General Alexander John Godley

Date of birth 1867-02-04   
Date of death 1957-03-06   

Alexander Godley was a British-born professional soldier who commanded the New Zealand Expeditionary Force throughout the First World War. Godley had an affinity for horses and served with mounted units during operations to suppress a rebellion in Mashonaland between 1896 and 1897, and in the Boer War. In 1910 he was appointed the Commandant of the New Zealand Military Forces and it was in this capacity that he oversaw the raising of New Zealnd's forces for the First World War. In Egypt in 1915 he was appointed to command the New Zealand and Australian and Division, which subsequently served at Gallipoli, most notably during the August offensive. When the ANZAC was split into two corps in early 1916 in preparation for deployment to the Western Front, Godley was given command of II ANZAC. He remained in this position until the Australian divisions left II ANZAC as a result of the formation of the Australian Corps in November 1917. Godley was then appointed to command the newly-formed XXII Corps, a post which he held until the end of the war, apart from a stint commanding III Corps during the advance to the Hindenburg Line in August and September 1918.