HOME
The Info List - George Milne


--- Advertisement ---



Field Marshal George Francis Milne, 1st Baron Milne, GCB, GCMG, DSO (5 November 1866 – 23 March 1948) was a senior British Army
British Army
officer who served as Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Chief of the Imperial General Staff
(CIGS) from 1926 to 1933. He served in the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
and during the First World War he served briefly on the Western Front but spent most of the war commanding the British forces on the Macedonian front. As CIGS he generally promoted the mechanization of British land forces although limited practical progress was made during his term in office.

Contents

1 Army career 2 First World War

2.1 France 2.2 Salonika

3 Post-war 4 Later career and life 5 Family 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Army career[edit] Born the son of George Milne and Williamina Milne (née Panton) and educated at MacMillan's School in Aberdeen
Aberdeen
and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich,[1] Milne was commissioned into the Royal Artillery on 16 September 1885.[2] He was initially posted to a battery at Trimulgherry
Trimulgherry
in India and then joined a battery at Aldershot
Aldershot
in 1889 before being posted back to India to a battery at Meerut
Meerut
in 1891.[3] Promoted to captain on 4 July 1895,[4] he joined the garrison artillery in Malta
Malta
and then took part in the Suakin Expedition in 1896.[5] Next he was appointed battery captain at Hilsea
Hilsea
and then attended the Staff College, Camberley
Staff College, Camberley
in 1897.[5] There he became a friend of his classmate William Robertson.[6] He took part in the Nile Expedition in 1898, seeing action at Omdurman and scoring a direct hit on the Mahdi's tomb with his battery.[6] He served in the Second Boer War in South Africa, where he was appointed Deputy Assistant Adjutant- General
General
on 18 February 1900,[7] and was promoted to major on 1 November 1900.[8] He was mentioned in despatches on 2 April 1901,[9] and awarded the Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Order
(DSO) in the South Africa Honours list published on 26 June 1902.[10] Following the end of the war in June 1902, Milne received the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel on 22 August 1902 (the honour was gazetted in the October 1902 South Africa honours list),[11] and returned to the United Kingdom on the SS Orotava which arrived at Southampton in early September.[12] He was appointed a Deputy-Assistant Quartermaster- General
General
in the intelligence division at Headquarters on 26 January 1903[13] and then, having been promoted to colonel on 1 November 1905,[14] became a general staff officer at Headquarters 46th (North Midland) Division
46th (North Midland) Division
(a Territorial Force
Territorial Force
formation) in April 1908.[5] He joined the general staff at Headquarters 6th Division in Cork in 1909 and, having been appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of the Bath
in the King's Birthday Honours 1912,[15] became Brigadier General
General
Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
for 4th Division at Woolwich
Woolwich
on 1 October 1913.[16] First World War[edit] France[edit] At the outbreak of the First World War
First World War
in July 1914, Milne was commanding the divisional artillery of 4th Division which formed part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France.[5] He fought on the Marne and the Aisne.[6] He joined the general staff of III Corps in January 1915 and, having been promoted to major general on 23 February 1915, was mentioned in despatches for his service during the Second Battle of Ypres.[5] He was appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) 27th Division in July 1915.[17] Salonika[edit]

Milne (left) with General
General
Franchet d'Espèrey (centre) and General Henrys (right)

General
General
Milne (right) shaking hands with Field Marshal Živojin Mišić (left)

