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Anyone have anything on Lt-Col H L Reed VC, RFA


armourersergeant
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I have looked in all the ref books I have, DSO Vol II etc and on-line and I am struggling to come up with much on this chap, other than he was awarded the VC in the Boer War, on the 15 Dec 1899 at Colenso with the 7 Bty RFA

Anyone able to help with pre and post his position as GSO1 27th division in 1915?

Regards

Arm

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Later in 1915, Brigadier General H L Reed VC was the senior staff officer to the IX Corps commander Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Stopford at Suvla,Gallipoli

As a Major General he commanded the 15th (Scottish) Division, from October 1917 to March 1919

Not sure what happened in between

Regards

Michael

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Arm,

From Who Was Who, Volume III, 1929-1940.

Andy

post-1871-1233158929.jpg

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Here's a bit pinched from my site....

He was the son of Inspector-General of the Royal Irish Constabulary, Sir Andrew and Elizabeth (née Lyster ) Reed.

He was presented with the Victoria Cross by General Sir Redvers Buller VC on 4th March 1900 at Ladysmith, South Africa.

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Gleaned from the LG site

(from the SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 5 NOVEMBER, 1919.)

The undermentioned Bt. Cols, to be temp.

Lt.-Cols, whilst empld. as G.S.Os. 1st

Grade: —

(Now Maj.-Gen.) H. L. Reed, V.C., C.B..,

C.M.G.. R.A., from 5th Aug. 1914 to 18th

June 1915.

[19th June 1915 must have been when he transferred to IX Corps at Gallipoli]

War Office,

23rd November, 1920.

REGULAR FORCES.

COMMANDS AND STAFF.

The undermentioned appts. are made : —

ATTD. TO HD.-QR. UNITS.

Div. Comdrs.

And to be temp. Maj.-Gens. whilst so

empld.: —

Bt. Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) (now Maj.-

Gen.) H. L.,. Reed, V.C., C.B., C.M.G.,

from llth Oct. 1917 to 25th Mar. 1919.

(from the SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 3 JULY, 1919)

ATTD. TO HD.-QR. Units.

Brig.-Gen.,R.A.— Bt. Col. (now Maj.-Gen.)

H. L. Reed, V.C., C.B., C.M.G., R.A.,.

relinquishes the temp, rank of Maj. -Gen.,

and to be temp. Brig.-Gen. whilst so empld.

26th Mar. 1919.

War Office,

24th October, 1919.

REGULAR FORCES.

COMMANDS AND STAFF.

The undermentioned relinquish their

appts.: —

ATTD. TO HD.-QR. UNITS.

Brig.-Gens., R.A.—17th .Sept. 1919.—Maj.-Gen. H. L. Reed, V.C., C.B., C.M.G.

Wonder what did he did between the evacuation of Suvla and October 1917?

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Many thanks Michael.

regards

Arm

and Les and Andy, many thanks. went off before pressing post and came back to find others had done some more research for me.

Thanks all

Arm

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How odd. I've jut looked in the 1928 Who's Who, and he appears not to be in there.

Anyway, Mr Pay has the Who was Who entry, so I needn't worry.

Have you tried a PM to Dick Flory? He seems to know everything about everyone who was ever in the artillery.

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Broomers,

Good idea.

I am following up my work on Snow by looking at his BGGS and GSO1's to see how their 'ability' effected his performance.

Regards

Arm

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Broomers,

I have noted a slight difference like this on occasions between Who Was Who and Who Was Who before.

