Brigadier General upwards: how many deaths during WW1?

#1
Can anyone confirm how many Brigadier Generals and above were KIA/DOW during WW1 please?

I have an un-sourced list revealing the figure of 174 with the highest ranking that being of Lt General Mercer during the battle of Mount Sorrel near Ypres in 1916.

Most people I speak to on this subject say they thought one was killed falling off his wine box. Pathetic statement I know but that seems to just about represent the feelings of most when discussing this subject.

I personally run with the first relevation or there abouts.
 
#3
Don't if this is definitive but interesting none the less:


British generals killed in WW1 - Other - Great War Forum

There is a detailed analysis on pages 22/23 of 'Bloody Red Tabs' which I will summarise:

Of the 78 Generals who were killed in action, died of wounds or died as a result of active service:

34 Generals were killed by shellfire = 43%
22 Generals were killed by small arms fire = 28% (of which at least 12 were killed by snipers)
3 Generals were drowned - 1 accidently, 1 inadvertently poisoned himself, 1 died from cholera,
1 died as a result of a flying accident and 1 died from accidental injuries.
Of the remaining 15, no direct cause of death is known - the authors suggest it being likely that the majority would have been killed by either shell fire or small arms fire.
 
#4
You really need to get hold of the book Bloody Red Tabs. And the Great War Forum is a fantasic font of all knowledge, ask and they will be all over you.
 

skid2

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Try Mud blood and poppycock afaik there's a bit in there where senior officers were banned from the front because so many of them ended up casualties.
 
#6
I haven't read Bloody Red Tabs, so I wonder if their stats include those killed who were wearing acting rank of Brigadier and above, but who were included in official casualty lists under their substantive lower rank?
 
#7
Super stuff gents and thank you all!^^

However, my mind is now full of amazing images concerning Generals being drowned!!
 
#8
The 174 number rings a bell, and having Brigadier includud as a General rank is what bumps it up.I researched it on line to shut an ex RTR Scotsman up whose favourite theme in the pub come Nov was always the 'Lions led by Donkeys' nonsense and then 'Why didn't they just pepper pot their way over, you ken, hard targetting, bloody Generals.'Anyway, the 174 number did give him pause for thought. As Bertie Wooster once said:I'ts never hard to differentiate between a Scotsman with a greivance and a ray of sunshine'
 
#9
The highest ranking General to be killed by enemy action was Field Marshal Lord Kitchener who drowned when HMS Hampshire struck a mine laid by the Germans outside the entrance to Scapa Flow.

A second field marshal to die on active service is also the answer to the pub quiz question "who is the oldest VC winner to die on the Western Front?" FM Lord Roberts of Kandahar VC died after contracting pneumonia caught after refusing to wear a greatcoat to inspect units of the Indian Army in late 1914. They were shivering in tropical clothes and he refused to wear anything warmer as their inspecting officer. ( I also think he must be a candidate for the person who has seen most changes in his lifetime. Commissioned when the Duke of Wellington was C in C, wins his VC capturign a standard from Indian army mutineers, and serving long enough to have to think about armoured cars and aircraft. )

I am pretty sure that the figures in Bloody Red Tabs relates to acting as well as substantial rank, as almost all the ranks were acting, and substantive Lieutenant or Captain acting Brigadier Bernard Freyberg VC is in the book as a casualty.
 
#10
Super stuff gents and thank you all!^^

However, my mind is now full of amazing images concerning Generals being drowned!!
One of those is presumably Edgar Cox, Brigadier General Intelligence at GHQ BEF, who drowned while swimming in Aug 18. From DNB:


By the summer of 1918, despite his near-legendary constitution and capacity for long hours, Cox seems to have been burnt out and was perhaps depressed. He was struck down by influenza for most of June and then again in early August. On the afternoon of 26 August 1918 he told his deputy that he was going for swim to reinvigorate himself. He was driven to the channel coast at Berck Plage near general headquarters at Étaples and allowed his driver to take a walk. When the driver returned Cox was missing. His body was found the next day. Although suicide brought on by the pressure of work and the apparent sidelining by his commander cannot be ruled out, the contemporary evidence of his poor health makes accidental death by drowning more likely.
 

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