Matthew Sykes

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Matthew Sykes
Born 1955
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1975 - 2010
Rank Major-General
Commands held 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
Royal Artillery
Battles/wars Northern Ireland
Bosnian War
Kosovo War
Awards Commander of the Royal Victorian Order

Major General (Richard) Matthew (McQueen) Sykes CVO is currently involved in a number of executive, non-executive, advisory, consultant and voluntary roles. From 2010 to 2014 he was Group Chief Executive of Elizabeth Finn Care, a large charity providing relief from poverty in the UK. A former British Army officer, his military career culminated as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel) in the UK Ministry of Defence. At the same he served as the Defence Services Secretary from 2007 to 2010 in the Royal Household. He is currently Chief Executive of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation.

Military career[edit]

Sykes was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1975.[1] He became Commanding Officer of 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery in 1994.[2] He went on to be Strategic Policy Chief at NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in 1997, Chief Co-ordinator of Joint Firepower for the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in 2000 and Director of Corporate Communications for the Army at the Ministry of Defence in 2002.[2] After that he became Director Royal Artillery in 2005 and then Defence Services Secretary in 2007 as well as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel) from 2009 before retiring from the Army in 2010.[1] He served on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. During his time as Defence Services Secretary, he was responsible for the introduction of the Elizabeth Cross awarded to families of the British Armed Forces killed in action or as a result of a terrorist attack since the Second World War.[3]

Post military career[edit]

After leaving the Army, from 2010 to 2014 he was Group Chief Executive of Elizabeth Finn Care, a British charity helping people in the UK struggling with financial hardship. During the same period he was a non-executive director of Elizabeth Finn Homes Limited, a company owned by the Charity, responsible for the running of 9 care homes and 11 almshouses.[1] He is now Chief Executive of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, a charity promoting the vision of Conservative politician Simon Milton to help both young and older people in the City of Westminster and elsewhere across London.[4]

He holds a number of other executive, non-executive, advisory, consultant and voluntary posts, including Gentleman Usher to the Queen and he is Honorary Regimental Colonel of the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. In this capacity he accompanied Margaret Thatcher's coffin to St Paul's Cathedral during her funeral.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "New chief exec appointed by Elizabeth Finn Care". Civil Society. 14 April 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Brigadier Matthew Sykes, The Army - Army comms chief fit for PR challenges". PR Week. 6 December 2002. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "New medal 'The Elizabeth Cross' approved by Queen". ITN. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sir Simon Milton Foundation". Open Charities. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "Unpicking Margaret Thatcher's funeral". BBC. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 

Military offices
Preceded by
Peter Wilkinson
Defence Services Secretary
Succeeded by
David Murray