29/01/2019
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World War One commander Field Marshal Douglas Haig died - On this day in history

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Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, who commanded British Forces during World War One, died in London on 29 January 1928. Haig was an Edinburgh-born man who was one of the leading military commanders during World War One. He was commander at the Battle of the Somme, which with 420,000 British casualties, was one of the worst losses in military history.

Despite praise from some contemporaries for his leadership and conduct during the war, Haig was heavily criticised in the years which followed for heavy British losses, and was even dubbed the 'butcher of the Somme'. Secretary of State at the time of the battle, David Lloyd George, felt that heavy losses had been made for little gain, however Haig was made a field marshal by King George V just weeks after the battle.

Haig was given a state funeral on 3 February 1928 - which was designated a day of national mourning - and his coffin was drawn by the same carriage which had carried the body of the Unknown Soldier. He is buried at Dryburgh Abbey in the Borders.

FURTHER READING: Douglas Haig war letters & diaries, edited by Gary Sheffield & John Bourne.

Back to "Scotland and World War One" Category

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