Andy

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Arm,

I'm glad that we have established that Reed VC, went on to better and greater things, having traversed the British Army's learning curve. However, for the completeness of the picture, so to speak, I think that I should add the following regarding his unhappy sojourn on Gallipoli

from 'Gallipoli Memories' by Compton Mackenzie, Cassell & Co., 1929

"...next to me was Sir Frederick Stopford, a man of great kindliness and personal charm, whose conversation at lunch left me at the end of the meal completely without hope of victory at Suvla. The reason for this apprehension was his inability to squash the new General opposite, who was one of the Brigadiers in his Army Corps. This Brigadier was holding forth almost truculently about the folly of the plan of operations drawn up by the General Staff, while Sir Frederick Stopford appeared to be trying to reassure him in a fatherly way. I looked along the table to where Aspinall and Dawnay were sitting near General Braithwaite; but they were out of earshot, and the dogmatic Brigadier continued unchallenged to enumerate the various military axioms which were being ignored by the Suvla plan of operations. For one thing, he vowed, most certainly he was not going to advance a single yard until all the Divisional Artillery was ashore. I longed for Sir Frederick to rebuke his disagreeable and discouraging junior; but he was deprecating, courteous, fatherly, anything except the Commander of an Army Corps which had been entrusted with a major operation that might change the whole course of the war in twenty-four hours."

The major part of the above is quoted by Col Michael Hickey in his book 'Gallipoli' published by John Murray, 1995.

Hickey then continues:

"Although Mackenzie does not name this truculent officer, it seems to have been none other than Stopford's own chief of staff, Brigadier General Reed VC, who came straight from the Western front where he had planned many set-piece frontal assaults against well-established trench systems, and considered lavish artillery preparation an essential part of any attack. Colonel Aspinall, another General Staff officer serving at GHQ, had the task of briefing Reed and found him obsessed with the need for overwhelming gun support, displaying incredulity when apprised of the IX Corps plan for the Suvla landings. According to Aspinall, 'he had the whole air of a man who does not think he is going to perform his task.' In vain did Aspinall show Reed the air photographs confirming the limited nature of Turkish prepared positions on and around the Suvla Plain. There appeared to be no more than three battalions of gendarmes in the area; Reed was disinclined to believe this, and communicated his doubts to Stopford, whose mind became infected by them to an extent that crippled the enterprise from the beginning."

John Lee in his biography of Ian Hamilton (A Soldier's Life, Macmillan, 2000) notes that

"In his later writings Hamilton would comment that even the holders of the highest awards for bravery in battle could still manifest signs of moral cowardice. Without naming names, he clearly meant Reed."

Regards

Michael

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Michael,

That is really useful information. You are of course correct nwe need to see both sides of the character.

Of course brains does not denote military genius. There are many VC winners that failed at higher command! This information is exactly what I am after. I want to see what Snow's staff are actually like, their ability and their character, to see how they would have complimented their superior. So this extra information is invaluable in showing what the character of Reedc was like. Of course we have to assume this was the officer, but I guess it is a reasonable calculated assumption by the author.

Again many thanks, valuable information.

Regards

Arm

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  • 2 weeks later...

It would seem that his command tenure of 15th Division was also uninspiring to say the least! It seems this chap was not sitting on the fence when it came to Lion or donkey. However courage is another thing. He was also wounded at 2nd Ypres according to Snow.

Managed to get hold of an old Boer War cigarette card picture of him the other day.

Regards

Arm

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It would seem that his command tenure of 15th Division was also uninspiring to say the least! It seems this chap was not sitting on the fence when it came to Lion or donkey. However courage is another thing. He was also wounded at 2nd Ypres according to Snow.

Managed to get hold of an old Boer War cigarette card picture of him the other day.

Regards

Arm

Arm

You probably know there's a bit about him in the 'nicknames' section of the Birmingham Centre for FWW Studies. He was known as 'Paddy' - probably because of his violent temper.

Not a Gallipoli expert (not like that Peter Hart) but an observation on the Michael Hickey quote. If he was 'Reed VC RFA', he's probably likely to have a predeliction for the heavy use of artillery. Doesn't it 'come with the territory'?

Also (and on less certain ground), are Compton Mackenzie and Aspinall prejudiced sources given their own positions? Can't remember Mackenzie's position but a check on the DNB says he got a commission through Hamilton's influence, whilst Aspinall was on Hamilton's staff. Peter H will put me right but I thought Hamilton supporters tend to blame Stopford and his staff for the failure of the August offensive when, actually, it's the failure to take the ridges and not the Suvla operation that are the key to the whole shebang.

