Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

The Killing Ground


Recommended Posts

I have read the following bizarre account in other books but most recently it was quoted in ‘The Killing Ground’ written by Tim Travers.  The source of this account is given as Sir Edmund Brig Gen Sir J Edmonds, chief official historian and author of History of the Great War;


I heard him [Gough] complain that his troops had ‘no blood lust’, the officers ‘no spirit of the offensive’. Whilst I was having tea in the ‘B’ Mess of his headquarters he came in and said, ‘I want to shoot two officers’.  There was an astonished pause, and the A.P.M [Assistant Provost Marshal] said, ‘Beg your pardon, Sir, there are no officers under sentence’. Gough looked at him as if to say, ‘you fool’, and explained, ‘Yes, I know that, but I want to shoot two officers as an example to others’, And he got them.


Can there be any truth to this alleged incident? Hard to believe but the source quoted is:

Edmunds to G C Wynne, 17 February 1944, Cab 45/33, inside Cab 45/1140, PRO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the truly  aggressive thrusters -l ike Capper - Gough rarely seems to emerge from anything with credit - politics (The Curragh), as an individual or as a soldier. From written evidence service in 5th Army was feared and hated. Although degummed after the spring offensives in which he was not ineffective, I have always wondered why he lasted so long. As far as I am aware the only biography is Farrar the Para's somewhat hagiographic piece of work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...