Aston, Sir G G (1868–1938) Brigadier-General
GOC Infantry Division
Westminster School RNC Greenwich psc Royal Marine Artillery

Brigadier-General-Sir-George-Grey-AstonGeorge Grey Aston was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Aston, Indian Army.

He was commissioned in the Royal Marine Artillery in 1879, but quickly branched out into intelligence and staff work. He was a founder member of the Naval Intelligence Department of the Admiralty (1887–90) and passed staff college in 1891.

After a period as intelligence officer with the Mediterranean Fleet (1892–5), he became Professor of Fortifications at the Royal Naval College (1896–9). He was DAAG at the Staff College (1904–7) and BGGS to Lord Methuen in South Africa (1908–12). He was knighted in 1913.

Aston was serving on the Admiralty War Staff when the war broke out. Although he had seen active service in the Sudan (1884) and in South Africa (1899–1900), he was, perhaps, a surprising choice for the combat command of GOC Royal Marine Brigade, although seniority counted for almost everything at this period. He commanded the Royal Marine Brigade and, soon afterwards, the Royal Naval Division during the landings at Ostend and Dunkirk, but was invalided home on 21 September 1914, three weeks after his appointment to divisional command.

He held no further commands in the field. He spent the latter part of the war in the War Cabinet secretariat (1918–9).

Sir George Aston was a prolific author of military biography, military history and books on fly fishing.

Dr John Bourne

Image courtesy and © The National Portrait Gallery


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