|Brigadier Cecil Rawling|
Cecil Godfrey Rawling (1870–1917) gained renown before the Great War as a soldier/explorer of the British Empire. After his commissioning in 1891 he served on the Northwest Frontier in India. After the turn of the century, Rawling explored and surveyed 40,000 sq. miles of western Tibet and wrote his first book, The Great Plateau, about the experience. He was subsequently honored by the Royal Geographical Society for his contribution. He established Mount Everest as the world's tallest mountain and planned some day to attempt an ascent with his good friend, the novelist John Buchan. However, the adventurous side of Rawling was not finished with, and in 1909 he was attached to an expedition to the Dutch New Guinea. Whilst on the voyage, the leader was taken ill, and Rawling was asked to take over command of the party. His party explored many of the untouched areas of jungle and had encounters with native tribes, including one unknown to western peoples, the Tapiro Pygmies. His discoveries and his follow-up book, The Land of the New Guinea Pygmies, again earned awards from the Royal Geographical Society
|Rawling's Books Are Still in Print|
When the Great War broke out his unit was not deployed as part of the BEF. His assignment was to train the new troops of Kitchener's Army. He made it to the Western Front in 1915 with the 43rd Brigade, where he showed decisiveness as a field commander. This led to promotion and assignment to the 21st Division destined to go over the top at the Somme on 1 July 1916 at Fricourt. Despite his unit suffering heavy casualties, he showed initiative repeatedly during the campaign, most notably for the capture of Shelter Wood. In 1917, after also participating in the Battle of Arras, the 21st Division was moved to Flanders. Promoted to temporary brigadier in July, Rawling was named commander of the division's 62nd Brigade. His "lead from the front" style, unfortunately, caught up with him on 28 October 1917. Brigadier General Cecil Godfrey Rawling was the most senior British officer to be KIA during the Third Battle of Ypres. Killed by a shell at Hooge just behind the front line, he is buried at the Huts Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.