Haig

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HAIG.GIFSPACER.GIFHaig, Douglas, First Earl Haig. (1861-1928) Born 24, Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

Educated at Clifton College, Brasenose College Oxford and Sandhurst. Commissioned into the 7th Hussars, 7th February, 1885. His first posting was to Secunderabad, India and he later gained Staff experience during cavalry training exercises near Delhi and with the HQ of the Bombay Army at Poona. Attended Staff College, 1896-7.

Haig saw active service with the Egyptian Army during the Sudan Campaign of 1898 and in South Africa, as a Staff Officer under John French in 1899 and as a Column Commander, 1901-2. Became Inspector General for Cavalry in India, 1903-6, being promoted to Major General in 1906. Later that year Haig's duties brought him back to Britain. He became Director of Military Training and, in 1907, Director of Staff Duties. In 1909 he returned to India to serve as Sir O'Moore Creagh's Chief of Staff. From 1912 to 1914 he served as GOC at Aldershot.

Promoted General in 1914 Haig took I Corps to France, and commanded the First Army, 1914-1915. Succeeding French as Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force, he remained in this role until 1919, being promoted to Field Marshal in 1917. On his return to Britain, he served until 1920 as Commander-in-Chief of Home Forces. Rewarded for his service with an Earldom, 100,000 pounds, and the gift of Bemersyde, ancestral home of the Haigs, paid for by public subscription. Haig devoted the last few years of his life to his family and to the Royal British Legion, until his death in 1928. He lies buried beside Sir Walter Scott at Dryburgh Abbey.

Sources:

E.K.G. Sixsmith, Douglas Haig, (Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1976)

J.Terraine, Douglas Haig, The Educated Soldier, (Leo Cooper, 1992)



See also: the Great Haig Debate in the Commentaries section
with the opposing views of Gervase Phillips and Geoffrey Miller.



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