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 • Warfield, St Michael the Archangel Churchyard
 • Warfield
 • Bracknell Forest Borough
 • Berkshire
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Gen Edward Louis Spears
Birth: Aug. 7, 1886
Paris
City of Paris
Île-de-France, France
Death: Jan. 27, 1974
Ascot
Windsor and Maidenhead Royal Borough
Berkshire, England

British General, Statesman, Author. In 1903, he joined the Kildare Militia (3rd Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers) and in 1906 he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th Royal Irish Hussars. He saw active service on the Western Front during World War One. In 1915, he was decorated with the Military Cross (MC) for gallantry. His upbringing in France and fluency in the language led to his becoming a valued staff and liason officer and swiftly receiving promotions. On March 31, 1918 at the British Embassy in Paris, he married his first wife, Mary Borden; a young American heiress who worked with the American Volunteer Ambulance Service and founded a mobile hospital unit in war-torn France (for which she was decorated by the French government with the Croix de Guerre and appointed a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour). By the end of the Great War, Spears held the rank of Acting Brigadier General and wrote two books about the war, "Liaison, 1914" (1930) and "Prelude to Victory" (1939). He entered politics upon the advice of his friend Winston Churchill, and became Member of Parliament (MP) for Loughborough (1922 to 1924) and Carlisle (1931 to 1945). With the beginning of the Second World War, he was back in the Army and again functioning as a senior liason officer and with the rank of Major General. Churchill credited him with personally rescuing (in near total secrecy) Charles de Gaulle on June 17, 1940 as France was quickly falling to the Germans. He tirelessly worked to settle differences of opinion and strategy among the British high command under his friend Churchill and the Free French Forces under his friend de Gaulle. During the war he also held a number of diplomatic posts, including in the Middle East where his wife once again set up a field hospital. After World War Two, he wrote about his involvement in the war years in "Assignment to Catastrophe" (1954), "Two Men who Saved France" (1966) which examined the wartime exploits of Marshal Pétain of the pro-German Vichy government and General de Gaulle of the Free French government, a memoir of his younger years titled "The Picnic Basket" (1967), and the posthumously published "Fulfilment of a Mission" (1977). He was invested a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1919, a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1921, was elevated to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1942, and in 1953 his fifty years of military, diplomatic, and political service were further acknowledged with a baronetcy as 'Spears of Wakefield in the County of Berkshire.' Tragically, he was predeceased by his only child (a son), thus the baronetcy became extinct upon his own death in 1974. Predeceased by his first wife, he married his former secretary Nancy Maurice on December 19, 1969. A major biography by Max Egremont (7th Baron Leconfield and 2nd Baron Egremont) titled "Under Two Flags: The Life of Major General Sir Edward Spears," was published in 1997. A large number of his papers are held by the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives at King's College, London.  (bio by: wildgoose) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Mary Borden Spears (1886 - 1968)*
  Nancy Maurice Spears (1900 - 1975)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
"Major General
Sir Edward
Spears
Baronet of Warfield
KBE, CB, CBE, MC
1886-1974
Chancellor of
the Institute of Directors
and his wife Nancy
1900-1975."
 
Burial:
Warfield, St Michael the Archangel Churchyard
Warfield
Bracknell Forest Borough
Berkshire, England
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: wildgoose
Record added: Mar 19, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87042253
Gen Edward Louis Spears
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Gen Edward Louis Spears
Added by: wildgoose
 
Gen Edward Louis Spears
Added by: wildgoose
 
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