Thomas Morland

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Sir Thomas Lethbridge Napier Morland
LtGen T Morland.jpg
Lt-Gen Sir Thomas Lethbridge Napier Morland
Born 9 August 1865
Died 21 May 1925 (aged 59)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1884 – 1923
Rank General
Commands held 2nd Infantry Brigade
5th Division
X Corps
XIII Corps
Army of the Rhine
Battles/wars First World War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order

General Sir Thomas Lethbridge Napier Morland KCB KCMG DSO (9 August 1865 – 21 May 1925) was a British general during the First World War.

Early life

Born in Montreal, Canada East,[1] Morland was the son of Thomas Morland and Helen Servante. Educated at Charterhouse School and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Morland was commissioned into the King's Royal Rifle Corps in 1884.[2]

Service in West Africa

He later served in Nigeria, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and being appointed Commanding Officer of the West African Field Force in 1900.[2] The following year he was in command of an expedition to Yola, leading to the defeat and deposition of the Emir of Adamawa in September 1901, and to British occupation of the Adamawa Emirate, important for the later occupation of the Sokoto Caliphate as it reduced slave traffic through the Adamawa area. Morland was wounded by a poisoned arrow during the fighting, but stuck to his command. In a despatch describing the expedition, the acting High Commissioner of Northern Nigeria gives him "very great credit for the successful issue of this impotent expedition."[3] The following year he was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in recognition of his services (dated 25 April 1902).[4] From 1905 to 1909, he was Inspector-General of the West African Field Force.[2]

Great War

In 1910, he was promoted to brigadier general and given command of 2nd Infantry Brigade, a position he held until the outbreak of the First World War.[2]

He then became General Officer Commanding 47th Division, then GOC of 14th Division and then GOC of 5th Division.[2] He was promoted to Lieutenant General in 1915, and commanded X Corps through to April 1918.[2] During this time, he was one of Plumer's corps commanders at the Battle of Messines.[2]

At the end of the war, he took command of XIII Corps, a position he held until 1920,[2] when he was promoted and made commander-in-chief of the British Army of the Rhine.[2] Two years later, he was appointed General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Aldershot Command and promoted to full general.[2] He retired the following year, in 1923.[2]

Morland died on 21 May 1925 and was buried in the English cemetery at Villeneuve, Montreux.[2]


In 1890, he married Mabel St. John, with whom he had two daughters.[2]

In popular culture

Morland was portrayed by Eric Carte in the 2006 BBC docudrama The Somme - From Defeat to Victory.


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Fergusson
General Officer Commanding the 5th Division
Succeeded by
Charles Kavanagh
Preceded by
New Post
GOC X Corps
Succeeded by
William Peyton
Preceded by
Sir William Robertson
Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine
Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Godley
Preceded by
The Earl of Cavan
GOC-in-C Aldershot Command
1922 – 1923
Succeeded by
Sir Philip Chetwode