John Wilsey

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For the major-general, see John Harold Owen Wilsey.
Sir John Wilsey
Born (1939-02-18) 18 February 1939 (age 76)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1959-1996
Commands held 1st Bn Devonshire and Dorset Regiment
1st Infantry Brigade
Northern Ireland
UK Land Forces
Land Command
Battles/wars Operation Banner
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB)
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Other work Author

General Sir John Finlay Willasey Wilsey GCB, CBE, DL (born 18 February 1939) is a former Commander-in-Chief, UK Land Forces.

Army career[edit]

Educated at Sherborne School, John Wilsey was commissioned into the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment in 1959.[1] He served in Northern Ireland between 1976 and 1977 where he was mentioned in despatches.[1] In 1978 he attended the Army Staff College at Camberley,_Camberley He was Commanding Officer of 1st Bn Devonshire and Dorset Regiment from 1979 to 1982.[1] He commanded 1st Infantry Brigade from 1984 to 1986.[1] He was Chief of Staff UK Land Forces from 1988 to 1989.[1]

He went on to become General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland from 1990 to 1993.[1] It was in this capacity that he oversaw the merger between the Ulster Defence Regiment and the Royal Irish Rangers to form the Royal Irish Regiment.

He 1993 he was appointed Joint Commander of Operations in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.[1] He served as the last Commander in Chief, UK Land Forces from 1993 to 1995 and then the first Commander-in-Chief, Land Command from 1995 to 1996.[1]

Later career[edit]

Wilsey is the author of H. Jones VC: The Life and Death of an Unusual Hero a book about his great friend Lt Colonel 'H'. Jones who was killed in the Falklands War. He also became Chairman of Western Provident Association and Vice-Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.[2]

Having settled in southern Wiltshire, in July 1996 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the county.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Debrett's People of Today 1994
  2. ^ Biography at Random House books
  3. ^ London Gazette, 22 July 1996, page 9843 (Commissions signed by the Lord Lieutenant of the County of Wiltshire on 12 July 1996)

Further reading[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir John Waters
General Officer Commanding the British Army in Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir Roger Wheeler
Preceded by
Sir John Waters
Commander in Chief, UK Land Forces
Succeeded by
Post discontinued
Preceded by
New Post
Commander-in-Chief, Land Command
Succeeded by
Sir Roger Wheeler