Louis Le Bailly

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Sir Louis Edward Stewart Holland Le Bailly
Born (1915-07-18)18 July 1915
Died 3 October 2010(2010-10-03) (aged 95)
Bude, Cornwall
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1932–1972
Rank Vice Admiral
Battles/wars World War II
Cold War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath

Vice Admiral Sir Louis Edward Stewart Holland Le Bailly KBE, CB (18 July 1915 – 3 October 2010) was a Royal Navy officer who became Director-General of Intelligence and later a writer.

Naval career and retirement[edit]

Le Bailly was born the son of Robert Francis Le Bailly and Ida Gaskell Le Bailly (née Holland). He attended the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, between 1929 and 1932 and joined HMS Hood as a midshipman.[1] He attended the Royal Naval Engineering College in Keyham between 1933 and 1937 returning to HMS Hood as an engineer Lieutenant.[1] He left the Hood in 1940 and served aboard HMS Naiad, surviving the sinking of that ship in 1942.[1] After serving at the RN Engineering College Le Bailly was posted to the battleship HMS Duke of York in 1944[1] where he served as Lieutenant Commander and was present at the Japanese Surrender.

Le Bailly served at the Admiralty from 1946 and aboard HMS Bermuda from 1950. He subsequently served at the Admiralty from 1955 to 1958 and as Staff Officer to the Dartmouth Review Committee in 1958. He was appointed Assistant Engineer-in-Chief in 1958 and Naval Assistant to Controller of the Navy in 1960.[1] He went on to be Deputy Director of Marine Engineering in 1964, Naval Attaché and Head of the Royal Navy staff in Washington D. C. in 1967 and Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Intelligence) in 1971 before retiring from the Royal Navy in 1972.[2]

In retirement he was appointed Director-General of Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence in 1972.[1] Later he became vice chairman of the Institute for Study of Conflict, and chairman of the Civil Service Selection Board.

Le Bailly led a campaign for his local pub in St Tudy, Cornwall, to be renamed after William Bligh who was born in the village.[3]

On his death in 2010 he was survived by his wife, Pamela (née Berthon); Sir Louis died on their 64th wedding anniversary, as they had been married on 2 October 1946 at Holy Trinity Brompton Church,[4] and by their daughters Susanna, Charlotte and Belinda, and the children of his daughters.


Le Bailly was a prolific writer; his writings include four published books;

  • 1990: A Man Around the Engine
  • 1991: From Fisher to the Falklands
  • 1994: Old Loves Return
  • 2007: We Should All Look to Our Moat


  1. ^ a b c d e f Obituary: Vice Admiral Sir Louis De Bailly The Times, 8 October 2010
  2. ^ RN Officers 1939-1945
  3. ^ "Vice-Admiral Sir Louis Le Bailly - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London: TMG. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  4. ^ The Times, Friday, 4 Oct 1946; pg. 1; Issue 50573; col A
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Richard Fyffe
Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Intelligence)
Succeeded by
Sir David Willison
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Harold Maguire
Director-General Intelligence
Succeeded by
Sir David Willison