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20th Century Portraits Catalogue

Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig (1861-1928), Field Marshal

Born in Edinburgh; studied at Clifton College and entered Brasenose College, Oxford in 1880; went to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in 1884 and was commissioned into the cavalry regiment of the 7th hussars the following year; he secured entry to the Staff College, Camberley, by nomination in 1896; by 1904 Haig had become the youngest major-general in either the British or Indian army; on the outbreak of the First World War, he helped organise the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), commanded by Field-Marshal John French; in 1915 he replaced French as Commander-in-Chief of the BEF and directed British campaigns including the Somme in 1916; after the war Haig devoted the rest of his life to the welfare of ex-servicemen and was president of the Royal British Legion until his death; he died of sudden heart failure in January 1928.