Right. I'm off back to the Western Front again.

Bryn

Bryn

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Hi chums,

I think the problem with Reed at Suvla was that he applied the perfectly sound 'Western Front' principle that entrenched positions need artillery bombardment to an entirely different situation where the Truks had negligible prepared defences and what was needed was speed to over-run them and gain the heights around Suvla Bay before the Turkish reserves could arrive. Reed therefore lacked the encessary flexibility of mind for this situation. The criticisms offered of him in previous posts do indeed seem sound. Nevertheless, before we get too carried away, Hamilton's operational plans for the August offensives were over-ambitious, over-complicated lunacy so I'm not sure how much difference his 'malign' influence made in the end.

I don't know how well he performed on the Western Front to be honest!

The Suvla operations were secondary in nature, but the original plans required the rapid capture of the heights by Stopford's IX Corps and then there had been an expectation that they woudl assist the left flank of the Anzac thrust towards Sari Bair.

Pete

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Bryn & Pete,

The basic difference between an advance on an 'inland' battlefield

and an amphibious descent upon a hostile shore

is that while in the first, it is correct to employ your artillery on the enemy before allowing the infantry to advance,

while in the second case, the infantry must land first and then advance sufficiently to secure enough of a bridgehead to then allow the artillery to land and to support them

The two situations are not the same, but in fact, one is exactly the reverse of the other

and I would have thought that Reed's 'staff' training would have covered that point

Arm,

by the way, have you been able to confirm exactly when Reed left Gallipoli

as I've seen different dates given?

And where did he go to?

Thanks

Michael

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Bryn & Pete,

The basic difference between an advance on an 'inland' battlefield

and an amphibious descent upon a hostile shore

is that while in the first, it is correct to employ your artillery on the enemy before allowing the infantry to advance,

while in the second case, the infantry must land first and then advance sufficiently to secure enough of a bridgehead to then allow the artillery to land and to support them

The two situations are not the same, but in fact, one is exactly the reverse of the other

and I would have thought that Reed's 'staff' training would have covered that point

Arm,

by the way, have you been able to confirm exactly when Reed left Gallipoli

as I've seen different dates given?

And where did he go to?

Thanks

Michael

Michael

With all due respect, that doesn't address the points I was making at all. My point was that Reed might have "considered lavish artillery preparation an essential part of any attack" because he was RFA.

I assume, therefore, your remarks were addressed really at m'friend, m'colleague.

As for Reed's 'staff training,' was he 'psc'? I have no idea. If not, he may have had no 'staff training' at all.

Bryn

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quote: With all due respect, that doesn't address the points I was making at all. My point was that Reed might have "considered lavish artillery preparation an essential part of any attack" because he was RFA.

Bryn,

My apologies for not being too direct in my earlier post

"Not a Gallipoli expert (not like that Peter Hart) but an observation on the Michael Hickey quote. If he was 'Reed VC RFA', he's probably likely to have a predeliction for the heavy use of artillery. Doesn't it 'come with the territory'?"

The fact that he was RFA should be subordinate to his position on Stopford's staff

He should, in my humble opinion, have brought more with him to Gallipoli and a Staff position there, than just simply his RFA experience

"Also (and on less certain ground), are Compton Mackenzie and Aspinall prejudiced sources given their own positions? Can't remember Mackenzie's position but a check on the DNB says he got a commission through Hamilton's influence, whilst Aspinall was on Hamilton's staff."

Monty was not a protégé of Hamilton, but rather, he gained his RM commission by his contact with Edward Howard Marsh, via Orlo Williams: see page 7> of 'Gallipoli Memories'

"I thought Hamilton supporters tend to blame Stopford and his staff for the failure of the August offensive when, actually, it's the failure to take the ridges and not the Suvla operation that are the key to the whole shebang."

I am sure that it was not your intension for write-off the efforts and lives wasted at Suvla in 1915, but, whatever the grand strategy of Hamilton's plan were for Anzac & Suvla in August 1915, then Reed's part was to support the plan, and to make it succeed, not to undue it!

