Christopher Woolner

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Christopher Woolner
Nickname(s) "Kit"
Born (1893-10-18)18 October 1893
Kensington, London, England
Died 10 January 1984(1984-01-10) (aged 90)
Ashford, Kent, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1912–1947
Rank Major General
Service number 5491
Unit Royal Engineers
Commands held 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division
81st (West Africa) Division
8th Infantry Brigade
64th Field Company, Royal Engineers
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Military Cross & Two Bars
Mentioned in despatches (5)

Major General Christopher Geoffrey Woolner CB, MC & Two Bars (18 October 1893 – 10 January 1984) was a senior British Army officer who served in the First World War and Second World War.

Military service[edit]

Born on 18 October 1893 in Kensington, London, England, Christopher Woolner was educated at Marlborough College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.[1] He was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Royal Engineers on 21 December 1912. Among his fellow graduates were Ivor Thomas, William Morgan, Douglas McConnel and William Mirrlees, all future generals.[2] He was promoted on 4 December 1914 to lieutenant[3] and first saw active service in the First World War on the Western Front. Over the course of the war he was mentioned in despatches twice, wounded once and received the Military Cross and two Bars for gallantry and leadership.[4] From October 1917 to July 1918 Woolner was Commanding Officer (CO) of the 64th Field Company, Royal Engineers.[5][1]

Between the wars, Woolner served with the Royal Engineers in Gold Coast, Woolwich, India and Chatham. He attended the Staff College, Camberley from 1927 to 1928.[6]

In 1939 he was Deputy Inspector and Deputy Commandant of the Royal School of Military Engineering and during the Second World War Woolner served as a staff officer with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) during the Battle of France before becoming commander of the 8th Infantry Brigade. For his services in France and Belgium he was twice mentioned in despatches.[7][8] He was promoted to the acting rank of major general on 30 November 1940.[9] His major general's rank was made permanent on 1 October 1941.[10] From 1941 to 1943, he was General Officer Commanding (GOC) Sierra Leone & Gambia and in June 1942 was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1942.[11] Between March and August 1943 he served as GOC of the 81st (West Africa) Division. He then served as commander of the West Midlands District in the United Kingdom until the end of the war.

In 1947, Woolner was GOC 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division until his retirement in November 1947 with the rank of major general.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Smart, p. 345
  2. ^ "No. 28683". The London Gazette. 21 January 1913. p. 498.
  3. ^ "No. 29084". The London Gazette. 26 February 1915. p. 1982.
  4. ^ "No. 29351". The London Gazette. 4 November 1915. p. 10891.
  5. ^ 'Woolner, Christopher Geoffrey' in British Army Officers 1939–1945 at unithistories.com, accessed 3 July 2015
  6. ^ 'Woolner, Christopher Geoffrey' in British Army Officers 1939–1945 at unithistories.com, accessed 3 July 2015
  7. ^ "No. 35020". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 December 1940. p. 7175.
  8. ^ "No. 34904". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 July 1940. p. 4579.
  9. ^ "No. 35021". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 December 1940. p. 7203.
  10. ^ "No. 35333". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 October 1941. p. 6360.
  11. ^ "No. 35586". The London Gazette. 5 June 1942. p. 2477.
  12. ^ 'Woolner, Christopher Geoffrey' in British Army Officers 1939–1945 at unithistories.com, accessed 3 July 2015

Bibliography[edit]

  • Smart, Nick (2005). Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War. Barnesley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 1844150496.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
New post
GOC 81st (West Africa) Division
1943–1944
Succeeded by
Frederick Loftus-Tottenham
Preceded by
Philip Balfour
GOC 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division
January–August 1947
Succeeded by
George Wood