Andrew Thorne

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Sir Andrew Thorne
Born 20 September 1885
Died 25 September 1970
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1904–1946
Rank General
Unit Grenadier Guards
Commands held Scottish Command
XII Corps
48th (South Midland) Division
Brigade of Guards
184th Infantry Brigade
3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards

First World War
Second World War

Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order & Two Bars
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav (Norway)

General Sir Augustus Francis Andrew Nicol Thorne KCBCMGDSO & Two Bars (20 September 1885–25 September 1970) was a soldier in the British Army who served in the First and Second World Wars.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Eton and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Andrew Thorne was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards in 1904.

He served in the Great War, becoming a staff captain, then deputy assistant adjutant and quartermaster general and then deputy assistant quartermaster general in France.

He became commanding officer of 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards in 1916,[1] and saw action in the First Battle of Ypres[2] and Battle of the Somme earning the Distinguished Service Order and two Bars.[3]

In 1918 he became commander of the 184th Infantry Brigade.[1]

After the war he became assistant military attache at Washington, D.C. and then, in 1922, a general staff officer at London District.

He was appointed military assistant to the Chief of the Imperial General Staff at the War Office in 1925 and commanding officer of 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards again in 1927.

In 1932, he was made military attaché in Berlin and commander of 1st (Guards) Brigade at Aldershot Command in 1935.

He was a temporary brigade commander in Palestine and Transjordan in 1936.

In 1938 he became Major General commanding the Brigade of Guards and General Officer Commanding (GOC) London District.[1]

In 1939, at the start of the Second World War, Thorne became GOC 48th (South Midland) Division, which played an important role in the defence of the Dunkirk perimeter in 1940.[3] He then became GOC XII Corps before being appointed GOC Scottish Command and Governor of Edinburgh Castle from 1941 to 1945. Whilst in Scotland, he was responsible for the Fortitude North deception plan, as well as preparation for the liberation of Norway.[1]

Germany officially surrendered in Norway on 8 May 1945, and Thorne arrived in Norway on 13 May together with Crown Prince Olav. He brought with him a small military force—one tenth the size of the German military presence—and so had to rely on cooperation with paramilitary forces from the Norwegian resistance movement. He cooperated closely with Jens Chr. Hauge. He formally held the sovereignty of Norway until 7 June, when Haakon VII of Norway returned from his exile. Thorne remained in charge of dismantling the German presence in Norway until he left the country on 31 October 1945.[4]

He retired in 1946.[1] He was chairman of the Anglo-Norse Society for some time.[4]



  • Ashley Hart, Stephen. "The Forgotten Liberator: The 1939–1945 Military Career of General Sir Andrew Thorne". Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 79 (Autumn 2001): 233–249. 
  • "THORNE, General Sir (Augustus Francis) Andrew (Nicol)". (2007). In Who Was Who. Online edition.
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Bertram Sergison-Brooke
GOC London District
Succeeded by
Sir Bertram Sergison-Brooke
Preceded by
New Post
Succeeded by
Bernard Montgomery
Preceded by
Sir Harold Carrington
GOC-in-C Scottish Command
Succeeded by
Sir Neil Ritchie