William Holmes (British Army officer)
|Sir William Holmes|
Lt. General W. G. Holmes, GOC 9th Army, stands on a Sherman II tank of the Wiltshire Yeomanry, 5 April 1943
|Died||1969 (aged 76 or 77)|
|Years of service||1911 - 1945|
|Unit||Royal Welch Fusiliers|
|Commands held||2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment
8th Infantry Brigade
42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division
British Troops in Egypt
|Battles/wars||First World War
Second World War
|Awards||Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order & Bar
Holmes was commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1911 and served throughout the Great War, during which he was mentioned in despatches four times and received the DSO and bar, and the Italian silver medal for valour. In 1921 he served in Waziristan.
In 1933 Holmes became commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. Promoted to colonel the same year, he was given a general staff position in the Northern Command in 1934 and given command of the 8th Infantry Brigade, part of the 3rd Infantry Division, in 1935. In 1937, he became the British Army's youngest major-general, and in 1938 got his first divisional command, the Territorial Army 42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division. Holmes commanded the 42nd Division in France in 1940 with the British Expeditionary Force.
Following the fall of France and the retreat and evacuation from Dunkirk, Holmes was promoted to lieutenant-general and given command of the newly formed X Corps in Syria and North Africa in June 1940.
In November 1941 Holmes became General Officer Commanding the British Troops in Egypt, in addition to his responsibilities as commander of X Corps, and in August 1942 he became General-Director of Transportation at the War Office. Holmes's last command was the Ninth Army, based in Palestine and Transjordan, a command he held from September 1942 until his retirement in 1945.
- 1917: Distinguished Service Order
- 1918: Silver Medal of Military Valour (Italy)
- 1938: Companion of the Order of the Bath
- 1944: Order of the Phoenix, Class II (Greece)
- 1944: Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
- 1945: Order of Polonia Restituta, Class II (Poland)
|GOC, X Corps
June 1940–August 1942
Sir James Marshall-Cornwall
|GOC the British Troops in Egypt
November 1941–February 1942
Sir Henry Maitland Wilson
|GOC British Ninth Army
September 1942 – February 1945