William Pulteney (British Army officer)

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Sir William Pulteney
Sir William Pulteney Pulteney by Philip Alexius de László.jpg
Sir William Pulteney Pulteney by Philip Alexius de László
Born (1861-05-18)18 May 1861
Ashley, Northamptonshire
Died 14 November 1941(1941-11-14) (aged 80)
Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1878–1920
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held 23rd Corps
III Corps
6th Division
16th Brigade
1st Battalion Scots Guards
Battles/wars Anglo-Egyptian War
Second Boer War
First World War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order

Lieutenant General Sir William Pulteney Pulteney, GCVO, KCB, KCMG, DSO (18 May 1861 – 14 November 1941) was a British general during the First World War.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Eton College, Pulteney was commissioned into the Oxford Militia in 1878.[1] He transferred to the Scots Guards where he was commissioned a second lieutenant on 23 April 1881, and was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July 1881. The following year he served in the Anglo-Egyptian War, where he was present at the Battle of Tell El Kebir (September 1882). On 4 May 1892 he was promoted to captain, and in 1895 he served with the Bunyoro expedition and the Nandi expedition, for which he was mentioned in despatches and was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). Promotion to major followed on 1 May 1897.

The Second Boer War broke out in October 1899, and Pulteney served with the 1st Battalion of his regiment in South Africa from late 1899, attached to the Guards Brigade, with the brevet appointment as lieutenant-colonel from 11 November 1899. He was present at the battles of Belmont, Enslin and Modder River (November 1899), and the battle of Magersfontein (December 1899). The following year he was appointed second in command of his regiment in April, took part in the march to Bloemfontein and Pretoria, and the battles of Diamond Hill (June 1900), Belfast (August 1900) and the advance to Komatipoort in September. For his service in the war, he received the brevet promotion as colonel on 29 November 1900.[2] He stayed with his regiment in South Africa until the war ended in May 1902, and left for the United Kingdom on the SS Briton two months later.[3]

After the war, he was in charge of the 16th Brigade in Southern Ireland from 1908 and the 6th Division in Southern Ireland in 1910.[1]

Pulteney commanded III Corps (on the Western Front) from 5 August 1914 to 19 February 1918.[1] He then headed XIII Corps (in the UK) from 20 February 1918 to 15 April 1919.[1] He was not highly regarded as an officer, being described by one of his subordinates as "the most completely ignorant general I served during the war". After the First World War he was specially employed by the British Military Mission to Japan until retired in 1920.[1]

He then served as Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod for over twenty years from 1920 until 1941. He was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1915; a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1917, and a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1918. Pulteney was married in 1917 to Jessie, daughter of Sir John Arnott, Baronet.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f William Pulteney at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ Hart´s Army list, 1903
  3. ^ "The Army in South Africa - Troops returning home". The Times (36821). London. 16 July 1902. p. 11. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Charles Metcalfe
General Officer Commanding the 6th Division
Succeeded by
John Keir
Preceded by
New Post
Succeeded by
Richard Butler
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Henry Stephenson
Black Rod
Succeeded by
Sir William Mitchell