David Thorne (British Army officer)

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Sir David Thorne
Born 13 December 1933
Hertford, Hertfordshire
Died 23 April 2000
Framlingham, Suffolk
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1952–1988
Rank Major-General
Commands held 1st Bn Royal Anglian Regiment
3rd Infantry Brigade
1st Armoured Division
Battles/wars Operation Banner
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Commander of the Royal Victorian Order

Major-General Sir David Calthrop Thorne KBE CVO (13 December 1933 – 23 April 2000) was a British Army officer who commanded 1st Armoured Division.

Military career[edit]

Educated at St Edward's School, Oxford, and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Thorne was commissioned into the Royal Norfolk Regiment in 1952.[1] He was a keen cricketer and played two first-class matches for the Combined Services cricket team in 1964.[2] He also played minor counties matches for Norfolk from 1954 to 1962, as did his twin brother, Michael (1955–1958), and uncle, Gordon Thorne (1914–1925).[3] Thorne was given command of 1st Bn the Royal Anglian Regiment in 1972.[1] He was appointed Commander of 3rd Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland in 1977, in which capacity in 1979 he was the first officer to brief Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on the Warrenpoint ambush,[4] before becoming Vice Quartermaster-General in 1981 and Commander of British Forces in the Falkland Islands in 1982.[1] He went on to be General Officer Commanding 1st Armoured Division in 1983 and Director of Infantry in 1986, in which role he defeated a proposal for posting officers which he believed would undermine the regimental system.[5] He retired in 1988.[1]

In retirement he became Director General of the Royal Commonwealth Society.[4]


In 1962 he married Suzan Anne Goldsmith; they had one son and two daughters.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Debrett's People of Today 1994
  2. ^ Cricinfo
  3. ^ Cricket Archive
  4. ^ a b Obituary: Major-General Sir David Thorne The Guardian, 25 April 2000
  5. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Military offices
Preceded by
Brian Kenny
General Officer Commanding the 1st Armoured Division
Succeeded by
Anthony Mullens