Fought in the Boer War and in Palestine during the First World War. He was appointed commander-in-chief, Middle East in July 1939. He successfully defended Egypt in 1940, turning the Italians out of Cyrenaica in the first of the North African campaigns and assisting in the conquest of Ethiopia and Italian East Africa. In 1941 he fought in Greece, Crete, Iraq and Syria as well as in North Africa and his resources were severely over-stretched. In July 1941 he replace Auchinleck? as C-in-C in India but was unable to stem the Japanese advance in 1942. He was Viceroy in India from June 1943 to February 1947.