Alexander Harley

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Sir Alex Harley
Birth name Alexander George Hamilton Harley
Born (1941-05-03) 3 May 1941 (age 73)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1962–2000
Rank General
Commands held 19th Regiment Royal Artillery
33rd Armoured Brigade
Battles/wars Operation Banner
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath

General Sir Alexander George Hamilton Harley KBECB (born 3 May 1941) is a former Adjutant-General to the Forces in the United Kingdom.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Caterham School, Alexander Harley was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1962.[1] He was mentioned in despatches for services in Northern Ireland in 1978.[2] He was appointed Commanding Officer of 19 Field Regiment RA in 1979.[3] In 1985 he became Commander of 33 Armoured Brigade.[3] Then in 1988 he was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff Operations for the Northern Army Group [3] and in 1990 Assistant Chief of Defence Staff.[3] In 1993 he went on to be Commander British Forces Cyprus.[3]

Alexander Harley became Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Commitments) in 1995[4] and Adjutant-General to the Forces in 1997[5] before he retired in August 2000.[6]

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1981 Queen's Birthday Honours[7] and Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 1991 Queen's Birthday Honours.[8]


In 2001 he became Master Gunner, St. James's Park, a post he gave up in 2008.[9] In retirement he also became an advisor to Thales Air Systems and a Vice-President of Raleigh International.[10]


In 1967 he married Christina Valentine Butler-Cole and they went on to have two sons.[3]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42804. p. 7912. 12 October 1962. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47560. p. 6842. 6 June 1978. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Debrett's People of Today 1994
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53986. p. 4331. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 54781. p. 6467. 2 June 1997. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 55942. p. 9035. 15 August 2000. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 48651. p. 8085. 15 June 1981. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52588. p. 23. 29 June 1991. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58771. p. 11003. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  10. ^ Dan's Fund for Burns
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Nicholas Hill-Norton
Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Commitments)
Succeeded by
Sir John Day
Preceded by
Sir Michael Rose
Adjutant General
Succeeded by
Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lord Vincent
Master Gunner,
St. James's Park

Succeeded by
Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman