William Maxwell (journalist)

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Sir William Maxwell (18__ - 1928) was a British journalist, soldier, writer and civil servant.[1]

War correspondent[edit]

Western military attachés and war correspondents with the Japanese forces after the Battle of Shaho (1904): 1. Robert Collins; 2. David Fraser; 3. Capt. Francois Dhani; 4. Capt. James Jardine; 5. Frederick McKenzie; 6. Edward Knight; 7. Charles Victor-Thomas; 8. Oscar Davis; 9. William Maxwell; 10. Robert MacHugh; 11. William Dinwiddie; 12. Frederick Palmer; 13. Capt. Berkeley Vincent; 14. John Bass; 15. Martin Donohoe; 16. Capt. ____; 17. Capt. Carl von Hoffman; 18. ____; 19. ____; 20. ____; 21. Gen. Sir Ian Hamilton; 22. ____; 23. ____; 24. ____; 25. ____.

Maxwell was a war correspondent for the London Standard, covering the Anglo-Egyptian victory at Battle of Omdurman (1898).

He forwarded reports to London from South Africa throughout the Second Boer War (1899–1902). He survived enteric fever and reported the Siege of Ladysmith. He followed Lord Roberts' campaign from the capture of Bloemfontein through battles at Lydenberg and the Komatipoort.[1]

In 1905, he resigned from the Standard, becoming a foreign correspondent for the London Daily Mail during the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905).[2]

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War in Europe, he covered the Balkan War (1912).[3]

During World War I, he reported the First Battle of the Marne (September 1914) for the London Daily Telegraph. Shortly afterwards, he enlisted with the rank of captain and assignment to the general staff.[1]

Military Censor[edit]

As the Chief Field Censor on the staff of General Sir Ian Hamilton in the Gallipoli campaign (April–December 1915), Captain Maxwell played a central and crucial role in the unsuccessful attempt to mitigate reports about events unfolding in the Dardanelles and on the Turkish coast in 1915.[4]

Press correspondents at Gallipoli were required to submit all their writing to Captain William Maxwell, whose approval was necessary under regulations drawn up by and enforced by the British Army. Although many later questioned the level of censorship at Gallipoli, most accepted the censorship as an essential element of wartime reporting. Gallipoli's geographic isolation made Maxwell's task was made easier by the isolation of the area that he oversaw. The Gallipoli campaign was fought on the edge of a virtually uninhabited mountain range. The only way to cable messages from Gallipoli was through the official channels.[5]

After the Great War[edit]

Maxwell was knighted by the King in 1919.[1]

Selected works[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Roth, Mitchel P. and James Stuart Olson. (1997). Historical Dictionary of War Journalism, p. 196.
  2. ^ Roth, p. 267.
  3. ^ "Slavs Menace Dual Monarchy; Raising of Prince of Montenegro to Rank of King Is Regarded as Ominous," New York Times. August 28, 1910; Roth, p. 196.
  4. ^ Knightly, Philip. "Beating the censor – Ashmead-Bartlett's efforts to reveal the real story of Gallipoli," Visit Gallipoli (Information Services Branch of the Board of Studies NSW for the Department of Veterans' Affairs); Knightly, Phillip (2004). The First Casualty, p. 107.
  5. ^ National Library of Australia: "Despatches from Gallipoli, Censorship.
  6. ^ "Review of With the 'Ophir' round the Empire by William Maxwell ...". The Quarterly Journal. 196: 1–19. July 1902.