Brian Robertson, 1st Baron Robertson of Oakridge
General Sir Brian Robertson in 1949
|Born||22 July 1896|
|Died||29 April 1974(aged 77)|
|Years of service||1914–1934
|Commands held||Allied Control Council
Middle East Land Forces
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches
|Other work||Chairman of the British Transport Commission (1953–61)|
General Brian Hubert Robertson, 1st Baron Robertson of Oakridge GCB, GBE, KCMG, KCVO, DSO, MC (22 July 1896 – 29 April 1974), known as Sir Brian Robertson, 2nd Baronet from 1933 to 1961, was a senior British Army officer and the Chairman of the British Transport Commission from 1953 to 1961.
Robertson was the eldest son of Field Marshal Sir William Robertson and his wife Mildred Adelaide (née Palin), and was educated at Charterhouse and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1914 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1915 and to captain in 1917. He served in France and Italy during World War I and was mentioned in despatches.
After the war he served with the Bengal Sappers and Miners from 1920 to 1925 and took part in the Waziristan expedition of 1923 to 1924. After further training, Robertson joined the War Office in Military Intelligence. Promoted to major in 1930, he retired from Army in 1934 and became the Managing Director of Dunlop South Africa Ltd in 1935.
With the outbreak of World War II Robertson re-entered military service in 1940 as a temporary lieutenant colonel and served in East and North Africa, and Italy until the end of the war, notably as Harold Alexander's Chief Administration Officer in Italy with the temporary rank of major general from 1944 to 1945. Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery thought Robertson was the best chief of administration in the British Army. He was restored to the Active List in 1945 as a substantive major General and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a lieutenant general in 1946 and a full general in 1947.
From 1945 Robertson was the Deputy Military Governor and from 1947 the Military Governor and British member of the Allied Control Council for Germany. He went on to be Commander-in-Chief of Middle East Land Forces and Governor of the Suez Canal Zone in 1950; he retired in 1953. He was also Colonel Commandant of the Royal Engineers from 1950 to 1953.
In 1953 he retired from military service for the second time and on his return to Britain he became Chairman of the British Transport Commission, a post he held until 1961 (and was succeeded by Dr Richard Beeching). Robertson was also an aide-de-camp to King George VI from 1949 to 1952. In 1961 he was raised to the Peerage as Baron Robertson of Oakridge, of Oakridge in the County of Gloucester.
Lord Robertson of Oakridge married Edith Christina, daughter of James Black Macindoe, in 1926. He died in April 1974, aged 77, and was succeeded in his titles by his son William. Lady Robertson of Oakridge died in 1984.
Honours and awards
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
- Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
- Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
- Distinguished Service Order
- Military Cross
- Commander, Legion of Merit (U.S.A.)
- Commander, Legion of Honour (France)
- Burke's Peerage & Gentry
- World War II service record
- Brief Biography
- Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
Sir John Crocker
|C-in-C Middle East Land Forces
Sir Cameron Nicholson
Following breakdown of
Allied Control Council
|British High Commissioner
at Allied High Commission
for Occupied Germany
Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick
as British High Commissioner to Germany
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|Baron Robertson of Oakridge
Sir Cyril Hurcomb
|Chairman of the British Transport Commission
Dr Richard Beeching