Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis

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Field Marshal Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis KG GCB OM GCMG CSI DSO MC CD PC (UK) PC (Can) (10 December 1891 – 16 June 1969) was a British military commander and field marshal of Anglo-Irish descent who served with distinction in both world wars and, afterwards, as Governor General of Canada, the 17th since Canadian Confederation.

Alexander was born in London, United Kingdom, to parents of noble heritage, and was educated at English public schools before moving on to Sandhurst for training as an army officer. He rose to prominence through his service in the First World War, receiving numerous honours and decorations, and continued his military career through various British campaigns across Europe and Asia. In the Second World War, Alexander acted as a high ranking commander in North Africa and Italy. He commanded 15th Army Group in Sicily and again in Italy before being made Supreme Allied Commander Mediterranean. He was in 1946 appointed as governor general by George VI, king of Canada, on the recommendation of Prime Minister of Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie King, to replace the Earl of Athlone as viceroy, and he occupied the post until succeeded by Vincent Massey in 1952. Alexander proved to be enthusiastic about the Canadian wilderness, as well as a popular governor general with the Canadian people, and he would be the last non-Canadian-born governor general before the appointment of Adrienne Clarkson in 1999.

After the end of his viceregal tenure, Alexander was sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and thereafter,[2] in order to serve as the British Minister of Defence in the Cabinet of Winston Churchill, into the Queen's British Privy Council. Alexander retired in 1954 and died 15 years later, when he was interred at Ridge, Hertfordshire.

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