Walter Babington Thomas

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Sandy Thomas
Born 29 June 1919 (1919-06-29) (age 97)
Motueka, New Zealand
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Major-General
Commands held 5th Division
Far East Land Forces
Battles/wars World War II
Mau Mau Uprising
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross and Bar

Major-General Walter Babington 'Sandy' Thomas CB DSO MC (born 29 June 1919) is a former Commander of British Far East Land Forces.[1]

Military career[edit]

Brought up in New Zealand, Sandy Thomas was commissioned into the New Zealand Military Forces at the outbreak of World War II.[2] He was wounded, became a prisoner of war in Crete, escaped from a prison hospital and then fled to Syria,[3] eventually becoming commander of 23 Battalion in Italy.[4] After the War he obtained a commission in the Royal Hampshire Regiment[2] and, in 1955, he was mentioned in dispatches while dealing with the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya.[5] He was appointed General Officer Commanding 5th Division in 1968[6] and Chief of Staff at Headquarters Far East Land Forces in April 1970[7] before being elevated to be General Officer Commanding Far East Land Forces in October 1970.[8]

He was awarded the CB in 1971[9] and retired in 1972.[10]


  1. ^ Guy Hardy Scholefield; Max Lambert (1991). Who's who in New Zealand. New Zealand: Reed. p. 629. ISBN 0790001306. 
  2. ^ a b "No. 37669". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 July 1946. p. 3882. 
  3. ^ Copyright Publishing
  4. ^ McLean, Thomas Owen (2016). "A Selection From the War Diaries of Dan Davin" (PDF). 
  5. ^ "No. 40538". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 July 1955. p. 4154. 
  6. ^ "No. 44558". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 March 1968. p. 3863. 
  7. ^ "No. 45078". The London Gazette. 10 April 1970. p. 4173. 
  8. ^ "No. 45219". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 October 1970. p. 11755. 
  9. ^ "No. 45384". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 June 1971. p. 5958. 
  10. ^ "No. 45586". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 January 1972. p. 1271. 


Military offices
Preceded by
Division Reformed
(Post last held by Geoffrey Musson)
General Officer Commanding the 5th Division
Succeeded by
Mervyn Janes
Preceded by
Sir Peter Hunt
GOC Far East Land Forces
Succeeded by
Post Disbanded