Born in Stanley, New Brunswick, he joined the 71st York Regiment of the Canadian Militia in 1906 and was appointed a Lieutenant in 1907. During World War I, he fought in the 12th Infantry Battalion and with the Canadian Machine Gun Corps of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He would command the 1st Battalion of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps.
He was awarded the in 1919.
After the war, in 1920, he joined the Permanent Force and went to the Army Staff College in England from 1924 to 1925. He would hold various staff positions in Canada and eventually was promoted to the rank of Colonel.
At the start of World World War II, in 1939, he was the Director of Military Training. From 1939 to 1940, he was Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General for the 1st Canadian Infantry Division in England.
After being promoted to Major-General in 1940, he commanded the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.
In 1941, he commanded the 5th Armoured Division. He was promoted to Lieutenant-General and was appointed the first Commander-in-Chief of II Canadian Corps effective on January 15, 1943. In 1944, he returned to Canada for medical reasons.
In 1945, he was appointed Inspector General, Canadian Army Overseas.
He was made a Companion of Order of the Bath in 1945. He retired in 1945. After the war, he worked for various fund-raising organizations, including the Canadian March of Dimes and the Combined Appeal for the Handicapped.
In the 1945 election, he ran unsuccessfully as the Progressive Conservative candidate for the Canadian House of Commons in the New Brunswick riding of York—Sunbury. He lost again in a 1947 by-election.
He died in Fredericton, New Brunswick in 1982.