Field Marshal John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort VC, GCB, CBE, DSO & Two Bars, MVO, MC (10 July 1886 - 31 March 1946) was a British soldier who served in both World War I and II, rising to the rank of field marshal and receiving the Victoria Cross.
On the death of King Edward VII in 1910 Lieutenant Gort was in command of the Grenadier NCOs detailed to bear the coffin and attend the catafalque. He was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order for his services. Later that year he went moose hunting in Canada and accidentally shot his Indian guide, prompting an immediate return.
On 22 February 1911 he married Corinna Vereker, a second cousin, at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks. They had three children, Charles in 1912, Joscelyn in 1913, and Jacqueline in 1914. They divorced in 1925.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 27 September 1918 at the Battle of Canal du Nord, near Flesquieres, France. Lieutenant-Colonel Gort led his battalion under very heavy fire and although wounded, when the battalion was held up he went across open ground to obtain assistance from a tank and personally led it to the best advantage. He was again wounded, but after lying on a stretcher for a while insisted on getting up and directing the further attack which resulted in the capture of over 200 prisoners, two batteries of field-guns and numerous machine-guns. He refused to leave the field until the success signal had gone up on the final objective. Gort's batman, Guardsman Ransome, was killed while helping Gort to safety.
He took up sailing in 1922 and was a keen yachtsman until the next war intervened, joining the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1922 and participating in the 1925 Fastnet race. In 1924 he rewrote the Infantry Training Manual.
He was promoted to colonel in 1925, and in January 1927 went to Shanghai, returning in August to give a first hand account of the Chinese situation to the King and the Prince of Wales. He went on to command the Guards Brigade for two years from 1930 before overseeing training in India and then returning to the Staff College in 1936 as Commander.
He was made a full general in 1937, unusually only having held hold the rank of lieutenant general for two months, and was then appointed Chief of the Imperial General Staff. At this office he advocated the primacy of building a land army and defending France and the Low Countries over Imperial defence after France had said she would not be able on her own to defend herself against a German attack.
Gort is credited by some as reacting efficiently to the crisis and saving the British Expeditionary Force. Others hold a more critical view of Gort’s leadership in 1940, seeing his decision not to join the French in organizing a large scale counterattack as defeatist.
Gort served in various positions for the duration of the war. On the day of his return, 1 June 1940, he was made an ADC General to King George VI. On 25 June 1940 he went by flying boat, with Duff Cooper, to Rabat, Morocco, to rally anti-Nazi French cabinet ministers, but was instead held on his flying boat. He quickly returned to Britain.
Gort was given the post of Inspector of Training and the Home Guard, and with nothing constructive to do visited Iceland, Orkney, and Shetland. He went on to serve as Governor of Gibraltar (1941-42). He pushed ahead with extending the airfield into land reclaimed from the sea, against the advice of the British government, but was later thanked by the War Cabinet for his foresight when the airfield proved vital to the British Mediterranean campaign. As Governor of Malta (1942-44) his courage and leadership during the siege was recognized by the Maltese giving him the Sword of Honour. The King gave Gort his field marshal's baton on 20 June 1943 at Malta. On 29 September, Gort, together with Generals Eisenhower and Alexander, witnessed Marshal Badoglio signing the Italian surrender in Valetta harbour.
He ended the war as High Commissioner for Palestine and Transjordan. During a meeting in November 1945 with Field Marshals Brooke and Montgomery Gort collapsed and was flown to London where the diagnosis was cancer.
In February 1946, he was created a Viscount in the Peerage of the United Kingdom under the same title as his existing Viscountcy in the Peerage of Ireland. Upon his death on 31 March 1946 without a son, the Irish viscountcy of Gort passed to his brother, and the British creation became extinct.
He was the father-in-law of Major William Sidney, 1st Viscount De L'Isle VC, and first cousin-once-removed to General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton. Gort was present when his son-in-law received the VC from Alexander on 3 March 1944 in Italy (the VC ribbon was cut from one of Gort's uniforms).
Captain (Brevet Major, Acting Lieutenant Colonel), 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards
Citation: For most conspicuous bravery, skilful leading and devotion to duty during the attack of the Guards Division on 27th September, 1918, across the Canal du Nord, near Flesquieres, when in command of the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, the leading battalion of the 3rd Guards Brigade. Under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire he led his battalion with great skill and determination to the "forming-up" ground, where very severe fire from artillery and machine guns was again encountered. Although wounded, he quickly grasped the situation, directed a platoon to proceed down a sunken road to make a flanking attack, and, under terrific fire, went across open ground to obtain the assistance of a Tank, which he personally led and directed to the best possible advantage. While thus fearlessly exposing himself, he was again severely wounded by a shell. Notwithstanding considerable loss of blood, after lying on a stretcher for awhile, he insisted on getting up and personally directing the further attack. By his magnificent example of devotion to duty and utter disregard of personal safety all ranks were inspired to exert themselves to the utmost, and the attack resulted in the capture of over 200 prisoners, two batteries of field guns and numerous machine guns. Lt.-Col. Viscount Gort then proceeded to organise the defence of the captured position until he collapsed; even then he refused to leave the field until he had seen the "success signal" go up on the final objective. The successful advance of the battalion was mainly due to the valour, devotion and leadership of this very gallant officer.
(London Gazette Issue 31034 dated 27 Nov 1918, published 26 Nov 1918.)
Subsequent to this he became known as "Tiger" Gort.
Mohammad Moniruzzaman ADC (General) Gopalganj addressing a consultation meeting in the upazila level on developing human wealth affairs project to join the religious leaders was held at Islamic foundation Gopalganj district office auditorium recently.
Dec 01, 2011; Bangladesh, Nov. 29 -- Mohammad Moniruzzaman ADC (General) Gopalganj addressing a consultation meeting in the upazila level on...
District Administration Food Department and Agriculture Extension Department jointly organised a colourful rally to mark the World Food Day-2011. Anis Mahmud, DC, Netrakona led the rally. ADC(General) Netrakona Anwar Hossain Chowdhury and Mayor Netrakona
Oct 21, 2011; Bangladesh, Oct. 21 -- District Administration Food Department and Agriculture Extension Department jointly organised a colourful...