Chief of the Imperial General Staff

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The Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS) was a General Officer appointment and professional head of the British Army from 1909 until 1964.


From the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the Sovereign was able to wrest considerable control of the armed forces from Parliament with the appointment of a "General in Chief Command" of the Army. This office evolved considerably both in title and duties.

Until 1793 it was a non-statutory post called "General in Chief Command". In 1794 the former's title was changed to Commander-in-Chief of the Forces. In 1904 the former's title was altered to Chief of the General Staff until 1909 when it was changed again to Chief of the Imperial General Staff. In 1964 the title was changed again back to Chief of the General Staff and since then the post holder has been head of the Army.

Office Holders

  1. Field-Marshal Sir William Nicholson, 1st Baron Nicholson, GCB, KJStJ 1909–1912
  2. Field-Marshal Sir John French, 1st Earl of Ypres, KP, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCMG 1912–April 1914
  3. General Sir Charles Douglas, GCB, ADC 6 April 1914-25 October 1914
  4. Lieutenant-General Sir James Murray, KCB 30 October 1914–September 1915
  5. General Sir Archibald Murray, GCB, GCMG, CVO, DSO 26 September 1915–December 1915
  6. General Sir William Robertson, 1st Bt, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, DSO 23 December 1915–February 1918
  7. Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, 1st Bt, GCB, DSO 19 February 1918–19 February 1922
  8. Field-Marshal Frederick Lambart, 10th Earl of Cavan, KP, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE 19 February 1922-19 February 1926
  9. Field-Marshal Sir George Milne, 1st Baron Milne of Salonika, GCB, GCMG, DSO, KStJ 19 February 1926–19 February 1933
  10. Field Marshal Sir Archibald Montgomery-Massingberd GCB, GCVO, KCMG 1933–1936
  11. Field Marshal Sir Cyril Deverell GCB, KBE, ADC 1936–1937
  12. General John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort VC, GCB, CBE, DSO & Two Bars, MVO, MC 1937–1939
  13. Field Marshal Sir Edmund Ironside GCB, CBE, CMG, DSO 1939–1940
  14. Field Marshal Sir John Dill GCB, CMG, DSO 1940–1941
  15. Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke KG, GCB, OM, GCVO, DSO 1941–1946
  16. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein KG, GCB, DSO, PC 1946–1948
  17. Field Marshal Sir William Slim GCB, GCMG, GBE, DSO, MC 1948–1952
  18. Field Marshal Sir John Harding GCB, CBE, DSO, MC 1952–1955
  19. Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer KG, GCB, GCMG, KBE 1955–1958
  20. Field Marshal Sir Francis Festing GCB, KBE, DSO 1958–1961
  21. General Sir Richard Hull KG, GCB, DSO 1961–1964