Christopher Vokes

Canadian general

Major General Christopher Vokes CB, CBE, DSO, CD (13 April 190427 March 1985) was a Canadian soldier.

Major General Christopher Vokes (right)
Command is often not what you do but the way you do it.


  • The meek are a hell of a long way from inheriting the earth.
    • Tag line, cover illustration of Vokes - My Story

Vokes - My Story (1985)Edit

  • In Ceylon I had a black nurse who wet - nursed me.
    Years later I was told by my father that she said of me:"This boy plenty belly, big stick."
    • Kingston, p. 4
  • The most important thing, my father told me, which I have never forgotten, and which I have often put unto practice was: If you get into a quarrel with anybody, hit him first. "If you hit first, the battle is half-won," my father always said "Don't let him hit first. You hit him first."
    "What's more," he never forgot to say, too "Usually one blow is all you need."
    I found this to be true.
    • Kingston, p. 8
  • I looked for certain attributes in a soldier. I know the modern method is to put the attributes into a computer and see what comes out. But as far as I am concerned, the computer is the worst damn instrument devised by man to screw up man-management.
    • England, p. 74
  • I wanted people who wouldn't become too worried about casualties. One always should be concerned about casualties, but the risk of incurring casualties can't be allowed to affect decisions, unless it's evident casualties will be prohibitively heavy. There may be no safe way to write this.
    • England, p. 76
  • Generals do not always run wars the way they would like to, nor the troops under them.
    • Sicily, p. 109
  • Perhaps if Hitler had had the wisdom to withdraw his troops and prepare for the defense of his own country, Germany, despite the loss of face this would entail in the losing of all Italy, then the course of the war, if not the outcome, would have been quite different.
    • Italy, p. 133
  • Some more of Monty's boys came up, soon after Malone had left but they, too, spent their time getting shelled by the ever-persistent Germans. Likewise, they departed, their minds expanded and their sphinctres contracted.
    • Italy, p. 141
  • Among the mouldering bones there was the head of a flaxen haired girl. One side of her face was well preserved, almost mummified. She must have been a beauty. But the other side of her face was all bone and a horrifying sight, not the sort of thing one likes to think about after.
    • Italy, p. 164
  • I believe that one can't command sitting on one's ass in the rear.
    One has to up among the forward brigade commanders, even as far as battalion commanders, especially if one is fighting a defensive action. One simply has to know what is going on.
    • Italy, p. 182
  • Command is often not what you do but the way you do it.
    • Italy, p. 184
Major General Chris Vokes (left)
But now I salute you who follow me,
It is my time to stand at ease ... content.
  • No one's reputation is quite what he himself perceives it ought to be.
    • Northwest Europe, p. 188
  • My recollection is that most of the crap coming out of the trial via the media had Meyer condemned even before the trial was over.
    • The Occupation, p. 205
  • I said, "Right. Now you and I are getting into an aircraft. We are going over to London. We are going to see "Murch" (Maj. General J. C. Murchie) and we are going to see Mr. Massey (Vincent Massey, Canadian High Commissioner) and tell them what this is all about."
    • The Occupation, p. 206
  • I was not going to go to bed forever with his unwarranted death on my conscience.
    • The Occupation, p. 208
  • But now I salute you who follow me,
    It is my time to stand at ease ... content.
    • This I Believe, p. 232

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