William Marshall (British Army officer)
|Sir William Marshall|
Lieutenant General Sir William Marshall
|Commands held||Southern Army, India|
|Battles/wars||Second Boer War
First World War
|Awards||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India
Lieutenant General Sir William Raine Marshall GCMG, KCB, KCSI (1865–1939) was a British Army officer who in November 1917 succeeded Sir Frederick Stanley Maude (upon the latter's death from cholera) as Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in Mesopotamia. He kept that position until the end of the First World War.
Marshall was born at Stranton, near Hartlepool, co. Durham, on 29 October 1865, the younger son of William Marshall, solicitor, of Foggy Furs, Stranton, and his wife, Elizabeth Raine. He first went to Repton School and then Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He received a commission into the Sherwood Foresters in 1886, after which he served on the Malakand expedition, on the North West Frontier and on the Tirah expedition before fighting in the Second Boer War.
Commander Officer of 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters on the Western Front during 1914-15, Marshall was then posted to command 87th brigade of 29th Division in the ill-fated expedition to Gallipoli, during which he received a promotion to Major-General in June 1915.
A series of divisional commands followed - 42nd, 29th and 53rd - before he was posted to Salonika with 27th Division, and then with III (Indian) Corps on the Mesopotamian Front. It was while commanding III Corps that Marshall successfully participated in the capture of Kut-al-Amara in February 1917, and subsequently in the capture of Baghdad the following month.
With Sir Frederick Maude's death as Commander-in-Chief from cholera (most probably from contaminated milk), the hugely popular commander was replaced by the careful and meticulous Marshall, appointed by Sir William Robertson at the War Office in London, the latter determined to scale back operations in Mesopotamia.
It was in this capacity that Marshall accepted the surrender of the Turkish army at Mosul on 30 October 1918.
- Archives Hub: MARSHALL, Lt Gen Sir William Raine (1865-1939) at www.archiveshub.ac.uk
- Marshall, Lieutenant General Sir William, Memories of Four Fronts. London: Ernest Benn Ltd, 1929.
Sir Charles Anderson
|GOC-in-C, Southern Army, India
1919 – 1923
Sir Andrew Skeen