Roderick Sinclair, 19th Earl of Caithness

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The Earl of Caithness
Brigadier Sinclair The Earl of Caithness.jpg
Brigadier James Sinclair
Born (1906-09-29)29 September 1906
Died 1965
Allegiance  United Kingdom

Flag of the United Kingdom (3-5).svg British Army

British Ceylon flag.png Ceylon Army
Years of service ?-1952
Rank Brigadier
Unit Gordon Highlanders
Commands held 1st Commander of Ceylon Army
Battles/wars World War II
Relations Lord Berriedale (son)

Brigadier James Roderick Sinclair, 19th Earl of Caithness CBE, DSO, GH (29 September 1906 – 1965) was a British Army officer during World War II and was also chief of Clan Sinclair.

He joined the Gordon Highlanders and rose to the rank of Brigadier and as such led his regiment (part of the 51st Highland Division) through France, Belgium, the Netherlands into Germany during World War II and was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order and made Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

In 1949 he was appointed the first Commander of the Ceylon Army and played a major role in establishing it as a regular army from the volunteer Ceylon Defence Force till 1952. On returning to the UK he was given various postings in England and Scotland before in 1955 being appointed land agent and manager of Her Majesty The Queen's private Estate at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire where he lived until his death. After leaving the army, he was appointed the Regiment's Colonel of his old Regiment the Gordon Highlanders.[1]

He succeeded his sonless paternal uncle as 19th earl of Caithness.

His first wife, by whom he had three daughters (Jean, Margaret and Fiona), died during the war and after it, in 1946, he married a widow Gabrielle Ormerod (1912-1990), whose husband had been killed on active service in Africa leaving her with a daughter (Susie). In 1947 while posted to Germany another daughter (Bridget), was born and the next year in Burma, Malcolm, Lord Berriedale was born. Upon his death in 1965 his son Lord Berriedale became the 20th Earl of Caithness and chief of Clan Sinclair.


  1. ^ "Past Army Commanders". Sri Lanka Army. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
Military offices
Preceded by
New Title
Commander of the Ceylon Army
Succeeded by
F.S. Reid
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Norman Sinclair
Earl of Caithness
Succeeded by
Malcolm Sinclair