British Infantry Battalion COs in WW1

#21
I recall seeing a photo of the gravestone of a 19 years old CSM.
This chap, he's buried at Thiepval Wood:

FB_IMG_1478822564458.jpg
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#23
One of my 6 great uncles who were in WW1, after his CO became a casualty, commanded his bn for two months on the Marne May-July 1918 as a Ty Major aged 26, collecting an MC, a CdeG and a bullet in his left forearm as a reward. Re the CdeG he said that being kissed on both cheeks by a Fr general was worse than being shot at.
 
#24
Bloody hell! DCM & MM.

Must have been an impressive young man
See Jeremy Swinden, EE Iredale The Great War Diary of a Tadcaster Man (Quacks Books, 2016). Only 78 pages long and probably a little overpriced (were it not for its rarity) on Amazon. From memory, though, the author was selling it online for about £7-8 with the proceeds going to a local children's hosptial, so worth googling to see if there are any left in his possession (probably start with the 1914-1918.invisionzone.com forum if google doesn't take you there at the start as I think that's where I saw it).
 
#26
Two of my wifes Great Uncles commanded Battalions on the Western Front at the end of the war having started in 1914 as a Capt and Lt, both did the Somme Ypres commute and received galantry decorations - one a DSO and CdG the other an MC. Sadly in the March 1918 blitzkreg both Bns were caught out, one a Borders Bn was smashed in the initial artillery barrage and before long only one Company broke contact.
 
#28
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.
I’m thinking that despite huge leaps in communication technology you would probably find a similar point of view in a 2006 POB as a 1917 trench
 
#32
I am away from home at the moment, but I recall reading through the War Diaries of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). At the start of the War, they were the first Canadian Contingent to arrive in Great Britain, and were subordinated to the 28th Division, a British Light Infantry formation. The vast majority of the PPCLI, newly raised specifically for war service, including the principal officers, were British ex-servicemen, many of whom remained on the Army Reserve.

When both the Commanding Officer, a Guardsman, and Second in Command, were killed or wounded, and all four Company Commanders suffered the same fate, command of the Regiment passed to the Adjutant, a Captain, who was promoted to Lt Col and retained command for the greater period of the War.
 
#33
Share?!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It would be quite wrong of me to do so. Or to suggest that googling scribd Bourne battalion commanders might perhaps offer a clue... (2nd return)
I meant the historical review sentence! I've got quite enough reading without voluntarily adding another book to the pile!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#34
I meant the historical review sentence! I've got quite enough reading without voluntarily adding another book to the pile!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
in Term 2? Surely not...


It is difficult to decide which aspect of this dreadful book is the most objectionable; its contempt for history as a discipline, its tendentiousness, its ignorance of modern scholarship (especially on the British Army), its lack of understanding of what modern war is about, its infuriating inaccuracies, or its chauvinism. On balance, I think that chauvinism has it...

...Brian Bond expressed the hope, some time ago, that writing on the First World War would move on from traditional concerns and animosities to a proper scholarly and dispassionate assessment. If this book is anything to go by, I fear we are in for a long wait.​
 
#36
I meant the historical review sentence! I've got quite enough reading without voluntarily adding another book to the pile!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
in Term 2? Surely not...


It is difficult to decide which aspect of this dreadful book is the most objectionable; its contempt for history as a discipline, its tendentiousness, its ignorance of modern scholarship (especially on the British Army), its lack of understanding of what modern war is about, its infuriating inaccuracies, or its chauvinism. On balance, I think that chauvinism has it...

...Brian Bond expressed the hope, some time ago, that writing on the First World War would move on from traditional concerns and animosities to a proper scholarly and dispassionate assessment. If this book is anything to go by, I fear we are in for a long wait.​
Ouch.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#37
I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned Roland Bradford yet. Started the war as a Lieutenant and was killed in action at Cambrai as a Brigadier General. He was only 25, having refused the promotion to BG when he was 24. He was also a VC, received the MC and had brothers who also got the VC (George), MC (James) and DSO (Thomas - the only one of the brothers to survive the war and who was later knighted). Not bad for the sons of a Durham pit deputy.
 
#38
I am away from home at the moment, but I recall reading through the War Diaries of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). At the start of the War, they were the first Canadian Contingent to arrive in Great Britain, and were subordinated to the 28th Division, a British Light Infantry formation. The vast majority of the PPCLI, newly raised specifically for war service, including the principal officers, were British ex-servicemen, many of whom remained on the Army Reserve.

When both the Commanding Officer, a Guardsman, and Second in Command, were killed or wounded, and all four Company Commanders suffered the same fate, command of the Regiment passed to the Adjutant, a Captain, who was promoted to Lt Col and retained command for the greater period of the War.

I've got the book at home " First in the Field - Gault of the Patricia's " by Jeffrey Williams. A biography of The Founder as he is referred to, Andrew Hamilton Gault, but of course goes into detail on the raising of the unit and its service in WW1. Gault, son of a wealthy Montreal family, part-time soldier ( he had served as a Lieutenant near the end of the Boer War), wasn't willing to wait for the Canadian government to organize an expeditionary force in 1914, so put together at his own expense a battalion made up mainly of ex British Army soldiers , with himself as 2IC and ( IIRC) the aide de camp to the governor-general as CO, and presented it to Britain. It was the first Canadian unit to go overseas, and initially served with a British division. PPCLI then joined 3 Canadian Division when it was formed in 1915. Gault continued as 2Ic and was several times acting CO and several times wounded, eventually losing a leg.
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
#39
There were some quite young brigadiers. Well Acting anyway if not always substantive
FYI, Enoch Powell was the youngest brigadier in WWII at the ripe old age of 26.

Some rivers of resentment might have flowed when that happened.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#40
I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned Roland Bradford yet. Started the war as a Lieutenant and was killed in action at Cambrai as a Brigadier General. He was only 25, having refused the promotion to BG when he was 24. He was also a VC, received the MC and had brothers who also got the VC (George), MC (James) and DSO (Thomas - the only one of the brothers to survive the war and who was later knighted). Not bad for the sons of a Durham pit deputy.
A tribute to the The Bradford Brothers of Witton Park, Heroes of World War 1
Beaten to it
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top