Army Council

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Army Council
Flag Army Council 1945 to 1964.png
Flag of the Army Council 1945 to 1964
Agency overview
Formed1904
Preceding agency
Dissolved1964
Superseding department
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
HeadquartersWhitehall, London
Parent agencyWar Office

The Army Council was the supreme administering body of the British Army from its creation in 1904 until it was reconstituted as the Army Board in 1964.

History

The disastrous campaigns of the Crimean War led to the consolidation of all administrative duties in 1855 under the Secretary of State for War, a Cabinet post. That office was not, however, solely responsible for the Army; the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) held a virtually equal level of responsibility. This was reduced in theory by the 1870 reforms introduced by Edward Cardwell, which subordinated the C-in-C to the Secretary for War. In practice, however, a huge amount of influence was retained by the exceedingly conservative C-in-C Field Marshal Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, who held the post between 1856–1895. His resistance to reform caused military efficiency to lag well behind Britain's rivals, a problem which became painfully obvious during the Second Boer War. The situation was only remedied in 1904 when the post of Commander-in-Chief was abolished and replaced with that of the Chief of the General Staff.

Between 1888 and 1890 a Royal Commission, under the chairmanship of the Marquess of Hartington, considered the civil and professional administration of the Admiralty. .and the War Office and its report included the recommendations that the Commander in-Chief should be replaced by a Chief of Staff at the War Office and a General Officer Commanding Great Britain (outside the War Office) and that a permanent War Office Council should be established, On 12 May 1890 a permanent War Office Council was established. In 1895 it's name was changed to the War Office Consultative Council. A Royal Commission setup and reported back in July 1903 proposed the reorganisation of the War Office Council. A Committee on War Office Reconstitution was set up to consider these proposals; it reported between January and March 1904.[1]

An Army Council along similar lines to the Board of Admiralty, chaired by the Secretary of State for War, and an Imperial General Staff was established to coordinate Army administration. The Creation of the Army Council was recommended by the War Office (Reconstitution) Committee, and formally appointed by Letters Patent dated 8 February 1904 and by Royal Warrant dated 12 February 1904.[2] It's duties were defined by an Order in Council of 10 August 1904 and certain statutory powers formerly exercised by the Secretary of State for War or the Commander-in-Chief were transferred to it by Act of Parliament in 1909.[3] All branches of the Army were directed to be subordinated to the Army Council, which was designated as the "supreme administering body" of the Army.[4]

In 1964 the Army Council was reconstituted as the Army Board.[5]

Principal members of the council

Personal Flag for Members of the Army Council 1904 to 1964.gif

Political

Military

Civil Service

Other temporary members

Notes

  1. Roper, Dr Michael (1998). The records of the War Office and related departments, 1660-1964. London: Public Record Office. pp. 103–108. ISBN 1873162456.
  2. Clark, Andrew. “The Army Council And Military Medical Administration.” The British Medical Journal, vol. 1, no. 2251, 1904, pp. 442–442. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20279611.
  3. Roper. pp.102-108
  4. Clark, Andrew. “The Army Council And Military Medical Administration.” The British Medical Journal, vol. 1, no. 2251, 1904, pp. 442–442. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20279611.
  5. Holmes, Richard (2011). Soldiers: Army Lives and Loyalties from Redcoats to Dusty Warriors. London: Harper Collins. pp. 22–23. ISBN 9780007457724.

Bibliography

  1. Clark, Andrew. “The Army Council And Military Medical Administration.” The British Medical Journal, vol. 1, no. 2251, 1904, pp. 442–442. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20279611.
  2. Holmes, Richard (2011), Soldiers: Army Lives and Loyalties from Redcoats to Dusty Warriors, UK: Harper Collins, ISBN 9780007457724.
  3. Roper, Dr Michael (1998). The records of the War Office and related departments, 1660-1964. London: Public Record Office. ISBN 1873162456.