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Sir William Maynard Gomm
Caricature of William Maynard Gomm, Vanity Fair, 1873
Born (1784-11-10)November 10, 1784[1]
Died 15 March 1875(1875-03-15) (aged 90)
Place of birth Barbados, West Indies
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1799-1875
Rank Field Marshal
Battles/wars Napoleonic Wars
Other work Constable of the Tower of London

Field Marshal Sir William Maynard Gomm GCB (10 November 1784 – 15 March 1875), was a British Army commander.

Military career

He was gazetted to the 9th Foot at the age of ten in recognition of the services of his father, Lieutenant-Colonel William Gomm, who was killed in the attack on Guadaloupe (1794).[2] He joined his regiment as a lieutenant in 1799,[2] and fought in the Netherlands under the Duke of York,[2] and subsequently was with Sir James Pulteney's Ferrol expedition.[2] In 1803 he became Captain,[2] and shortly afterwards qualified as a staff officer at the High Wycombe military college. On the general staff he was with Cathcart at Copenhagen,[2] with Wellington in the Peninsular War,[2] and on John Moore's staff at the Battle of Corunna.[2] He was also on Chatham's staff in the disastrous Walcheren expedition of 1809.[2] In 1810 he rejoined the Peninsular army as Leith's staff officer, and took part in all the battles of 1810, 1811 and 1812, winning his majority after the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro[2] and his lieutenant-colonelcy at Salamanca.[2] His careful reconnaissances and skilful leading were invaluable to Wellington in the Vittoria campaign, and to the end of the war he was one of the most trusted men of his staff. His reward was a transfer to the Coldstream Guards and the K.C.B.[2] for his Peninsula services, Gomm was awarded the Army Gold Cross with one clasp, and the Military General Service Medal with six clasps.

In the Waterloo campaign he served on the staff of the 5th British Division. From the peace until 1839 he was employed on home service, becoming colonel in 1829[2] and major-general in 1837.[2] From 1839 to 1842 he commanded the troops in Jamaica.[2] He was awarded an honorary degree by Cambridge University in 1842.[3]

During 1842 he was briefly General Officer Commanding Northern District[2] before being appointed the 6th Governor of Mauritius from 21 Nov 1842 – 5 May 1849.[4]

He became lieutenant-general in 1846, and was sent out to be the Commander-in-Chief of India, arriving only to find that his appointment had been cancelled in favor of Sir Charles Napier, whom, however, he eventually succeeded in 1850.[2]

In 1854 he became general and in 1868 field marshal.[2] In 1872 he was appointed Constable of the Tower of London,[2] and he died in 1875.[2] He was twice married, but had no children. His Letters and Journals were published by F. C. Carr-Gomm in 1881. Five Field Marshal Gomm scholarships were afterwards founded in his memory at Keble College, Oxford.


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Encyclopædia Britannica Cambridge University Press 
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Lionel Smith
Governor of Mauritius
Succeeded by
Sir George William Anderson
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Napier
Commander-in-Chief, India
Succeeded by
George Anson
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir George Pollock, Bt
Constable of the Tower
Lord Lieutenant of the Tower Hamlets

Succeeded by
Sir Charles Yorke

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