Richard Worsley

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For other people named Richard Worsley, see Richard Worsley (disambiguation).
Sir Richard Worsley
Born (1923-05-29)29 May 1923
Ballywalter, County Down, Northern Ireland
Died 23 February 2013(2013-02-23) (aged 89)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1942–1982
Rank General
Unit Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)
Commands held 1st The Royal Dragoons
7th Armoured Brigade
3rd Division
1st (British) Corps
Battles/wars Second World War
Malayan Emergency
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Officer of the Order of the British Empire

General Sir Richard Edward Worsley GCB OBE (29 May 1923 – 23 February 2013) was a senior British Army officer who fought in the Second World War and later commanded 1st (British) Corps.

Early life[edit]

Worsley was born on 29 May 1923 at Ballywalter, County Down, Northern Ireland, the son of Herbert Henry Knight Worsley, JP (1885-1947) of Lough House, Grey Abbey, County Down,[1] by Rose Austen (died 30 April 1958), [2] only daughter of John Alfred Hives of Upper Plain, Masterton, New Zealand, farmer,[3] and widow of Major Meyrick Myler Magrath, DSO, Royal Field Artillery, of Dorking House, Cosham, Hampshire.[4] He was educated at Radley College.[5][6][7]

His uncles were the first-class cricket batsmen A. E. Worsley and C. E. A. Worsley,[8] who both played for Northamptonshire.

Military career[edit]

During the Second World War Worsley was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the British Army's Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) in 1942.[9] He served in the Middle East and Italy.

After the war he then served in the Malayan Emergency in 1948.[10] He became an Instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst later in 1948 and then became Commanding Officer (CO) of the 1st The Royal Dragoons in 1962.[10]

He took command of the 7th Armoured Brigade in 1965 and Chief of Staff Far East Land Forces in 1969.[10] He became General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3rd Division in 1972 and GOC 1st (British) Corps in 1976.[10] His final appointment was as Quartermaster-General to the Forces in 1979; he retired in 1982.[10]He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1963 [11] and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in 1976.[12]

He lived at Goring Heath in South Oxfordshire[13] and died on 23 February 2013.[14]

Personal life[edit]

He married on 6 May 1959 at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, London, to Sarah Anne "Sally", eldest daughter of Brigadier J. A. H. Mitchell of the British Embassy, Paris,[15] and they went on to have a son, Henry,[16] and a daughter, Charlotte.[6] On 7 Nov 1980, he married Caroline, Duchess of Fife.[17][10][6]


  1. ^ The Times 13 Sept 1947, p.1
  2. ^ The Times 1 May 1958, p.1
  3. ^ Wairarapa Daily Times (New Zealand) 17 Nov 1915, p. 5
  4. ^ The Times 23 Jan 1922, p.13
  5. ^ Robertson-Glasgow, R. W., St. Peter's College Radley Register 1847-1962, pp. 189, 467
  6. ^ a b c "General Sir Richard Worsley". The Daily Telegraph. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Radley College Foundation Report 2004
  8. ^ Keleny, Anne (20 March 2013). "General Sir Richard Worsley: Soldier who oversaw the end of Britain's presence in the Far East". The Independent. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "(Supplement) no. 35649". The London Gazette. 31 July 1942. p. 3351. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Debrett's People of Today 1974
  11. ^ The London Gazette (Supplement) 31 Dec 1963, p. 7
  12. ^ The London Gazette 4 June 1976, p. 8016
  13. ^ Cadets help pick grapes Henley Standard, 16 November 2009
  14. ^ "Richard Worsley obituary", The Times, 27 February 2013
  15. ^ The Times 7 May 1959, p.14
  16. ^ "Explorer Henry Worsley dies attempting Antarctic crossing". BBC. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  17. ^ The Times 8 Nov 1980, p. 16
Military offices
Preceded by
Glyn Gilbert
General Officer Commanding the 3rd Division
Succeeded by
Robin Carnegie
Preceded by
Sir Jack Harman
GOC 1st (British) Corps
1976 – 1978
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Leng
Preceded by
Sir Patrick Howard-Dobson
Quartermaster-General to the Forces
Succeeded by
Sir Paul Travers