A. R. Rawlinson

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A. R. Rawlinson
Birth name Arthur Richard Rawlinson
Nickname(s) "Dick"
Born (1894-08-09)9 August 1894
Died 20 April 1984(1984-04-20) (aged 89)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Rank Lieutenant-Colonel
Service number NA – 1919
89652 – 1939-46
Unit General List (WW1)
York and Lancaster Regiment (WWI)
Machine Gun Corps (WW1)
Queen's Royal Regiment (WWII)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Member of the Order of the British Empire (WW1)
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (1945)
Officer of the Legion of Merit (1947)

Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Richard "Dick" Rawlinson, OBE (9 August 1894 – 20 April 1984) was a British Army officer who served on the Western Front, and then in military intelligence in both World Wars. He served as head of MI.9a, and of MI.19. In peacetime, he developed a very successful career as a screenwriter and also produced several films.[1]

Early life[edit]

Rawlinson was born in London, England, on 9 August 1894.[2] He was the son of Thomas Arthur Rawlinson.[3] He was educated at the University of Cambridge, in Pembroke College.[4]

War service[edit]

Already a cadet in the Officer Training Corps, Rawlinson was commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant on 1 September 1914, in the very first month of World War I.[5] He soon transferred from the General List into the York and Lancaster Regiment. He was made a temporary lieutenant on 29 December 1914.[6] On 26 June 1916, he was seconded to the new Machine Gun Corps.[7] He was promoted Lieutenant on 21 December 1916, while still seconded to the Machine Gun Corps.[8] After he was wounded in action he began a career in Military Intelligence, 'employed at the War Office' in MI.1(a), as an Acting Major. He was later awarded an MBE. He resigned his commission on 27 February 1919.[9]

On 14 April 1939, he transferred from the Reserve of Officers of the York and Lancaster Regiment to the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) and returned to active service.[10] He subsequently served in World War II, reaching the war substantive rank of major.[11] He served as the commanding officer of the department that vetted enemy Prisoners of War (POW). This was initially MI.9(a), a section of MI.9, before being hived off as: MI.19. He relinquished his commission on 5 January 1946 and was granted the honorary rank of lieutenant colonel.[11]

Honours and decorations[edit]

In the 1945 New Year Honours, the then Major (temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) Rawlinson was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE),[12] an advance on the recognition he had received after the previous war.[13] On 23 May 1947, he was appointed Officer of the Legion of Merit "in recognition of distinguished services in the cause of the Allies".[14]

Personal life[edit]

Rawlinson married Alisa Margaret Harrington Grayson on 20 December 1916. She was the daughter of Sir Henry Grayson, Bt., the Conservative Member of Parliament for Birkenhead from 1918 to 1922.[15] They had two sons:[16] Michael Grayson Rawlinson (born 27 March 1918, died 1941 KIA),[17] and Peter Anthony Grayson Rawlinson (born 26 June 1919, died 28 June 2006), who became the life-peer Lord Rawlinson of Ewell.[18]

Rawlinson had a strong bond with the Grayson family. He was at Pembroke with Dennys, who was commissioned into the Irish Guards when the Great War broke out. Dennys was soon joined by his brother Rupert. John Kipling, son of Rudyard Kipling, was also in the same Battalion. The shell that wounded Rupert Grayson in 1915 was the one that killed John Kipling. Dennys Grayson gave his son the distinctive name of Rudyard - as opposed to the unremarkable John - when the child was born the following year. Rawlinson then married the sister of the Grayson brothers, Alisa, and the friends became family. Rudyard Kipling was keen to maintain contact with the young people who knew his beloved son, especially Rupert. It was through Rupert that Rawlinson first got to meet the poet and was commissioned to write the screenplays to some of Kipling's works. This was a lucky break for his new career, though it was his own innate talent that sustained the opportunity.

Rawlinson died 20 April 1984 in West Sussex, England.[2]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ A. R. Rawlinson on IMDb
  2. ^ a b "A.R. Rawlinson". British Film Institute. 
  3. ^ Lundy, Darryl (31 July 2012). "Thomas Arthur Rawlinson". The Peerage. Retrieved 4 August 2012. [unreliable source]
  4. ^ Mcgilligan, Patrick (2004). Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light. HarperCollins. p. 160. 
  5. ^ "No. 28885". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 August 1914. p. 6890. 
  6. ^ "No. 29066". The London Gazette. 12 February 1915. p. 1451. 
  7. ^ "No. 29755". The London Gazette. 19 May 1916. p. 9120. 
  8. ^ "No. 29908". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 January 1917. p. 734. 
  9. ^ "No. 31202". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 February 1919. p. 2809. 
  10. ^ "No. 34616". The London Gazette. 14 April 1939. p. 2479. 
  11. ^ a b "No. 37444". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 January 1946. p. 662. 
  12. ^ "No. 36866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1944. p. 12. 
  13. ^ "No. 36866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1944. pp. 11–12. 
  14. ^ "No. 37961". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 May 1947. p. 2287. 
  15. ^ Lundy, Darryl (31 July 2012). "Alisa Margaret Harrington Grayson". The Peerage. Retrieved 4 August 2012. [unreliable source]
  16. ^ Lundy, Darryl (31 July 2012). "Lt.-Col. Arthur Richard Rawlinson". The Peerage. Retrieved 4 August 2012. [unreliable source]
  17. ^ Lundy, Darryl (31 July 2012). "Michael Grayson Rawlinson". The Peerage. Retrieved 4 August 2012. [unreliable source]
  18. ^ Lundy, Darryl (31 July 2012). "Peter Anthony Grayson Rawlinson, Baron Rawlinson of Ewell". The Peerage. Retrieved 4 August 2012. [unreliable source]
  • The War List of the University of Cambridge, p. 268
  • The Letters of Rudyard Kipling, 1931-1936, p. 307

External links[edit]