William Gurdon Stirling

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the 19th century British Army general of the same name, see William Stirling (1835-1906).
Sir William Stirling
Born (1907-05-25)25 May 1907
Chelsea, London, England
Died 1973
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1926–1966
Rank General
Commands held 27th Infantry Brigade
2nd Division
Western Command
British Army of the Rhine
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order

General Sir William Gurdon Stirling GCB CBE DSO (1907–1973) was a British Army General who reached high office during the 1960s.

Military career[edit]

Born the son of Major Charles Stirling, RHA (1870–1914) of Ropers Hall, Bures, Suffolk and his wife The Hon Amy Harriott Gurdon (1864–1944), (daughter of Lord Cranworth), William Stirling was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1926.[1] He served in World War II as Assistant Military Secretary at the War Office and was deployed to North Africa and North West Europe.[1]

He was appointed Commander Royal Artillery for 1st Division in Palestine between 1947 and 1948 going on to be Chief of Staff at Anti-Aircraft Command between 1950 and 1952.[1] He was appointed Commander 27th Infantry Brigade in 1952 and then Principal Staff Officer to the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff in 1956.[1] He became General Officer Commanding 2nd Division in 1958 and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief for Western Command in 1960.[1]

He went on to be Military Secretary to the Secretary of State for War in 1961 and Commander-in-Chief, British Army of the Rhine and Commander, Northern Army Group in 1963; he retired in 1966.[1]

From 1967 to 1973 he was Gentleman Usher to the Sword of State, an officer of the Royal Household.[2][3]


In 1941 he married Frances Marguerite Wedderburn Wilson and together they went on to have three daughters.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  2. ^ "no. 44241". The London Gazette. 3 February 1967. p. 1299. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  3. ^ "no. 46113". The London Gazette. 26 October 1967. p. 12735. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  4. ^ The Peerage.com
Military offices
Preceded by
Cosmo Nevill
General Officer Commanding the 2nd Division
Succeeded by
Edward Williams
Preceded by
Sir Otway Herbert
GOC-in-C Western Command
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Howard-Vyse
Preceded by
Sir Geoffrey Thompson
Military Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir John Anderson
Preceded by
Sir James Cassels
Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine
Succeeded by
Sir John Hackett
Court offices
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Barratt
Gentleman Usher to the Sword of State
Succeeded by
Sir Desmond Dreyer