Kenneth Darling

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Sir Kenneth Thomas Darling
Born (1909-09-17)17 September 1909
Died 31 October 1998(1998-10-31) (aged 89)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1929–1969
Rank General
Commands held II Corps
1st (British) Corps
Southern Command
Allied Forces Northern Europe
Battles/wars Second World War
Cyprus Emergency
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Relations Major General Douglas Darling (brother)

General Sir Kenneth Thomas Darling GBEKCBDSO (17 September 1909 – 31 October 1998) was a senior British Army officer who served as Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Northern Europe from 1967 to 1969.

Early life[edit]

Darling was born in India,[1] the eldest son of George Kenneth Darling (1879–1964) of the Indian Civil Service and his wife Mabel Eleanor, née Burgess (d. 1952). His younger brother, Major General Douglas Lyall Darling (1914–1978), was also a distinguished soldier.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Eton College and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Darling was commissioned into the 7th Royal Fusiliers in 1929.[1] He served in North West Europe during 1944 and 1945 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1945. He became Commander of the 5th Parachute Brigade in 1946, of the Airborne Forces Depot in 1948 and of 16th Independent Parachute Brigade in 1950.[1] He was Chief of Staff of I (British) Corps from 1955, General Officer Commanding II Corps from 1956 and then Deputy Director, Staff Duties at the War Office from 1957.[1] He went on to be General Officer Commanding and Director of Operations Cyprus District in 1958,[2] Director of Infantry in 1960 and General Officer Commanding I (British) Corps in 1962.[1] His last appointments were as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief at Southern Command in 1964 and Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Northern Europe from 1967 until his retirement in 1969.[1]

He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1969, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1963, Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1957 and Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1957.

Darling was Honorary Colonel of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) from 1963 to 1968, Colonel Commandant of the Parachute Regiment from 1965 to 1967, Honorary Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers from 1968 to 1974 and ADC General to the Queen during 1968 and 1969.

He lived at Vicarage Farmhouse, Chesterton, Bicester, Oxfordshire. An Oxfordshire Blue Plaque commemorating him was unveiled on his house on 4 July 2015.[3]

In 1941 he married Pamela Denison-Pender (1915-). His wife's sister, Cynthia, was married to the soldier and racing correspondent Roger Mortimer.

Sir Kenneth Darling died on 31 October 1998.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Arthur, Max (12 November 1998). "Obituary: General Sir Kenneth Darling". London: The Independent. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  2. ^ "CYPRUS: In the Front Line". Time. 24 November 1958. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  3. ^
  • Who Was Who Volume X 1996–2000 (2001)
  • The Red Devils GG Norton (Leo Cooper Famous Regiment Series)
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Jones
GOC 1st (British) Corps
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Goodwin
Preceded by
Sir Robert Bray
GOC-in-C Southern Command
Succeeded by
Sir Geoffrey Baker
Preceded by
Sir Robert Bray
Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Northern Europe
Succeeded by
Sir Walter Walker