Robertson, Sir William Robert

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Robertson, Sir William Robert

Sir William Robert Robertson, 1860–1933, British field marshal. He enlisted in the army in 1877 and became an officer in 1888. He was in the intelligence department in India (1892–96) and served in a similar capacity in the South African War (1899–1902). In World War I he served in France as quartermaster general of the British army and chief of staff (1915) to Gen. Sir John French. Appointed chief of the imperial general staff in 1915, he came into conflict with David Lloyd George because of his strong advocacy of concentrating forces on the Western Front. He was relieved of this command in 1918. He commanded (1919–20) the British army on the Rhine and was made a baronet (1919) and a field marshal (1920). He was the first British field marshal to come up through the ranks. He is the author of From Private to Field-Marshal (1921) and Soldiers and Statesmen, 1914–1918 (1926).

See biography by V. Bonham-Carter (1964).

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