Thomas Victor Anderson

Last updated
Thomas Victor Anderson
BornJuly 4, 1881
DiedNovember 8, 1972 (age 91)
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Rank Major-General
Commands held Chief of the General Staff
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Order
Canadian Forces Decoration

Major-General Thomas Victor Anderson DSO, CD (July 4, 1881 – November 8, 1972) was a Canadian soldier and Chief of the General Staff, the head of the Canadian Army from 21 November 1938 until 6 July 1940.

Distinguished Service Order UK military decoration

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Since 1993 all ranks have been eligible.

The Canadian Forces Decoration is a Canadian award bestowed upon members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have completed twelve years of military service, with certain conditions. By convention, it is also given to the Governor General of Canada upon his or her appointment as viceroy, which includes the title of Commander-in-Chief in and over Canada. The decoration is awarded to all ranks, who must have a good record of conduct during the final eight years of claimed service.

Commander of the Canadian Army

The Commander of the Canadian Army is the institutional head of the Canadian Army, and is based at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.



Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Thomas Victor Anderson graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario in 1900, student # 433. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1905 and promoted to Captain in 1910 and to Major in 1913.

Ottawa Federal capital city in Ontario, Canada

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR). As of 2016, Ottawa had a city population of 964,743 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest CMA in Canada.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

Royal Military College of Canada military college in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

The Royal Military College of Canada, commonly abbreviated as RMC , is the military college of the Canadian Armed Forces, and is a degree-granting university training military officers. RMC was established in 1876 and is the only federal institution in Canada with degree-granting powers. The Royal Military College of Canada Degrees Act, 1959 empowers the college to confer degrees in arts, science, and engineering. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, both on campus as well as through the college's distance learning programme via the Division of Continuing Studies.


Anderson served in World War I as Commander Royal Canadian Engineers for 3rd Canadian Division on the Western Front. [1] He was mentioned in despatches four times and awarded the DSO in 1918. He was further awarded with the Russian Order of St Anne, 2nd class, with swords, the 1914–1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, finishing the war as a brevet Colonel. [2]

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

3rd Canadian Division Canadian Army regional formation

The 3rd Canadian Division is a formation of the Canadian Army responsible for the command and mobilization of all army units in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, as well as all units extending westwards from the city of Thunder Bay. It was first created as a formation of the Canadian Corps during the First World War. It was stood down following the war and was later reactivated as the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division during the Second World War. The second iteration served with distinction from 1941 to 1945, taking part in the D-Day landings of 6 June 1944. A duplicate of the 3rd Canadian Division was formed in 1945 to serve on occupation duty in Germany, and was disbanded the following year. In 2013, Land Force Western Area, a peacetime military organization in western Canada, was ordered to be redesignated as 3rd Canadian Division. On 6 June 2014, the 3rd Canadian Division adopted the insignia, traditions and history of the previous formations. From the middle of 1916, the division has been identified by a distinctive French-Grey patch worn on the uniforms of its soldiers.

Western Front (World War I) main theatre of war during the First World War

The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918.

After the War he became an instructor at the Royal Military College of Canada. [1] In 1925 he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and appointed Director of Military Training & Staff Duties at National Defence Headquarters. [1] Promoted to Colonel in 1929, he became the District Officer Commanding 10th Military District and in 1933 he was made District Officer Commanding 2nd Military District. [1] His next post was as Quartermaster-General in 1935. [1] He was promoted to Major-General in 1936 and selected to be Chief of the General Staff in 1938. [1]

He served, during World War II, as the Inspector-General of Central Canada from 1940 [3] and retired in 1943. [1]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Thomas Victor Anderson at
  2. Unit histories
  3. Preston "Canada's RMC: A History of the Royal Military College"

Further reading

The University of Toronto Press is a Canadian scholarly publisher and book distributor founded in 1901.

Military offices
Preceded by
Ernest Charles Ashton
Chief of the General Staff
Succeeded by
Harry Crerar