Michael Carver, Baron Carver

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The Lord Carver
Lcarver.jpg
Field Marshal The Lord Carver
Born 24 April 1915
Bletchingley, Surrey
Died 9 December 2001 (aged 86)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1935 — 1976
Rank Field Marshal
Commands held 1st Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment
4th Armoured Brigade
6th Infantry Brigade
3rd Infantry Division
Far East Command
Southern Command
Chief of the Defence Staff
Battles/wars

Second World War

Mau Mau Uprising
Operation Banner
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order & Bar
Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches

Field Marshal Richard Michael Power Carver, Baron Carver, GCB CBE DSO MC (24 April 1915 – 9 December 2001) was a British soldier. Lord Carver served as the Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, and then as the Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of the British Armed Forces. He served in World War II and organised the administration of British forces deployed in response to the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya and later in his career provided advice to the British Government on the response to the early stages of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Army career[edit]

Born the son of Harold Power Carver and Winifred Anne Gabrielle Carver (née Wellesley)[1] and educated at Winchester College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst,[2] Carver was commissioned into the Royal Tank Corps on 1 February 1935.[3] He was promoted to lieutenant on 31 January 1938.[2] He served in World War II initially organising logistics at the Headquarters of 7th Armoured Division which was engaged in fighting the Italians in North Africa: he was mentioned in despatches on 1 April 1941[4] and again on 8 July 1941[5] and awarded the MC on 9 September 1942.[6] Promoted to captain on 31 January 1943,[7] he was given the temporary rank of lieutenant colonel and appointed Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion 1st Royal Tank Regiment on 14 April 1943, leading them in North Africa for which he was awarded the DSO on 4 May 1943[8] and in Italy for which he was awarded a bar to his DSO on 24 February 1944.[9] He was appointed Commander of 4th Armoured Brigade on 27 June 1944 and led his brigade in the campaign in North West Europe.[10] He was also appointed CBE in 1945.[1]

Carver became a Technical Staff officer to the Ministry of Supply in 1947,[10] and having been promoted to the substantive rank of major on 31 January 1948,[11] he became Assistant Quartermaster-General (Plans) at Headquarters Allied Forces Central Europe in May 1951[12] and then head of the exercise planning staff at SHAPE in October 1952.[1] Having been promoted to lieutenant colonel on 27 March 1954[13] and to colonel on 17 June 1954,[14] he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff at East Africa Command in June 1954;[12] he took part in the closing stages of the response to the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya[12] for which he was mentioned in despatches on 19 July 1955.[15] He was then elevated to Chief of Staff in East Africa in October 1955 and appointed CB on 8 March 1957.[16] He was appointed Director of Plans at the War Office in February 1958,[12] Commander of the 6th Brigade at Münster in January 1960[12] and General Officer Commanding the 3rd Division with the rank of major-general on 4 September 1962.[17] His division was deployed to Cyprus in February 1964.[12] He was made Director of Army Staff Duties at the Ministry of Defence on 7 October 1964[18] and famously substantially reduced the size of the Territorial Army.[12]

Having been advanced to KCB in the Queen's Birthday Honours 1966,[19] he was made General Officer Commanding Far East Land Forces[20] with the rank of lieutenant general on 28 July 1966,[21] tri-service Commander-in-Chief of Far East Command in 1967 and, having been promoted to full general on 29 March 1968,[22] General Officer Commanding Southern Command on 12 May 1969.[23] After being advanced to GCB in the Queen's Birthday Honours 1970,[24] he was appointed Chief of the General Staff on 1 April 1971[25] in which role he provided advice to the British Government on the response to the early stages of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.[26] Having been promoted to field marshal on 18 July 1973,[27] he became Chief of the Defence Staff on 21 October 1973[28] before retiring in October 1976.[29] In July 1977 he became a life peer as Baron Carver, of Shackleford in the County of Surrey.[30]

