Juno Beach Centre | Canada in WWII
 People | Canada
Version française | Printer Friendly Version
Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes

Charles Foulkes, born in Stockton-on-Tees, England, on January 3rd, 1903; died in Ottawa on September 12th, 1969. Canadian Army officer.

Major-General Charles Foulkes standing at attention during an inspection of Canadian troops in England, May 12th, 1944
Photograph by Jack H. Smith. Department of National Defence / National Archives of Canada, PA-133972.

After a few years of university education, Charles Foulkes joined the Canadian Permanent Force in 1926. He was then a General Staff officer with the Royal Canadian Regiment; in 1937, he attended the Staff College in Camberley, England.

When the war broke out, Foulkes was a major with the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division. In September 1940, he was appointed General Staff Officer Grade 1 with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and General Crerar noted his outstanding ability and broad tactical knowledge. Foulkes became Brigadier Commander in August 1942 and a year later, in August 1943, Brigadier, General Staff with the First Canadian Army. In January 1944, he replaced Major-General E.L.M. Burns as General Officer Commanding the 2nd Infantry Division, a unit that he commanded during the Normandy Campaign. In November 1944, Foulkes joined I Canadian Corps then serving in Italy, as General Officer Commanding. He remained the commanding officer of that corps until the end of the Italy Campaign, and later through the liberation of the Netherlands. Charles Foulkes accepted the surrender of the German forces in Wagenigen, Netherlands, on May 5th, 1945.

After the war, Foulkes was appointed Chief of General Staff and, in 1951, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. He retired in 1960.

Foulkes demonstrated his skills as an officer during WWII, although he was sometimes criticized for a lack of leadership. He made a significant contribution to the evolution of the Canadian Army in the post-war period.

Suggested Reading:

• J.L. Granatstein, The Generals, The Canadian Army's Senior Commanders in the Second World War, 1993.

Next: Major-General B.M. Hoffmeister