In Haig's Shadow

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'In Haig's Shadow' book cover
Gary Sheffield discusses the experiences of Hugo De Pree, a cousin of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, who had a distinguished military career in his own right.

The military career of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig is well known. But he was not the only member of his family to play an important role in the First World War. His cousin Hugo De Pree also served with distinction.

After fighting in the Boer War, De Pree was sent to the Western Front as Chief of Staff of IV Corps. He played a central role in planning the Battle of Cambrai in 1917. The following year, he was appointed to command the 189 Brigade in 63rd (Royal Naval) Division, taking part in the March Retreat. 

De Pree was sacked after taking the morally courageous decision to cancel his brigade's attack in August 1918. But after appealing the decision, he was appointed to command a brigade of 38th (Welsh) Division in the final weeks of the conflict.

Following the war, De Pree became a major-general and served as Commandant at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. 

Drawing on papers belonging to the De Pree and Haig families, Gary Sheffield offers an intriguing insight into these cousins. 

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