Thomas Morland

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

Sir Thomas Lethbridge Napier Morland
LtGen T Morland.jpg
Lt-Gen Sir Thomas Lethbridge Napier Morland
Born(1865-08-09)9 August 1865
Montreal, Canada East
Died21 May 1925(1925-05-21) (aged 59)
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1884–1923
Commands heldBritish Army of the Rhine
XIII Corps
X Corps
5th Division
14th Division
2nd London Division
2nd Infantry Brigade
West African Field Force
Battles/warsFirst World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches

Early lifeEdit

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]

Military careerEdit

Service in West AfricaEdit

Morland 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 gave him "very great credit for the successful issue of this important 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]

First World WarEdit

In 1910, Morland 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]

Morland then became General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2nd London Division in August 1914, then GOC of 14th Division in September 1914 and then GOC of 5th Division in October 1914.[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, Morland 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, Morland married Mabel St. John, with whom he had two daughters.[2]

In popular cultureEdit

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


  1. ^ (in French) Michel Veyron, Dictionnaire canadien des noms propres, p.449
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Thomas Morland". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  3. ^ "No. 27426". The London Gazette. 18 April 1902. pp. 2585–2587.
  4. ^ "No. 27428". The London Gazette. 25 April 1902. p. 2759.
Military offices
Preceded by
Charles Monro
GOC 2nd London Division
August 1914 – September 1914
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Barter
Preceded by
Sir Charles Fergusson
General Officer Commanding the 5th Division
Succeeded by
Charles Kavanagh
New command 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
Succeeded by
Sir Philip Chetwode
Preceded by
Sir Thomas D'Oyly Snow
Colonel of the Suffolk Regiment
Succeeded by
Sir John Ponsonby