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Major General Sir Hugh Bethell

Never heard of him before but sounds like a hell of a character, if not borderline insane:

Paul Fraser Collectibles | Youngest British Divisional Commander's WWI medals go to auction

Second Lieutenant Hugh Keppel Bethell was originally seconded for service in the Indian Army for the Royal Garrison Artillery on March 20, 1904, and later promoted to Captain in 1911 whilst serving alongside the 7th Gurkha Rifles.

Upon returning from his service with the Indian Army, Bethell joined the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars on the February 14, 1914.

Thereafter, Bethell spent World War I on the Western Front and continued to ascend through the ranks - first to Temp Major in 1915 while commanding the 1st Northamptons; then Temp Lt Col in June 1916; and then Temp Brig Gen commanding the 74th Brigade in October that same year.

Two years later, Bethell was awarded his CMG (on June 3, 1918), which is included in this DSO group of medals (pictured below).

At this time, he was the youngest British Divisional Commander of the 20th century as Temp Major General commanding the 66th Division. Bethell's CB medal was awarded to him between 1918-19....

After WWI, Bethell was awarded the MVO on December 1, 1919, and appointed Military Attache to Washington in 1919-23.

Afterwards, he became Commander of the 2nd Rhine Brigade BAOR 1924-28, Brigadier of the Northern Command in India, 1928-30, and Commander of the Presidency and Assam District 1930-34.

Bethell was placed on half pay in Dec 30, 1934, and died in 1947.

Who's who in World War One - Google Books

Bethell, (Hugh) Keppel (1882-1947), British military commander, who assumed command of the shattered 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division in March 1918,making him the youngest British divisional commander of both world wars.Bethell, universally known as the "Beetle", began the war as a captain in the 7th Hussars, but he had also served in the Royal Artillery and the Indian Army, an indication of his restless character that abhorred inaction. Neither superiors nor subordinates were exempt from his towering rages and impossible, often contradictory, demands. His career on the Western Front as staff captain, brigade major, infantry battalion, brigade and divisional commander was marked by complete contempt for all rules, regulations and procedures. One of his staff officers, Walter Guinness, described him as "the most insubordinate person I have ever come across". He was notorious for poaching officers and stealing equipment from other units. In March 1918 he sought to reinforce the firepower of his new command by commandeering all the weapons from the British Army's Machine-Gun School at Camiers, reassuring his (totally unauthorised) staff that he would soon square things with his friend "Duggie". (In fact Field Marshal Haig was not amused; 66th Div was pulled out of the line and sent to train American drafts.) In the "Hundred Days", however, Bethell got his chance. His division,supported by two squadrons of the Royal Air Force, a brigade of cavalry and other units, acted as the all-arms spearhead of the Fourth Army in the advance to the Rhine.
If you can lay hands on a copy of 'Staff Officer: The Diaries of Walter Guinness' it describes the joys of being one of his staff officers.


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