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ROBERTSON, FM Sir William (1860-1933) Item
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Army Council memo, 2 Feb 1917, about troop numbers

Printed memorandum by the Army Council regarding the supply of men for the Army, reporting that, the strength of the Army in the field cannot be maintained at an adequate level in the event of heavy fighting in April [1917] due to the inadequacy of the numbers of men provided by the Military Service Acts; suggesting the introduction of National Service. 2pp.

Army Council memo, 28 Nov 1917, on the maintenance of the armed forces

Memorandum by the Army Council concerning a memorandum (G174) by the Rt Hon Sir Auckland Campbell Geddes, Minister of National Service, on the problem of the maintenance of the armed forces, notably commenting on a proposal for the lowering of the age for service overseas, the effect of the reduction of the numbers of B and C category (medically unfit or wounded) men in the Home Service upon training, the possible employment of Garrison battalions in the line in France, and the availability of skilled men for service. 3pp.

Army Council memo, 'Supply of men for the Army', 6 Mar 1917

Printed Army Council memorandum entitled 'Supply of men for the Army', notably outlining the comments of FM Sir Douglas Haig, Commander in Chief, British Armies in France, on the effect of the prospective shortage of men on operations on the Western Front, and the suggestion that the number of battalions in a division should be reduced, and reiterating the Army Council's earlier request that the matter should receive urgent attention from the War Cabinet. 2pp.

Copy extract from a letter by Lieutenant General Sir Henry Hughes Wilson to Andrew Bonar Law, 19 Nov 1915, proposing an Anglo-French council

Typed extract from a private letter from temporary Lt Gen Sir Henry Hughes Wilson to the Rt Hon Andrew Bonar Law, Secretary of State for the Colonies, strongly urging the creation of an Anglo-French Council of Six, composed of the two Foreign Secretaries, the two War Secretaries and the two Commanders in Chief in France, in order to prevent the deterioration of relations between the two countries, especially over military operations in Gallipoli and Salonika, Greece. 7pp.

Copy letter from Robertson to Lieutenant Colonel Clive Wigram, 6 Aug 1915, on subjects including Gallipoli

Copy private letter from Robertson to Lt Col Clive Wigram, Assistant Private Secretary to HM King George V, expressing his concern regarding the Dardanelles operations, and his opinion that all available resources should be concentrated on Allied activities on the Western Front, and enclosing a paper, unsanctioned by FM Sir John Denton Pinkstone French, Commander in Chief, British Armies in France, expressing his views on the subject (not included). Includes a statement of the total number of rounds of ammunition on the Western Front. 5pp.

Copy memo from Robertson to Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, 10 Dec 1915, on the role of the CIGS

Copy of private memorandum sent by Robertson to FM Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl of Khartoum and Broome, Secretary of State for War, outlining his proposals on the status and duties of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS), notably the abolition of the existing system of issuing operational orders through the Army Council and the placing of this power in the hands of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (see 3/3/42), amended following a personal discussion between Robertson and Kitchener as to the role of the Secretary of State for War, and with substantial alterations to the paragraphs dealing with that subject. 6pp.

Copy note from Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig to Prime Minister David Lloyd George, 2 Feb 1918, about Haig's communication with the Supreme War Council

Copy of note given by FM Sir Douglas Haig, Commander in Chief, British Armies in France, to the Rt Hon David Lloyd George, Prime Minister, during the third meeting of the Allied Supreme War Council at Versailles, concerning the channel of communication between the Executive War Board of the Supreme War Council and himself, and the responsibility for military results. 1p.

Copy telegram from Field Marshal Lord Kitchener to Robertson, 22 Dec 1915, on subjects including Robertson's thoughts on the future conduct of the war

Copy of telegram to Robertson from FM Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and Broome, Secretary of State for War, agreeing to circulate Robertson's memorandum on the future conduct of the war (see 4/3/33) to the War Council, and agreeing that the appointment of Lt Col (Henry) Cecil Lowther as Chief General Staff Officer, Home Forces should be carefully considered. 1p.

Copy telegram from the Foreign Office to the British Ambassador in Rome, 2 Nov 1917, about proposals for a Supreme War Council

Copy of a Foreign Office telegram (1870) to the British Ambassador in Rome, proposing a conference between the French, British and Italians in light of the recent military disasters in Italy; outlining the scheme to create a Supreme War Council as proposed by the British War Cabinet. Enclosing a further telegram giving the full text of the preliminary draft proposal for the Supreme War Council. 2pp.

Correspondence, Sep-Nov 1914, about changes to the British line of communications

Correspondence and papers relating to changes to the British Line of Communications during the transfer of the bulk of the British Army to Flanders in Oct 1914, notably comprising negotiations between the French and British Higher Commands concerning the appointment of new Bases in France, the eventual decision being to have Havre as a main sea-base, Bologne as a subsidiary base, and Rouen as a regulating station; correspondence between Maj Gen Ronald Charles Maxwell, Inspector General of Communications, BEF (British Expeditionary Force), and Robertson, mainly details of the evacuation of present bases at Nantes, St Nazaire, Le Mans and Ostend, and the build-up of the new sites, and the move of the General Headquarters to Abbeville, including collaboration with the French authorities concerning the use of railways; Robertson's comments on the military situation, the possibility of its affecting the progress of the move, and the danger to the new line of communication afforded by the German build-up in the North-West. 32 items, 73pp.

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