Sir Hubert De La Poer Gough - Encyclopedia




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"SIR HUBERT DE LA POER GOUGH (1870-), British general, was born on Aug. 12 1870, son of Gen. Sir C. Gough. He joined the 16th Lancers in 1889 and served in the Tirah campaign. In 1899 he was sent out to South Africa on special service, and he commanded a mounted infantry regiment with distinction for nearly two years, being promoted brevet lieutenant-colonel for his services. He held staff appointments after returning home. Promoted colonel in 1906, he in 1911 became brigadier-general commanding the 3rd Cavalry Brigade at the Curragh, where his attitude with regard to Ulster and the use of the troops in 1914 caused a grave political crisis (see English History). He took his brigade to France in Aug. of that year, succeeded to the command of the 2nd Cavalry Div. in Sept., and was promoted major-general for distinguished service in Oct. He was in April 1915 transferred to the 7th Div., and was in July given charge of the ist Army Corps, a position which he held until the spring of 1916, when he was given command, first of a reserve force, and afterwards of the newly constituted 5th Army; with this he played an important part in the battle of the Somme, and he was given the K.C.B. He was promoted lieutenant-general at the beginning of 1917 and in that year he was for some time in charge of the Flanders offensive. Then, early in 1918, it fell to the lot of his army to be on the right wing, next to the French, and to take over from them a considerable front on both sides of the Oise, for which his forces were inadequate. The brunt of the great German offensive of March fell in the first place on his troops, who were unable to withstand the pressure and fell back with heavy loss in personnel and material. Gough's dispositions under circumstances of the utmost difficulty were appropriate, and responsibility for the disaster did not rest with him; nevertheless he was deprived of his command by the Government and was ordered home. He was afterwards for some months head of the British Mission to the Baltic States in 1919, and he was in that year given the G.C.M.G. On his return, influenced no doubt by his experiences in the Baltic States, Gen. Gough came forward as a prominent advocate of a world-settlement based upon consent and goodwill, and especially as a supporter of such a settlement of the Irish question.

His younger brother, John Edmund Gough (1871-1915), who had joined the army in 1892, was also a distinguished soldier. He served in central Africa in 1896-7 and in the South African War, and in the Somali campaign of 1902-3, where he won the V.C. and was promoted brevet lieutenant-colonel. He reached the rank of colonel in 1906 and commanded the troops in Somaliland from 1908 to 1910. He afterwards held appointments on the staff and he went out to France in 1914 as brigadiergeneral, general staff, of the ist Army Corps. When the expeditionary force was divided into two armies, he became head of the general staff of the 1st Army, but shortly afterwards he was severely wounded, and on Feb. 21 1915 he died of his wounds. He was the author of a study of the Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville campaigns (1913) and of several remarkable essays on military subjects.

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