Peter Woodhead

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Sir Peter Woodhead
Born 30 July 1939
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1962 - 1994
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held HMS Jupiter
HMS Rhyl
HMS Illustrious
2nd Flotilla
1st Flotilla
Battles/wars Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Vice Admiral Sir (Anthony) Peter Woodhead KCB (born 30 July 1939) is a former Royal Navy officer who became Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic.

Naval career[edit]

Educated at Leeds Grammar School, HMS Conway and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, Woodhead joined the Royal Navy in 1962.[1] He served in the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation in the 1960s and was given command of the frigates HMS Jupiter in 1974 and HMS Rhyl in 1975.[1] He was appointed Director of Naval Operations in 1985, Commander of the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious in 1986 and Flag Officer 2nd Flotilla in 1988.[1] He went on to be Flag Officer 1st Flotilla in 1989 and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic in 1991 before retiring in 1994.[2]

In retirement he became Prisons Ombudsman.[3] In 2003, Alan Travis noted in UK newspaper The Guardian, "[…] Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Woodhead, had his powers so clipped by the former Conservative home secretary, Michael Howard, that the small and little-known club that is the British and Irish Ombudsmen Association refused him membership on the grounds that he was not independent enough".[4]


In 1964 he married Carol; they have one son and one daughter.[1] Lady Woodhead died in January 2016.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Debrett's People of Today 1994
  2. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 1995
  3. ^ Jail watchdog threatens to quit The Independent, 25 February 1996
  4. ^ Travis, Alan (9 July 2003). "A look inside". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Woodhead". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir James Weatherall
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Abbott