Salonika front 1917

Milne was appointed to command XVI Corps in Salonika in January 1916 with orders to oppose Bulgarian advances on the Macedonian front.[17] When he succeeded Bryan Mahon
Bryan Mahon
as Commander-in-Chief of the British Salonika Army, Milne became overall Commander-in-Chief of British Troops in Macedonia on 9 May 1916.[18] As late as 3 June 1916 Milne was ordered by Robertson, now Chief of the Imperial General
General
Staff (CIGS), not to participate in any attack on the Bulgars.[6] He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle (1st Class, with Swords) by the King of Serbia on 1 July 1916.[19] The British Government accepted the need to maintain a presence in Salonika to keep the French happy, but Robertson, who often communicated by secret letters and "R" telegrams to generals in the field, privately told Milne that he did not favour offensive operations. Milne broadly agreed with Robertson that any attempt to attack across the mountains to cut the Nis-Sofia-Constantinople railway was logistically impractical, although he did stress that his forces must either advance or retreat from the malaria-infested Struma Valley and that the Bulgarians might be beaten if pressed hard.[20] On 23 July he was told to “engag(e) the maximum of Bulgar forces” whilst the Romanians mobilised and attacked, followed by secret messages from Robertson that he should “guard against being committed for any serious action” until it was certain that Romania was coming in.[6] With Bulgaria
Bulgaria
seeming close to collapse in October and November 1916, Milne advised Robertson (5 November) that the Germans would do all they could to keep her in the war.[21] The 60th (2/2nd London) Division
60th (2/2nd London) Division
was sent to Salonika in December.[22] Milne was promoted to permanent lieutenant general on 1 January 1917.[23] On 3 January 1917 Milne arrived at the Rome Conference independently of the French General
General
Sarrail.[22] The official French record of the Rome Conference did not even mention Milne as a participant.[24] As a result of the Conference Milne was placed under Sarrail's command, with right of appeal to his own government – who overruled him when he protested against Sarrail's movement of a British brigade outside the British zone. This precedent was much discussed in the next few months when David Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, attempted to place the BEF on the Western Front under General
General
Robert Nivelle.[25]

An allied cemetery at Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
(Salonika).

Milne undertook numerous offensives in support of his French and Serbian Allies with limited resources. His attack at Lake Doiran in spring 1917 cost 5,000 dead and seriously wounded, one quarter of all British casualties throughout the entire Salonika Campaign. Another British attack in the Struma Valley was more successful.[26] His troops were constantly suffering from malaria.[17] Milne was appointed a Grand Officer of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
by the King of Italy on 31 August 1917[27] and advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 1 January 1918.[28] Although Milne was repulsed again at Lake Doiran in September 1918, French and Serbian units were successful in defeating the Bulgarian Army
Bulgarian Army
at the Battle of Dobro Pole which took place that same month.[1] Bulgaria
Bulgaria
then signed an armistice.[1] Post-war[edit] In September 1918, Milne became responsible for the military administration of a vast area around the Black Sea
Black Sea
at a time of considerable internal disorder following the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
and the start of the Turkish War of Independence.[17] Small British forces had twice occupied Baku
Baku
on the Caspian, while an entire British division had occupied Batum on the Black Sea, supervising German and Turkish withdrawal. British (including Indian and some Arab) troops were in Persia (partly to protect the oilfields at Abadan) and larger British forces were also deployed in Mesopotamia and Syria.[29] Milne toured the Caucasus in early 1919 and thought “the country and the inhabitants are equally loathsome” and that British withdrawal “would probably lead to anarchy” but “the world would (not) lose much if the whole of the country cut each other’s throats. They are certainly not worth the life of a single British soldier”. At the end of August 1919 the British withdrew from Baku
Baku
(the small British naval presence was also withdrawn from the Caspian Sea), leaving only 3 battalions at Batum. Lord Curzon, Foreign Secretary, wanted a British presence in the region, although to Curzon’s fury (he thought it “abuse of authority”) the CIGS Henry Wilson gave Milne permission to withdraw if he deemed it necessary. After a British garrison at Enzeli (on the Persian Caspian coast) was taken prisoner by Bolshevik forces on 19 May 1920, Lloyd George finally insisted on a withdrawal from Batum early in June 1920. Financial retrenchment forced a British withdrawal from Persia in the spring of 1921.[30] Milne was appointed Grand Cross (First Class) of the Order of the Redeemer by the King of the Hellenes in October 1918,[31] appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
on 1 January 1919,[32] advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George on 3 June 1919[33] and given the Greek Military Cross in July 1919.[34] He was also awarded the Grand Cross of the French Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
in August 1919[35] and made a Knight of Grace of the Venerable Order of Saint John
Venerable Order of Saint John
on 9 April 1920.[36] In March 1920 he occupied Constantinople
Constantinople
and took over the administration of the City which was collapsing.[1] Later career and life[edit] Promoted to full general on 26 April 1920,[37] he was appointed Lieutenant
Lieutenant
of the Tower of London
London
on 15 December 1920[38] and General Officer Commanding Eastern Command on 1 June 1923.[39] Having been made ADC to the King on 31 July 1923,[40] he became Chief of the Imperial General
General
Staff on 19 February 1926.[41] In that role he supported the publication of the study Mechanised and Armoured Formations (issued in 1929) and generally promoted the mechanization of British land forces although limited practical progress was made during his term in office.[1] Having been advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the New Year Honours
New Year Honours
1927,[42] he was promoted to field marshal on 30 January 1928[43] before retiring in 1933.[44] On 26 January 1933 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Milne, of Salonika and of Rubislaw in the County of Aberdeen.[45] He was also Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
from 21 November 1918,[46] Honorary Colonel of Hampshire Heavy Brigade from 24 April 1926,[47] Master Gunner, St James's Park from 1929, Constable of The Tower of London
London
from 1933 and Colonel Commandant of the Pioneer Corps from 1940.[44] During the Second World War
Second World War
he was an Air Raid Warden in Westminster.[44] He also wrote a weekly column for the Sunday Chronicle.[1] He died in London
London
on 23 March 1948.[44] Family[edit] In 1905, he married Claire Maitland, daughter of Sir John Nisbet Maitland, 5th Baronet; they had a son and a daughter.[5] References[edit]

