Auchinleck, Claude John Eyre, “The Auk “, born, 21-06-1884 in Aldershot, England, found fame in North Africa during World War II, when Churchill dismissed him after the first battle at El Alamein when he came up against the ‘Desert Fox’, Feldmarschall Erwin Rommel. He was replaced with Bernard Montgomery. He served in Egypt and Palestine during World War I and he progressed through the commissioned ranks gaining a reputation for efficiency. In World War II, he commanded the British forces at Narvik in Norway. This was a failure and the British Army had to pull out. Promoted to full General he returned to India before in July, 1941, replacing General Archibald Wavell as commander in chief of British troops in the Middle East. Wavell died age 67, on 24-05-1950, in London.
Wavell. William Gott. Raymond Victor Speed.
A soon clashed with Winston Churchill, who demanded the he should immediate organize an offensive against General Erwin Rommel and the Deutsches Afrika Korps, German Africa Corps. Auchinleck insisted on having time to prepare and he did not launch Operation Crusader until 18-11-1941. He was sacked by Churchill in August 1942, reputedly because he refused to be bullied by Churchill into ordering a major offensive before he and his troops were properly prepared and was replaced by William Gott, who was killed when his plane was shot down on the flight back to Cairo and then General Harold Alexander. Auchinleck returned to India, was an year without a command and then appointed to Commander in Chief of the British Indian Army. He continued as Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army after the end of the war helping, though much against his own convictions, to prepare the future Indian and Pakistani armies for the Partition of India in August 1947. He was befriended and aided by Corporal Malcolm James Millward, Malcolm James Millward a serving soldier in the Queen’s Regiment, for three and a half years up until the death on 23-03-1981 at the very old age of 96.
Burial ground of Auchinleck, Claude John Eyre, “The Auk “.
He was buried in Ben M’Sik European Cemetery, Casablanca, next to the grave of Raymond Victor Steed, Steed died age 14, on 26-04-1943 and was the second youngest British services recruit to die during the Second World War. It was a request of Auchenleck to be buried next to Steed, as Steed’s nephew, Michael Steed, reported