Willoughby Norrie, 1st Baron Norrie

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Lieutenant General The Right Honourable
The Lord Norrie
GCMG, GCVO, CB, DSO, MC & Bar
Willoughby Norrie.jpg
Lord Norrie in 1944
8th Governor-General of New Zealand
In office
2 December 1952 – 5 July 1957
Monarch Elizabeth II
Premier Sidney Holland
Preceded by The Lord Freyberg
Succeeded by The Viscount Cobham
23rd Governor of South Australia
In office
19 December 1944 – 19 June 1952
Monarch George VI
Elizabeth II
Preceded by Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey
Succeeded by Sir Robert George
Personal details
Born 26 September 1893
Died 25 May 1977(1977-05-25) (aged 83)
Nationality British
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Years of service 1913–1944
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands XXX Corps
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards GCMG (1952)[5]
GCVO (1954)[6]
KCMG (1944)[7]
CB (1942)[8]
DSO (1918)[9]
MC (1915)[10]
MC (1917)[11]
Mention in Despatches(1915)[12]
Mention in Despatches (1918)
Knight of the Venerable Order of St. John (1945)[13]
Other appointments:Colonel of 10th Hussars;[1] Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps[2] Chancellor of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (1960–1968)[3][4]

Lieutenant-General Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, 1st Baron Norrie GCMG, GCVO, CB, DSO, MC & Bar (26 September 1893 – 25 May 1977) was a British Army general during the Second World War, following which he served terms as Governor of South Australia and the eighth Governor-General of New Zealand.

Army career[edit]

After education at Eton and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst he was commissioned into the 11th Hussars in 1913.[14] He served in the First World War, in which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, the Military Cross and Bar, was twice mentioned in despatches, and was wounded four times. He became, successively, a Staff Captain in the 73rd Infantry Brigade; General Staff Officer Grade 3 (GSO3) in the XVIIIth Army Corps; Brigade Major in the 90th Infantry Brigade, and in the 2nd Tank Brigade; and second General Staff Officer in the 2nd Tank Corps. In January 1919 he changed his name by deed poll from Moke-Norrie to Norrie.[15]

Between the wars he had a number of regimental and staff postings interrupted by a year at Staff College in 1924.[16] In 1931 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and took command of the 11th Hussars[17] after which he was placed on the half-pay (inactive) list although promoted to full colonel in 1935.[18] In January 1936, still on the half pay list, Norrie took part in the funeral procession for King George V as one of the "Representative Colonels-Commandant and Colonels of His late Majesty's Regiments".[19] In April 1936 he was appointed to command the 1st Cavalry Brigade as a temporary brigadier.[20] His brigade was mechanised in 1938 and re-designated 1st Light Armoured Brigade, becoming the 1st Armoured Brigade in 1940.

On the outbreak of the Second World War Norrie continued to serve as commander of 1st Armoured Brigade. In April 1940 the brigade was part of 2nd Armoured Division which he was given temporary command of for a month between appointments of permanent commanders. Following this he was appointed acting major-general[21] and became Inspector of the Royal Armoured Corps. Four months later he became GOC 1st Armoured Division and was promoted to the permanent rank of major-general in June 1941.[22] In November 1941 the division was ordered to Egypt where Norrie found himself appointed acting lieutenant-general[23] to command XXX Corps in the place of Vyvyan Pope who had died in an air crash shortly before Norrie's arrival in Egypt.[24] He commanded XXX Corps during Operation Crusader with some success but his tanks suffered a heavy defeat at the Battle of Gazala in June 1942. He was criticised for his "cavalry" approach to armoured warfare and Eighth Army commander Claude Auchinleck replaced him in July. He returned to Britain to be appointed Commander of the Royal Armoured Corps in which role he was to give advice on armoured warfare to Bernard Paget, the C-in-C Home Forces. He continued as Paget's advisor when Paget became commander of 21st Army Group on its formation in July 1943 but when Bernard Montgomery assumed command early in 1944, he brought his own advisor.[25] In April 1944 Norrie was appointed Head of the Military Mission to the French Committee of National Liberation (CFLN) in Algiers, a post he held until the middle of 1944 when he was proposed by the Secretary of State for the Dominions to become Governor of South Australia.[26]

Norrie retired from the army in September 1944 to take up his post as Governor of South Australia. Although his substantive rank at this time was still major-general, he was given the honorary rank of lieutenant-general in retirement.[27]

Family[edit]

Norrie was married to Jocelyn Helen Gosling on 9 June 1922. They had three children:

Jocelyn Norrie died on 7 March 1938. He remarried later that year, to Patricia Merryweather Bainbridge, on 28 November. They also had three children:

  • Guy Bainbridge Norrie (born 3 May 1940)
  • Sarah Norrie (born 27 June 1943)
  • Annabel Mary Adelaide Norrie (born 23 December 1945)

Norrie also had a ward, his niece Eleanor Kerans (born 21 April 1926). She had been orphaned at an early age, and when she was 16 her brother was killed in the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War, leaving her with no immediate family.

Governor of South Australia[edit]

Sir Willoughby Norrie (right) meeting Prime Minister Ben Chifley (left) and Premier of South Australia Tom Playford (centre)

Norrie was appointed Governor of South Australia in September 1944, whereupon he was knighted KCMG.[28] He, his family and 12 staff arrived in Adelaide in December. The Vice-Regal couple worked hard to keep the "Empire Spirit" alive during wartime. Within two years, Norrie had travelled to every local government area within the state, and was sure to welcome servicemen returning from war. Lady Patricia, with Rosemary and Eleanor, were regular volunteers and champions of various patriotic causes. In 1945, Norrie was made a Knight of St. John, an award associated with public and charitable works.

