The Dead Donkeys: The Myth of the ‘Château Generals’ Part Three – Gallipoli 1915 – Disaster in the Dardanelles

The Gallipoli section of this series of posts is the only part where I have included all General Officers, including those who were dismissed – and one of them had earned a D.S.O. in South Africa in 1900 in an action that saw two of his men gain Victoria Crosses, so I would suggest that even his bravery should not be questioned – or vacated their positions due to sickness, because only by including all do you get an idea of the scale of the command disaster during the campaign.  Between late April 1915 & January 1916 at Gallipoli, in just nine months, 31 generals, and they are just the ones I have identified, would lose their jobs, temporarily or permanently, and for a variety of reasons, and one other would resign in a fit of pique, only to return soon after.  A staggering number, whatever way you look at it. Continue reading

Posted in Generals | 13 Comments

The Dead Donkeys: The Myth of the ‘Château Generals’ Part Two – The Western Front 1915

1915 would begin with the deaths of two generals that I introduced you to last post.  On 22nd February, Brigadier-General Sir John Edmond Gough V.C., Chief of Staff 1st Army, was killed by a German sniper on the Aubers Ridge, aged only 43; more about him when we visit his grave in Estaires Communal Cemetery in the not-so-distant future. Continue reading

Posted in Generals | 12 Comments

The Dead Donkeys: The Myth of the ‘Château Generals’ Part One – 1914

“It is a simple historical fact that the British Generals of the First World War, whatever their faults, did not fail in their duty. It was not a British delegation that crossed the lines with a white flag in November 1918. No German Army of Occupation was stationed on the Thames, the Humber or the Tees. No British Government was forced to sign a humiliating peace treaty. The British Generals had done their duty. Their Army and their country were on the winning side. That is the only proper, the only sensible starting point for the examination of their quality.” Continue reading

Posted in Generals | 35 Comments

Coming up in 2019

A sneak preview of what’s coming up next year.  Along with the usual one-off posts, much of 2019 will be spent following the course of the war in the area to the south west of Ypres, along with one major tour in northern France.  Continue reading

Posted in Miscellaneous | 10 Comments

From the Men of 29th Division……

This understated 1918 Christmas card from the collection perhaps reflects the mixed emotions felt as the first peacetime Christmas for five years approached. Continue reading

Posted in Documents & Artwork | 7 Comments

Fourth Army Standing Orders: Adjutant-General’s and Quartermaster-General’s Branch 1917

Now this all sounds a bit dour, doesn’t it?  Continue reading

Posted in Documents & Artwork | 10 Comments

A Return Walk in the Palingbeek

It’s the afternoon of Armistice Day 2018, and the Palingbeek looks glorious in the late autumn sunshine.  Continue reading

Posted in Zillebeke | 8 Comments