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This is the first biography of General Sir Edward Bulfin, who rose to high rank, despite his Irish Catholic birth and close nationalist relations. Not only that but, by the outbreak of the Great War, Bulfin was a brigade commander never having attended Sandhurst, Staff College or commanded a battalion.
In his early career, he was a protégé of Sir William Butler, a fellow Irishman, and earned his spurs in the Boer War. In 1914 Haig found him a 'tower of strength', helping to save the day at First Ypres. Seriously wounded at the height of the battle, Bulfin, on recovery, was given 28th Division, which he led through Second Ypres and Loos. Unable to get on with Gough, he was sent home to raise 60th London Division, taking it to France, Salonika and Egypt where Allenby chose him to command a corps. His success against the Turks at Gaza, Jerusalem and Megiddo justified Allenby's confidence.
Despite ruthlessly crushing an uprising in post-war Egypt, Bulfin refused Churchill's order to command the police against his fellow Irishmen in 1920.
A private man, Bulfin left few letters and no papers. The author is to be congratulated on piecing together this fascinating biography of an enigmatic figure, who deserves to be better known, both in Britain and Ireland.
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