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Field Marshal Sir Henry WilsonA Political Soldier$
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Keith Jeffery

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239672

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239672.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 July 2021

The making of a staff officer

The making of a staff officer

(p.11) 2 The making of a staff officer
Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson


Oxford University Press

Henry Wilson had some difficulty getting into the Irish army. Despite individual tutoring at home, between 1880 and 1882 Wilson failed the entrance exams for the Royal Military College, Woolwich, twice and those for Sandhurst three times. In December 1882 Wilson was gazetted a lieutenant in the Longford Militia (6th battalion Rifle Brigade). Over the next two years he received training in Ireland with that unit and the 5th Munster Fusiliers. Wilson sat the army examination in July 1884, passing fifty-eighth on the list of successful candidates. He was at first gazetted to the Royal Irish Regiment, but secured a transfer to the much more prestigious Rifle Brigade. Wilson's choice of the Rifle Brigade no doubt reflected his military, and perhaps also his social, ambitions. This chapter chronicles Wilson's early military career, including the first campaigns he joined, as well as his engagement to Cecil Wray which affected his military ambitions.

Keywords:   Irish army, Cecil Wray, 5th Munster Fusiliers, army, Rifle Brigade, military career

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