Tony Wilson (British Army officer)

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Brigadier Sir Mathew John Anthony (Tony) Wilson, 6th Baronet of Eshton Hall (1874),[1] OBE, MC, born 2 October 1935, is a former British Army officer who commanded the 5th Infantry Brigade during the Falklands War.

Military career[edit]

Educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Wilson was commissioned into the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (K.O.Y.L.I.) on his 21st birthday on 2 October 1956[2] and thus represented the fourth consecutive generation of his family to serve with the regiment. During the next few years he took part in military operations in Aden, Borneo, Malaya, Cyprus and Northern Ireland.[3]

In 1970 he was promoted to Major and was awarded the honorary title of Member of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division) in 1971.[4] Shortly afterwards, in May 1972, he received the "Military Cross for Gallant Services" for service in Ulster (Northern Ireland).

Promotion to Lieutenant Colonel followed in 1975 and after a further engagement in Ulster and a posting to Hong Kong, his honorary title was upgraded in an Officer of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division).[5]

With his promotion to Colonel he moved to the General Staff of the Ministry of Defence in London, and on 30 June 1980 he was promoted to Brigadier[6] assuming command of the 5th Infantry Brigade which he was to lead during the Falklands War.

Wilson retired from the British Army on 31 January 1983.[7]

Falklands War[edit]

Wilson commanded the 5th Infantry Brigade during the campaign to liberate the Falkland Islands after their seizure by the Argentinian Armed Forces, and was responsible for the southern flank of the eastern island for the British Armed Forces, who advanced towards the Islands' capital, Stanley. First, Wilson was able to secure a large part of the eastern island, with the so-called "bold move", but during the further advance, an Argentine air attack on two British landing ships occurred at Port Pleasant (sometimes also called Fitzroy or Bluff Cove) at noon of June 8, 1982. 46 British soldiers and three Asian crew members were killed, 115 men suffered severe burn injuries. It was the largest single loss of men on the British side in this war. At the time of the attack, several TV crews were on site, so that the British could watch this event at home in front of their TVs in color and live - while the British government and military leadership otherwise were highly anxious about the information, given to the public about the entire course of the war. Probably as a consequence, Wilson was the only senior British officer who failed to receive any recognition of his service in the conflict in the form of honors at its conclusion.[8][9]

On 31 December 1982 he stepped down from all his military posts and retired from the British Army on 31 January 1983.[8][10][11]

Later career[edit]

From 1983 to 1985 Wilson was managing director of the British "Wilderness Foundation United Kingdom",[12][13] a non-profit organization that provides the opportunity to its seminar participants to experience nature and wilderness.

Personal life[edit]

He is married and is the father of a son and a daughter.[1] He and his wife live in the United States.[8]

Literature[edit]

There are no publications from himself about his military career. He has published the following books on traveling and sailing:

His time in the Falklands War was covered only in one military history book:

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The peerage - A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain
  2. ^ London Gazette 22 February 1957
  3. ^ 5th Infantry Brigade in the Falklands War, Page 6, Nick van der Bijl and David Aldea, 2002, ISBN 978-0-85052-948-7
  4. ^ London Gazette 31 December 1970
  5. ^ London Gazette 25 June 1979
  6. ^ London Gazette 26 January 1981
  7. ^ London Gazette 14 March 1983
  8. ^ a b c The lonesome Commander, Martin Mahle, M+V-Verlag Münster, Germany, 2012, ISBN 978-3-86991-663-7
  9. ^ 5th Infantry Brigade in the Falklands War, p. 221, Nick van der Bijl and David Aldea, 2002, ISBN 978-0-85052-948-7
  10. ^ 5th Infantry Brigade in the Falklands War, Nick van der Bijl and David Aldea, 2002, ISBN 978-0-85052-948-7
  11. ^ With the Gurkhas in the Falklands A War Journal, Mike Seear, 2002, ISBN 978-0-85052-916-6
  12. ^ Debrett's genealogical guide
  13. ^ Wilderness Foundation United Kingdom