Alfred Dudley Ward

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Sir Dudley Ward
Born (1905-01-27)27 January 1905
Died 28 December 1991(1991-12-28) (aged 86)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1926–65
Rank General
Unit Dorsetshire Regiment
King's Regiment (Liverpool)
Commands held Gibraltar
Near East Command
British Army of the Rhine
I Corps
Staff College, Camberley
4th Infantry Division
17th Infantry Brigade
231st Infantry Brigade
43rd Reconnaissance Regiment
Battles/wars Second World War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Other work Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk
Hon. Colonel University Training Corps (Liverpool) (1951–57)[1][2]
Colonel Commandant, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (1958–63)[3][4]
Colonel, King's Regiment (Liverpool) (1957)[5]

General Sir Alfred Dudley Ward, GCB, KBE, DSO, DL (27 January 1905 – 28 December 1991) was a senior officer of the British Army who saw service during the Second World War and later became Governor of Gibraltar. He served as an ordinary soldier for three years before being sent for officer training in 1926. Slow peacetime career progression saw Ward achieving the rank of captain in only 1937 but the Second World War, which began in September 1939, allowed him to demonstrate his high ability as both a staff officer and commander in the field. Receiving command of the 4th Infantry Division at the unusually young age of 39 years and 3 months, Ward went on to hold staff and field appointments at the highest levels after the war.

Early life and career[edit]

Educated at Wimborne Grammar School, Ward went on to serve in the British Army as an other rank for three years before entering the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. From Sandhurst he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Dorsetshire Regiment in January 1929.[6][7] In December 1931 he was posted to India to be aide-de-camp to the Commander of the Lahore District,[8] achieved promotion to lieutenant in January 1932,[9] and completed his posting in September 1932.[10] He went on to the Staff College, Quetta in 1935. In 1937, Ward was promoted to captain,[11] transferring to the King's Regiment (Liverpool) for an appropriate vacancy.[7][12] In February 1939 he was seconded to India for staff service as a General Staff Officer Grade 3 (GSO3),[13][14] but was recalled to London in July.[15]

Second World War[edit]

By the outbreak of the Second World War in September he was serving as a GSO2 in the Directorate of Military Intelligence at the War Office in London.[16] In May 1940 Ward was appointed an instructor at the Staff College, Camberley, returning to the War Office a year later.[17] In late 1941 he was selected for command and was posted to lead 43 Reconnaissance Regiment, previously the 5th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, initially the reconnaissance unit of the Territorial 48th (South Midland) Infantry Division and then, from November 1941, of 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division.[17]

He became Brigadier General Staff (BGS) of XI Corps in July 1942.[17] In September 1943 he swapped jobs with Roy Urquhart to take command of the 231st Brigade Group, which had seen recent action in the invasion of Sicily.[17] However, within a week of arriving he was ordered to swap jobs once more, this time with Gerard Bucknall, and assumed command of the 17th Brigade, part of the 5th Infantry Division,[17] which he led in the Allied campaign in Italy. The brigade saw action during the British Eighth Army's advance from Foggia, notably on the Moro River in late 1943, before the 5th Division was switched to Italy's western seabord, on the left flank of X Corps which itself formed the left wing of U.S. Fifth Army on the Gustav Line.[17] Ward's brigade conducted an amphibious crossing of the Garigliano river on 17 January 1944, part of the First Battle of Monte Cassino, and was involved in heavy fighting until the end of the month. In March 5th Division was moved to the Anzio beachhead and was involved in further heavy fighting in "The Wadis" on the beachheads' left flank.[18] Ward was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in April 1944.[19]

Given the acting rank of major general, unusual for someone still under the age of forty,[12] Ward took command of the 4th Infantry Division in April 1944.[7] Recently arrived in Italy from Egypt, where it had been refitting since the end of the Tunisia Campaign in May 1943, the division had to be rapidly prepared and brought to peak fitness for the key role assigned to it, together with the 8th Indian Infantry Division, that of creating bridgeheads across the Gari (wrongly referred to as the Rapido in contemporary sources)[20] in the fourth Battle of Monte Cassino the following month. After successfully completing its task, the division was rested until late June when it rejoined the front line on the Trasimene Line.[18]

In August the division found itself once more on the Adriatic coast taking part in Operation Olive, the Eighth Army's attack on the Gothic Line.[18] In December 1944 the 4th Division was moved to Greece, where it was involved in fighting against Communist partisans opposed to the new provisional government. By mid-January order was restored and in April Ward handed over command of his division to become chief of staff to Lieutenant General Ronald Scobie the British commander in Greece.[21]

