Affair

Lord Byng at Calgary, Alberta, 1922

The Governor General travelled the length and breadth of the country, meeting with Canadians wherever he went. He also immersed himself in Canada's culture and came to particularly love Europe.[24]

The Baron and Baroness Byng of Vimy as the viceregal couple of Canada

[48] had been revived. Byng had not been Meighan's first choice for presentation to the King, since he preferred someone with more civilian credentials. Nevertheless, Byng was eventually chosen because he was both willing and available.Canadian prime minister, due partly to the General's popularity, but also because the practice of prior consultation with the the Duke of Devonshire The designation of Byng proved less controversial than that of his predecessor, [47] After Byng was made in July 1921 a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, it was announced on 2 August that King

Governor General of Canada

In June 1917, and holding the temporary rank of general,[41] Byng took command of Britain's largest army, the Third Army, until the cessation of hostilities and, with those troops, conducted at the Battle of Cambrai the first surprise attack using tanks.[24] This was later considered a key turning point in the war and Byng was honoured on 24 November 1917 by having his temporary rank of general made substantive,[42] as well as being made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 1919 New Year's honours.[43] In the United States, Byng's exploits during the First World War were commemorated near the town of Ada, Oklahoma, when in 1917 a post office and power plant were named after him, leading to the later emergence of the town of Byng.[44] Further, Byng was in his own right raised on 7 October 1919 to the peerage as Baron Byng of Vimy, of Thorpe-le-Soken in the County of Essex.[45] The next month, though he was offered the Southern Command, Byng retired from the military and moved to Thorpe Hall.[46]

After three months serving as commander of the Cavalry Corps, beginning in May 1915, at which time he was also made a temporary lieutenant-general,[39] Byng was off to Gallipoli to head the IX Corps and supervise the successful British, Australian, and New Zealand forces withdrawal from the ill-fated campaign. For this, he was on 1 January 1916 elevated within the Order of the Bath to the rank of Knight Commander,[40] but was not allowed much rest, as he spent the next month commanding the Suez Canal defences before returning to the Western Front to lead the XVII Corps. By June, he was in command of the Canadian Corps and was promoted when, for distinguished service, the King made substantive Byng's rank of lieutenant-general. Byng's greatest glory then came when he, along with his subordinate officer, the Canadian Major-General Arthur Currie, led the Canadian victory in April 1917 at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, an historic military milestone for the Dominion that inspired nationalism at home.[24]

Byng in April 1917


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.