Perhaps Arm can tell us whether Reed was 'psc' or not?

If he was not, then should he have been on Stopford's staff?

Best regards

Michael

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quote: With all due respect, that doesn't address the points I was making at all. My point was that Reed might have "considered lavish artillery preparation an essential part of any attack" because he was RFA.

Bryn,

My apologies for not being too direct in my earlier post

"Not a Gallipoli expert (not like that Peter Hart) but an observation on the Michael Hickey quote. If he was 'Reed VC RFA', he's probably likely to have a predeliction for the heavy use of artillery. Doesn't it 'come with the territory'?"

The fact that he was RFA should be subordinate to his position on Stopford's staff

He should, in my humble opinion, have brought more with him to Gallipoli and a Staff position there, than just simply his RFA experience

"Also (and on less certain ground), are Compton Mackenzie and Aspinall prejudiced sources given their own positions? Can't remember Mackenzie's position but a check on the DNB says he got a commission through Hamilton's influence, whilst Aspinall was on Hamilton's staff."

Monty was not a protégé of Hamilton, but rather, he gained his RM commission by his contact with Edward Howard Marsh, via Orlo Williams: see page 7> of 'Gallipoli Memories'

"I thought Hamilton supporters tend to blame Stopford and his staff for the failure of the August offensive when, actually, it's the failure to take the ridges and not the Suvla operation that are the key to the whole shebang."

I am sure that it was not your intension for write-off the efforts and lives wasted at Suvla in 1915, but, whatever the grand strategy of Hamilton's plan were for Anzac & Suvla in August 1915, then Reed's part was to support the plan, and to make it succeed, not to undue it!

Perhaps Arm can tell us whether Reed was 'psc' or not?

If he was not, then should he have been on Stopford's staff?

Best regards

Michael

Michael

Quick points:

'The fact that he was RFA should be subordinate to his position on Stopford's staff' - but that doesn't mean his training wouldn't have influenced his views on artillery;

I referenced the DNB on 'Monty' (?) - it states there that he got his commission as a result of Hamilton's intervention. Your issue is with the author of the entry on Mackenzie in the Dictionary of National Biography. He was, I am told by a coleague (not Pete) on Hamilton's staff. I still believe there are grounds for the suggestion that both he and Aspinall were prejudiced sources;

There were approx 440 'psc' men at the start of the war. Whilst more were 'p'-ing through 'sc' as the war progressed, there were still insufficient 'trained' staff officers for all formations (army, corps, division, brigade) in 1915. Even then, was what they were being taught at 'sc' appropriate to the conditions at either Gallipoli or on the Western Front.

Reed was GOC 15th Div at the end of the war. A Major-General in the BEF that won the war. Not a bad result for him. Not the only 'Gallipoli Flop' to succeed elsewhere. Braithwaite springs to mind.

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Reed was GOC 15th Div at the end of the war. A Major-General in the BEF that won the war. Not a bad result for him. Not the only 'Gallipoli Flop' to succeed elsewhere. Braithwaite springs to mind.

With all due respect Bryn, this is irrelevant to my point re Gallipoli & Suvla

as I have already stated above

I'm glad that we have established that Reed VC, went on to better and greater things, having traversed the British Army's learning curve

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Blimey you go to work and others play!

Few points.

1..908 psc at war start- JB has had to eat his words apparently!

2.. I think it is understandable that Reed would be pro artillery, especially by the time he went to Gallipoli, by that time he would have been used to intense artillery and even forgiving his Corps loyalties I am sure many would have been. To my mind what this shows is an arrogance that he thinks he knows what others do not. As well as a lack of understanding of the reality of resources and terrain around him.

3..By definition, psc or not and regardless of the numbers of psc, he would have been an experienced GSO1 and that to my mind would make him able by definition, if not in practicality, to be on Stopford's staff.

4..I have not been able to add much more to his career than above. Not sure where he went after Gallipoli.

