William John Codrington (1804 - 1884) MP

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Death: Died in Hampshire, England
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About William John Codrington


General Sir William John Codrington GCB (1804 – 6 August 1884) was a British general and politician who served in the Crimean War.

Military career

Born the son of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, Codrington was commissioned into the 88th Regiment of Foot in 1821.

In September 1854 he was appointed Commander of the 1st Brigade of the Light Division in the Crimea where he led his brigade into the Battle of Alma. He also led his brigade at the Battle of Inkerman and, while General George Brown was wounded, took command of the whole division. He was involved in the planning of the unsuccessful assault, in September 1855, on the Redan at Sevastopol. However the French were more successful at the Battle of Malakoff and the siege came to an end. After the resignation of General James Simpson in November 1855 he became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in the Crimea.

He became Colonel of the 54th Foot, then subsequently of the 23rd Foot and the Coldstream Guards.

Political career

In politics, Codrington was a Liberal supporter of Viscount Palmerston. He particularly liked his leader's foreign policy. He was in favour of "progressive reform" and "civil and religious liberty", but did not support the secret ballot.

He was Member of Parliament for Greenwich between a by-election in February 1857 and 1859. He contested Westminster in 1874 and Lewes in 1880.

Codrington was Governor of Gibraltar from 1859 to 1865.


In 1836 he married Mary Aymes and together they went on to have two sons and two daughters. His son, Alfred, also joined the Army, commanding a Home Service army during the First World War; his daughter Mary married William Earle, an Army officer killed commanding the forces the Battle of Kirbekan. The other two children died young.

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