Philip Tower

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Philip Tower
Born (1917-03-01)1 March 1917
Rhu, Dunbartonshire
Died 8 December 2006(2006-12-08) (aged 89)
Tisbury, Wiltshire
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1937–1972
Rank Major General
Commands held Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (1968–72)
Middle East Land Forces (1967)
12th Infantry Brigade Group (1962–64)
51st Infantry Brigade Group (1961–62)
3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (1957–60)
J (Sidi Rezegh) Battery Royal Horse Artillery (1954–55)
Battles/wars Second World War
Aden Emergency
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Member of the Order of the British Empire
Mentioned in Despatches (2)
Relations Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Tower (father)
Rear Admiral Ion Tower (uncle)

Major General Philip Thomas Tower, CB, DSO, MBE (1 March 1917 – 8 December 2006) was a British Army officer who held high command in the late 1960s.

Military career[edit]

The only son of Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Tower, Tower was born in Rhu, Dunbartonshire.[1] Educated at Harrow and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich,[2] he was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1937,[1] then served with the 25th Field Regiment in India until the outbreak of the Second World War.[1]

Ordered to North Africa, Tower saw active service against the Italians in 1940 and 1941 and was at the Battle of Bir Hakeim in May 1942.[1] When General Neil Ritchie abandoned the Gazala Line, the garrison at Tobruk was left isolated, and Tower’s force fought until their ammunition was exhausted, at which point they surrendered. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his part in this action, and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1942 for his earlier service in the Middle East. Tower was interned in a prisoner-of-war camp in Italy until the Italians surrendered in September 1943.[1] He then escaped and crossed through the German lines reaching safety in one month later. He was appointed Brigade Major of the 1st Airborne Division in April 1944. At Arnhem, he parachuted and was safely evacuated.[1] Tower accompanied 1st Air Landing Regiment in the relief of Norway in Spring 1945.[1]

In 1967, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath, and was Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In May of the same year, he became General Officer Commanding Middle East Land Forces where he served in the Aden Emergency.[1] Retired from the army in 1972, he was Administrator of Blickling Hall in Norfolk from 1973 to 1982. Between 1975 and 1978, he was County commissioner for the Norfolk St John Ambulance Brigade.[1]

Tower was married to Elizabeth Sneyd-Kynnersley; they were childless.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The Times (11 December 2006). "Obituary". Retrieved 13 December 2006. 
  2. ^ Obituary: Major-General Philip Tower Daily Telegraph, 8 January 2007

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Peter Hunt
Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Succeeded by
Jack Harman