Oliver Nugent

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Oliver Stewart Wood Nugent
Born 1860
Died 1926
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Rank Major General
Commands held 36th (Ulster) Division
Battles/wars Second Boer War
First World War
* Battle of the Somme

Major-General Sir Oliver Stewart Wood Nugent KCB DSO (9 November 1860[1]–1929) was a British Army officer known for his command of the 36th (Ulster) Division during the First World War and particularly at the Battle of the Somme.

He was the son of Major General St George Nugent and Emily, daughter of the Right Honourable Edward Litton, who was a senior Irish judge and MP for Coleraine at Westminster[1]

Nugent was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst before joining the Royal Munster Fusiliers in July 1882. Transferring in April 1883 to the King's Royal Rifle Corps, he served in the Hazara, Miranzai (where he was mentioned in dispatches) and Chitral expeditions, being mentioned in dispatches again and being awarded the Distinguished Service Order.[2] After promotion to Major he served in the Second Boer War where he was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Talana Hill. The First World War saw him serving in England until 1915 when he was appointed to command the 41st Infantry Brigade (part of the 14th (Light) Division) on the Western Front. In September 1915 he was appointed to command the 36th (Ulster) Division with which he served until 1918. He was promoted Major-General 1 January 1916.[3]

The Ulster Division's deployment on 1 July 1916. Schwaben Redoubt is at centre right

Nugent devised the strategy that led to the Ulster Division going 'over the top' twenty minutes before Zero Hour. This allowed his soldiers to get the advantage and capture the main objective of the Schwaben Redoubt. However along the rest of the line, the attack faltered and this caused the 36th Division to withdraw.

He commanded the Meerut Division in India from August 1918[3] to 1920, and retired in 1920 to the family estate in Farren Connell, County Cavan.[1]

Nugent's portrait by William Conor is in Belfast City Hall.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Major General Sir Oliver Nugent, by Dr Ian Adamson OBE". Retrieved April 4, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Quarterly Army List for quarter ending 31 December 1917 - part 2 War Services
  3. 3.0 3.1 January 1919 Indian Army List