Who was George Arthur French?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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French, Sir George Arthur (1841-1921), first commissioner of the North West Mounted Police, was born at Roscommon, Ireland, on June 19, 1841, the eldest son of John French, of Mornington Park, county Dublin. He was educated at Sandhurst and Woolwich, and in 1860 obtained a commission in the Royal Artillery. In 1870 he was appointed inspector of artillery by the Canadian government, with the rank of lieut.-colonel in the Canadian militia. In 1873 he organized the North West Mounted Police, became its first commissioner, and commanded it on its famous march to the foothills of the Rockies in 1874. He resigned his post in Canada in 1876; and in subsequent years he occupied various military positions in Queensland, in Bombay, and in New South Wales, attaining finally the rank of major-general. He died on July 28, 1921. In 1862 he married Janet Clark, daughter of Robert Long Innes, of Kingston, Ontario. He was created a C.M.G. in 1877, and a K.C.M.G. in 1902.

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