For his services in Italy Ward was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in April 1945,[22] and a Companion of the Order of the Bath in July of the same year.[23] He also received the Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) from the United States for his service to the Allied cause.[24]

Senior command[edit]

After the war, having demonstrated in the previous five years high competence as both a field commander and staff officer,[21] Ward received appointments in both disciplines at the highest levels. He was promoted to substantive major general in 1947[25] and appointed in quick succession as Director of Military Operations at the War Office and commandant of the Staff College, Camberley, in 1947 and 1948 respectively.[7] He assumed command of I Corps in Germany in the rank of lieutenant general and was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1953 New Year Honours.[26] He returned to Britain in 1953 as Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff,[7] relinquishing the post in October 1956.[27] Ward returned to Germany in January 1957 as Commander-in-Chief of Northern Army Group and the British Army of the Rhine,[28] was promoted to general in February 1957,[29] and held the post until January 1960.[30] He left to become, in May 1960, Commander-in-Chief, British Forces Middle East[31] which was re-designated Near East Command on vacating the appointment in May 1962.[32] He was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in June 1957,[33] which was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the new year honours list in 1959[34] and from December 1958[35] to December 1961,[36] he held the title of Aide-de-Camp General to Queen Elizabeth II.[7]

He became Governor and Commander-in-Chief Gibraltar in June 1962,[7][37] where he presided over the introduction of the 1964 constitution. The Dudley Ward Tunnel is named in his honour. He was also made a knight of the charitable Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem in 1962.[38]

Ward retired from the army in 1965.[39] In retirement he served as a Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk from 1968[40] until 1984.

Following convention for retired senior officers, Ward maintained links with the British Army through the honorary positions of Colonel Commandant of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and Colonel of the King's Regiment.


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39179. p. 1561. 20 March 1951. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40995. p. 870. 5 February 1957. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41331. p. 1587. 7 March 1958. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42920. p. 1401. 12 February 1963. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41034. p. 1945. 26 March 1957. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33462. p. 772. 1 February 1929. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33827. p. 3280. 20 May 1932. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33798. p. 954. 12 February 1932. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34033. p. 1780. 16 March 1934. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34374. p. 1256. 23 February 1937. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
  12. ^ a b Mead, p. 469.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34596. p. 864. 7 February 1939. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34610. p. 2015. 24 March 1939. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34708. p. 6874. 13 October 1939. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
  16. ^ Mead, pp. 469–470.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Mead, p. 470.
  18. ^ a b c Mead, p. 471.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36456. p. 1587. 4 April 1944. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  20. ^ 1944: la battaglia di S.Angelo in Theodice e la confusione tra i fiumi Rapido e Gari, 1944: the Battle of St. Angelo in Theodice and the Confusion between Rapido and Gari rivers.
  21. ^ a b Mead, p. 472.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37039. p. 2067. 17 April 1945. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37161. p. 3490. 1945-07-03. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  24. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38288. p. 2917. 11 May 1948. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37986. p. 2711. 13 June 1947. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39732. p. 7. 30 December 1952. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40893. p. 5615. 2 October 1956. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40968. p. 144. 1 January 1957. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  29. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40992. p. 799. 1 February 1957. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  30. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41923. p. 249. 5 January 1960. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  31. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42022. p. 3111. 29 April 1960. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  32. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42714. p. 5109. 22 June 1962. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  33. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41089. p. 3369. 4 June 1957. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  34. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41589. p. 2. 30 December 1958. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  35. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41567. p. 7497. 5 December 1958. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  36. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42526. p. 8689. 28 November 1961. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  37. ^ The London Gazette: no. 42711. p. 5018. 22 June 1962. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  38. ^ The London Gazette: no. 42722. p. 5305. 3 July 1962. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
  39. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43809. p. 10427. 5 November 1965. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  40. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44569. p. 4527. 19 April 1968. Retrieved 2010-01-28.


  • Mead, Richard (2007). Churchill's Lions: A biographical guide to the key British generals of World War II. Stroud (UK): Spellmount. ISBN 978-1-86227-431-0. 
  • Smart, Nick (2005), Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War, Leo Cooper Ltd ISBN 1-84415-049-6
Military offices
Preceded by
Hayman Hayman-Joyce
GOC 4th Division
Succeeded by
Colin Callander
Preceded by
Richard Hull
Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley
Succeeded by
Gerald Lathbury
Preceded by
New post
GOC 1st (British) Corps
Succeeded by
Sir James Cassels
Preceded by
Sir John Whiteley
Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Hull
Preceded by
Sir Richard Gale
C-in-C of the British Army of the Rhine
Succeeded by
Sir James Cassels
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Keightley
Governor of Gibraltar
Succeeded by
Sir Gerald Lathbury