^ a b c d e f "George Francis Milne". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 15 January 2012.  ^ "No. 25514". The London
London
Gazette. 25 September 1885. p. 4517.  ^ Heathcote, Anthony pg 208 ^ "No. 26640". The London
London
Gazette. 5 July 1895. p. 3818.  ^ a b c d e f Heathcote, Anthony pg 209 ^ a b c d e Palmer 1998, p63-4 ^ "No. 27203". The London
London
Gazette. 19 June 1900. p. 3815.  ^ "No. 27260". The London
London
Gazette. 28 December 1900. p. 8756.  ^ "No. 27305". The London
London
Gazette. 16 April 1901. p. 2605.  ^ "No. 27448". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 26 June 1902. pp. 4191–4192.  ^ "No. 27490". The London
London
Gazette. 31 October 1902. p. 6897.  ^ "The Army in South Africa - Troops returning home". The Times (36858). London. 28 August 1902. p. 9.  ^ "No. 27553". The London
London
Gazette. 19 May 1903. p. 3152.  ^ "No. 27851". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 7 November 1905. p. 7425.  ^ "No. 28617". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 1912. p. 4298.  ^ "No. 28763". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 10 October 1913. p. 7063.  ^ a b c d Heathcote, Anthony pg 210 ^ "No. 29763". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 22 September 1916. p. 9336.  ^ "No. 29977". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 9 March 1917. p. 2446.  ^ Woodward, 1998, pp30-3, 66–7 ^ Palmer 1998, p69 ^ a b Palmer 1998, p38-40 ^ "No. 29886". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1916. p. 15.  ^ Palmer 1998, p77-8 ^ Woodward, 1998, p91 ^ Palmer 1998, p88 ^ "No. 30263". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 31 August 1917. p. 9101.  ^ "No. 30450". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1917. p. 1.  ^ Jeffery 2006 p233-4 ^ Jeffery 2006 p247-9 ^ "No. 30945". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 8 October 1918. p. 11951.  ^ "No. 31095". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1918. p. 73.  ^ "No. 31395". The London
London
Gazette. 6 June 1919. p. 7424.  ^ "No. 31465". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 18 July 1919. p. 9232.  ^ "No. 31514". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 19 August 1919. p. 10606.  ^ "No. 31861". The London
London
Gazette. 13 April 1920. p. 4341.  ^ "No. 31893". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 7 May 1920. p. 5347.  ^ "No. 32166". The London
London
Gazette. 17 December 1920. p. 12394.  ^ "No. 32832". The London
London
Gazette. 8 June 1923. p. 4060.  ^ "No. 32849". The London
London
Gazette. 31 July 1923. p. 5241.  ^ "No. 33134". The London
London
Gazette. 19 February 1926. p. 1242.  ^ "No. 33235". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1926. p. 3.  ^ "No. 33362". The London
London
Gazette. 2 March 1928. p. 1494.  ^ a b c d Heathcote, Anthony pg 211 ^ "No. 33907". The London
London
Gazette. 31 January 1933. p. 663.  ^ "No. 31113". The London
London
Gazette (Supplement). 7 January 1919. p. 438.  ^ "No. 33154". The London
London
Gazette. 23 April 1926. p. 2781. 

