Edward Bruce Hamley


Edward Bruce Hamley

Sir Edward Bruce Hamley KCMG KCB (27 April 1824 – 12 August 1893) was a British general and military writer.

Early life

He was the youngest son of Vice-Admiral William Hamley, born at Bodmin,Cornwall, and entered the Royal Artillery in 1843.

Career

He was promoted captain in 1850, and in 1851 went to Gibraltar, where he began his literary career by contributing articles to magazines. He served throughout the Crimean campaign as "aide-de-camp" to Sir Richard Dacres, commanding the artillery, taking part in all the operations with distinction, and becoming successively major and lieutenant-colonel by brevet. He also received the CB and French and Turkish orders.

During the war he contributed to "Blackwood's Magazine" an admirable account of the progress of the campaign, which was afterwards republished. The combination in Hamley of literary and military ability secured for him in 1859 the professorship of military history at the new Staff College at Sandhurst, from which in 1866 he went to the council of military education, returning in 1870 to the Staff College as commandant.

From 1879 to 1881 he was British commissioner successively for the delimitation of the frontiers of the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire in Asia and the Russian Empire, and Ottoman Empire and Greece, and was rewarded with the KCMG. Promoted colonel in 1863, he became a lieutenant-general in 1882, when he commanded the 2nd division of the expedition to Egypt under Lord Wolseley, and led his troops in the Battle of Tel el-Kebir, for which he received the KCB, the thanks of parliament, and 2nd class of Osmanieh.

Hamley considered that his services in Egypt had been insufficiently recognized in Lord Wolseley's despatches, and expressed his indignation freely, but he had no sufficient ground for supposing that there was any intention to belittle his services.

Later life

From 1885 until his death on 12 August, 1893 he represented Birkenhead in parliament in the Conservative interest.

Hamley is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. [http://www.brompton.org/Residents.htm]

Writings

Hamley was a clever and versatile writer. His principal work, "The Operations of War", published in 1867, became a text-book of military instruction. It was praised by the German Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke, and until 1894 it was the sole text used in the entrance examination for the Camberley Staff College. He also published some pamphlets on national defence, was a frequent contributor to magazines, and the author of several novels, of which perhaps the best known is "Lady Lee's Widowhood".

Some of his contemporaries, many of them members of Wolseley's "ring" of confidantes, considered him too rigid or opinionated in his views. Field Marshal Evelyn Wood wrote that "Hamley expected his students to accept his deductions as well as his facts, and did not encourage original research".

References

*1911
*Byron Farwell, "Queen Victoria's little wars", Wordsworth Editions, ISBN 1-84022-216-6


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