Military Wiki
Sir James MacBrien
Sir James MacBrien
Born (1878-06-30)30 June 1878
Died 5 March 1938(1938-03-05) (aged 59)
Place of birth near Myrtle, Ontario, Canada
Place of death Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Buried at Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Rank Major-General
Commands held Chief of the General Staff
Battles/wars Second Boer War
World War I
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order
Order of St. John

Major-General Sir James Howden MacBrien, KCB, CMG, DSO, CStJ (30 June 1878 – 5 March 1938) was a Canadian soldier and Chief of the General Staff, the head of the Canadian Militia (renamed the Canadian Army in 1940) from 1920 until 1927.

Royal Visit - Train and Mounties 1933

Military career

Educated in Port Perry,[1] MacBrien initially joined the Militia but then transferred to the North-West Mounted Police and, during the Second Boer War, to the South African Constabulary.[2] Returning to Canada he was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Dragoons.[1]

He also served in World War I as a General Staff Officer and then, from 1916, as commanding officer of 12th Infantry Brigade.[2]

After the war he was appointed Chief of the General Staff.[2]

He also served as the eighth Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, from August 1, 1931 to March 5, 1938.[1] MacBrien died in Toronto.


In 1907 he married Nellie Louise Ross and in 1928 he married Emily Emely Hartridge.[1]


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Willoughby Gwatkin
Chief of the General Staff
Succeeded by
Herbert Cyril Thacker
Police appointments
Preceded by
Cortlandt Starnes
Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Succeeded by
Stuart Wood

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