Allenby, a Study in Greatness: The Biography of Field-Marshal Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe, G.C.B., G.C.M.G

By Archibald Wavell | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE war came before this biography of Field-Marshal Lord Allenby, which was originally to have appeared in one volume, had been finished. As there is little prospect of my having time to write the remaining chapters at present, I have arranged to publish at once the completed portion, which deals with Lord Allenby's military life and campaigns, leaving till later the story of his post-War years, which include the important period when he held the post of High Commissioner for Egypt and did much to shape the political future of that country.

The military career of one of the greatest soldiers of the last war, whose courage and will to victory never faltered, may perhaps be of more interest and value during the present conflict than at a later time; whereas the record of his doings and influence in Egypt during the troubled period from 1919 to 1925 forms a chapter of history of which the results are still being unrolled: its relation can wait till peace comes again.

Lord Allenby kept no diaries or papers and left little personal record of his life; this biography, accordingly, could not have been written without the assistance of his relatives and friends, of those who served with him or under him, or who knew him in his unofficial times. Besides Lady Allenby., his sister, Mrs Porter, and his nephew, Lieutenant-Colonel R. H. Andrew, have given invaluable help. Of those who served with him I would like especially to thank Field-Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode, Bart., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., K.C.M.G., O.M., D.S.O., General Sir George Barrow, G.C.B., K.C.M.G., General Sir John Shea, G.C.B., K.C.M.G., D.S.O., General Sir William Bartholomew, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., Lieutenant-Colonel James Stevenson-Hamilton (a brother officer of his early days), Lieutenant-Colonel the Earl of Rosebery, D.S.O., M.C. (who was on his personal staff from 1915 till the end of the

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