|Michael Frederic Rimington|
A caricature of Rimington published in Vanity Fair, 1898. The original caption read "Descended from Edward Longshanks".
|Born||23 May 1858|
|Died||19 December 1928|
|Years of service||1881–1919|
|Commands held||Rimington's Guides
6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons
1st Indian Cavalry Division
Indian Cavalry Corps
First World War
|Awards||Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Frederic Rimington, KCB, CVO, (23 May 1858 – 19 December 1928) was a British Army officer who commanded cavalry forces in the Boer War and First World War. After early service with the 6th (Iniskilling) Dragoons, "Mike" Rimington was given command of an irregular cavalry force in South Africa, known as "Rimington's Guides". He commanded them for a year before taking command of his regular regiment, and later a cavalry brigade. In 1914, with the outbreak of the First World War, he commanded the 1st Indian Cavalry Division and then the Indian Cavalry Corps on the Western Front, before retiring to home-service duties in 1916. He had one son, Reginald, who followed his father into the 6th Dragoons; he rose to command an armoured brigade in 1941, and was killed in North Africa.
Born in Penrith, Rimington attended Highgate School in London and then studied at Keble College, Oxford. He graduated in 1881, and joined the army as a lieutenant in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons that October. The regiment was stationed in South Africa, and Rimington's first active service was the Warren Expedition in 1884 to recapture the United States of Stellaland. He later served in the campaign against Dinizulu in 1888, as the regimental adjutant. He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 26 October 1887.
That year, he married Agnes Cunningham; they had one son, Reginald, who followed his father into the 6th Dragoons and later the Royal Tank Regiment. Reginald Rimington rose to command the 3rd Armoured Brigade during the early stages of the Second World War; he was taken prisoner in the German offensive of April 1941 in North Africa, and died of wounds on 10 April.
The Iniskillings returned to the United Kingdom in 1890, with Rimington remaining with them on regimental duties. He was promoted to major in 1897, and the same year appointed to a staff position overseeing remounts. Around this point, he published his first book, Hints on Stable Management.
As tensions increased in South Africa through 1899, Rimington was sent out in July on special service. He had only just arrived when the Second Boer War was declared in October, and was appointed to raise a force of irregular mounted scouts, known as Rimington's Guides, but more commonly nicknamed "Rimington's Tigers" for their habit of wearing wildcat fur bands on their hats.
He led the Guides as part of Lord Methuen's force, sent to relieve the siege of Kimberley, fighting at Belmont, Enslin, Modder River, and Magersfontein. Under Sir John French he commanded them at Paardeberg and Poplar Grove, as part of the march to Pretoria, and then at Diamond Hill in June. The focus of the operations in the Orange Free State then shifted to irregular guerilla warfare, and Rimington's troopers saw heavy service here until the end of the year. Rimington left the Guides in January 1901. The force was reorganised as Damant's Horse under Major Frederic Damant, Rimington's second-in-command, though they were often known by his name through the remainder of the war.
He returned to the 6th Dragoons, with a promotion to lieutenant-colonel, to take command of the regiment, and fought with them through the remainder of the war. For his services in South Africa, he was mentioned in despatches five times, made a Companion of the Bath, and received the Queen's South Africa Medal and King's South Africa Medal with ten clasps. This last was the highest number of bars normally awarded for these campaign medals.
Following the war, he was promoted to command the 3rd Cavalry Brigade in January 1903, then in 1907 given command of the Secunderabad Cavalry Brigade of the Secunderabad Division in India. In March 1911, when his tenure in command of the brigade expired, he became the Inspector-General of cavalry units in India. In 1912, he was appointed the ceremonial colonel of the 6th (Iniskilling) Dragoons, a position he would hold through their amalgamation into the 5th/6th Dragoons, and until his death. The same year, he published his second book, Our Cavalry, a summary of the contemporary role of cavalry "for junior officers of all arms".
At the outbreak of the First World War, Rimington left his staff position to accompany the Indian Expeditionary Force to France, as commander of the 1st Indian Cavalry Division. With the arrival of a second division in December 1914, he was promoted to command the Indian Cavalry Corps, remaining with it until it was disbanded. Following the disbandment of the corps, Rimington was given command of a reserve centre in the United Kingdom, from April 1916 to January 1918, and retired from the Army in 1919.
- The London Gazette: . 13 February 1912. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
- Obituary in the Times
- The London Gazette: . 20 December 1887. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
- Casualty record for Reginald Gordon Ward Rimington, Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Damant's Horse, angloboerwar.com
- Duxbury, G. R. (June 1972). "Queen's South Africa Medal with Ten Bars". South African Military History Society Military History Journal 2 (3).
- The London Gazette: . 19 July 1912. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
- Our Cavalry, Michael Rimington. Macmillan: London. 1912.
- Edmonds, p. 484
- The London Gazette: . 1 January 1921. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
- The London Gazette: . 5 November 1915. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
- Obituary in the Times, 20 December 1928, p. 16
- Edmonds, J. E. (1925). History of the Great War: Military Operations, France and Belgium 1914 (volume II). Macmillan & Co.
|General Officer Commanding the 1st Indian Cavalry Division
October – December 1914
|General Officer Commanding the Indian Cavalry Corps
December 1914 – March 1916