Charles Carmichael Monro Edit Profile
Monro was gazetted from Sandhurst in August 1879 into the Second Foot Regiment, and attended the Staff College ten years later, being best known for his cricket play.
In 1898 after duty at Malta, India, and Guernsey, he was promoted major and in 1900 took the Sixth Division to South Africa in time to take part in Lord Roberts' march on Pretoria. From 1901 to 1907 he served at the Hythe School of Musketry, being promoted colonel in 1903. Thereafter came command of the Thirteenth Infantry Brigade in Ireland and promotion to major general in 1910; two years later he was given the Second London Division of the Territorial Forces.
On August 12, 1914, Monroe proceeded to France with the British Expeditionary Force as commander of the Second Division of the I Corps under Sir Douglas Haig. He took part in the British retreat from Mons as well as in the subsequent advance form the River Marne to the River Aisne. Late in October 1914, after Sir John French had transferred the British forces to Flanders, Monro led the Second Division during the First Battle of Ypres; at the end of that year he succeeded Haig as head of the I Corps. In the summer of 1915, Lieutenant
General Monro led the I Corps at the bloody battles of Aubers ridge, Festubert, and Givenchy, and in July he was promoted general and given command of the new Third Army. But in October he was ordered to Gallipoli to succeed Sir Ian Hamilton as commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.
Monro, a cool and capable infantry specialist, arrived at Gallipoli on October 27, 1917, and in one morning visited all three landing sites at Cape Helles, Suvla Bay, and Anzac Cove, and recommended immediate evacuation. Winston Churchill put it simply: "He came, he saw, he capitulated." Lord H. H. Kitchener, then secretary of state for war, refused to accept this recommendation, fearing that it would be disastrous for Egypt; but after a personal inspection of the situation at the Straits, Kitchener concurred, and on November 23 the Cabinet ordered the evacuation of the peninsula. This operation was completed by January 1916, after a severe blizzard had mercilessly pounded the more than 100,000 men on the beaches. Ironically, Monro, who took no active part in the evacuation, was decorated for this brilliant action.
Returning to the western front from January to August 1916, as head of the First Army, Monro was perfectly happy with the relative inaction of this army, rightly decrying the senseless slaughter of men at the Somme that year. On October 1, 1916, he was appointed commander in chief in India. In this capacity he increased the Indian military contingent fighting in France, Africa, Mesopotamia, and Palestine nearly fourfold; by November 1918, 600,000 Indian troops were at the various fronts.
Monro remained in India until August 1920, a time when that subcontinent was racked with serious native revolts, the third Afghan War, and the Waziristan campaign. Thereafter, he served from 1923 to 1928 as governor of Gibraltar; he died in London on December 7, 1929. Monro had been created a baronet in 1921, and had from 1918 to 1922 served as aide-de-camp-general to the king. His cool common sense served him well at all posts.
August 12, 1914