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Sir Edward Thomas Henry Hutton
6 December 1848 – 4 August 1923
Gen Sir Edward Hutton.jpg
Place of birth Torquay, Devon, England
Place of death Lyne, Surrey, England
Allegiance British Army
New South Wales Military Forces
Canadian Army
Australian Army
Years of service 1867–1915
Rank Lieutenant General
Battles/wars Zulu War
First Boer War
1882 Anglo-Egyptian War
Second Boer War
World War I
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Mention in Despatches (12)

Lieutenant General Sir Edward Thomas Henry Hutton KCB, KCMG (6 December 1848 – 4 August 1923) was a British and Commonwealth military commander.


Early years

Hutton's Eton College provided a foundation for his career and development.[1]

Edward Hutton enlisted as an ensign in 1867, joining the 60th Regiment. He served in the Anglo-Zulu War (1879), the First Anglo-Boer War (1880-81), the Anglo-Egyptian War (1882), and the Nile Expedition (1884-85).[1]

Hutton married a cousin of the Marquess of Winchester, which accorded him an enhanced social standing.[1]

In 1892, he was promoted colonel; and he was appointed aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria.[1]

New South Wales

In 1893, Hutton was named commandant of the military forces in New South Wales (Australia); and he was recalled in 1896.[1]


In 1897, he served in Ireland.[1]


In 1898, he was promoted to the rank of Major-General and given command over the Canadian Militia.[1]

He surveyed his command and proclaimed as his slogan, a "National Army" for Canada. Hutton published a fierce indictment of Canada's defences. His hostility to political patronage extended to civilian management of the militia's pay, stores, and engineering departments.

Hutton directed militia staff officers and instructors to learn French. This produced predictable grumbling and appreciation from Canadien officers.


South Africa

When South Africa's Second Boer War was on the horizon, Hutton lobbied Canada to participate. His aggressive tactics would eventually cost him his job. Without informing Canada's Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Hutton published mobilization plans in the Canadian Military Gazette. Laurier's government then received a letter of gratuity from Britain for its decision to aid them in the Boer region. Furious, Laurier announced Canada's refusal to send any contingents. Political pressure would, in the end, be too great and Canada would in fact play a significant role in the war, especially in the week long Battle of Paardeberg between 18-27 February 1900. General Minto's intervention and orders for Hutton to report to South Africa delayed his dismissal.


In 1902, Hutton became the first commander of the Australian Army.[1] He was recommended by Field Marshall Lord Roberts after several other officers had refused or were rejected by the government. His task in January 1902 became that of transforming six colonial forces into one national Australian Army.[2]

Russo-Japanese War

In 1904, Hutton promoted what was then a novel idea that Empire military attaches should be sent to witness the clash of Russian and Japanese forces in Manchuria.[3] Australian sources reveal a nested array of factors affecting the mission of Col. John Hoad, who was detached by the Deakin government to serve with the Imperial Japanese Army in 1904-1905.[4] Along with other Western military attachés, Hoad had two complementary missions–to assist the Japanese and to observe the Japanese forces in the field during the Russo-Japanese War.[5]

Before his retirement in 1907, Hutton was promoted lieutenant-general.[2]

British Empire

Hutton returned to active duty in 1914 to command the British 21st Division as a lieutenant general, until retired as medically unfit in 1915.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Miller, Carman. "Hutton, Sir Edward Thomas Henry," Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  2. ^ a b c d Hill, A. J. (1983). "Hutton, Sir Edward Thomas Henry (1848 - 1923)," Australian Dictionary of Biography Vol. IX.
  3. ^ Hitsman, J. Mackay and Desmond Morton. "Canada's First Military Attaché: Capt. H. C. Thacker in the Russo-Japanese War," Military Affairs, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Oct., 1970), pp. 82-84.
  4. ^ Perry, Warren. (1983). "Hoad, Sir John Charles (1856 - 1911)," Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. IX.
  5. ^ Chapman, John and Ian Nish. (2004). "On the Periphery of the Russo-Japanese War," Part I, p. 53 n42, Paper No. IS/2004/475. Suntory Toyota International Centre for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD), London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).


External links

Military offices
Preceded by
William Julius Gascoigne Gascoigne
General Officer Commanding the Forces Canada
Succeeded by
Richard Hebden O'Grady Haly
Preceded by
General Officer Commanding the Forces of Australia
Succeeded by
William Throsby Bridges


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