Vivian Majendie

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Vivian Majendie
Born 20 April 1886
Ipplepen, Devon, England
Died 13 January 1960 (aged 73)
North Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1905–1946
Rank Major-General
Unit Somerset Light Infantry
Commands held 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry
2nd Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry
55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division
Northern Ireland District
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order

Major-General Vivian Henry Bruce Majendie CB DSO (20 April 1886 – 13 January 1960) was an English cricketer and British Army officer.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Winchester College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst,[1] Majendie was commissioned into the Somerset Light Infantry in 1905.[2] He developed a career as a cricketer and played for Somerset and Devon.[3][4] He served with the West African Frontier Force in Southern Nigeria from 1908 to 1913 and then in India from 1913 to 1914.[2]

He served in the First World War, moving with his battalion to France in 1915, marrying the following year, being awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1917, and ending the conflict in 1918 as Commanding Officer (CO) of the 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, serving in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).[2][4]

After the war he became Commander of the Amiens Sub Area of France and then, after attending the Staff College, Camberley from 1920 to 1921, became brigade major for the 14th Infantry Brigade in Curragh in 1922 before becoming a General Staff Officer (GSO) at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.[2] In 1924 he was appointed a Staff Officer to Inspector General of the West African Frontier Force and in 1929 he became CO of the 2nd Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry.[2] After attending the Imperial Defence College in 1932,[4] he returned to the Staff College as a GSO in 1933 and then was made Director of Military Training at GHQ India in 1936.[2] He was appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division, a Territorial Army (TA) formation, in 1938, and the same year became Colonel of the Somerset Light Infantry.[2][4] In 1939, with war in Europe deemed likely, the division split to form a second-line duplicate formation, the 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division.[4]

He served in the Second World War, from the outbreak of war in September 1939 until June 1941 as GOC of the 55th Division, which in late June 1940 was reorganised as an infantry division, and served in the United Kingdom throughout the war.[4] By now believed to be too old for field command, he relinquished command of the 55th Division to Major-General William Morgan, became GOC Northern Ireland District in 1941 and served in the War Office as President of the War Office Regular Commissions Board in 1943.[2] He retired from the army, after a career spanning well over 40 years, in 1946, and ceased being Colonel of his regiment the following year.[2] He became Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Hertfordshire in 1951.[4]


  1. ^ Smart, p. 207
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  3. ^ Cricket Archive
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Smart, p. 8


  • Smart, Nick (2005). Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War. Barnesley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 1844150496. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Ernest Lewin
GOC 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division
Succeeded by
William Morgan
Preceded by
Sir Walter Braithwaite
Colonel of the Somerset Light Infantry
Succeeded by
Sir John Swayne
Preceded by
Ridley Pakenham-Walsh
GOC British Army in Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir Alan Cunningham