Carver was also Colonel Commandant of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers from February 1966, of the Royal Tank Regiment from January 1968, of the Bristol University Officer Training Corps from March 1972 and of the Royal Armoured Corps from April 1974.[29]

In August 1977 he was appointed resident commissioner designate for Rhodesia with responsibility for ending the dispute over independence there but resigned after fourteen months of deadlock.[1] He wrote a number of books on military history and was a vocal critic of Britain's Trident missile programme, believing that as the American nuclear strike capability was sufficiently powerful it was inefficient for Britain to have an independent program.[29]

His interests included sailing, tennis and gardening.[31] He died on 9 December 2001.[32]

Family[edit]

In 1947 he married Edith Lowry-Corry; they had two sons and two daughters.[10] Carver's mother was related to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Michael Carver". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Heathcote, Anthony pg 75
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34129. p. 773. 1 February 1935. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35120. p. 1870. 28 March 1941. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35209. p. 3885. 4 July 1941. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35697. p. 3948. 8 September 1942. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35884. p. 589. 29 January 1943. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36000. p. 1995. 30 April 1943. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 36394. p. 937. 22 February 1944. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  10. ^ a b c Heathcote, Anthony pg 76
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38191. p. 727. 27 January 1948. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Heathcote, Anthony pg 77
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40174. p. 2897. 14 May 1954. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40364. p. 7370. 28 December 1954. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40538. p. 4154. 15 July 1955. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41018. p. 1493. 5 March 1957. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42777. p. 7121. 7 September 1962. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43456. p. 8473. 6 October 1964. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44004. p. 6531. 3 June 1966. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44066. p. 8501. 28 July 1966. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44089. p. 9259. 19 August 1966. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44558. p. 3863. 29 March 1968. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44845. p. 4991. 9 May 1969. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  24. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45117. p. 6366. 5 June 1970. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45337. p. 3336. 5 April 1971. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  26. ^ Heathcote, Anthony pg 78
  27. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46046. p. 9395. 7 August 1973. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46109. p. 12551. 23 October 1973. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  29. ^ a b c Heathcote, Anthony pg 79
  30. ^ The London Gazette: no. 47280. p. 9367. 19 July 1977. Retrieved 02-01-2013.
  31. ^ Debrett's People of Today 1994
  32. ^ "Obituary: Field Marshal Lord Carver". The Telegraph. 11 December 2001. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 

Partial list of publications[edit]

  • Carver, Michael. Imperial War Museum Book of the War in Italy: A Vital Contribution to Victory in Europe 1943-1945
  • Carver, Michael. & Robertson, Ian G. The National Army Museum Book of the Turkish Front 1914-18: The Campaigns at Gallipoli, in Mesopotamia and in Palestine
  • Carver, Michael. Twentieth-Century Warriors: The Development of the Armed Forces of the Major Military Nations in the Twentieth Century
  • Carver, Michael. War Since 1945
  • Carver, Michael. The Seven Ages of the British Army
  • Carver, Michael. Dilemmas of the Desert War: The Libyan Campaign 1940-1942
  • Carver, Field Marshal Lord. El Alamein
  • Carver, Field Marshal Lord. Britain's Army In The 20th Century

Further reading[edit]

  • Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals 1736–1997. Barnsley (UK): Pen & Sword. ISBN 0-85052-696-5. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Vivian Street
General Officer Commanding the 3rd Division
1962–1964
Succeeded by
Cecil Blacker
Preceded by
Sir Alan Jolly
GOC Far East Land Forces
1966–1967
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Pearson
Preceded by
Sir John Grandy
Commander-in Chief Far East Command
1967–1969
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Hill-Norton
Preceded by
Sir David Yates
GOC-in-C Southern Command
1969–1971
Succeeded by
Sir Basil Eugster
Preceded by
Sir Geoffrey Baker
Chief of the General Staff
1971–1973
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Hunt
Preceded by
Lord Hill-Norton
Chief of the Defence Staff
1973–1976
Succeeded by
Sir Andrew Humphrey