A lecture by John Hussey OBE MA commemorating the life of Field Marshal Earl Haig of Bemersyde and the forces he commanded.
What justification can there be for the conduct of the Great War by the rulers and their commanders? In Haig’s case, the post-war public saw him as staying above the debates: refusing to defend himself against intense criticism, working almost exclusively for ex-servicemen, and so hard he may have shortened his life. After the Second World War, a different view emerged that Haig had held strongly partisan views and had sought to influence the debate from behind the scenes. Some commentators in the 1980s and 1990s depicted Haig’s final years as devoted to manipulating the ex-service movement and making a pre-emptive strike on the historical record, even with falsification of his diaries and papers. In his lecture, John Hussey will discuss the current perception of Haig and why a more favourable interpretation of his contribution to military history seems to be gaining ground.
John Hussey OBE MA served for 30 years with British Petroleum (BP) in Britain, Europe and Africa. Between 1964 and 1976, he managed BP’s operations in Guinea, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Nigeria. Since 1989, he has written extensively on military history, focusing on Marlborough, Wellington and Hague. He was the Douglas Haig Fellowship’s second annual Haig Fellow (1996-97), in succession to John Terraine. From 2003 to 2007, he served as the British representative on the Belgian official committee for restoring the Waterloo battlefield. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society.
The audience are invited to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the mounted memorial to Field Marshal Earl Haig at 1400 in Whitehall.
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An optional £10 sandwich lunch shall be available from 1215.
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