Arthur Denaro

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Arthur Denaro
Arthur Denaro.jpg
Major General Arthur Denaro CBE DL
Born (1948-03-23) 23 March 1948 (age 69)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1968–2003
Rank Major General
Service number 485713
Commands held Queen's Royal Irish Hussars
33rd Armoured Brigade
20th Armoured Brigade
RMA Sandhurst
5th Division
Battles/wars Gulf War
Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Other work Deputy Lieutenant, Herefordshire

Major General Arthur George Denaro CBE DL (born 23 March 1948) is a former British Army officer. He led his regiment, the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars, during the Gulf War and later became Commandant of Sandhurst. He commanded the 5th Infantry Division from 2000 to 2003. He was the highest-ranking officer of foreign birth in the British Army at that time.

Early life[edit]

Denaro was born in Sungei Patani, Malaya on 23 March 1948[1] and raised in County Donegal, Republic of Ireland. He is the son of the late Brigadier George Tancred Denaro, CBE, DSO and of Francesca Violet (Peggy) Denaro (née Garnett). He was educated at Downside School in Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Somerset, England.[2]

Military career[edit]

The Challenger 1 tank "Churchill" preserved at Bovington Tank Museum

Denaro was commissioned into the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars as a Cornet on 2 August 1968.[3] He was promoted to lieutenant on 2 February 1970,[4] to captain on 2 August 1974,[5] and to major on 30 September 1980.[6] Little is known of his early military life but media reports suggest he was engaged in clandestine operations with the Special Air Service.[7] Confirmation of this is given by the general himself in a book by Hugh McManners.[8]

Major General Arthur Denaro with Prince Phillip

During the Gulf War he commanded his regiment which, "with breathtaking speed", (as vanguard of the British attack) hooked round the Iraqi right flank to cut off their line of retreat. His Challenger 1 tank "Churchill" has been preserved at the Tank Museum Bovington in its desert colours and Irish Hussars livery. Both Denaro and his tank are immortalised in the Terence Cuneo painting "The Basrah Road" the original of which hangs in the regimental museum of the Queen's Royal Hussars at Athlone Kaserne in Sennelager.[9] In 1992 he was appointed Commander of 33rd Armoured Brigade and later that year he became Commander of 20th Armoured Brigade.[10] From 1994 to 1995 he served at the headquarters of UNPROFOR in the former Yugoslavia, as Chief of Staff of the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia,[11] before commanding British forces in Cyprus from 1995 to 1996.[10] He was Chief of Combat Support for the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in Germany from 1996 to 1997.[12] He became Middle East Adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence in 1997.[12]

In 1998 he was appointed Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and he commanded the 5th Division from 2000 to 2003, when he retired from the service.[10]

Denaro has served as President of the Army Polo Association from 2002 and was Honorary Colonel of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars and of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry from 2003 to 2009, as well as being Colonel of the Queen's Royal Hussars (Queen’s Own and Royal Irish) from 2004 to 2008 before handing over to Brigadier Andrew Bellamy.[12]

Later life[edit]

After retiring from the British Army, Denaro was Adviser to Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain, from 2003 to 2007 and he joined Strategic Real Estate Advisors and the Inspirational Development Group in 2007. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Herefordshire in 2008.[12] In retirement he also became a Trustee of The Prince's Trust and is an extra equerry to the Prince of Wales.[11]

He can still be found at a variety of events for the army and, in particular, for the Old Comrades Association of the Queen's Royal Hussars where he is known to all as "General Arthur". He remains as President of the Combined Irish Regiments Association (since 2003).[12]

Since leaving the army, Denaro has made a number of corporate speaking and after dinner appearances, and is represented by a number of companies including "Military Speakers".[13]

Personal life[edit]

In 1980, Denaro married Margaret Roney Acworth (Maggi), widow of Major Michael Kealy, DSO. Together they have one son (commissioned into the Queen's Royal Hussars in 2008) and one daughter, as well as the son and two daughters from Maggi's first marriage.[12] [14]


  1. ^ Denaro, Marie (2003). Daughter of an Empire. A Family History. St. Julian's, Malta: David Arrigo Publishing. ISBN 99932-656-0-8. , p.206
  2. ^ "General Arthur Denaro CBE DL". City Speakers International. 
  3. ^ "No. 44699". The London Gazette (Supplement). 18 October 1968. p. 11326. 
  4. ^ "No. 45031". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 January 1970. p. 1355. 
  5. ^ "No. 46403". The London Gazette (Supplement). 18 November 1974. p. 11375. 
  6. ^ "No. 48360". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 November 1980. p. 15271. 
  7. ^ Harry's SAS guru for hire Daily Mail, 30 January 2006
  8. ^ McManners, Hugh (2011). Gulf War One. Ebury Press. p. 86. ISBN 9780091936013. 
  9. ^ The Challenger 1 Archived 5 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Tank Times, June 2010
  10. ^ a b c Army Commands Archived 5 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ a b The Gordon Poole Agency
  12. ^ a b c d e f 'DENARO, Maj.-Gen. Arthur George', in Who's Who 2011 (A. & C. Black, 2011)
  13. ^ "Arthur Denaro". Military Speakers. 
  14. ^ Major-General Arthur Denaro Herefordshire Life, 18 October 2010
Military offices
Preceded by
Alistair Irwin
Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Succeeded by
Philip Trousdell
Preceded by
Peter Grant Peterkin
General Officer Commanding the 5th Division
Succeeded by
Nicholas Cottam