Peter Hunt (British Army officer)

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Sir Peter Hunt
Peterhunt.jpg
General Sir Peter Hunt
Born (1916-03-11)11 March 1916
Died 2 October 1988(1988-10-02) (aged 72)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1936–1976
Rank General
Commands held Chief of the General Staff
British Army of the Rhine
Far East Land Forces
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
17th Gurkha Division
152nd (Highland) Infantry Brigade
1st Battalion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
Seaforth Highlanders
Battles/wars Second World War
Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Operation Banner
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Chevalier of the Order of Leopold II (Belgium)
Croix de guerre (Belgium)
Other work Constable of the Tower of London (1980–85)

General Sir Peter Mervyn Hunt GCB, DSO, OBE, DL (11 March 1916 – 2 October 1988) was Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, from 1973 to 1976. He served in the Second World War and commanded British Forces deployed in response to the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. Later in his career he provided advice to the British Government at a time of continuing tension associated with the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Army career[edit]

Wellington College, where Hunt was educated

Son of H. V. Hunt and educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst,[1] Hunt was commissioned into the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders on 30 January 1936.[2] Hunt saw action during the Second World War and was promoted to captain on 30 January 1944.[3] Later that year he was given the temporary rank of lieutenant colonel and appointed Commanding Officer of the Seaforth Highlanders,[1] leading them in North West Europe and receiving the Distinguished Service Order on 10 May 1945.[4] After the war he was appointed a Chevalier of the Order of Leopold II of Belgium and Croix de guerre.[5]

Appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours 1948,[6] he was given the substantive rank of major on 30 June 1949[7] and became an instructor at the Staff College, Camberley from 1952[1] and then an instructor at the Imperial Defence College from 1956[1] before being promoted to lieutenant colonel on 7 June 1957[8] and being given command of the 1st Battalion of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.[1] Promoted to colonel on 7 March 1960,[9] he became Commander of 152nd (Highland) Infantry Brigade in 1960 and Chief of Staff at Scottish Command in 1962.[1]

Hunt served as Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Hunt was appointed General Officer Commanding the 17th Gurkha Division and Land Forces Borneo[10] and promoted to major general on 1 February 1964[11] (the post was redesignated 17th Gurkha Division and Malaya District from 1 December 1965 when the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation drew to a close).[12] For his service in Borneo he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath.[13] He was appointed Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 19 January 1966[14] and went on to be General Officer Commanding Far East Land Forces with the rank of lieutenant general on 16 November 1968.[15] Advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the New Year Honours 1969,[16] he became Commander Northern Army Group and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine with the rank of general on 1 December 1970.[17] Advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the New Year Honours 1973[18] and also appointed ADC General to the Queen that year,[1] Hunt was appointed Chief of the General Staff on 19 July 1973[19] at a time of continuing tension associated with the Troubles in Northern Ireland.[20] He retired from the British Army on 12 August 1976.[21]

He was also Colonel of the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) from 7 February 1966 to 1975[22] and Colonel of the 10th Princess Mary's Own Gurkha Rifles from 1 August 1966 to 1975.[23]

In retirement he became Constable of the Tower of London from 1 August 1980[24] and Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall from 4 August 1982.[25] He lived at Portloe in Cornwall.[1]

His personal interests included shooting and medical charities: he was President of the National Smallbore Rifle Association and Chairman of the Council of the King Edward VII's Hospital in London.[1] He died on 2 October 1988.[1]

Family[edit]

In 1940 he married Anne Stopford; they had one son and one daughter.[1] Following the death of his first wife he married Susan Davidson in 1978.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Who was Who 1981–1990, A & C Black Publishers Ltd, 21 November 1991, ISBN 978-0-7136-3336-8
  2. ^ "No. 34251". The London Gazette. 31 January 1936. p. 672. 
  3. ^ "No. 36353". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 January 1944. p. 571. 
  4. ^ "No. 37072". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 May 1945. p. 2451. 
  5. ^ "No. 38079". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 September 1947. p. 4519. 
  6. ^ "No. 38161". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1947. p. 10. 
  7. ^ "No. 38526". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 February 1949. p. 567. 
  8. ^ "No. 41153". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 August 1957. p. 4915. 
  9. ^ "No. 42016". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 April 1960. p. 2957. 
  10. ^ "No. 43235". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 January 1964. p. 1049. 
  11. ^ "No. 43256". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 February 1964. p. 1845. 
  12. ^ "No. 43849". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 December 1965. p. 12165. 
  13. ^ "No. 43837". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 December 1965. p. 11675. 
  14. ^ "No. 43880". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 January 1966. p. 901. 
  15. ^ "No. 44736". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 December 1968. p. 13509. 
  16. ^ "No. 44740". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 December 1968. p. 2. 
  17. ^ "No. 45240". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 November 1970. p. 13110. 
  18. ^ "No. 45860". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1972. p. 2. 
  19. ^ "No. 46046". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 August 1973. p. 9395. 
  20. ^ "1974: Birmingham pub blasts kill 19". BBC News. 21 November 1974. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "No. 46989". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 August 1976. p. 11249. 
  22. ^ "No. 43892". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 February 1966. p. 1400. 
  23. ^ "No. 44069". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 July 1966. p. 8608. 
  24. ^ "No. 48272". The London Gazette. 6 August 1980. p. 11159. 
  25. ^ "No. 49080". The London Gazette. 12 August 1982. p. 10532. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Walter Walker
General Officer Commanding 17th Gurkha Division
1964–1965
Succeeded by
Arthur Patterson
Preceded by
John Mogg
Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
1966–1968
Succeeded by
Philip Tower
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Pearson
GOC Far East Land Forces
1968–1970
Succeeded by
Sir Sandy Thomas
Preceded by
Sir Desmond Fitzpatrick
Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine
1970–1973
Succeeded by
Sir Harry Tuzo
Preceded by
Sir Michael Carver
Chief of the General Staff
1973–1976
Succeeded by
Sir Roland Gibbs
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Geoffrey Baker
Constable of the Tower of London
1980–1985
Succeeded by
Sir Roland Gibbs