August de la Motte
August de la Motte (1713–1788) by John Singleton Copley
August de la Motte
August de la Motte (17 November 1713 – 29 August 1788) was a
Hanoverian general who notably served in the Great Siege of Gibraltar.
De la Motte was born on 17 November 1713 in the Principality of
Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. He served in the Hanoverian Army during the
Seven Years' War, notably participating in the Second Siege of Cassel.
In 1775 the Duke and
Prince-elector of Hanover was George III, who
also ruled the
Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain in personal union. King George
had to deal with the
American Revolution and the outbreaking American
Revolutionary War and prepared to ready Hanoverian troops for garrison
duty so that British troops would be freed for service in America.
On 16 October de la Motte, by now a Colonel, was given command of a
Hanoverian brigade of 3 battalions, totalling 15 companies of infantry
and 3 companies of Grenadiers; and sent to
Gibraltar for garrison
duty. In the next year he was promoted to Major General. During the
Great Siege of Gibraltar, de la Motte served as third-in-command of
the British garrison. They held out for three years and seven months
before the siege was finally lifted. De la Motte, who had been
promoted to Lieutenant General in 1781 while still being besieged, was
highly praised by his commanding officer afterwards. To commemorate
their bravery Motte's troops were awarded the battle honour
"Gibraltar", a cuffband which its successor formations in the Imperial
German Army would eventually wear while fighting against British
troops wearing the same, during World War I.
Returning home from
Gibraltar eto Hanover in 1784 the exhausted de la
Motte retired, dying four years later on 29 August 1788.
Painting of Major General August de la Motte, after 1787. Harvard Art
Hanoverians at the Siege -