Peter Young (British Army officer)

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This article is about the British soldier who defined the Green line in Cyprus. For the British soldier, later historian and founder of the Sealed Knot, see Peter Young (historian). For other people called Peter Young, see Peter Young (disambiguation).
Peter Young
Born (1912-07-15)July 15, 1912
Died November 4, 1976(1976-11-04) (aged 64)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1932–1968
Rank Major General
Commands held
Battles/wars Second World War

Major General Peter George Francis Young CB CBE (15 July 1912 – 4 November 1976) was a senior British Army officer who was General Officer Commanding Cyprus District from 1962 to 1964.

Military career[edit]

After Winchester College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Young was commissioned into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1932 and was posted to the 1st Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (the former 43rd Regiment of Foot).[1] He served with the Royal West African Frontier Force in Nigeria from 1935 and then with the 2nd Ox and Bucks (the 52nd) in India from 1939.[2] Young was second-in-command of the 2nd Ox and Bucks, 1st Airlanding Brigade at Bulford, Wiltshire from June 1942 to February 1943.[2] He served with the 3rd Parachute Battalion during Operation Husky: the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943 where he was taken prisoner of war.[2] He was a POW in Oflag 1X AZ at Rotenburg in Hesse during 1943 and 1944 when having convinced his captors that he was suffering from deafness he was repatriated and he became a General Staff Officer Grade 2 (Airborne) at the War Office.[2]

Young commanded the 16th Parachute Battalion in India and also attended the Staff College at Quetta in 1946.[2] He became Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General at Divisional Headquarters, 6th Airborne Division, in Palestine in 1947 and an Instructor at the Staff College, Camberley in 1948.[2] He was a General Staff Officer Grade 1 in Operations and Training, Allied Land Forces Central Europe between 1951 and 1952.[2] Young became Commanding Officer of the 1st Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in the Suez Canal Zone in 1952 and remained in command of the regiment following its move to Osnabrück, West Germany, in 1953. He became commander of 44 Parachute Brigade TA in 1955 and commander of 1st Brigade Royal Nigeria Regiment in 1958.[1] He was posted to the War Office in 1961 and became General Officer Commanding Cyprus District in 1962.[3] At the original ceasefire in 1964 Young drew a line on a map with a blunt green chinagraph pencil identifying the truce line between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. It became known internationally as the Green Line. He was Director of Infantry at the Ministry of Defence from 1965 to 1967 and retired from the Army in 1968.[1] Young was Chairman of the 43rd and 52nd Old Comrades Association from 1968.[2]


Young married Patricia FitzGerald in 1949 and had two children, Susan Elizabeth (born 1951) and James Peter Gerald (born 1954).[2] He lived in Pewsey, Wiltshire.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Pegasus archive
  3. ^ Getting It Wrong: Fragments from a Cyprus Diary 1964, Martin Packard, ISBN 1-4343-7065-8, 2008