Image for Welbourn, Lincolnshire: Village boy to Field Marshal

Welbourn, Lincolnshire: Village boy to Field Marshal

Duration: 02:02

Sir William Robertson Bart. G.C.B., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., D.S.O., D.C.L., L.L.D. came from humble beginnings in a Lincolnshire village to become one of the most successful soldiers of all time.

When he took the King’s shilling in 1877, his family were horrified. His mother told him the army was a refuge for idle people and she would rather bury him than see him in a red coat.

But army life suited him. Promotion through the ranks came quickly. At the outbreak of World War One he was Quarter Master General and in 1915 he was appointed Chief of the Imperial General Staff.

He stubbornly believed the war would be won in France and could not see the value of fighting anywhere else.

Welbourn honours his memory through the Sir William Robertson Academy and a plaque on his family’s former shop reminds all who pass this was the birthplace of Wully – the brains of the army.

Location: Welbourn, Lincolnshire LN5
Image of Sir William’s birthplace

Available since: Mon 3 Feb 2014

This clip is from

World War One At Home

WW1 at Home: a growing collection of stories about life on the WW1 Home Front

Image for World War One At Home

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