Wully – Sir William Robertson Bart
Sir William Robertson Bart. is the only man to attain the rank of Field Marshall from serving in the ranks. He worked in service when he left school and one of the houses in which he served as an under footman was that of the Earl of Cardigan, hero of the Charge of the Light Brigade. It was here that William first thought of joining the army.
He took the Queen’s shilling in 1877 and earned quick promotion. In 1885, he became Troop Sargeant Major. He studied and applied for a commission. In 1888 he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant of the 3rd Dragoon Guards serving in India where he earned the DSO. He transferred to the Intelligence Branch. He served in the Boer War, became Chief of Staff at Aldershot and Commandant at the Staff College in 1910.
In August 1914 he went to France as Quarter Master General. In 1915 he was promoted to CIGS, Chief of the General Staff.
At the end of the war he was C in C of the Home Forces and in 1918 he became C in C of the British Forces in the Rhine.
He completed his army career as Gold Stick in Waiting to the Royal Horse Guards.