Charles Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank
The Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank
Guthrie at a NATO defence ministers' meeting
|Born||17 November 1938|
Chelsea, London, England
|Years of service||1959–2001|
|Commands held||Chief of the Defence Staff|
Chief of the General Staff
British Army of the Rhine
1st British Corps
2nd Infantry Division
4th Armoured Brigade
1st Battalion, Welsh Guards
|Awards||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath|
Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Field Marshal Charles Ronald Llewelyn Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank, GCB, LVO, OBE, DL (born 17 November 1938) was Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, from 1994 to 1997 and Chief of the Defence Staff from 1997 until his retirement in 2001.
Guthrie's military career saw service with the Welsh Guards and the Special Air Service; he was closely involved in military operations in Northern Ireland and provided advice to the British Government during the Bosnian War and the Kosovo War.
Born in Chelsea, London into a Scottish landed family, Guthrie was the elder son of Ronald Guthrie and Nina Guthrie (née Llewelyn). He was educated at Harrow School and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst,
Guthrie was commissioned into the Welsh Guards on 25 July 1959. He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 June 1961 and captain on 25 July 1965. In 1966 he became a troop commander with 22 Special Air Service Regiment serving in Aden, the Persian Gulf, Malaysia and East Africa and then in 1968 he became a squadron commander with 22 Special Air Service Regiment serving in the Persian Gulf and the United Kingdom. He returned to the Welsh Guards in Münster in 1970 and, following his promotion to major on 31 December 1970, he was given command of a mechanised infantry company in the 1st Battalion. He became Military Assistant to the Chief of the General Staff in 1973 and, following a year as Second in Command of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in London and Cyprus and having been promoted to lieutenant colonel on 31 December 1975, he became Brigade Major for the Household Division in 1976. Guthrie was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order fourth class (MVO) in the 1977 Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours; on 31 December 1984 this rank was reclassified as Lieutenant (LVO).
He was appointed Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in 1977 in which role he was deployed to Berlin. Promoted to colonel on 31 December 1979, he undertook a tour of duty in Northern Ireland in Spring 1980 for which he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. In 1980 he was also briefly Commander of British Forces in the New Hebrides. He then spent two years as Colonel on the General Staff for Military Operations at the Ministry of Defence. Promoted to brigadier on 31 December 1981, he became Brigade Commander of 4th Armoured Brigade in 1982. In 1984 he was made Chief of Staff for 1st British Corps in Bielefeld. Following his appointment as General Officer Commanding (GOC) North East District and Commander 2nd Infantry Division based in York on 18 January 1986, he was given the substantive rank of major general on 31 March 1986.
On 24 November 1987 Guthrie became Assistant Chief of the General Staff at the Ministry of Defence. On 2 October 1989 he was promoted to lieutenant general and appointed GOC 1st British Corps, and, having been appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1990 New Year Honours, he relinquished his command on 2 December 1991.
He was appointed Commander of Northern Army Group and British Army of the Rhine on 7 January 1992 and, following promotion to (full) general on 14 February 1992, became ADC to the Queen on 13 July 1993. He then became Chief of the General Staff (CGS) on 15 March 1994, being advanced to a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the Queen's Birthday Honours 1994. As CGS, he was responsible for providing strategic military advice to the British Government on the deployment of troops for the Bosnian War. He went on to become Chief of the Defence Staff on 2 April 1997. In that position, he advised the British Government on the conduct of the Kosovo War. He also warned against a British invasion of Zimbabwe to undertake regime change against Robert Mugabe, saying "Hold hard, you'll make it worse." Guthrie retired from the British Army in 2001.
Guthrie was appointed Colonel Commandant of the Intelligence Corps on 1 March 1986, Colonel of the Life Guards and Gold Stick-in-Waiting to The Queen on 1 January 1999 and Colonel Commandant of the SAS in 2000.
After retiring as Chief of the Defence Staff, Guthrie was created a life peer, as Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank, of Craigiebank in the City of Dundee, in June 2001, and sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords. He was one of several retired Chiefs of Defence Staff who spoke out in the House of Lords about the risk to servicemen facing liability for their actions before the International Criminal Court, particularly with respect to the invasion of Iraq.
