Christopher Maltby

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Christopher Maltby
Major General Christopher Maltby
Born(1891-01-13)13 January 1891
Died6 September 1980(1980-09-06) (aged 89)
Taunton, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Indian Army
Years of service1908–1946
RankMajor General
Service number199269
Commands heldBritish Troops in China (1941)
19th Indian Infantry Brigade (1940–41)
3rd Indian Infantry Brigade (1939–40)
3rd Battalion 9th Jat Regiment (1937–39)
4th Battalion 9th Rajput Regiment (1936–37)
Battles/warsFirst World War
Russian Civil War
Waziristan campaign
Second World War
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches (4)
RelationsAir Vice Marshal Sir Paul Maltby (brother)

Major General Christopher Michael Maltby, CB, MC, DL (13 January 1891 – 6 September 1980) was a senior officer in the British Indian Army who served as Commander of British Troops in Hong Kong in 1941 before the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, after which he became a prisoner of war.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Bedford School, Maltby was commissioned into the Indian Army in 1910.[1]

He served in the First World War and then went to the Staff College in Quetta in 1923.[1] He served on the North West Frontier in India and then became a General Staff Officer at Army Headquarters in India in 1925.[1] He went on to the Staff College at Andover in 1927 and then was appointed Deputy Assistant Adjutant General at Army Headquarters in India in 1930.[1] He returned to the North West Frontier in India in 1937 and then became an instructor at the Staff College at Quetta in 1938 before being appointed a General Staff Officer in Baluchistan District in India in 1939.[1]

Canadian Brigadier John K. Lawson (right) with General Christopher Maltby.

He served in the Second World War initially as Commander of 3rd Jhelum Brigade, then as Commander of the Calcutta Brigade, and finally as Commander of 19th Indian Infantry Brigade in Deccan District in India.[1]

He was made Commander of British Troops in China in August 1941.[1] He initially established a 10-mile line of defence known as Gin Drinkers Line across the Southern part of the mainland but was rapidly forced to withdraw his troops back to Hong Kong Island.[2] General Takashi Sakai began a bombardment of the Island and, after a brief counter-attack by British Troops which commenced on 19 December 1941,[2] Maltby surrendered to the Japanese at Queen's Pier on 25 December 1941.[3] He was a prisoner of war from 1941 to 1945.[1]


Reverting to his permanent rank of colonel, Maltby retired on 10 June 1946.[4] He was granted the honorary rank of major-general on 10 June 1946.[5] In 1953, Maltby was granted a commission as a Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Christopher Michael Maltby Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  2. ^ a b Fall of Hong Kong
  3. ^ Photos of the fall of Hong Kong
  4. ^ "No. 37674". The London Gazette. 2 August 1946. p. 3939.
  5. ^ "No. 37809". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 December 1946. p. 5953.
  6. ^ "No. 39954". The London Gazette. 4 September 1953. p. 4750.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Edward Grassett
Commander of British Troops in China
August – December 1941
Succeeded by
Sir Francis Festing