British Infantry Battalion COs in WW1

#1
This is an exhaustive study and I've only skimmed through it so far, but picked up some interesting stuff . By September 1918, the average age of Lt-Cols commanding battalions was 33 years 11 months, though a few were quite a bit older and more than a few quite a bit younger . 40% of COs in the last 100 days were regulars ( or ex-regulars ) , 25% Territorials, 22% civilians in 1914, and the rest Special Reserve, colonial forces and other odds and sods.

http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/4754/1/Hodgkinson14PhD.pdf
 
#2
Looks interesting. Thanks for posting it.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
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#3
There were some quite young brigadiers. Well Acting anyway if not always substantive
 
#4
There were some quite young brigadiers. Well Acting anyway if not always substantive
I was an acting Colonel once, well briefly anyway.

Someone had played the old rank slide switcheroo, my SSM wasn't a happy camper...
 
#5
This is an exhaustive study and I've only skimmed through it so far, but picked up some interesting stuff . By September 1918, the average age of Lt-Cols commanding battalions was 33 years 11 months, though a few were quite a bit older and more than a few quite a bit younger . 40% of COs in the last 100 days were regulars ( or ex-regulars ) , 25% Territorials, 22% civilians in 1914, and the rest Special Reserve, colonial forces and other odds and sods.

http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/4754/1/Hodgkinson14PhD.pdf
I just skimmed it - it looks very interesting reading and debunks the post-war Communist myth of Lions led by Donkeys. I suspect the qualities and drive of those young Lt Cols in 1918 would see them serve in today's conflicts without missing a heart-beat.
 
#6
There were some quite young brigadiers. Well Acting anyway if not always substantive
I was an acting Colonel once, well briefly anyway.

Someone had played the old rank slide switcheroo, my SSM wasn't a happy camper...
You are JohnG and I claim my £5...


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Cold_Collation

LE
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#7
I just skimmed it - it looks very interesting reading and debunks the post-war Communist myth of Lions led by Donkeys. I suspect the qualities and drive of those young Lt Cols in 1918 would see them serve in today's conflicts without missing a heart-beat.
I don't buy the 'lions and donkeys' bit. Haven't for a long time. It'd be interesting to be able to speak to men of the time, of all levels, and see what they make of it. Alas, we cannot.
 

Auld-Yin

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#8
This is an exhaustive study and I've only skimmed through it so far, but picked up some interesting stuff . By September 1918, the average age of Lt-Cols commanding battalions was 33 years 11 months, though a few were quite a bit older and more than a few quite a bit younger . 40% of COs in the last 100 days were regulars ( or ex-regulars ) , 25% Territorials, 22% civilians in 1914, and the rest Special Reserve, colonial forces and other odds and sods.

http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/4754/1/Hodgkinson14PhD.pdf
That is an excellent bit of work. Just spent a hour reading parts of it. No doubt, while written as a dissertation, it is ultimately meant to be a published book. Pen and Sword material!
 
#9
Seem to recall reading once that there was a enlisted man who was commissioned up and ended up as the CO of a battalion (not his old reg) at a really young age ( late 20's I think)
I will have a read of Martin Gilbert's history of WW1 again to see if I can find his name.
 
#10
If the supervisor of the PhD, John Bourne, gets round to finishing his book on the generals who served on the Western Front - he's been doing the research on it for at least 20 years - the book and the thesis will complement one another very nicely.

If you read John's contribution to the Brian Bond & Nigel Cave edited volume on Haig, you can see that he's hoping that he might at least put a significant dent in the Lions Led By Donkeys myth...

(As noted on here before, his demolition of John Mosier's appalling Myth of the Great War contains possibly the best ever opening line of any book review to appear in English Historical Review)
 
#11
That is an excellent bit of work. Just spent a hour reading parts of it. No doubt, while written as a dissertation, it is ultimately meant to be a published book. Pen and Sword material!
Published by Ashgate, sadly (sad because it costs north of £60 and sad that it would, professionally, be quite wrong of me to hint that someone appears to have uploaded a scan of it to scribd...)
 
#12
If the supervisor of the PhD, John Bourne, gets round to finishing his book on the generals who served on the Western Front - he's been doing the research on it for at least 20 years - the book and the thesis will complement one another very nicely.

If you read John's contribution to the Brian Bond & Nigel Cave edited volume on Haig, you can see that he's hoping that he might at least put a significant dent in the Lions Led By Donkeys myth...

(As noted on here before, his demolition of John Mosier's appalling Myth of the Great War contains possibly the best ever opening line of any book review to appear in English Historical Review)
Share?!


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#13
I just skimmed it - it looks very interesting reading and debunks the post-war Communist myth of Lions led by Donkeys. I suspect the qualities and drive of those young Lt Cols in 1918 would see them serve in today's conflicts without missing a heart-beat.
As John Bourne said in a lecture on 1918 I've watched many times , Lions led by TIGERS!
 
#14
Seem to recall reading once that there was a enlisted man who was commissioned up and ended up as the CO of a battalion (not his old reg) at a really young age ( late 20's I think)
I will have a read of Martin Gilbert's history of WW1 again to see if I can find his name.
There was more than one ex-ranker who ended up as a Lt-Col in his late 20s or early 30s, just in that thesis. Granted quite a few of them were ex HAC, Artists Rifles etc, but many 1914 regular SNCOs and WOs were commissioned and quite rapidly promoted.
 
#16
There were some quite young brigadiers. Well Acting anyway if not always substantive
I think the average age of a brigadier in 1918 was about 39, and of Maj-Gens about 45. The vast majority of both ( almost all in the case of divisional commanders ) were regulars . IIRC 10% of all regular officers in 1914 were at least one-stars by 1918! Of course , many were dead or had been invalided out.

The youngest divisional commander in 1918 was this lunatic/tiger :

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/major-general-sir-hugh-bethell.159633/#post-3661680
 
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#18
On another forum someone said that the thesis is actually better thns the book.
Often the case... Publishers often ask for an 80-100,000 word thesis to be cut to 65-75,000 words, so a lot of good stuff goes by the wayside and more goes if the editor asks for explanations for the non-expert reader (who won't be buying the book at £60+)
 

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