1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Nicholson, William Gustavus Nicholson, 1st Baron
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Nicholson, William Gustavus Nicholson, 1st Baron
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NICHOLSON, WILLIAM GUSTAVUS NICHOLSON, 1st Baron (1845-1918), British field-marshal, was born March 2 1845, and joined the Royal Engineers in 1865. He served in the Afghan War, 1878-80, for which he was given a brevet majority, and he took part in the Egyptian campaign of 1882. For service on the staff in Burma in 1885-6 he was promoted brevet lieutenant-colonel, and he reached the rank of colonel in 1891. He next served as chief of the staff in the Tirah campaign, for which he received the K.C.B., and as adjutant-general in India. In 1899 he went out to South Africa as military secretary to Lord Roberts, but on arrival he was placed at the head of the transport service and was promoted major-general. He was appointed Director of Mobilization and Intelligence at the War Office in 1901 and was shortly afterwards promoted lieutenant-general; this position he held till early in 1904 when he went to the Far East as chief military attaché with the Japanese forces. At the end of 1905 he was appointed quartermaster-general; in 1906 he was promoted general and in 1908 was transferred to the post of Chief of the Imperial General Staff, which he held during the important period of the Haldane reforms. He was promoted field-marshal in 1911 and, on vacating his appointment at the War Office in the following year, was raised to the peerage as Baron Nicholson of Roundhay. In 1913 he went out to the East as chairman of a commission on Indian military expenditure, and in 1916-7 he was a member of the Dardanelles commission; this was his last public service. He died on Sept. 18 1918. Lord Nicholson was a man of high intellectual attainments and, although somewhat given to controversy, a successful military administrator.