Who's Who - Sir Louis Jean Bols

Sir Louis Jean Bols (1867-1930) served as Edmund Allenby's Chief of Staff on both Western and Palestine Fronts during World War One.

Born the son of a Belgian diplomat Bols' career in the British Army was notable chiefly for a succession of staff positions.  He began the war in August 1914 in command of 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment.

Following a wound suffered in November 1914 Bols was taken prisoner by the Germans; promptly escaping he returned home and was appointed Allenby's Third Army Chief of Staff.  He continued to work with Allenby until May 1917 and the aftermath of the unsuccessful Arras offensive.  After Arras Bols was relieved of his position, along with Allenby (who was moved to the Palestine Front, a posting Allenby regarded as a clear demotion).

Handed command of 24th Division - likewise regarded as a demotion - Bols nevertheless successfully led his new command in a prominent role during Sir Herbert Plumer's spectacularly successful Battle of Messines in June 1917 (the precursor to Sir Douglas Haig's rather less successful Third Battle of Ypres).

Within three months Bols was back with his former chief in Palestine (where Allenby had replaced Sir Archibald Murray as regional Commander-in-Chief).  Bols worked well with Allenby, whose career (and likewise Bols') underwent rejuvenation in the wake of a series of successful battles culminating in the capture of Jerusalem just before Christmas 1917.

Designated a British Mandate after the armistice, Bols served as Jerusalem's military governor from June 1919 until July 1920.

Bols died in 1930.

A Runner was a soldier who carried messages by hand.

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