Search Database

Optional wildcard search eg. type Bar to find Barry, Barden etc

Optional wildcard search eg. type Pa to find Patrick, Paul etc

Henry Hughes Wilson (D.S.M.)

Rank: Field Marshal
Street: Currygrane House
Townland: Currygrane
Town/Village: Ballinalee
Civil Parish: Clonbroney
Catholic Parish: Clonbroney
Alternative Address: Eaton Square, London;
Census 1901:
Census 1911:
Regiment/Unit: Royal Irish Regiment
Regiment Number: N/A
Date of Death: 22-06-1922
Cause: Assassination (I.R.A.), Eaton Square, London
Memorial: St. Paul's Cathedral, London

Field Marshal Sir Henry Hughes Wilson, 1st Baronet, G.C.B. D.S.O. was born on 5 May 1864 in Currygrane, near Ballinalee and was one of the most senior British Army staff officers of the First World War.

Wilson was educated at Marlboro College was a career soldier who joined the Royal Longford Militia in 1882 and later served in Myanmar (Burma) in the Third Anglo-Burmese War and later in South Africa during the Boer Wars (1899-1902).

At the beginning of the Great War, he was a liaison officer dealing with the French army, for which he had a great regard. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General in 1915 and commanded the IV Corps in France for most of 1916. Late in the following year, he was appointed to the Eastern Command. In 1918, he became chief of the Imperial General Staff, which meant that he was the commander of the entire British Army. Many awards were bestowed upon him, not only by the British, but also by France (Légion d'Honneur), Belgium (Croix de Guerre), Japan (Order of the Rising Sun) and Greece (Order of the Redeemer) among others. 

After the war, Wilson attained the rank of field marshal and was created a baronet. Wilson was M.P. for North Down and a military adviser to Sir James Craig, the first prime minister of Northern Ireland. He was assassinated by the I.R.A. in London on 22 June 1922, unveiling a memorial dedicated to employees of the Great Eastern Railway Company who had died in action during the First World War, at Liverpool Street Station.

Wilson was granted a state funeral, and is buried in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, beside his former mentor Field Marshal Earl Roberts

Parents Names: Son of James and Constance Wilson, Currygrane House, Ballinalee, Co. Longford.
Notes: Wilson was assassinated by two London-based I.R.A. men, Reginald Dunne and Joseph O'Sullivan. Interestingly, both had served with the British Army in WW1. Dunne was a private with the Irish Guards, who was a friend of Gen. Michael Collins; O'Sullivan was a Lance Corporal with the Royal Munster Fusiliers and had lost a leg at Ypres in 1917.

; biography; link to Wikipedia entry; Longford Leader on promotion to Lt General, October 1915History Ireland 2005, Sir Henry Wilson: imperial soldier, political failure; British Pathé, at the opening of the Ulster Monument, Thiepval (YouTube); British Pathé, funeral (YouTube)

Submit an Amendment

If you have information on this soldier then please submit an amendment

Would you like to comment on this entry?