William Duthie Morgan

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Sir William Duthie Morgan
Sir William Duthie Morgan.jpg
In Italy, March 1945.
Nickname(s) "Monkey"
Born 1891
Died 1977 (aged 85-86)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1913–1950
Rank General
Unit Royal Artillery
Commands held 10th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division
Southern Command
Mediterranean Theater of Operations
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross
Mentioned in dispatches (Five times)[1]

General Sir William Duthie Morgan GCB DSO MC (1891–1977) was a senior British Army officer active during the First World War and later in the Second World War where he commanded the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.

Military career[edit]

Morgan entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the British Army's Royal Artillery in 1913.[2] He served in the First World War, winning the Distinguished Service Order at the Battle of Le Cateau in 1914 and later the Military Cross[3] and was mentioned in dispatches four times.[1]

During the interwar period his postings included active service in Waziristan and a period as a staff officer (GSO3) in the War Office in London.[1] In 1929 he was appointed military attaché at the British Embassy in Budapest, Hungary where he remained until 1931. In 1933 when he was posted as a major to the 19th Field Brigade, Royal Artillery in Bordon[1] and in 1934 be became Chief Instructor at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.[1]

In the Second World War Morgan (nicknamed Monkey) initially commanded the 10th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and then became the senior staff officer (GSO1) with the 1st Infantry Division in France.[1] Back in the United Kingdom he was appointed to the rank of temporary brigadier to be Brigadier General Staff (BGS) of 1st Corps.[1][3] Having had his permanent rank advanced to full colonel in May 1941 (with seniority back dated to 1939),[4] he was appointed acting major-general and appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC)[5] 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division in June. In October 1941 he was injured[1] and was forced to relinquish this appointment and revert to the rank of colonel on full pay.[6]

Returned to fitness, in September 1942 Morgan was appointed an acting lieutenant-general[7] to be Chief of the General Staff for Home Forces.[1][3] When British land forces were reorganised in July 1943 to create the 21st Army Group for the planned invasion of northwest Europe, Morgan became Chief of Staff of the new army group.[1] His rank was upgraded to temporary lieutenant-general in September 1943[8] and he was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 1944 New Year's honours list.[9] In February 1944 he was made General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) for Southern Command.[1] While still appointed a temporary lieutenant-general, Morgan's permanent rank was advanced to major-general in May 1944.[10] In March 1945[11] he became Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean Theatre, Field Marshal Sir Harold Alexander. In May 1945, he accepted the surrender of all Axis forces on the Italian Front.[1][3] In September 1945 he was appointed Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for the Mediterranean Theatre and then in October succeeded Alexander as the Supreme Allied Commander.[1][3] Also in October he was made Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.[12] The Morgan Line, which at one time demarcated the boundary between Italy and Yugoslavia, was named after him.[13]

In August 1946, after the war, Morgan's rank of lieutenant-general was made permanent (with seniority backdated to the end of 1944)[14] and in November 1946 was promoted to full general.[1][15]

In 1947 Morgan was made Commander of the British Army Staff in Washington, D.C.[1] and Army member of the Joint Staff Mission to the United States.[3] In this capacity Morgan was offered access to the atomic bomb by General Dwight D. Eisenhower as an incentive to persuade Britain to give up its own programme.[16] His knighthood was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 1949 New Year Honours[17] and he retired from the British Army in June 1950.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Houterman, Hans; Koppes, Jeroen. "World War II unit histories and officers". Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28683. p. 497. 21 January 1913. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35157. p. 2648. 6 May 1941. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35192. p. 3440. 13 June 1941. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35337. p. 6427. 4 November 1941. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35740. p. 4431. 9 October 1942. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36186. p. 4295. 24 September 1943. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36309. p. 4. 31 December 1943. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36519. p. 2273. 16 May 1944. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  11. ^ Jackson, p. 196.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37310. p. 5097. 16 October 1945. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  13. ^ White's Political Dictionary, 1947
  14. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37701. p. 4295. 23 August 1946. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37796. p. 5769. 22 November 1946. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  16. ^ Bomb offer exposed 6 December 1992
  17. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38493. p. 2. 31 December 1948. Retrieved 18 August 2010.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Jackson, General Sir William & Gleave, Group Captain T.P. (2004) [1st. pub. HMSO:1988]. Butler, Sir James, ed. The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume VI: Victory in the Mediterranean, Part 3 - November 1944 to May 1945. History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series. Uckfield, UK: Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84574-072-6. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Loyd
GOC-in-C Southern Command
1944–1945
Succeeded by
Sir Sidney Kirkman