Although normally remaining neutral in regards to local politics, he was "shocked" at the narrow rejection of Thomas Playford's bill to nationalise the Adelaide Electric Company. He privately exerted pressure on the bill's main opponents. When the bill was reintroduced in 1946, Sir Collier Cudmore absented himself from key divisions, allowing the bill to pass and leading to the establishment of the Electricity Trust of South Australia.[28]

Norrie's term was extended for four years in 1948.

Despite his illustrious career, he would forever claim that his greatest achievement was the catching of a shark weighing 2,225 pounds (1,009 kg), with rod and reel, off Port Lincoln![28]

Governor-General of New Zealand[edit]

Governor General Sir Willoughby Norrie and Lady Norrie with H H Podmore (Mayor of Foxton) during a visit to Foxton 8 April 1954

Norrie's KCMG was promoted to GCMG when he was appointed Governor-General of New Zealand in 1952, in which position he served until 1957. During his tenure he was made GCVO for personal services to the Queen. On leaving office he was created a peer in 1957 as Baron Norrie, of Wellington in the Dominion of New Zealand and of Upton in the County of Gloucester.[29][30] From 1960 to 1968 he was Chancellor of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.[31]

Styles[edit]

Note: An asterisk (*) denotes a bar to a military award

  • 1893–1913: Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie
  • 1913–1915: Lieutenant Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie
  • 1915–1917: Lieutenant Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, MC
  • 1917–1918: Lieutenant Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, MC*
  • 1918–1919: Captain Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, MC*
  • 1919–1924: Captain Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, DSO, MC*
  • 1924–1931: Major Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, DSO, MC*
  • 1931–1935: Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, DSO, MC*
  • 1935–1938: Colonel Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, DSO, MC*
  • 1938–1940: Colonel (Temp. Brigadier) Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, DSO, MC*
  • 1940 – June 1941: Colonel (Actg. Major-General) Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, DSO, MC*
  • June–September 1941: Major-General Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, DSO, MC*
  • September 1941–1942: Major-General (Actg. Lieutenant-General) Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, DSO, MC*
  • 1942–1944: Major-General (Actg. Lieutenant-General) Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, CB, DSO, MC*
  • 1944–1952: Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, KCMG, CB, DSO, MC*
  • 1952–1954: Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, GCMG, CB, DSO, MC*
  • 1954–1957: Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, GCMG, GCVO, CB, DSO, MC*
  • 1957–1977: Lieutenant-General The Right Honourable the Lord Norrie, GCMG, GCVO, CB, DSO, MC*

Arms[edit]

Arms of Willoughby Norrie, 1st Baron Norrie
Charles Norrie Arms.svg
Notes
The arms of Charles Norrie consist of:
Crest
Dexter, an elephant's head erased sable, tusked argent, supporting with the trunk a garb or (Norrie). Sinister, stag's head couped, holding in the mouth a branch of poplar proper, between the attired a key as in the arms pendant from a chain or (Moke).
Escutcheon
Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Ermine, on a pale Gules three helmets Argent (Norrie); 2nd and 3rd, Or, on a chevron Azure between two poplar trees eradicated in chief Proper, and a mullet of six points in base Azure, a key the wards downwards Or (Moke).
Supporters
On either side a dark bay racehorse supporting between the forelegs a frond of New Zealand fern Proper.
Motto
Deus nobis providet (God provides for us)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37848. p. 221. 7 January 1947. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38651. p. 3175. 28 June 1949. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 42128. p. 5866. 26 August 1960. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44685. p. 10433. 27 September 1968. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 39610. p. 4075. 29 July 1952. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 40103. p. 1007. 16 February 1954. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 36651. p. 3724. 11 August 1944. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35697. p. 3945. 8 September 1942. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31092. p. 19. 31 December 1918. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29202. p. 6119. 22 June 1915. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30308. p. 9971. 25 September 1917. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29200. p. 5982. 18 June 1915. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 36875. p. 183. 2 January 1945. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28687. p. 845. 4 February 1913. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 31143. p. 1302. 24 January 1919. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32901. p. 773. 25 January 1924. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33733. p. 4439. 7 July 1931. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34177. p. 4343. 5 July 1935. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 34279. p. 2768. 29 April 1936. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34274. p. 2452. 14 April 1936. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 34944. p. 5471. 10 September 1940. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35192. p. 3440. 13 June 1941. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35377. p. 7043. 9 December 1941. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  24. ^ Mead, p. 323
  25. ^ Mead, p. 326.
  26. ^ Mead, p. 327.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36704. p. 4307. 15 September 1944. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  28. ^ a b c Australian Dictionary of Biography
  29. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41089. p. 3367. 4 June 1957. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  30. ^ The London Gazette: no. 41161. p. 5053. 27 August 1957. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  31. ^ The London Gazette: no. 42128. p. 5866. 26 August 1960.

References[edit]

  • Smart, Nick (2005). The Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War. Pen & Sword Military. ISBN 1-84415-049-6. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Roger Evans
GOC 1st Armoured Division
1940–1941
Succeeded by
Herbert Lumsden
Preceded by
Vyvyan Pope
GOC XXX Corps
November 1941 – July 1942
Succeeded by
William Ramsden
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey
Governor of South Australia
1944–1952
Succeeded by
Sir Robert George
Preceded by
The Lord Freyberg
Governor-General of New Zealand
1952–1957
Succeeded by
The Viscount Cobham
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Norrie
1957–1977
Succeeded by
George Norrie