Private to Field Marshel

#1
Apart from Bill Slim did any other Soldier go from Private to Field Marshel ?
john
Cant immagine the other services have anyone either.
 
#3
Not quite field marshall but mate's Older brother joined in the ranks and made brigadier general. His name was Porter. he died recently.
 
#5
The career of "Wully" Robertson is interesting, especially set against his time. To have been commisioned into a cavalry Regiment then, and to have to live on one' pay, must have been grim. For his Regiment to have accepted him says something of his talent, especially as I am led to believe he was rather "unreconstructed".
As CIGS during WW1, he was reportedly more than a match for Lloyd George.
 
#6
I recall that Enoch Powel, yes him, went from Pvt to Brigadier in a VERY short space of time.
 
#7
I think Enoch Powell must be close to the record for greatest rank climb in shortest time - pvt to brigadier in four years or less?

Quite a few WW1 officers made it from junior officer to acting brigadier in the same time frame (Jack, etc).

Lord Louis Mountbatten rose from Lt(RN) to Supreme Commander SE Asia in four years, but I guess that was in the same category as Winston Churchill switching from Capt(?) in/near the trenches to First Lord of the Admiralty a few months later..

Hitler? Pvt to (nearly) world dictator?
 
#8
4(T) said:
I think Enoch Powell must be close to the record for greatest rank climb in shortest time - pvt to brigadier in four years or less?

Quite a few WW1 officers made it from junior officer to acting brigadier in the same time frame (Jack, etc).

Lord Louis Mountbatten rose from Lt(RN) to Supreme Commander SE Asia in four years, but I guess that was in the same category as Winston Churchill switching from Capt(?) in/near the trenches to First Lord of the Admiralty a few months later..

Hitler? Pvt to (nearly) world dictator?
Other way around I think, Churchill was the First Lord of the Admiralty until the Dardanelles fiasco, after which he was forced out of office.

He then went of for a stint at the front, first with the guards and then as a battalion commander with a jock outfit (6th something or other) before returning back to parliament to become munitions minister.

Daz
 
#9
jonwilly said:
Apart from Bill Slim did any other Soldier go from Private to Field Marshel ?
john
Cant immagine the other services have anyone either.
I believe Field Marshall The Viscount Slim started out as an OCdt in Birmingham OTC. There are a lot of sources that say he began as a private soldier but I believe they are wrong. Perhaps someone would care to shed soem light on this issue. I am prepared to be corrected.
 
#10
Harry Smith, a rifleman of the 95th Rifles - went on to be a general and later a provincial governor. Ladysmith in South Africa is named after his wife
 
#12
Army of one wrote
I believe Field Marshall The Viscount Slim started out as an OCdt in Birmingham OTC. There are a lot of sources that say he began as a private soldier but I believe they are wrong. Perhaps someone would care to shed soem light on this issue. I am prepared to be corrected.[/quote]

The Burma Star Association says

He began at the bottom of the ladder as a Territorial private. August 4, 1914, found him at Summer camp with his regiment. The Territorials were at once embodied in the Regular Army, and Slim got his first stripe as lance-corporal. A few weeks later he was a private again, the only demotion that this Lieutenant-General has suffered.

john
I had a sneaking suspicion that a 'Victorian' officer had made the same jump up the ranks. Thanks to all.
 
#13
didn't ColourSgt. Bourne of Zulu/ Rorkes Drift fame rise to Lt. Colonel or something? [ having made Col/Sgt. by the age of 23! ]
 
#14
I think the explanations for the apparent discrepancies about Slim's rank are

1. O/Cdt is an appointment not a rank. Slim's actual rank on enlistment in the OTC would have been Pte.

2. Some or all OTCs went to war in 1914 (wastefully as it turned out) as coys in their affiliated TA Bns.
 
#15
JONESY24546113 said:
galgenberg said:


Major-General Sir Hector Archibald Macdonald 1853-1903


(K.C.B., D.S.O., A.D.C., L.L.D.)


http://pw1.netcom.com/~reincke/homepage.html

Didn`t "Fighting Mac" commit suicide in a Paris hotel,due to being accused of having sex with boys and/or being gay?? Which of course the sex allegation would suggest!!!!!
Click on the link-you may find another point of view
 
#16
Much as I dislike cut and paste

Aldershot Military Museum Museums and Archives
Field Marshal Sir William R Robertson GCB GCMG GCVO DSO LLD DL
Born on 29th January 1860 (although his birth is recorded as 14th September 1859 in his Army records), Robertson was one of the few men in the British Army to rise from the rank of private to Field Marshal.
Robertson enlisted at Worcester in November 1877 and came to Aldershot as a private in the 16th Lancers.  He worked hard to become a Corporal at nineteen and was Troop Sergeant Major by the time he was twenty-five in March 1885.  He applied for a commission and became a Second Lieutenant with 3 Dragoon Guards in India, 1888.  Whilst in India, he learnt six native languages and subsequently worked as a Staff Officer, mainly covering intelligence duties.  By the age of forty, Robertson had reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 
Robertson returned to Aldershot as Assistant Quarter Master General and later as Brigadier General, General Staff from May 1907 to July 1910.  In August 1910 he was appointed Commandant, Staff College and promoted to the rank of Major General by the end of the year. 
At the outbreak of the First World War he was appointed Quartermaster General to the British Expeditionary Force.  Following various positions during the war, he was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal in March 1920, at the age of sixty.
Robertson died on 12th February 1933, aged seventy-three.  He is buried in Brookwood Cemetery.

Sounds almost immpossible that in a Victorian army a trooper could achive so much, a most remarkable soldier.
john
 
#17
Harry Smith , also has a town named after him, Ironicly it was in Boer territory, and as such was on the othr side.

He saved his wife from being raped during the seige of Vitoria during the peninsular war.
 
#18
yeoman said:
He saved his wife from being raped during the seige of Vitoria during the peninsular war.
Wasn't that Badajoz - one of the worst attrociaties the British Army has ever commited (raped and pillaged everything in site). She escaped the city and asked for his protection (not sure if she had been raped or not). Also a regimental anniversary of WFR.
 
#19
Sounds like a night out in Germany!!!
 
#20
Not quite a Field Marshall but Luke O`Conner an Irish soldier in a Welsh reeiment started out as a private and got as far as Lieut General he may have got the VC as well. I could be wrong.
 

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