Sir Hugh Bruce Williams

As Major General General Staff of Second Army from July 1915 until June 1916, Hugh Bruce Williams was one of the fifteen soldiers to hold this position on the Western Front. He was born in 1865, the son of a general. Educated at Winchester, he joined the Royal Engineers in 1885 and attended the “Shop’ at Woolwich. He progressed to the Staff College course at Camberley in 1899. In common with many of the senior command of the British army he fought in the Boer War and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1901. When the First World War broke out, Bruce Williams was forty nine years old. After serving as a senior staff officer he went on to take command of 137 Brigade in the 46th Division. There were many officers who moved from staff roles into operational commands. My research has looked at how these men fared in both positions.

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