Western Command (United Kingdom)
Western Command was a command of the British Army.
The District Commands of the British Army in Great Britain and Ireland first appear in print in 1840. In January 1876 a ‘Mobilization Scheme for the forces in Great Britain and Ireland’ was published, with the ‘Active Army’ divided into eight army corps based on the major Commands and Districts. This scheme disappeared in 1881, when the districts were retitled ‘District Commands’. The Western District Command was based at Government House, Mount Wise in Devonport.
Western Command was established in 1905 and was originally called the Welsh & Midland Command before changing its name in 1906. In 1907 Western Command relocated to Watergate House in Chester. In 1938, after a brief stay in temporary accommodation at Boughton, it moved to a new purpose-built neo-Georgian property at Queen's Park in Chester.
In 1939, under Lieutenant General Robert Haining, the command consisted of Welsh, West Lancashire, and East Lancashire Areas, each commanding two divisions plus other troops. It covered Wales and the Counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Cheshire, and Beachley, Gloucestershire as well as the Isle of Man and the coast defence garrisons of Berehaven, Queenstown and (for the purpose of technical training only) Lough Swilly.
Regular Troops reporting to the Command included:
- 2nd Bn The Buffs
- 2nd Anti-Aircraft Brigade
During 1943-44, the 80th Infantry (Reserve) Division was assigned to the Command as its training formation. On 1 September 1944, the division was replaced by the 38th Infantry (Reserve) Division, which took over the training role.
The Command was merged into HQ UK Land Forces (HQ UKLF) in 1972 and the property handed over to the Royal Army Pay Corps. It was effectively downgraded to district status, and later Wales and Western districts were established to take over the command's area.
General Officers Commanding-in-Chief
- 1859 - 1865 Major-General William Hutchinson
- 1865 - 1866 Lieutenant-General Viscount Templetown
- 1866 - 1869 Lieutenant-General Sir Augustus Spencer
- 1869 - 1874 Major-General Sir Charles Staveley
- 1874 - 1877 Lieutenant-General Henry Smyth
- 1877 - 1880 Lieutenant-General the Hon. Leicester Smyth
- 1880 - 1883 Lieutenant-General Thomas Pakenham
- 1883 - 1885 Major-General James Sayer
- 1885 - 1889 Major-General Thomas Lyons
- 1889 - 1990 Major-General Sir Howard Elphinstone
- 1890 - 1895 General Sir Richard Harrison
- 1895 - 1899 Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Forestier-Walker
- 1899 - 1905 Lieutenant-General Sir William Butler
General Officer Commanding Western Command
- 1905 - 1907 Major General Sir Francis Howard
- 1907 - 1910 Lieutenant General Sir Charles Burnett
- 1910 - 1916 Lieutenant General Sir Henry Mackinnon
- 1916 - 1918 Lieutenant General Sir William Campbell
- 1918 - 1919 Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Snow
- 1919 - 1923 Lieutenant General Sir Beauvoir De Lisle
- 1923 - 1924 Lieutenant General Sir John Du Cane
- 1924 - 1928 Lieutenant General Sir Richard Butler
- 1928 - 1931 Lieutenant General Sir Cecil Romer
- 1931 - 1933 Lieutenant General Sir Cyril Deverell
- 1933 - 1936 Lieutenant General Sir Walter Kirke
- 1936 - 1939 Lieutenant General Sir Henry Jackson
- 1939 - 1940 Lieutenant General Sir Robert Haining
- 1940 - 1941 General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson
- 1941 - 1942 Lieutenant General Sir James Marshall-Cornwall
- 1942 - 1944 Lieutenant General Sir Edmond Schreiber
- 1944 - 1946 Lieutenant General Sir Daril Watson
- 1946 - 1948 Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks
- 1948 - 1951 Lieutenant General Sir Frank Simpson
- 1951 - 1953 Lieutenant General Sir Cameron Nicholson
- 1953 - 1953 Lieutenant General Sir Charles Loewen
- 1953 - 1957 General Sir Lashmer Whistler
- 1957 - 1960 Lieutenant General Sir Otway Herbert
- 1960 - 1961 Lieutenant General Sir William Stirling
- 1961 - 1964 Lieutenant General Sir Edward Howard-Vyse
- 1964 - 1966 Lieutenant General Sir Richard Craddock
- 1966 - 1969 Lieutenant General Sir Antony Read
- 1969 - 1972 Lieutenant General Sir Napier Crookenden
- "Devonport in 1878". Whites Directory of Devon. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Plymouth Maritime Headquarters (Mount Wise)". Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- Whitaker's Almanack 1907
- Langtree, Stephen; Comyns, Alan, eds. (2001), 2000 Years of Building: Chester's Architectural Legacy, Chester: Chester Civic Trust, p. 144, ISBN 0-9540152-0-7
- Chester Walls
- Leo Niehorster, Western Command, orbat.com, accessed December 2008
- Patriot Files
- Forty 2013, Reserve Divisions.
- Joslen 2003, pp. 65, 103.
- Whitaker's Almanacks 1905 - 1972
- Western Command at Regiments.org
- "Army Commands" (PDF). Retrieved 21 November 2015.