"Lions led by Donkeys?"

"Lions led by Donkeys?"

The name and inspiration for this Community comes from a research project at the University of Birmingham. ‘Who were all these generals anyway?’ This question, asked one spring evening at an extra-mural class in Wolverhampton, encouraged John Bourne, of the University's Centre for War Studies, to begin researching the hundreds of Generals who took part in the leadership of the British Army during WW1. Most people interested in the Great War are familiar with the names of a handful of senior commanders: French, Haig, Allenby, Byng, Plumer, Rawlinson. And probably familiar with the questionable verdict that many were ‘donkeys’ who sent their lion-hearted men to brutal deaths on squalid battlefields, the state of which they were culpably ignorant and from whose deprivations they were comfortably remote. But what about the totality of general officers in an army of 60 divisions and two million men? Who were they? How many were there? How were they chosen, promoted and dismissed? A group of researchers set out to discover the answers to these questions under the name of the Abbots Way Research Group. The fruits of this research are now being written up in a book, with contributions not only from John Bourne but also from Simon Robbins, Andrew Godefroy, Bryn Hammond and Professor Peter Simkins. The group has identified 1,257 Western Front generals. This "Lives of the First World War" community will include those on Peter Bourne's list, together with some of the other Generals who led forces in other theatres of WW1. The website for the "Lions led by Donkeys" project is here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/warstudies/research/projects/lionsdonkeys/index.aspx

Created by: Bryan5462

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  • Born 1867

    Died 1940

    British Army Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Temporary Brigadier General Reserve of Officers/Staff

    British Army Brigadier General GOC 68th Brigade