Beckett, Ian F. W.


1st ed., 1989. Xvi + 244 pp., frontis., + 23 photo-plates + maps. D.j., 24 x 15cm. FINE. Cutting tipped-in. This is the record of a brilliant career cut short in its prime at a time when the Brigadier-General in question was Sir Douglas Haig’s Chief of Staff and about to take up the command of a division in the impending battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915. It is also a well-drawn analysis of changing times in the British Army from the close of the Victorian era to the advent of World War I. The author expertly examines the history and implications of the campaigns in which Johnnie Gough took part: British Central Africa, 1896; the Sudan, 1898; The Boer War, 1899-1902; Somaliland, 1903 where he won his VC, and service in 1909. The author also charts the development and change of the Army at this time. Of Anglo-Irish descent, Gough played a central part in the Curragh Incident of 1914 and as well as being a gallant fighting soldier he was also an ardent supporter of staff training in the army where he took part as a student and as a teacher and he even made a study of military theory.

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