The military career of General Sir Henry Brackenbury 1856-1904
This thesis deals with a largely forgotten soldier, writer and administrator of the mid to late Victorian era. General Sir Henry Brackenbury’s career covered some forty- eight years. He was either directly involved in or was witness to all the major events of the British Army during this period, from the Crimean War to the South African War. His career encompassed an era of reform that saw the army move away from the military system of the Napoleonic Wars and the gradual establishment of the system with which the British Army would take the field in 1914. The aim of this thesis is to look at the military career of Sir Henry Brackenbury, rather than be a biography of the man. However his literary career, personal life and financial circumstances are intrinsically linked to his life as a soldier. What this shows is a highly intelligent soldier, perhaps the first of a new bread of so-called ‘Scientific Soldiers’, men who studied and thought about their profession. Apart from a considerable, and important, amount of active service overseas, Brackenbury held three key administrative positions, which were the highlight of his army service and allowed his talents to come to the fore. As Head of the Intelligence Branch at the War Office, Military Member of the Council of the Governor General of India, and Director General of the Ordnance, he ended his long career with powerful and important positions that brought much praise. Indeed his contemporaries considered him to be the most effective holder of these posts.
- PhD