Alfred Cecil Critchley CMG DSO was born at Calgary Alberta, son of Major and Mrs. Oswald Asheton Critchley. In 1908, he joined Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) and from 1914 to 1915 during WW1, served as Adjutant with them. From 1916 to 1917 he served as General Services Officer on Staff of both 1st and 3rd Canadian Divisions.

In 1918 he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps which became the Royal Air Force (RAF) in April 1918. Brigadier General Critchley was wounded twice, "Mentioned in Despatches" and awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for distinguished services under fire in 1916. In 1919 he joined the Canadian Forces Reserve of Officers.

His first marriage was to Maryon Galt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Galt. They had one daughter and one son who was with the Scots Guards and in 1941, was killed in action in North Africa. Critchley's second marriage was to Joan Foster, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Foster. They had one son and one daughter. His third marriage was to Diana Fishwick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Fishwick of Wentworth Surrey. They had one son and one daughter. He was an accomplished golfer who won the amateur championship of France (1933), Belgium (1938), Holland (1938 & 1939), and Surrey England (1932 & 1938).

After WW1 he became a Member of the British Parliament and in private enterprise rose to become Managing Director of the UK Greyhound Racing Association and a director of several companies.