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John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort

John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort (July 10, 1886 - March 1946) was a British soldier, he served in both World War I and II, rising to the rank of Field Marshal and winning the Victoria Cross.

He was born in London and grew up in County Durham. He was educated at Harrow School and then the Royal Military College. He succeeded his father to the family title in 1902 and he was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards in 1905.

By 1914 he had reached the rank of Captain. He fought on the Western Front, winning the Military Cross at ???. In 1918 as a Lieutenant Colonel he won the Victoria Cross at the Canal du Nord near Flesquieres. He was mentioned nine times in dispatches and also won the DSO and two bars.

Gort taught at the Staff College, Camberley after the war. He was promoted to Colonel in 1925 and went on to command the Guards Brigade for two years from 1930 before overseeing training in India and then returning to the Staff College in 1936 as Commander.

He was made a General in 1937 and was then the surprise choice to be chief of the Imperial General Staff. In 1939 at the outbreak of war he was given command of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France, arriving on September 19, 1939. The disposition of the BEF has was attacked, in hindsight, as too conventional but he reacted efficiently to the ensuing crisis. Following the Phony War the German break-through in the Ardennes split the Anglo-French forces. Forced northwards the BEF had to be evacuated from France during the Battle of Dunkirk.

Back in England he was side-lined for the rest of the war, Gort was made an aide to the king in 1940. He went on to serve as Governor of Gibraltar (1941-42) then Malta (1942-44) and he ended the war as High Commissioner for Palestine and Transjordan. Field Marshal 1943.