George Monbiot criticised Guthrie for an alleged lack of understanding of international law. Monbiot based his argument on Guthrie's September 2002 statement for an invasion of Iraq and subsequent comments, in which he appeared to support launching "surprise wars", something forbidden by the United Nations Charter. Guthrie disagreed publicly with Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown in 2008 over military funding.
Guthrie was promoted to the honorary rank of field marshal in June 2012. Guthrie represented HRH The Prince of Wales at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday 2012 where he was photographed wearing the epaulettes of a field marshal and carrying his field marshal's baton.
Guthrie has served as a non-executive director of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Rivada Networks, Ashley Gardens Block 2 Ltd, Colt Defense LLC and Sciens Capital; he has served as a director of N M Rothschild & Sons, Gulf Keystone, and Petropavlovsk PLC; he has served as a non-executive chairman of Siboney Ltd.; he has been a shareholder of Palantir Technologies and the global strategic intelligence firm Arcanum, which is a subsidiary of Magellen Investment Holdings.
He is also a member of the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation, established in October 2009.
Guthrie is president of several charities, including Action Medical Research, the Army Benevolent Fund, Soldier On!, the Federation of London Youth Clubs and the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association. He is a Deputy Lieutenant for Dorset.
A Roman Catholic convert, he became a Knight of Malta and is a Patron of the Catholic homeless charities Cardinal Hume Centre and Caritas Anchor House. He became Chancellor of Liverpool Hope University in July 2013.
He was one of several contributors to a 2013 book on public sector management.
Guthrie initially supported the continuance of the United Kingdom's presence in the European Union in the 2016 referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, but suddenly switched to an advocacy of withdrawing from it less than a week before the vote was held, issuing a public warning of the ambitions inherent in the E.U. for the creation of a new "European Army", which he stated "would be a disaster".
Since August 1, 2017, he is the Senior Advisor to Ron Wahid, Chairman of Arcanum, a subsidiary of Magellan Investment Holdings. Established 23 March 2015, Magellan Investment Holdings is a holding company with investments in natural resources, energy, real estate, fine arts, aerospace and defense and technology. Magellan is the parent company of two subsidiaries: Arcanum, a global intelligence firm, and RJI Capital, a merchant banking and strategic advisory company.
On 8 January 2019, in an extraordinary intervention in the political sphere by figures from the military and intelligence services quarter, Guthrie sent a letter, co-signed by Sir Richard Dearlove, to Conservative Party Parliamentary Constituency Association Chairs, stating that the passage through the House of Commons of Prime Minister Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom from the European Union contained decisions which fundamentally undermined the integrity of the Defence of the Realm, and requested they take measures to discourage their parliamentary representatives from voting for it imminently in the Commons. The letter as an alternative advocated the case upon national security grounds that the United Kingdom should fully withdraw from the European Union without an Intergovernmental relationship between the two persisting after the process.
His interests include tennis, opera and travel.
Guthrie descends from an ancient Scottish landowning family: his kinsman is David Guthrie, 7th of Craigie. He married, on 11 September 1971, Catherine Worrall, daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Claude Worrall, Coldstream Guards. The couple have two sons.
Sinister: a Griffin Gules, winged, beaked, legged and armed Azure, charged on the shoulder with a Pheon Or.
Guthrie's honours and decorations include:
|Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB)||1994 (United Kingdom)|
|Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB)||1990 (United Kingdom)|
|Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO)||1977 (United Kingdom)|
|Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)||1980 (United Kingdom)|
|Badge of Honour||1980 (New Hebrides)|
|Officer of the Legion of Merit||(United States)|
|Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (KCSG)||2008 (Holy See)|
|Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (KM)||1999 (SMOM)|
|Knight Grand Cross of Justice of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George (GCJCO)||2013 (House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies)|
|Knight Commander of Justice of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George (KCJCO)||2003 (House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies)|
- Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4081-1414-8
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
- "No. 41826". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 September 1959. p. 6045.
- "No. 42419". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 July 1961. p. 5495.
- "No. 43721". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 July 1965. p. 7137.
- "Nato biography". Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- "No. 45271". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1971. p. 119.
- "No. 46773". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1975. p. 16370.
- "No. 47234". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 1977. p. 7084.
- "No. 48080". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 January 1980. p. 1438.
- "No. 48346". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 October 1980. p. 14607.
- "No. 48852". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 January 1982. p. 157.
- "No. 50426". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 February 1986. p. 1965.
