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Tuxford, George Stuart (1870-1943)

Born in Wales in February 1870, George Tuxford emigrated to Moose Jaw with his wife in the 1890s; they settled on a farm and maintained a large herd of livestock. In the summer of 1898, at the height of the Klondike gold rush, Tuxford led a herd of cattle from Moose Jaw across the Canadian Rockies to Dawson City, in what became the longest cattle drive in Canadian history. He then joined the 16th Mounted Rifles and was given command of the newly organized D Squadron in Moose Jaw. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel when the squadron was expanded to regimental size and was renamed the 27th Light Horse. At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, Tuxford organized mounted units from the west to serve as dismounted troops in the 5th (Western Cavalry) Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), then mobilizing at Camp Valcartier, Quebec. He was named the Battalion's first commanding officer.

On April 22, 1915, Tuxford became one of twelve Canadian infantry battalion commanders to be assigned to the front line in the Second Battle of Ypres; he was one of nine commanding officers to survive. On March 10, 1916, Tuxford released an After Action Report on Second Ypres that provided an account and assessment of the decisions and actions that had taken place during the battle; the report was an important document in the development of Canadian combat leadership and command. Tuxford went on to lead his battalion in the Battle of Festubert (May 19-26, 1915) until he was invalided out of the line with a severe illness on May 22. On March 16, 1916, he returned to duty and was promoted to Brigadier-General. He was given command of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 1st Division; he held this position for over three years, becoming the longest serving brigade commander in the Canadian Corps. While Tuxford commanded the 3rd Brigade, the 1st Division fought in the Battle of Mount Sorrel (June 1916), the Somme (September-November 1916), Arras (April-August 1917), Ypres (October-November 1917), the Second Battle of Arras (August-September 1918), and the Battle of the Hindenburg line (September-October 1918). Brigadier-General George Stuart Tuxford died in 1943.

Daria Coneghan

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Further Reading

Dancocks, D.G. 1988. Welcome to Flanders Fields - The First Canadian Battle of the Great War: Ypres, 1915. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.
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