Military Wiki
Sir Richard Hull
Field Marshal Sir Richard Hull
Born (1907-05-07)7 May 1907
Died 17 September 1989(1989-09-17) (aged 82)
Place of birth Cosham, Hampshire
Place of death Pinhoe, Devon
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1926–1967
Rank Field Marshal
Commands held 1st Armoured Division
5th Infantry Division
Staff College, Camberley
British Troops in Egypt
Far East Land Forces
Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Awards KG (21 April 1980)
GCB (2 June 1961)
KCB (2 January 1956)
CB (5 July 1945)
DSO (9 February 1943)
Other work Constable of the Tower of London (1970–1975)
Honorary Colonel, Cambridge University Officers Training Corps (Territorial Army)
Sheriff of the County of Devon (13 November 1972)
Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Devonshire (3 May 1973)
High Sheriff of Devon (13 November 1974)
Lord Lieutenant of Devonshire (5 October 1978)

Field Marshal Sir Richard Amyatt Hull, KG, GCB, DSO, DL (7 May 1907 – 17 September 1989) was the last Chief of the Imperial General Staff (1961–1964) and the first Chief of the General Staff, and as such the professional head of the British Army and then Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of all British Armed Forces. He served in World War II and later advised the British Government on the response to the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.

Military career

Born the son of Major-General Sir Charles Patrick Amyatt Hull and Muriel Helen Hull (née Dobell),[1] and educated at Charterhouse School and Trinity College, Cambridge,[2] Hull was commissioned into the 17th/21st Lancers on 1 November 1926.[3] Posted with his regiment to Egypt in October 1928, he was promoted to lieutenant on 7 May 1931 and to captain on 1 June 1933 before going on to India in October 1933.[2]

After serving in the Directorate of Staff Duties at the War Office from February 1940, Hull was appointed Commander of C Squadron of his regiment in March 1941 and then Commanding Officer of the regiment in August 1941 before joining the staff of the 1st Canadian Armoured Division in June 1942.[4] He was given command of Blade Force, a unit based on the 17th/21st Lancers, in September 1942:[1] the unit landed in North Africa and advanced at speed to Tebourba for which he was awarded the DSO on 11 February 1943.[5] He became brigade commander of 12th Infantry Brigade in April 1943 and then 26th Armoured Brigade in North Africa in late 1943, being mentioned in despatches for services on 27 January 1944,[6] before becoming Deputy Director of Staff Duties at the War Office in December 1943.[4] He became General Officer Commanding of the 1st Armoured Division in Italy in August 1944, leading the division through the fierce battles of Operation Olive on the Gothic Line;[1] he was checked by the Germans at Coriano.[4] Following the division's disbandment at the end of September, he became the commander of the 5th Division in November 1944, leading the division through the final phases of the war in North West Europe and, having been promoted to the substantive rank of major on 7 May 1945,[7] he was appointed CB on 5 July 1945.[8]

Promoted to colonel on 13 April 1946,[9] he was appointed Commandant of Staff College, Camberley in May 1946, having been promoted again to major-general on 13 June 1947,[10] he became Director of Staff Duties at the War Office in September 1948 and Chief Army Instructor at the Imperial Defence College on 1 January 1951.[11] He became Chief of Staff at headquarters Middle East Land Forces on 26 January 1953.[12] He was appointed General Officer Commanding British troops in Egypt on 15 June 1954[13] and, having been promoted to lieutenant general on 29 September 1954[14] and advanced to KCB in the New Year Honours 1956,[15] he became Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff on 5 October 1956.[16] He was appointed Commander in Chief Far East Land Forces on 25 June 1958[17] and, having been promoted to full general on 13 February 1959[18] and advanced to GCB in the Queen's Birthday Honours 1961,[19] he became Chief of the Imperial General Staff on 1 November 1961[20] (restyled Chief of the General Staff in April 1964).[4] In this capacity he advised the British Government on the response to the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.[21] Having been promoted to field marshal on 8 February 1965,[22] he was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff on 16 July 1965.[23] He retired from the British Army on 5 August 1967.[24]

He was also appointed Colonel of the 17th/21st Lancers from July 1947, Honorary Colonel of the Cambridge University Contingent from 30 May 1958[25] and Colonel Commandant of the Royal Armoured Corps from April 1968.[21]

In retirement he became a Non-Executive Director of Whitbread.[1] He was appointed Constable of the Tower of London from 1 August 1970,[26] Lord Lieutenant of Devon from 5 October 1978[27] and a Knight of the Garter on 23 April 1980.[28]

His interests included shooting, fly fishing and gardening; he knew every plant in his garden by their English, latin and local name.[1] He died of cancer at his home, Beacon Downe in Pinhoe in Devon on 17 September 1989.[1]


In 1934 he married Antoinette Labouchére de Rougement; they had a son and two daughters.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Sir Richard Hull". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Heathcote, Anthony pg 180
  3. "No. 33222". 19 November 1926. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Heathcote, Anthony pg 181
  5. "No. 35898". 9 February 1943. 
  6. "No. 36349". 25 January 1944. 
  7. "No. 37066". 4 May 1945. 
  8. "No. 37161". 3 July 1945. 
  9. "No. 37643". 5 July 1946. 
  10. "No. 37997". 24 June 1947. 
  11. "No. 39110". 2 January 1951. 
  12. "No. 39776". 10 February 1953. 
  13. "No. 40278". 14 September 1954. 
  14. "No. 40346". 7 December 1954. 
  15. "No. 40669". 30 December 1955. 
  16. "No. 40893". 2 October 1956. 
  17. "No. 41429". 24 June 1958. 
  18. "No. 41655". 10 March 1959. 
  19. "No. 42370". 2 June 1961. 
  20. "No. 42503". 31 October 1961. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Heathcote, Anthony pg 182
  22. "No. 43569". 5 February 1965. 
  23. "No. 43712". 13 July 1965. 
  24. "No. 44376". 28 July 1967. 
  25. "No. 41398". 27 May 1958. 
  26. "No. 45163". 4 August 1970. 
  27. "No. 47659". 9 October 1978. 
  28. "No. 48167". 25 April 1980. 

Further reading

  • Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals 1736–1997. Barnsley (UK): Pen & Sword. ISBN 0-85052-696-5. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Alexander Galloway
GOC 1st Armoured Division
August 1944 – September 1944
Succeeded by
Post Disbanded
Preceded by
Philip Gregson-Ellis
General Officer Commanding the 5th Division
Succeeded by
Philip Gregson-Ellis
Preceded by
Philip Gregson-Ellis
Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley
Succeeded by
Alfred Dudley Ward
Preceded by
Sir Alfred Ward
Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Succeeded by
Sir Harold Pyman
Preceded by
Sir Francis Festing
C-in-C Far East Land Forces
Succeeded by
Sir Nigel Poett
Preceded by
Sir Francis Festing
Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Succeeded by
Post abolished
Preceded by
New post
Chief of the General Staff
Succeeded by
Sir James Cassels
Preceded by
The Viscount Mountbatten of Burma
Chief of the Defence Staff
Succeeded by
The Lord Elworthy
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Gerald Templer
Constable of the Tower of London
Succeeded by
Sir Geoffrey Baker
Preceded by
The Lord Roborough
Lord Lieutenant of Devon
Succeeded by
The Earl of Morley

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