Hubert Essame

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Hubert Essame
Born(1896-12-24)24 December 1896
Died2 March 1976(1976-03-02) (aged 79)
West Wittering, West Sussex, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1915–1949
RankMajor General
Service number5114
UnitNorthamptonshire Regiment
Commands held1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment
214th Infantry Brigade
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsCommander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross
Mentioned in dispatches

Major General Hubert Essame, CBE, DSO, MC (24 December 1896 – 2 March 1976) was a British Army officer who fought in both World War I and World War II. He was also a military lecturer, historian and broadcaster.

Early life[edit]

Born in 1896, Hubert Essame was the son of Ernest H. Essame of Wokingham and educated at Nottingham High School.[1]

Military career[edit]

World War I[edit]

Essame joined the British Army during World War I as a volunteer in 1915, and enlisted into the 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. He first saw active service on the Western Front in May 1916, and on 2 October 1916 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Northamptonshire Regiment.[2] He was wounded twice over the course of the war, mentioned in dispatches in December 1917 and awarded the Military Cross in July 1918.[3][1]

Between the wars[edit]

In November 1924, Essame was promoted to captain. Between 1926 and 1929 he served as Adjutant in the Auxiliary Forces in India, before attending the Staff College, Quetta from 1929 to 1930.[1] In 1934 he served as a staff officer at the War Office and with various Territorial Army (TA) units.[1]

World War II[edit]

In 1941, during World War II, Essame became Commanding officer (CO) of the 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment.[1] Relinquishing command of the battalion, he was promoted to brigadier in September 1942 and became commander of the 214th Infantry Brigade, leading the brigade in fighting in northern Europe. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in October 1944.[4] In June 1945, a month after the end of World War II in Europe, he briefly served as General officer commanding (GOC) of the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division in place of the original GOC, Major General Ivor Thomas. Essame became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in October 1945.[5]


Between 1946 and 1949, Essame was President of the Regular Commissions Board, before retiring from the army with the rank of major-general on 24 June 1949.[1]

Other work[edit]

Following his retirement from the army, Essame worked as a military historian. He was a lecturer in military history at King's College London, and published several books and articles. He was an advisor to television producers for military programmes.[1]


  • The 43rd Wessex Division at War (1952)
  • The North West Europe campaign, 1944–1945 (1962)
  • The Battle for Normandy (1965)
  • The Battle for Germany (1969)
  • Normandy Bridgehead (1971)
  • Battle for Europe, 1918 (1972)
  • Patton the Commander (1974)
  • Corps Commander (1977)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "British Army officer histories". Unit Histories. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  2. ^ "No. 29183". The London Gazette. 4 June 1915. p. 5396.
  3. ^ "No. 30813". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 July 1918. p. 8797.
  4. ^ "No. 36753". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 October 1944. p. 4785.
  5. ^ "No. 37302". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 October 1945. p. 4989.

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