Ernest Down

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Sir Ernest Down
Born 1902
Died 1980 (aged 78)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held 2nd Parachute Brigade
1st Airborne Division
9th Indian Airborne Division
44th Indian Airborne Division
2nd Indian Airborne Division
4th Division
British Troops in Greece
53rd Division
Southern Command
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath

Lieutenant-General Sir Ernest Edward Down KBE CB (1902–1980) was a British General during World War II.

Military career[edit]

Ernest Down was commissioned into the Dorset Regiment in February 1923.[1] He served in World War II being appointed Commander of the 2nd Parachute Brigade in North Africa in 1942.[2] He went on to be General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1st Airborne Division in Italy, taking over from Major-General George Hopkinson who had been killed in action, in 1943.[2] He was then GOC of 9th Indian Airborne Division which itself became the 44th Indian Airborne Division in 1944 and GOC of 2nd Indian Airborne Division in 1945.[2]

After the War he was appointed GOC of 4th Division in Greece before becoming GOC of all British Troops in Greece.[2] Then in 1948 he became head of the British Military Mission to Greece.[2] Returning to the United Kingdom he was appointed District Officer Commanding Mid-West District and GOC 53rd Division in 1950 and GOC-in Chief of Southern Command in 1952, a post from which he retired in 1955.[2]

He was also Colonel of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry from 1955 to 1957.[3]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32792. p. 807. 2 February 1923. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
  2. ^ a b c d e f
  3. ^ Light Infantry

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
George Hopkinson
General Officer Commanding 1st Airborne Division
Succeeded by
Roy Urquhart
Preceded by
Colin Callander
General Officer Commanding the 4th Division
Succeeded by
Division Disbanded
(Post next held by Reginald Hewetson)
Preceded by
Sir Ouvry Roberts
GOC-in-C Southern Command
Succeeded by
Sir George Erskine