Who's Who - Sir William Marshall

No photograph available Sir William Raine Marshall (1865-1939) served on the Mesopotamian Front as Sir Frederick Maude's successor as Commander-in-Chief from November 1917 until the end of the war.

Having emerged from Sandhurst Marshall received a commission into the Sherwood Foresters in 1885, after which he served in Ireland, Malta, India and South Africa, seeing active service in the latter two.

A battalion commander on the Western Front during 1914-15, Marshall was posted to command of 29th Division in the ill-fated expedition to Gallipoli, during which he received a promotion to Major-General in June 1915.

A series of divisional commands followed - 42nd, 29th and 53rd - before he was posted to Salonika with 27th Division, and then with III (Indian) Corps on the Mesopotamian Front.  It was while commanding III Corps that Marshall successfully participated in the capture of Kut-al-Amara in February 1917, and subsequently in the capture of Baghdad the following month.

With Sir Frederick Maude's death as Commander-in-Chief from cholera (most probably from contaminated milk), the hugely popular commander was replaced by the careful and meticulous Marshall, appointed by Sir William Robertson at the War Office in London, the latter determined to scale back operations in Mesopotamia.

It was in this capacity that Marshall accepted the surrender of the Turkish army at Mosul on 30 October 1918.

His post-war career took him back to India at Southern Command, remaining there until 1923; he retired the following year.

Sir William Marshall died in 1939.

In slang a "beetle" was a landing craft for 200 men.

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