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The Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, or just the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C), was the professional head of the British Army from 1660 until 1904, when the office was replaced by the Chief of the General Staff, soon to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff (from 1909).

From the passing of the War Office Act 1870, as part of the Cardwell reforms, the C-in-C was made subordinate to the Secretary of State for War.

In most instances, Commanders-in-Chief of the Forces were not cabinet members. Instead, the British Army was represented variously in government by the Paymaster of the Forces (Paymaster-General), Master-General of the Ordnance, Secretary at War, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, Secretary of State for War, and from 1964, together with the other services, by the Secretary of State for Defence.


General-in-Chief Command (1660–1793)

Commander-in-Chief (1793–1904)


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