Charles Foulkes, born in Stockton-on-Tees,
England, on January 3rd, 1903; died in Ottawa
on September 12th, 1969. Canadian Army officer.
Charles Foulkes standing at attention
during an inspection of Canadian
troops in England, May 12th, 1944
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
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
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.
J.L. Granatstein, The Generals,
The Canadian Army's Senior Commanders
in the Second World War, 1993.