Regards

Arm

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Educated RMA Woolwich. Entered Army 1888. Captain 1898, Major 1904. Served South Africa 1899-1902 in RFA and on the Staff. Wounded and 3 x MID. VC. psc 1905. General Staff Army HQ 1906-10. Staff Officer to Inspector-General Overseas Forces, 1910-11. Military Attache with Turkish Forces, Balkan War , 1912-13. European War 1914-18. Wounded, despatches 8 times. Brevet Colonel CB. Commanded 15th Scottish Division, 1917 -19. Major General, 1919. GOC 54th (East Anglian) Division from 1923.

TR

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Thank you Chairman.

regards

Arm

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Perhaps Arm can tell us whether Reed was 'psc' or not?

If he was not, then should he have been on Stopford's staff?

passed the Staff College in 1905

see http://www.angloboerwar.com/VC/reed_h.htm

http://www.angloboerwar.com/VC/reed_h.htm

Reed, Hamilton Lyster

1899, Battle of Colenso

REED, HAMILTON LYSTER, Captain was born on the 23rd of May 1869, son of Sir Andrew Reed, KCB, CVO, Inspector General, Royal Irish Constabulary, and of Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Hamilton Lyster, of Croghan, Parsonstown. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and was gazetted into the Royal Field Artillery, 13 February 1888, becoming Captain, in 1808. In the South African War of 1899-1902, he was at first Captain, 7th Battery, RFA, later Adjutant, RFA, and DAAG on the Staff of the GOC, Orange River Colony. He took part in the operations in Natal (1899), was at the relief of Ladysmith, and the action at Colenso (where he gained the Victoria Cross, and was slightly wounded); operations of 17-24 January 1900 and action at Spion Kop; operations of 5-7 February 1900, and actions at Vaal Krantz; and during operations on Tugela Heights (14-24 February 1900), and action at Pieter's Hill. In Natal, March to June, 1900, including actions at Laing's Nek (6-9 June). In the Transvaal, east of Pretoria, July to October 1900, including actions at Belfast (26 and 27 August) and Lydenburg (5-8 September). Also during the operations in Orange River Colony (30 November 1900, to 31 May, 1902). For his services in this campaign he was three times mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 26 January 1900, 8 February and 10 September 1901]. He received the Queen's Medal with six clasps, the King's Medal with two clasps, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 2 February 1900]: "Hamilton Lyster Reed, Captain, 7th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Date of Act of Bravery: 15 December 1899. Captain Reed, who had heard of the difficulty, shortly afterwards brought down three teams from his battery to see if he could be of any use. He was wounded, as were five of the thirteen men who rode with him. One was killed, and thirteen (including his own) out of twenty-one horses were killed before he got half-way to the guns, and he was obliged to retire". Captain Reed's Victoria Cross was presented to him by Sir Redvers Buller at Ladysmith on 4 March, 1900. He was promoted to Major 1904; passed the Staff College in 1905; was on the General Staff, Army Headquarters, from 1906 to 1910, and from 1910 to 1911 was Staff Officer to the Inspector General, Overseas Force. In 1911 he married Marjorie Eleanor, younger daughter of A Theodore Olive, of The Cedars, Datchet, and they had one son and two daughters. He was additional Military Attache with Turkish Army, 1912 to 1913, during the Balkan War. Colonel Reed served in the European War from 1914; was mentioned in Despatches 7 times; created a CMG 10 April 1916; was wounded; Brevet Colonel 13 May, 1916; CB 1 January 1918; appointed Temporary Brigadier General June 1915, and Temporary Major-General whilst in command of a division October 1917; promoted Major General 3 June 1919. Reed died in London on 7 March 1931 at the age of 61. Reed's only son, Andrew Patrick, served in the Royal Ulster Rifles and became a flying officer in the RAF. He was killed in action in May 1940 aged 26.

VC, CB, CMG, QSA (6), KSA (2), 1914-15 Star, BWM, VM + MID, 1911 Coronation Medal, 1937 Coronation Medal, France Croix de Guerre.

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