Download Leadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale by G. Sheffield PDF

By G. Sheffield

Why, regardless of the appalling stipulations within the trenches of the Western entrance, was once the British military virtually untouched by means of significant mutiny through the First international conflict? Drawing upon an intensive variety of assets, together with a lot formerly unpublished archival fabric, G. D. Sheffield seeks to reply to this query through analyzing an important yet formerly overlooked think about the upkeep of the British army's morale within the First global struggle: the connection among the regimental officer and the normal soldier.

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Leadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in the British Army in the Era of the First World War

Why, regardless of the appalling stipulations within the trenches of the Western entrance, used to be the British military virtually untouched via significant mutiny through the First international struggle? Drawing upon an intensive variety of resources, together with a lot formerly unpublished archival fabric, G. D. Sheffield seeks to respond to this query by way of studying a very important yet formerly missed consider the upkeep of the British army's morale within the First global warfare: the connection among the regimental officer and the standard soldier.

Additional resources for Leadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in the British Army in the Era of the First World War

Sample text

21 The middle-class domination of the auxiliary officer corps resulted in part from the fact that the upper and upper-middle classes found service in the TF, except for the Yeomanry, unattractive. Pace the alleged impact of the public schools in promoting militarism, in the period 1908-12 only 4 per cent of former members of cadet corps took a Territorial commission, and less than 2 per cent took a commission in the Special Reserve. A report by Col. L. Banon, the Assistant AdjutantGeneral, in 1912 concluded that this situation arose from a variety of factors ranging from family hostility to the TF (either because of attachment to the old militia and Volunteers or a desire to introduce conscription), to the decadence of the young which had eroded the military spirit.

63 Certainly, some senior officers were perturbed by the decline of formal discipline which was tacitly condoned or actively encouraged by regimental officers. 64 Some officers carried into the peacetime army some first-hand experience of the life of the ranker on campaign. Some officers certainly believed that they enjoyed close relationships with their men, one writing of the family atmosphere in the 16th Lancers: at 'stables' an 'opportunity was provided for the most intimate relationship to be established between officer and men'.

Among the factors cited in 1909 as tending to undermine the position of the NCO were, besides the dread of losing face by the admittance of ignorance of an NCO's powers, the fear of upsetting subordinates who were socially superior, or who 'held higher positions in business'. 32 Many Regular officers identified the NCO as the weakest link in the disciplinary chain of the TF. In 1909 a report stated that the NCO had 'little authority over his men', did not understand his role in 'the maintenance of discipline' and 'the men will readily obey' a Regular NCO attached to the unit, 'but do not attach much importance to the orders of the Territorial non-commissioned officer'.

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