Frederick Peake

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Frederick G. Peake
Birth name Frederick Gerard Peake
Nickname(s) Peake Pasha
Born 12 June 1886
Epsom, England
Died 30 March 1970(1970-03-30) (aged 83)
Kelso, Scotland
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1906-1939
Rank Major-General
Unit Imperial Camel Corps
Royal Flying Corps
Sudan Camel Corps
Duke of Wellington's Regiment
Commands held Arab Legion
Battles/wars World War I
Awards OBE, CMG, CBE, CStJ
Other work Policeman, author

Major-General Frederick Gerard Peake, CMG, CBE (12 June 1886 – 30 March 1970), known as Peake Pasha, was a British Army and police officer and creator of the Arab Legion.

Military career

He was born the son of Lt-Colonel Walter Peake DSO on 12 June 1886.[1] Peake attended Henley House Grammar School, Tunbridge Wells, in 1904 with Siegfried Sassoon. Peake graduated from the Royal Military College Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Duke of Wellington's Regiment in 1906 and served in India from 1908 to 1913.

He became an officer whilst serving with Sudan Camel Corps, part of the British Imperial Egyptian Army and was awarded a Fourth Class of the Order of the Nile (The London Gazette, 31 August 1917). He served for a time under Lawrence of Arabia.

In September 1920 the then Captain Peake left the Imperial Camel Corps to report on the security situation in Transjordan. The situation was found to be insufficient and in October the same year Peake, then a Lieutenant-Colonel, was ordered by the High Commissioner of Palestine to form two small police forces:

  1. The Mobile Force, 100 men to guard the Palestine-Amman road.
  2. 50 men to help the British official posted to Al Karak, east of the Dead Sea.

During the summers of 1921 and 1923, Peake organized the 150-man Reserve Mobile Force, which formed the nucleus of the Arab Legion. This force was made of up Arabs, Kurds, Turks and Circassions armed with German rifles. Due to increasing regional skirmishes, the Reserve Mobile Force was reformed with 750 officers and men. This reorganized force thwarted Wahhabi raids in 1922 and the Adwan Rebellion in 1923. He became a Major-General in the army of Transjordan.

Personal life

He married Elspeth MacLean Ritchie, daughter of Norman Ritchie, in 1937. In 1939, he retired and was succeeded by John Bagot Glubb. To the Jordanians he became known as "Peake Pasha".

His daughter, Julia Grace Peake, was born on 6 June 1941. She first married David Renwick Grant, and second the late Sir Hugh Arbuthnot, 7th Bt.


External links & references

  1. The Peerage


See also