Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer

    Birth - 1857
    Death - 1932
    1st Viscount Plumer, GCB. Plumer served in the Sudan and South Africa and was a distinguished commander in the First World War. He was also High Commissioner for Palestine from 1925 to 1928.


    Plumer, FM Herbert Charles Onslow, 1st Viscount (1857-1932).

    With his red face and white walrus moustache, Plumer might have been the inspiration for the cartoonist Low's Colonel Blimp. Appearances were deceptive, for Plumer was an extraordinarily successful army commander. Educated at Eton, he was commissioned into the infantry in 1876 and went to Staff College in 1885. He proved an enterprising commander of irregular horse in Rhodesia in 1896, and went on to lead his Rhodesians in the Second Boer War. Promoted major general in 1902, he was successively QMG, a divisional commander, and GOC Northern Command before going to France to head V Corps.

    He took over Second Army in the spring of 1915. In June 1917 he captured Messines ridge in a meticulously planned attack, and, given responsibility for the Passchendaele battle in the wake of Gough's failure, produced some solid gains in appalling circumstances. Sent to Italy that winter after the disaster at Caporetto, he helped stabilize the situation and returned to the western front just in time to face part of the Ludendorff offensive, which he did with his customary deftness.

    Part of Plumer's achievement rested on close co-operation with his very capable COS Sir Charles ‘Tim’ Harington. But he was always his own man, and was less inclined to be bullied by Haig than other army commanders. He understood, as Montgomery did in WW II, that a largely civilian army required methodical handling. Irreverent young officers called him ‘Drip’ because of his perpetual sinus problems, but his soldiers called him ‘Daddy’, an index of their regard for him.

    Richard Holmes

    Attached Files:

Share This Page