|Sir Percy Lake|
29 June 1855|
Preston, Lancashire, England
|Died||17 November 1940
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
|Service/branch||British Army / Canadian Army|
|Years of service||1873-1917|
|Commands held||Chief of the General Staff, Canada
7th Indian Division
Chief of the General Staff, India
|Battles/wars||Second Anglo-Afghan War
World War I
He was born at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, Lancashire on 29 June 1855, where his father was stationed. He was the son of Lt.-Colonel Percy Godfrey Botfield Lake (1829-1899) and his wife Margaret Phillips of Quebec City. He was educated at Preston Grammar School and Uppingham School.
Having joined the 59th Foot regiment of the British Army in 1873, Lake fought in the Second Afghan War of 1878-1879 and in Sudan 1885. He was promoted from Sub-Lieutenant to Lieutenant on 9 August 1873.
Prior to the outbreak of war in 1914, Lake served mainly in India and in Canada. He is known as the first Chief of the Canadian General Staff (1904–1908), then acting as chief military advisor to the Canadian government (1908–1910). In 1911, he was appointed to command the 7th Indian Division and then served as Chief of the General Staff in India (1912–1915).
World War I
In 1915, Lake was dispatched by the War Office to Mesopotamia to protect Britain's all-important oil pipelines, which were critical in supplying the Royal Navy. With Sir John Nixon's illness and subsequent retirement as Commander-in-Chief of British operations in Mespotoamia in January 1916, Lake was assigned as his replacement.
Lake dispatched the relief force, under the command of General Aylmer, then General George Gorringe in three attempts to relieve General Townshend. However, all failed, and finally General Townshend - who was subsequently accused of inactivity during the relief attempts - surrendered to the Turks in late April 1916, in what was perhaps the greatest humiliation to befall the British army to that date.
Following the failure to relieve the siege at Kut, Lake was recalled to London to testify before the newly-established Mesopotamia Commission of Inquiry set-up to investigate the problems in the region. He was replaced as Commander-in-Chief by General Maude.
Holding no further active command in the war, he was assigned to the Ministry of Munitions in May 1917.
- Preston Grammar School Association
- The London Gazette: . 21 September 1875. Retrieved 10 May 2009.
- The London Gazette: . 31 October 1902. Retrieved 10 May 2009.
- Supplement to the London Gazette no.29423 p.80 1 January 1916 Retrieved on 10 May 2009
Barker, A. J., The First Iraq War, 1914-1918: Britain's Mesopotamian Campaign (New York: Enigma Books, 2009), ISBN 978-1-929631-86-5
Equivalent position held by General Officer Commanding the Forces (Canada)
|Chief of the General Staff (Canada)
Sir William Otter
Sir Douglas Haig
|Chief of the General Staff (India)
Sir George Kirkpatrick