Kenneth McLean

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For the footballer, see Kenny McLean.
Sir Kenneth McLean
Born 1896
Died 5 June 1987
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1914–1954
Rank Lieutenant General
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Lieutenant General Sir Kenneth Graeme McLean KCB KBE (1896 – 5 June 1987) was a senior British Army officer who became Military Secretary.

Military career[edit]

McLean served in the ranks during World War I and was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1918.[1]

After the War he served in Ireland from 1919 and then with King George's Own Bengal Sappers and Miners in India from 1923.[1] He went to the Staff College in Quetta in 1930 and was then a General Staff Officer at Army Headquarters in India from 1932.[1] He was appointed Assistant Secretary for the Committee of Imperial Defence in 1938.[1]

He served in World War II in France and Germany.[1] In 1943 he became Chief Operations Officer for 21st Army Group[2] and, in this capacity, was involved in the planning of Operation Overlord.[3] After the War he became Deputy Adjutant General at General Headquarters Far East Land Forces and then at General Headquarters Middle East Land Forces.[1] He was made Vice Adjutant General at the War Office in 1947 and Chief of Staff at the Control Commission in Germany and Deputy Military Governor for the British Zone in Germany in 1949.[1] He was made Military Secretary in 1949 and Chief Staff Officer at the Ministry of Defence in 1951.[1]

He led the Committee of Inquiry into the conduct of the Army during the campaign against the Mau-Mau in Kenya and found that the troops had shown "a high sense of responsibility and application to duty" but also reported that "two instances of serious misconduct had occurred."[4] He retired in 1954.[1]

In retirement he was a member of the Central Advisory Council on Education, the authors of the Crowther Report: Fifteen to Eighteen, the publication of which eventually led, in 1972, to the raising of the school leaving age to 16.[5] He also raised money for the repair of St Paul's Cathedral.[3]


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Mansergh
Military Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir Euan Miller