Further reading[edit]

Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals 1736–1997. Barnsley (UK): Pen & Sword. ISBN 0-85052-696-5.  Jeffery, Keith (2006). Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson: A Political Soldier. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820358-2.  Palmer, Alan (1998). Victory 1918. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-84124-6.  Woodward, David R (1998). Field Marshal Sir William Robertson. Westport Connecticut & London: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-95422-6. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to George Milne, 1st Baron Milne.

 "Milne, Sir George Frederick". Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
(12th ed.). 1922. 

Military offices

New title GOC XVI Corps January – May 1916 Succeeded by Charles Briggs

Preceded by Bryan Mahon GOC British Salonika Army 1916–1918 Succeeded by Henry Wilson

Preceded by Lord Horne GOC-in-C Eastern Command 1923–1926 Succeeded by Sir Walter Braithwaite

Preceded by The Earl of Cavan Chief of the Imperial General
General
Staff 1926–1933 Succeeded by Sir Archibald Montgomery-Massingberd

Honorary titles

Preceded by Lord Horne Master Gunner, St. James's Park 1929–1946 Succeeded by Viscount Alanbrooke

Preceded by Lord Methuen Constable of the Tower
Constable of the Tower
of London 1933–1938 Succeeded by Sir Claud William Jacob

Peerage of the United Kingdom

New title Baron Milne 1933–1948 Succeeded by George Douglass Milne

v t e

Commanders-in-Chief of the Forces and Chiefs of the General
General
Staff of the British Army

Commanders-in-Chief of the Forces

Duke of Albemarle Duke of Monmouth Earl of Marlborough Duke of Leinster Duke of Marlborough Duke of Ormonde Earl of Stair George Wade Duke of Cumberland Viscount Ligionier Marquess of Granby Lord Amherst Henry Conway Lord Amherst Duke of York Sir David Dundas Duke of York Duke of Wellington Viscount Hill Duke of Wellington Viscount Hardinge Duke of Cambridge Viscount Wolseley Earl Roberts

Chief of the General
General
Staff

Sir Neville Lyttelton

Chiefs of the Imperial General
General
Staff

Sir William Nicholson Sir John French Sir Charles Douglas Sir James Murray Sir Archibald Murray Sir William Robertson Sir Henry Wilson The Earl of Cavan Sir George Milne Sir Archibald Montgomery-Massingberd Sir Cyril Deverell The Viscount Gort Sir Edmund Ironside Sir John Dill Sir Alan Brooke The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein Sir William Slim Sir John Harding Sir Gerald Templer Sir Francis Festing Sir Richard Hull

Chiefs of the General
General
Staff

Sir Richard Hull Sir James Cassels Sir Geoffrey Baker Sir Michael Carver Sir Peter Hunt Sir Roland Gibbs Sir Edwin Bramall Sir John Stanier Sir Nigel Bagnall Sir John Chapple Sir Peter Inge Sir Charles Guthrie Sir Roger Wheeler Sir Michael Walker Sir Mike Jackson Sir Richard Dannatt Sir David Richards Sir Peter Wa

.