Who's Who - Sir Philip Chetwode

No photograph available Sir Philip Walhouse Chetwode (1869-1950) served as a cavalry commander during World War One on both Western and (more effectively) Palestine Fronts.

Chetwode's early service was in Burma and he subsequently saw action during the South African War (1899-1902).  With the arrival of the First World War in August 1914 Chetwode, a Brigadier General, was assigned command of 5th Cavalry Brigade in France and Belgium during 1914-15.

Transferred to command of 2nd Cavalry Division in 1915 he led it on the Western Front until he was transferred to Egypt to head the Mounted Desert Column during the First Battle of Gaza in March 1917.  On the verge of a breakthrough during the battle Chetwode's forces (whose overall conduct in the action was somewhat erratic) were ordered to withdraw by Sir Charles Dobell, leading to the failure of the operation.

Chetwode - popularly referred to as 'the Bart' on account of his dapper manner - was again to the fore during the Second Battle of Gaza the following month; this time however the Turkish defenders were expecting a British attack, which was consequently repulsed at great cost.

With Dobell and Commander-in-Chief Sir Archibald Murray's subsequent recall in disgrace, the latter was replaced by Sir Edmund Allenby.  A cavalry man himself Allenby appointed Chetwode commander of XX Corps in August 1917, where it performed with notable success during October's Third Battle of Gaza.

With the Turkish line into Palestine broken Jerusalem itself fell in December 1917.  Chetwode's corps occupied a secondary role during Allenby's autumn 1918 offensive but played a significant role at the Battle of Megiddo.

Subsequently appointed a post-war Commander-in-Chief in India, Chetwode was also made Field Marshal.

He died in 1950.

A "listening post" was an advanced post, usually in no-man's land, where soldiers tried to find out information about the enemy.

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Who's Who