Aug 302014
 

General Sir Frank Edward Kitson

General Sir Frank Edward Kitson GBE KCB MC & Bar DL (born in 1926) is a retired British Army officer and writer on military subjects, notably low intensity operations. He rose to be Commander-in-Chief UK Land Forces from the years 1982 to 1985 and was Aide-de-Camp General to Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom from the years 1983 to 1985.

Army career

Kitson joined the army as a second lieutenant on an emergency commission in the Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own), he was appointed to a regular commission as a lieutenant on 10th April 1948 (with seniority from 15th December 1947), and promoted to captain on 15th of December 1953. He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) on 1st January 1955 for service in the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, and was awarded a Bar to it on 23 May 1958, for service in the Malayan Emergency the previous year, the citation for the bar read:

The War Office, 23rd May, 1958.

The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Malaya for the period 31st August to 31st December, 1957:—
Bar to the Military Cross.

Captain (temporary Major) Frank Edward Kitson, M.C. (362061), The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own).
For exceptional skill and leadership as a Company Commander during jungle operations. By his devotion to duty he attained the virtual elimination of two communist party branches in a difficult area.

He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1959 Queen’s Birthday Honours. He was promoted major on 15th December 1960, and brevet lieutenant-colonel on 1st July 1964, and to the substantive rank on 31st December 1966. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1968 New Year Honours. He was promoted colonel on 31st December 1969 (with seniority from 30th June 1969), and brigadier on 30th June 1970.

From September 1970 Kitson commanded 39 Airportable Brigade, which comprised 8 (frequently changing) battalions on short, four month, tours. A further brigade was usually attached as brigade reserve, but this could be employed elsewhere as required.

On the 15th February 1972 he was promoted Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his operational service in Northern Ireland the previous year. On 22nd January 1976 he became General Officer Commanding 2 Division, with the acting rank of major-general, with substantive promotion following on 5th April 1976 (and seniority from 2nd June 1974), and leading its re-designation as an Armoured Division in Germany before stepping down on 28th February 1978. He was then Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley, 5th March 1978 – 18th January 1980. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 1980 New Year Honours. On 17th March 1980 he was appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief UK Land Forces and Inspector General Territorial Army, with substantive promotion to lieutenant-general (with seniority backdated to 17th August 1979). He held those appointments until 30th May 1982, and then became Commander-in-Chief, UK Land Forces on 1st July 1982 with local rank of general.

As is traditional for senior officers of the British Army, Kitson held a number of more honorary positions, Colonel Commandant of 2nd Battalion, Royal Green Jackets 1st of January 1979 – 1st of January 1987; Honorary Colonel to the University of Oxford Officer Training Corps 21st July 1982 – 21st July 1987; Aide-de-Camp General to the Queen 14th of February 1983–1985. In 1985 he was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE). He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Devon on 19th June 1989

In retirement he has given evidence to the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland.

Sourced from Wikipedia