George Kitching, born in Canton, China,
in 1910; died in 1999. Canadian Army Officer.
Between the two world wars, Kitching attended
Sandhurst Royal Military College in England,
and later served with the British Army.
George Kitching (left) and Lieutenant-General
Guy Simonds (right) listening
to Marshal Bernard Montgomery
addressing the troops of II
Canadian Corps in Coptherne
(England), February 29th, 1944.
by Frank L. Dubervill. Department
of National Defence / National
Archives of Canada, PA-132650.
Kitching joined the Canadian Army in 1939
and rose rapidly to the higher ranks of
the military. He was General Staff Officer
Grade 1, with the 1st Canadian Infantry
Division from December 14th, 1942 to October
30th, 1943. In Italy, he was transferred
to the 5th Canadian Armoured Division, and
placed in charge of the 11th Infantry Brigade
on November 1st, 1943. In that capacity,
he took part in the Ortona offensive.
In February 1944, Lieutenant-General Guy
Simonds appointed Kitching as
Commander of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division.
Integrated within II Canadian Corps, the
4th Armoured Division reached Normandy at
the end of July 1944, once the bridgehead
had been solidly established, to replace
the 3rd Infantry Division. Under Kitching,
the 4th Armoured Division took part in operations
Totalize (August 7th-10th, 1944) and Tractable
(August 14th-16th, 1944), and in the closing
of the Falaise Gap (August 17th-21st, 1944).
Blamed for having been too slow in making
his junction with the US troops, thereby
allowing German forces to escape, Kitching
was relieved of his command. On November
12th, 1944, he was appointed Brigadier General
Staff with I Canadian Corps.
George Kitching remained on the Canadian
General Staff after WWII. His memoirs, Mud
and Green Fields, were published in 1986.
George Kitching, Mud and
Green Fields, 1986.
David J. Bercuson and J.L.
Granatstein, Dictionary of Canadian
Military History, 1992.