1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hamley, Sir Edward Bruce

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HAMLEY, SIR EDWARD BRUCE (1824–1893), British general and military writer, youngest son of Vice-Admiral William Hamley, was born on the 27th of April 1824 at Bodmin, Cornwall, and entered the Royal Artillery in 1843. He was promoted captain in 1850, and in 1851 went to Gibraltar, where he commenced 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 C.B. 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 Turkey and Bulgaria, Turkey in Asia and Russia, and Turkey and Greece, and was rewarded with the K.C.M.G. 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 Tell-el-Kebir, for which he received the K.C.B., 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. From 1885 until his death on the 12th of August 1893 he represented Birkenhead in parliament in the Conservative interest.

Hamley was a clever and versatile writer. His principal work, The Operations of War, published in 1867, became a text-book of military instruction. He 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.