William Havelock Ramsden

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William Havelock Ramsden
The British Army in North Africa 1942 E15295.jpg
Winston Churchill shaking hands with Ramsden, commanding XXX Corps, El Alamein area, 7 August 1942.
Born 3 October 1888
Died 1969
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1910–45
Rank Major General
Unit West India Regiment
East Yorkshire Regiment
Commands held British Troops in Sudan and Eritrea
3rd Infantry Division
XXX Corps
50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division
25th Infantry Brigade
West Lancashire Area
1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross

Major General William Havelock Ramsden, CB, CBE, DSO, MC (3 October 1888 – 1969) was a senior British Army officer during the Second World War.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Bath College and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Ramsden was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the West India Regiment in 1910.[1] He served in the First World War in the Cameroons and in Nigeria and then, from 1916, as a captain in the East Yorkshire Regiment, in France and Belgium.[1] Between the wars Ramsden remained in the British Army, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel by 1933, and securing command of the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment in 1936.[1] He was on active service on operations in Waziristan and Palestine during this period.[1] He went on to be Commander of the West Lancashire Area in 1939.[1]

He fought in the Second World War, commanding the 25th Infantry Brigade during the fighting in France in May 1940 as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).[1] In December 1940 he was appointed General Officer Commanding the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division which fought well in North Africa.[1] He was promoted to command XXX Corps in July 1942, which post he held until September 1942.[1] He was given Bernard Montgomery's old command, the 3rd Infantry Division, in December 1942.[1] From early 1944 he was deployed to the Sudan, later commanding British Troops in Sudan and Eritrea. He retired in 1945.[1]


External links and sources[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Giffard Le Quesne Martel
50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division
Succeeded by
John Nichols
Preceded by
Willoughby Norrie
July 1942 – September 1942
Succeeded by
Oliver Leese
Preceded by
Eric Hayes
GOC 3rd Infantry Division
Succeeded by
Tom Rennie