Beauvoir De Lisle

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Sir Beauvoir De Lisle
Gen. Sir Beauvoir De Lisle
Born27 July 1864
Died16 July 1955 (aged 90)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
Commands held1st (Royal) Dragoons
2nd Cavalry Brigade
1st Cavalry Division
29th Division
XIII Corps
XV Corps
Western Command
Battles/warsSecond Boer War
World War I
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order.

General Sir Henry de Beauvoir De Lisle, KCB, KCMG, DSO (27 July 1864 – 16 July 1955) was a British Army General who served in the Second Boer War and World War I.

Military career[edit]

Born in Guernsey and educated in Jersey,[1] De Lisle was commissioned into the 2nd Bn Durham Light Infantry in 1883.[2] He saw service with the Mounted Infantry in Egypt between 1885 and 1886,[2] being awarded his DSO there, and was promoted to the rank of captain on 1 October 1891.[1]

He studied at the Staff College in 1899 before returning to the Mounted Infantry when he was commissioned in the 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards. During the Second Boer War he commanded the Australian Brigade, a mobile column comprising the 6th Battalion Mounted Infantry, the West Australian Mounted Infantry, the South Australian Imperial Bushmen and the New South Wales Mounted Rifles. He was severely wounded and three times mentioned in despatches.[3][4] Promotion to major followed on 1 January 1902,[5] and to the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel on the following day.[6] During the early months of 1902 his brigade was stationed in Natal, but in April he left the command of this brigade and transferred to Transvaal where there was more intense fighting.[7] He left Cape Town for the United Kingdom in late May 1902.[8][9] In a despatch dated 23 June 1902, Lord Kitchener, Commander-in-Chief during the latter part of the war, described De Lisle as "an officer of remarkable force of character. He has soldierly qualities and is a fine leader."[10] For his service he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) on 21 August 1902.[11]

He was appointed Second in Command of the 1st (Royal) Dragoons in 1903 and then became Commanding Officer of the regiment in 1906.[2] He became a General Staff Officer at Aldershot in 1910 and in 1911 was appointed Commander of 2nd Cavalry Brigade.[2] He served in World War I initially as commander of 2nd Cavalry Brigade on the Western Front and then as GOC 1st Cavalry Division also on the Western Front in 1914.[2]

He then became GOC 29th Division leading the Division at the Third Battle of Krithia during the Gallipoli Campaign of April 1915 to January 1916.[2] He returned to the Western Front in 1916 and fought at the Battle of the Somme before moving on to become GOC XIII Corps in March 1918 and GOC XV Corps in April 1918.[2] After the War he was appointed GOC-in-Chief of Western Command: he held this post until 1923 and then retired in 1926.[2]

Allenby and the conquest of Jerusalem[edit]

Along with the First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord Fisher, General de Lisle convinced General Edmund Allenby that Jerusalem would be delivered from the Turks in 1917 by the British. In June 1917, General Allenby was ordered to leave his Third Army and take command of the British war effort in the Middle East. However General Allenby was not excited about his new assignment. General Sir Beauvoir de Lisle met Allenby at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London before the latter left for Cairo. Allenby lamented that the last man failed, and he does not see why he should succeed. He was referring to the Turkish repulsions in Suez Canal zone. Sir Beauvoir de Lisle, who was later to preach a sermon at St. Martin-in-the-Fields about the capture of Jerusalem, consoled him with Bible prophecies of the deliverance of Jerusalem. He told General Allenby that the Bible said that Jerusalem would be delivered in that very year, 1917, and by Britain.[12]


He was known for his polo skills and spent much of the years 1929 to 1930 training polo teams for the Maharaja of Kashmir in India.[1]


De Lisle married on 16 July 1902, at Stoke Poges church, Leila Annette Bryant, daughter of Wilberforce Bryant, of Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire (the proprietor of Bryant and May, matchmakers).[13][14]


  • Reminiscences of sport and war by Beauvoir De Lisle, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1939
  • Tournament Polo by Beauvoir De Lisle, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1938
  • Polo in India by Beauvoir De Lisle, Thacker, 1907


  1. ^ a b c Badsey, Stephen. "Lisle, Sir (Henry de) Beauvoir De". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/63736. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  3. ^ Vane, W.L. (2012). Durham Light Infantry: The United Red and White Rose. Andrews UK. p. 149. ISBN 9781781515419. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  4. ^ Travers, Tim (2009). The Killing Ground. Barnsley, South Yorks.: Pen and Sword. p. 284. ISBN 9781844158898. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  5. ^ "No. 27456". The London Gazette. 22 July 1902. p. 4673.
  6. ^ "No. 27456". The London Gazette. 22 July 1902. p. 4674.
  7. ^ "No. 27455". The London Gazette. 18 July 1902. p. 4591.
  8. ^ "The War - officers returning home". The Times (36778). London. 27 May 1902. p. 10.
  9. ^ Bufton, John (1905). Tasmanians in the Transvaal War. Newtown, Hobart: S.G. Loone. p. 400.
  10. ^ "No. 27459". The London Gazette. 29 July 1902. pp. 4835–4837.
  11. ^ "No. 27467". The London Gazette. 22 August 1902. p. 5462.
  12. ^ Novak, Viktor (7 December 2012). "As birds flying, The Miracle of December 8th". Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  13. ^ Arnold, A.J. (2004). "'Ex luce lucellum'? Innovation, class interests and economic returns in the nineteenth century match trade" (pdf). University of Exeter. p. 29. ISSN 1473-2904. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36822). London. 17 July 1902. p. 8.
Military offices
Preceded by
John Philip Du Cane
GOC XV Corps
April 1918–November 1918
Succeeded by
Post disbanded
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Snow
GOC-in-C Western Command
Succeeded by
Sir John Du Cane