Sir William Robertson

William Robertson, was born in 1860. At the age of seventeen he enlisted as a private in the British Army. At the beginning of the First World War Robertson was a quarter-master general to the British Expeditionary Force and became chief of staff to Sir John French early in 1915.

In 1916 Robertson was brought home from France to become chief of the Imperial Chief of Staff. His main role was as the liaison between the British Army and the government. He considered Herbert Asquith a weak and indecisive leader and played a role in the conspiracy to replace him with David Lloyd George.

A strong supporter of Sir Douglas Haig, Robertson resisted attempts by David Lloyd George to divert resources from the Western Front.

Robertson replaced Sir John French as Commander-in-Chief of the internal forces in June, 1918. Two years later, Robertson was promoted to field marshall. He therefore became the first person in history to rise from lowest to the highest rank in the British Army. His autobiography, From Private to Field-Marshall, was published in 1921. Sir William Robertson died in 1933.