General Sir Charles Monro

General Sir Charles Monro was born in 1860 and commissioned into The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment in 1879. He saw action in the Second Boer War (1899-1902), and commanding a division, a corps, and Third Army on the Western Front. Here in hard fighting, especially at the First Battle of Ypres, he proved to be an excellent formation commander, shrewd and practical, and with infinitely more experience of modern war than Hamilton. He would not be pushed. Before leaving for the Dardanelles, he insisted on spending several days at the War Office reading himself in, and conferred with Kitchener four times. He was not the block-headed pro·Western front general depicted by so many of those with a romantic view of the Gallipoli campaign and prone to ignoring the facts. His new staff liked him immediately. One wrote to his wife, "A perfectly delightful man, genial, great sense of humour, and wonderfully sound judge of men and affairs, and one who sees down to the root of things - sweeping irrelevances aside." The majority of Hamilton's old staff, and most of the senior generals on the Peninsula, except Birdwood, agreed with Monro's assessment of the Situation, best summed up by his whimsical comment on first visiting Anzac Cove, "It's just like Alice in Wonderland, 'curiouser and curiouser"'.

The Gallipoli Campaign

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by Stephen Luscombe