Desmond Langley

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Sir Desmond Langley
Born 16 May 1930
London, England
Died 14 February 2008(2008-02-14) (aged 77)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1949–88
Rank Major General
Commands held British Forces Cyprus
London District
Household Division
4th Guards Armoured Brigade
Household Cavalry Regiment
Battles/wars Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Awards Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Member of the Order of the British Empire

Major General Sir Henry Desmond Allen Langley, KCVO, MBE (16 May 1930 – 14 February 2008) was a senior British Army officer who served as Major-General commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District from 1979 to 1983. He later served as the 132nd Governor of Bermuda from 1988 to 1992.

Military career[edit]

Remembrance Day parade in Hamilton, Bermuda, 1990. Langley, as governor, inspects war veterans and is speaking with former Second-in-Command of the Royal Bermuda Regiment Major Bob Burns.

Educated at Eton College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Langley was commissioned into the Life Guards in 1949.[1] He was posted to Egypt and then to Libya.[1] He then served with HQ Far East Land Forces during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation in the early 1960s.[1] He later became Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment and Silver Stick to The Queen.[1] In 1976 he was appointed commander of 4th Guards Armoured Brigade and in 1978 he became a brigadier on the General Staff at UK Land Forces.[1]

He became Major-General commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District in 1979[1] organising, inter alia, the military ceremony for the marriage of the Prince Charles and Princess Diana.[2] His final appointment was as commander of British Forces Cyprus and Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas in 1983 before retiring in 1988.[1]

In retirement he was civil Governor and military Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda from 1988 to 1992, taking particular interest in the Bermuda Regiment (now the Royal Bermuda Regiment) and hosting summit meetings in Bermuda between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President George Bush, and then between Prime Minister John Major and Bush.[1]

Among the mourners who attended Langley's funeral at St Luke's Church in Milland on 10 March 2008 were two former commanding officers of the Bermuda Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Alan Rance and Lieutenant Colonel David Burch, as well as two of Sir Desmond's three ADCs from the Bermuda Regiment, Major William Madeiros and Captain Larry Mussenden.[3]


In 1950 he married Felicity Oliphant; the couple had a son and a daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Obituary: Major-General Sir Desmond Langley Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2008
  2. ^ Obituary: Major-General Sir Desmond Langley The Times, 7 March 2008
  3. ^ "Mourners bid a sad farewell". Midhurst & Petworth Observer. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir John Swinton
GOC London District
Succeeded by
Sir James Eyre
Preceded by
Robert Davis
Commander British Forces Cyprus
Succeeded by
Kenneth Hayr
Government offices
Preceded by
Viscount Dunrossil
Governor of Bermuda
Succeeded by
Lord Waddington