Major General Sir Edward Chaytor KCMG, KCVO, CB

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About Major General Sir Edward Chaytor KCMG, KCVO, CB

Major General Sir Edward Walter Clervaux Chaytor KCMG, KCVO, CB (21 June 1868 – 15 June 1939) was a farmer, and a military commander of New Zealand troops in the Boer War and World War I.

Early life

Born in Motueka, New Zealand, Chaytor was the son of John Clervaux Chaytor and his wife Emma, daughter of Edward Fearon. His paternal great-grandfather was the industrialist and politician Sir William Chaytor, 1st Baronet. He was educated at Nelson College from 1880 to 1884, and was then a sheep farmer at Spring Creek near Blenheim.

Military career

In the Boer War Chaytor was a Captain in the Third New Zealand Contingent and a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Eighth New Zealand Contingent. After the Boer War Chaytor became a professional officer in the New Zealand Army. In World War I he was in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in Egypt and Gallipoli. At the end of 1915 he was given command of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, which was part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and soon after was promoted to Brigadier. In 1916 prior to the Battle of Romani he personally reconnoitred the Turkish position from an aircraft.

In 1917, Chaytor took over the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division, and was promoted to Major-General. When taking part in the assault on Rafa he ignored Chetwode's order to withdraw from the attack and took the town's main defensive position. In 1918 Chaytor's Force captured Amman in Jordan and thousands of prisoners.

Later life

Chaytor was appointed Commandant of the New Zealand Military Forces in 1919 and in this role oversaw a major reorganisation of the Territorial Force. He retired from the military in 1924, being replaced as commandant by Major General Charles Melvill. He lived in London until his death on 15 June 1939.

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