Sir Douglas Haig

Douglas Haig in the 7th Queens Hussars

Haig joined a cavalry regiment, the 7th Hussars, in India.

  • Polo is an ancient Asian game and was played by British cavalry soldiers in India.
  • Haig first met his wife Dorothy Vivian at Windsor Castle. He had been invited by the King and she was a lady-in-waiting (personal assistant) to the Queen.

As the war between India and Afghanistan was over, Haig found himself with plenty of time to ride horses and play polo (a ball game played on horseback).

During his holidays (called 'leave' in the Army) Haig returned to Europe where he learned French and German. He was keen to learn about the latest military ideas, so he took a particular interest in Germany, which was creating the most modern army in the world.

Battle of Omdurman

Haig's first experience of war came in 1897, when General Kitchener picked him to go with the British army and fight in the Sudan, a country in Africa. Haig did well in scouting missions, going ahead of the army and reporting back information. Kitchener's army eventually won the war at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898.

Rising through the ranks

Haig rose through the ranks of the army. He took part in many wars and battles and by 1904 he was a general. He married Dorothy Vivian in 1905 and was knighted in 1909 becoming Sir Douglas Haig.

Teachers' notes

Teachers' notes and classroom ideas looking at 'Douglas Haig' during World War One.

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