Seeking Information on a Jewish British General | HistoryNet MENU

Seeking Information on a Jewish British General

4/7/2015 • Ask Mr. History

I was told that a Jewish soldier named Maxwell was in the British Army and rose to be a General. After he retired he was killed on his boat and drowned by some people.

Could you confirm? I just want to read about him.

? ? ?

Dear Eniola,

There is not much to go on from your clues, but the only British general of that description that I can even connect with Jews is General John G. Maxwell (1879–1929), born in Liverpool to Scottish Protestant parents. As commander of British forces in Egypt he consented to the formation of an auxiliary unit of 650 Jewish volunteers, the Zion Mule Corps, of which 562 served in support of the British army during the Gallipoli campaign of 1915. Later stationed in Ireland, Maxwell became controversial for the martial law he declared during the Easter Rising of 1916, which led to 90 rebels being summarily sentenced and 15 put to death. This only produced 15 martyrs and a residual cause that would flare anew after World War I, leading ultimately to the emergence in 1921 of the Irish Free State and, after World War II, the fully independent Republic of Ireland.

Sincerely,

 

Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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