Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Hamilton, Sir Ian

(524 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Hamilton, Sir Ian (January 16, 1853, Corfu – October 12, 1947, London), British general. After attending private school, and graduating from the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, Hamilton entered the army in 1873. His early career was marked by his participation in colonial wars, among them the Afghan War (1878–1880), the Boer War of 1881, the Nile Expedition (1884/1885), the Burma Expedition (1886/1887), the Relief of Chitral (1895), and the Tirah Campaign (1897/98). He gained not only battle e…

Rawlinson, Sir Henry

(307 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Rawlinson, Sir Henry (February 20, 1869, Trent Manor [Dorset] – March 28, 1925, Delhi), British general. Rawlinson’s remarkably successful prewar career included command of a mobile column in the Second Boer War (1899–1901), of the Army Staff College (1903–1906), and of the 3rd Division (1910–1914). As commanding general of the IVth Corps, he played a vital role in the battles of 1915. Named commander in chief of the Fourth Army in February 1916, Rawlinson planned the British attack in the Somme Of…

Armed Forces (Great Britain)

(4,680 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Armed Forces (Great Britain) The First World War was a highly unpleasant experience for the British. The perception of this war in public opinion was once summed up by the historian A.J.P. Taylor in the disparaging words “brave, helpless soldiers; blundering, obstinate generals; nothing achieved.” This negative view was primarily the consequence of the losses of human life, as the number of casualties among the soldiers was without precedent in the history of Great Britain. The majority of these los…

French, Sir John

(383 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
French, Sir John (September 28, 1852, Ripple Vale, Kent – May 21, 1925, Deal), British field marshal and British Army Commander in Chief on the Western Front 1914/1915. French’s early career included the usual colonial postings in Egypt and India. He first gained a reputation as a courageous and energetic officer as commander of a cavalry division in the Boer War (1899–1902). The war led to further key posts, not least owing to the fact that French mixed easily with politicians, especially liberal …