Who's Who - Edward Bulfin

Edward Bulfin (1862-1939) served in active field command positions on the Western and Palestine Fronts during World War One, achieving notable success while working with Sir Edmund Allenby in the latter theatre towards the close of the war.

Bulfin's war began with him in command of 2nd Brigade when the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) arrived in Belgium in August 1914 under the command of Sir John French.

Fighting at the First Battle of Ypres in late October 1914 Bulfin established a name for himself during fighting near Gheluvelt where his brigade succeeded in pushing the German line back a full mile, drawing praise from then-1st Corps commander (and French's successor as BEF Commander-in-Chief) Sir Douglas Haig.

Falling ill he was sent home to England to recuperate in October 1915, only returning to the Western Front in June 1916 at the head of 60th (Territorial) Division.  Neither he nor his division played any significant part in the Somme Offensive however which began the following month.

Transferred to Salonika in December 1916 - considered a badge of failure for most commanders - Bulfin's wartime career appeared over until, in June 1917, he received a new posting along with his division to the Palestine Front, at that time operating most successfully under the similarly rejuvenated Sir Edmund Allenby.

Allenby took a gamble on Bulfin and placed him at the head of XXI Corps, where he worked effectively alongside the dashing cavalry commander Sir Philip Chetwode and his XX Corps.

Working together with Chetwode under Allenby's leadership the British successfully secured the fall of Jerusalem (by Christmas 1917, as required by Prime Minister Lloyd George) and in demolishing Ottoman power in the region the following year - already much dented in terms of prestige with the loss of Jerusalem.

An "incendiary shell" is an artillery shell packed with highly flammable material, such as magnesium and phosphorous, intended to start and spread fire when detonated.

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