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General Sir Geoffry Allen Percival Scoones, KCB, KBE, CSI, DSO, MC (also spelt Geoffrey; 25 January 1893 – 19 September 1975) was a senior officer in the British Indian Army during the Second World War.[2]

Sir Geoffry Scoones
Geoffrey Scoones.jpg
Born(1893-01-25)25 January 1893
Karachi, British India[1]
Died19 September 1975(1975-09-19) (aged 82)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Indian Army
Years of service1912–1949
Unit2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles)
8th Gurkha Rifles
Commands heldCentral Command (India) (1944–46)
Southern Command (India) (1944)
IV Corps (1942–44)
19th Indian Infantry Division (1942)
5th Indian Brigade (1936)
2nd Battalion 8th Gurkha Rifles (1935–36)
Battles/warsFirst World War
North-West Frontier
Second World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Star of India
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches (3)
RelationsSir Reginald Scoones (brother)


Early life and educationEdit

Scoones was born in Karachi, British India, the eldest son of Fitzmaurice Thomas Favre Scoones of the Royal Fusiliers and his wife, Florence Osborne. His younger brother was Sir Reginald "Cully" Scoones. He was educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military College Sandhurst.[2]

Military careerEdit

First World War and inter-war periodEdit

Scoones was commissioned a second lieutenant on the unattached list for the Indian Army on 20 January 1912.[3] He was accepted into the Indian Army and appointed to 2nd Battalion 2nd (King Edward VII's Own) Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles) on 8 March 1913.[4] He was promoted to lieutenant on 20 April 1914.[5] He served in the First World War becoming aide-de-camp to the Commander of Meerut Division, then aide-de-camp to the commander 21st Division and finally aide-de-camp to the Army Corps Commander, 2nd Army Corps in France between 8 September 1915 and 10 July 1917.[6] Promoted to captain on 20 January 1916,[7] he became a brigade major in India on 27 October 1917.[6][8] He was mentioned in despatches three times, and awarded the Distinguished Service Order[9] as well as the Military Cross.[8][10]

After the war, Scoones saw service during the Afghanistan North West Frontier operations in 1919.[8] After attending the Staff College, Quetta from 1922 to 1923, he served as a brigade major in India from 3 March 1924 to 30 November 1926[8] and then became a general staff officer.[8] Brevetted to major on 7 January 1925,[11] he transferred to 1st Battalion 2nd Gurkha Rifles on 22 January 1928[8] He was promoted to major on 20 January 1929,[12] and brevetted to lieutenant colonel on 1 January 1933.[13] After attending the Imperial Defence College, from 14 February 1935 to 23 April 1938 he was Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion of the 8th Gurkha Rifles.[14] He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for earthquake work at Quetta in 1935.[15]

Second World WarEdit

Scoones served in the Second World War initially as a general staff officer on the Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence.[8] On 17 May 1940 he was appointed deputy director of military operations, India. The following year, he became director of military operations and intelligence, India.[14]

In 1942, Scoones briefly commanded the Indian 19th Infantry Division[16] before being promoted to lieutenant-general and appointed to command IV Corps part of William Slim's Fourteenth Army.[14] This Corps defended Imphal in Manipur, on the frontier between India and Japanese-held Burma. It also had responsibility for a large rear area, and a very large tract of unmapped and trackless jungle-covered frontier. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Star of India in 1942.[17]

Scoones commanded the corps through the gruelling Battle of Imphal. In December 1944 he and his fellow corps commanders Stopford and Christison were knighted and invested as Knights Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the viceroy Lord Wavell at a ceremony at Imphal in front of the Scottish, Gurkha and Punjab regiments.[18] Slim was knighted and invested as Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath at the same occasion. Slim valued Scoones as a defensive commander but when Fourteenth Army went onto the offensive after Imphal he wanted a more aggressive and less calculating commander for IV Corps.[19] Scoones was appointed to Central Command, India.[14]


In 1947 Scoones was briefly the last Military Secretary to the India Office.[20] He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1947,[21] and later in the year he became Principal Staff Officer at the Commonwealth Relations Office.[14] Between 1947 and 1949 he was also aide-de-camp to King George VI. From 1953 to 1957, he was High Commissioner to New Zealand.[14]


  1. ^ 1911 England Census
  2. ^ a b "Obituary: Sir Geoffry Scoones". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 20 September 1975.
  3. ^ "No. 28573". The London Gazette. 19 January 1912. p. 452.
  4. ^ "No. 28738". The London Gazette. 18 July 1913. p. 5144.
  5. ^ "No. 28840". The London Gazette. 16 June 1914. p. 4706.
  6. ^ a b Quarterly Army List for quarter ending 31 March 1922
  7. ^ "No. 30084". The London Gazette. 22 May 1917. p. 4946.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Indian Army List Supplement 1941
  9. ^ "No. 30111". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 June 1917. p. 5473.
  10. ^ London Gazette 1 January 1916)
  11. ^ "No. 33009". The London Gazette. 6 January 1925. p. 140.
  12. ^ "No. 33475". The London Gazette. 8 March 1929. p. 1679.
  13. ^ "No. 33899". The London Gazette. 3 January 1933. p. 51.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Sir Geoffry Allen Percival Scoones Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  15. ^ London Gazette 19 November 1935
  16. ^ "Geoffrey Scoones". Orders of
  17. ^ "No. 35586". The London Gazette. 5 June 1942. p. 2478.
  18. ^ London Gazette 28 September 1944
  19. ^ Mead, p. 416.
  20. ^ The military in British India: the development of British Land Forces in South Asia, 1600–1947 By T. A. Heathcote, Page265 Manchester University Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0-7190-3570-8
  21. ^ "No. 37835". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1946. p. 3.


  • Mead, Richard (2007). Churchill's Lions: a biographical guide to the key British generals of World War II. Stroud (UK): Spellmount. ISBN 978-1-86227-431-0.
  • Smart, Nick (2005). Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War. Barnesley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 1844150496.
  • Indian Army List Supplement 1941.
  • Quarterly Army List for quarter ending 31st March 1922.
Military offices
Preceded by
John Smyth
GOC 19th Indian Infantry Division
Succeeded by
Thomas Rees
Preceded by
Noel Irwin
GOC IV Corps
Succeeded by
Sir Frank Messervy
Preceded by
Henry Willcox
GOC-in-C Central Command, India
Post disbanded
Preceded by
Sir Mosley Mayne
Military Secretary to the India Office