Auchinleck, Claude John Eyre, Sir
Born: Jun 21, 1884 AD
Died: 1981 AD, at 96 years of age.
1884 - Born on the 21st of June in Aldershot, United Kingdom.
1904 - Applied to join the Indian Army and, having achieved a qualifying position in the entrance examination.
- He joined the 62nd Punjab Regiment.
1915 - During World War I, he served in the Middle East in Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia. Auchinleck's division was the last of four offered by the Indian government and, while en route for France, it was reassigned to defend the Suez Canal from a potential Turkish attack.
- When the attack occurred in February, his regiment prevented the Turks from crossing the canal and he led a counter-attack which defeated them. The Turks subsequently surrendered.
1933 - He took command of the Peshawar Brigade, which was active in the pacification of the adjacent tribal areas.
1935 - A serious operation in the Mohmand area, led to the first use of tanks in India. He was Mentioned in Despatches and received the CSI and CB for his skill in managing the operation.
1940 - He was given command of the Allied forces in Norway in May, a military operation that was doomed to fail.
- After the fall of Norway, in July he became briefly General Officer Commander-in-Chief, Southern Command, and then Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.
1941 - He was appointed to succeed General (later Field Marshal) Sir Archibald Wavell as C-in-C of the Allied Forces in the Middle East in July.
1942 - He had lost the confidence of Dominion commanders and relations with his British commanders had become strained.
1943 - He returned to India, where he spent almost a year "unemployed" before becoming again Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, Wavell meanwhile having been appointed Viceroy.
1945 - He was forced to commute the sentence of transportation for life awarded to three officers of the Indian National Army in face of growing unease and unrest both within the Indian Population, and the British Indian Army.
1946 - He was promoted to field marshal but he refused to accept a peerage, lest he be thought associated with a policy (i.e. Partition) that he thought fundamentally dishonourable.
1947 - He helped prepare the future Indian and Pakistani armies prior to Partition scheduled for August.
- Having disagreed sharply with Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, he resigned as C-in-C and retired.
1948 - The Auk returned to Britain, his wife having left him for Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Peirse.
1981 - Died on the 23rd of March in Marrakech, Morocco.
Page last updated: 3:45pm, 25th Jul '07