An Important Archive Relating to Field Marshall Sir John French

Date of Auction: 14th December 2006

Sold for £360

Estimate: £150 - £250

Correspondence between Gerald French and various old soldiers, colleagues, editors, reviewers etc. regarding his articles, books and so forth and his campaign for his father’s reputation; copies of items from the Earl’s own wartime correspondence reproduced in support of this cause, etc. (around 40 items including messages of sympathy or support from Sir George Arthur, Ian Hamilton &c.) £150-250


Sir John French kicked off the post-war “Battle of the Memoirs” with his vituperous book 1914. Following his death in 1925 it fell to his second son, Lieutenant-Colonel The Hon. Gerald French, D.S.O., to guard his memory in long running disputes with the Kitchener, Haig and Smith-Dorrien camps. Fifty years later he was still bristling over his father’s reputation.