Who's Who - Sir Alexander Cobbe

Sir Alexander Stanhope Cobbe (1870-1931) served as a British general in France and Mesopotamia during World War One, achieving greatest renown for his role in the latter campaign.

Passing out of Sandhurst in 1899 Cobbe was made an ensign in the South Wales Borderers before a rapid promotion to Lieutenant and being posted to India in 1892.  Service in India formed a running thread for the remainder of his career.

Posted thus to the Indian Staff Corps Cobbe saw active service during the campaigns of Chitral (1895), Nyasaland (1898-99), the Fourth Ashanti War (1900) and in Somaliland (1902).

Serving primarily in staff positions in India Cobbe received promotions to Captain and Major before returning to the War Office in London in 1912.

Appointed to serve with Sir John French's British Expeditionary Force (BEF) at the outset of the First World War, Cobbe was nevertheless despatched back to India shortly afterwards.

Reaching Major-General rank Cobbe served thereafter in the rejuvenated Anglo-Indian force operating on the Mesopotamian Front under Sir Frederick Maude.  With III (Indian) Corps Cobbe saw a run of success at Kut-al-Amara in February 1917, along with the capture of Baghdad the following month.

Playing a notable role in the British successes at Samarrah in April and at Ramadi in September 1917, Cobbe also defeated a Turk force at Sharqat in October 1918 (the final action on the Mesopotamian Front) before peacefully capturing Mosul in November 1918.

Appointed Military Secretary at the India Office after the war, Cobbe was promoted full General in 1924 and was given charge of Northern Command in India from 1926-30.  In 1930 he returned to the India Office; he died the following year.

"Beachy Bill" was the name given to one of the Turkish guns which regularly shelled Anzac Cove.

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