- "No. 50515". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 May 1986. p. 6487.
- "No. 51136". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 November 1987. p. 14769.
- "No. 51890". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 October 1989. p. 11310.
- "No. 51981". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1989. p. 2.
- "No. 52732". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 December 1991. p. 18536.
- "No. 52792". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 January 1992. p. 497.
- "No. 52838". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 February 1992. p. 2789.
- "No. 53369". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 July 1993. p. 11759.
- "No. 53645". The London Gazette (Supplement). 18 April 1994. p. 5799.
- "No. 53696". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1994. p. 2.
- "Transcript of the Press Briefing". NATO. 24 July 1996. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "No. 54726". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 April 1997. p. 4170.
- "UK military briefing on operation allied force". 27 March 1999. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Lord Guthrie: 'Tony's General' turns defence into an attack". The Independent. 11 November 2007.
- "No. 50452". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 March 1986. p. 3441.
- "No. 55365". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 January 1999. p. 54.
- "Burkes Peerage". Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- "No. 56260". The London Gazette. 2 July 2001. p. 7767.
- "Armed Forces: Chain of Command". Hansard. 14 July 2005. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Monbiot, George (1 January 2008). "How Britain became party to a crime that may have killed a million people". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Thomson, Alice (25 July 2009). "Guthrie attacks Gordon Brown over helicopters for Afghanistan troops". The Times.
- Charles Guthrie and Michael Quinlan (2007). Just War: The Just War Tradition: Ethics in Modern Warfare. Walker. ISBN 9780802717030.
- Richard Norton-Taylor (3 November 2007). "Immoral victories". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Announcement". AFP. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "No. 60350". The London Gazette. 7 December 2012. p. 23557.
- Duell, Mark (11 November 2012). "Lest we forget: Queen, Kate and William pay their respects at the Cenotaph as Britain comes to standstill on Remembrance Sunday". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- "House of Lords: Register of Interests". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank". parliament.uk. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "Field Marshal Charles Roland Llewelyn Guthrie: Senior Adviser to the Chairman". Arcanum. 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- Borger, Julian (8 September 2009). "Nuclear-free world ultimate aim of new cross-party pressure group". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Our Patrons". Soldier on!. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- "General tells pupils about history and leadership". Catholic Herald. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Moreton, Cole (11 November 2008). "Lord Guthrie: 'Tony's General' turns defence into an attack". London: The Independent. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "About Us: Patrons". Cardinal Hume Centre. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Our Supporters". Caritas Anchor House.
- "SAS veteran Lord Guthrie becomes new Liverpool Hope University chancellor". Liverpool Echo. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- Stevenson, Alexander (2013). The Public Sector:Managing the Unmanageable. Kogan Page. ISBN 978-0-7494-6777-7.
- "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". 7 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "EU referendum: Ex-army chief Lord Guthrie switches to Leave". BBC News. 18 June 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
- "United Kingdom: Lord Guthrie Comes Aboard at Arcanum - Intelligence Online". Intelligence online. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- "Former Head of the British Army and Defence Chief Joins Arcanum". Arcanum. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "Magellan Investment Holdings Limited". gbr.business.com. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "Magellan Holdings". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "Trooping the Colour: Former Chief of Defence staff Lord Guthrie falls from horse during ceremony". The Telegraph. 9 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- "Theresa May's Brexit deal threatens national security says former head of MI6". Daily Telegraph. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
- Mackay, James, Editor; Mussell, John W. (2004). The Medal Yearbook 2004. Devon, UK: Token Publishing Ltd. p. 236. ISBN 9781870192620.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- "Charles Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank". Debrett's People of Today. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- "Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 5 Septembris 2008" (PDF). Holy See. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
- "The International Who's Who 2004". Europa Publications. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
- "New promoted Delegation Knights and Dames invested at London ceremony". Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, Delegation of Great Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- "Constantinian Order 2003 - Westminster Cathedral Investiture Ceremony". Constantinian Order at Youtube. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- "Announcements: Investiture in Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George". The Times. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
| General Officer Commanding North East District
and Commander 2nd Infantry Division
| Assistant Chief of the General Staff
Sir Peter Inge
| GOC 1st (British) Corps
Sir Jeremy Mackenzie
| Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine
| Chief of the General Staff
Sir Roger Wheeler
| Chief of the Defence Staff
Sir Michael Boyce