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Did people become Captains in WWI, purely because they went to Oxford University?

 
 
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2014 01:23 pm
I'm doing a research project on my great grandfather. He became captain of his division in WWI and I'm trying to find evidence that he became the leader because he went to Oxford University.
Do you know if this was the case? Do you perhaps have links to sites or books to justify this?
I've been looking for evidence the past 3 days now.
Thanks x
 
View best answer, chosen by RedDragonfly
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2014 01:32 pm
@RedDragonfly,
RedDragonfly wrote:

I'm doing a research project on my great grandfather. He became captain of his division in WWI and I'm trying to find evidence that he became the leader because he went to Oxford University.
Do you know if this was the case? Do you perhaps have links to sites or books to justify this?
I've been looking for evidence the past 3 days now.
Thanks x

I'm going to assume your great grandfather is Edmund Clerihew Bentley because the alternative to finding out what name your great grandfather was can only be determined trying to read your mind and I don't want to invade your privacy in that way. Rolling Eyes

Googling Edmund Clerihew Bentley, we find out that he graduated from Oxford in 1894. I can't find anything involving his supposed activities during World War One. So whomever told you he was a captain who led his division in WWI was mistaken.
RedDragonfly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2014 03:13 pm
@tsarstepan,
Thank you for your reply.
I'm sorry, I wrote my question so wrong.
I just want evidence for other captains in WWI, to see if they became captains because they graduated from university.
Not focusing the question on my grandfather, that was silly of me to write that.
Thanks x
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2014 04:49 pm
@RedDragonfly,
At one time, commissions were bought and paid for, and I'm not sure when the practice ended. I'm reasonably sure the officers did have to belong to the proper class. Also, during the Raj, much of the military in India were employed by the East India Company. Again, I'm not sure if the time frame applies to WWI.
contrex
 
  3  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2014 04:53 pm
@RedDragonfly,
RedDragonfly wrote:
He became captain of his division in WWI

Not sure what you mean here. A division is a large military unit of 10,000 to 30,000 soldiers. The commanding officer would be a Major-General in the British army. A Captain is a comparatively junior officer who would command a company (around 100 soldiers). Officers tended to be those who have had public school and/or university education, but promotion was not solely based on that.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2014 04:56 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

At one time, commissions were bought and paid for, and I'm not sure when the practice ended.


With the Cardwell reforms of 1870.
Romeo Fabulini
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2014 05:24 pm
I'm currently halfway through reading the book "Six Weeks" by John Lewis-Stempel about the officer classes of WW1. (6 weeks on average is how long they lasted before being killed or wounded).
Most officers were posh with university and public school backgrounds, but a fair number were from more ordinary backgrounds, especially as the war went on and more officers were needed to take the places of those killed and wounded-
"By 1918 about 40 per cent of officers came from working and lower-middle class backgrounds" (page 60)
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2014 05:39 pm
@contrex,
Thank you.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 4 Mar, 2014 06:07 pm
@RedDragonfly,
What about your other three great grandfathers and your four great grandmothers?

Are you a snob? It's seven to one against that you have inherited the mental capacities of the one who went to Oxford.
RedDragonfly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2014 08:29 pm
@contrex,
Wow, thank you for that information! It's very much appreciated.
I still have to do much more research on my great grandfather, so that quote is probably wrong.
Do you perhaps have a link to the name of a book that says that the majority of captains graduated from university? That's what I'm trying to find at the moment.
Thanks x
0 Replies
 
RedDragonfly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2014 08:34 pm
@spendius,
No I'm not. Haha
I'm writing solely on my great grandfather. I'm not researching anyone before him. That's why I'm asking this specific question. I don't want answers directly about my great grandfather - just answers about evidence that people who had a degrees became captains,generals etc.
Hope that makes it more clear.
0 Replies
 
RedDragonfly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2014 08:35 pm
@Romeo Fabulini,
Oh my gosh! Thank you sooooo much - this is exactly what I was trying to find!
Much love xxx
0 Replies
 
 

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