John Wilsey

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Sir John Wilsey
Born (1939-02-18) 18 February 1939 (age 79)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1959-1996
Rank General
Commands held 1st Bn Devonshire and Dorset Regiment
1st Infantry Brigade
Northern Ireland
UK Land Forces
Land Command
Battles/wars Operation Banner
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB)
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Other work Author

General Sir John Finlay Willasey Wilsey GCB CBE DL (born 18 February 1939) is a former Commander-in-Chief, Land Forces.

Army career[edit]

Educated at Sherborne School, John Wilsey was commissioned into the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment in 1959.[1] He served in Northern Ireland between 1976 and 1977 where he was mentioned in despatches.[1] In 1978 he attended the Army Staff College, Camberley. He was Commanding Officer of 1st Bn Devonshire and Dorset Regiment from 1979 to 1982.[1] He commanded 1st Infantry Brigade from 1984 to 1986.[1] He was Chief of Staff UK Land Forces from 1988 to 1989[1] and made Colonel Commandant of the Army Catering Corps in 1990.[2]He was also given the colonelcy of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment in 1990, holding the position until 1998. [3]

He went on to become General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland from 1990 to 1993.[1] It was in this capacity that he oversaw the merger between the Ulster Defence Regiment and the Royal Irish Rangers to form the Royal Irish Regiment.

He 1993 he was appointed Joint Commander of Operations in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia[1] and relinquished his post over the Army Catering Corps in favour of the position of Colonel Commandant of the Royal Logistics Corps.[4] In 1994 he was appointed Aide de Camp General to the Queen.[5]

He served as the last Commander in Chief, UK Land Forces from 1993 to 1995 with the acting rank of General and then the first Commander-in-Chief, Land Command from 1995 to 1996.[1]

He was awarded GCB in 1995.[6]

Later career[edit]

Wilsey is the author of H. Jones VC: The Life and Death of an Unusual Hero a book about his great friend Lt Colonel 'H'. Jones who was killed in the Falklands War. He also became Chairman of Western Provident Association and Vice-Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.[7]

Having settled in southern Wiltshire, in July 1996 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the county.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Debrett's People of Today 1994
  2. ^ "No. 52382". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1990. p. 2. 
  3. ^ "Devonshire and Dorset Regiment". Archived from the original on 25 February 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "No. 53271". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 April 1993. p. 6486. 
  5. ^ "No. 53710". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 June 1994. p. 8914. 
  6. ^ "No. 54255". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1995. p. 2. 
  7. ^ Biography at Random House books Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ London Gazette, 22 July 1996, page 9843 (Commissions signed by the Lord Lieutenant of the County of Wiltshire on 12 July 1996)

Further reading[edit]

  • Wilsey, John, H.Jones VC: The Life and Death of an Unusual Hero, Arrow Books, 2003 ISBN 978-0-09-943669-0
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir John Waters
General Officer Commanding the British Army in Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir Roger Wheeler
Preceded by
Sir John Waters
Commander in Chief, UK Land Forces
Succeeded by
Post discontinued
Preceded by
New Post
Commander-in-Chief, Land Command
Succeeded by
Sir Roger Wheeler