The seat of the viceroy was in an enormous palace in Delhi, in which Indian presidents live today. The situation in India at that time was not easy because of the desire for independence from Britain.
British Field Marshal Archibald Wavell was born on this day in 1883. He is one of only two British field marshals during World War II that were awarded the high title of Earl. The other is Field Marshal Harold Alexander, who became “Earl Alexander of Tunis”. Other British field marshals got lower titles of viscount (among them the famous Field Marshal Montgomery of Alamein) or baron (the lowest aristocratic title in Britain).
Field Marshal Wavell was born to a general and went in his footsteps. He enrolled at the renowned British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The academy is roughly the British equivalent of the American West Point and is located about twenty kilometers from London, southwest of Windsor Castle. After graduating from Sandhurst, Archibald Wavell fought first in South Africa against the Boers, and was then transferred to India.
In World War I, Wavell lost his left eye in the famous Battle of Ypres (known for being the first time in history the Germans used poison gas on a large scale). Already at the age of 34, Wavell reached a temporary wartime rank of general. During World War II, he became field marshal, which is the highest British military rank. He also received the title of lord.
In the midst of World War II, Field Marshal Lord Wavell was appointed Viceroy of India. It was the highest colonial position in the vast area of British India (which included the present-day Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, i.e. Burma). The seat of the viceroy was in an enormous palace in Delhi, in which Indian presidents live today. Lord Wavell remained viceroy until 1947. The situation in India at that time was not easy because of the desire for independence from Britain.
Lord Wavell was the second-last Viceroy of British India. The famous Lord Mountbatten (cousin of Prince Philip – husband of Queen Elizabeth II) came after him. As the last viceroy, Lord Mountbatten concluded the British episode in Indian history. Bearing the title of Earl since 1947, Lord Wavell died in London at the age of 68.