Siddhesh Joshi

Michael Gambier Parry

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Years of service  1911 - 1944
Service/branch  British Army
Name  Michael Gambier-Parry
Rank  Major general
Died  1976
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Awards  Military Cross

Michael Gambier-Parry photosgenicomp13e8bf09805344483af37910a7g
Commands held  Malaya Infantry Brigade 2nd Armoured Division

Major-General Michael Denman Gambier-Parry MC DL (21 August 1891 – 30 April 1976) was a senior British Army officer who commanded the 2nd Armoured Division during the Western Desert Campaign of World War II.

Contents

Early life and family

The Gambier-Parrys of Highnam Court, Gloucestershire were an artistic and military family (see Thomas Gambier Parry and the latter's son, eminent composer Sir Hubert Parry). His uncle Ernest Gambier-Parry was a major in the army sent to Egypt to avenge the death of General Gordon, and wrote a book (Suakin, 1885) about his experiences. Michael's father was architect Sidney Gambier-Parry.

Military career

Educated at Eton College, Gambier-Parry entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and was commissioned, a Captain into the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1911. He served in World War I in France (awarded the Military Cross) and in the Gallipoli Campaign and then in Mesopotamia. He attended the Staff College, Camberley from 1923 to 1924, and transferred to the Royal Tank Corps in 1924 and then served as a General Staff Officer at the War Office before becoming Commander of the Malaya Infantry Brigade in 1938.

He served in World War II as Head of the British Military Mission to Greece in 1940 and then as General Officer Commanding 2nd Armoured Division in North Africa before becoming a Prisoner of war in 1941.

He was captured by the Italians along with Brigadier Vaughan at Mechili in April 1941. Arriving in Villa Orsini near Sulmona with Philip Neame, Richard O'Connor, John Combe and George Younghusband, he was sent to Castello de Vincigliata PG12 near Florence the same year. As Carton de Wiart wrote of him "…he was also a most gifted man, made delightful sketches, was a first class 'forger' – which could no doubt earn him a steady income in the underworld". Known as 'GP', he was a knowledgeable musician, "and led the choir in our church services on Sunday". In September 1943 he escaped with the other officers and after various adventures arrived in Rome where he had obtained sanctuary in a convent, till the allies arrived. He retired in 1944.

Postwar

In retirement he lived at the Weavers House in Castle Combe near Chippenham and House Forest Gate in Poundgate near Crowborough and became Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire.

References

Michael Gambier-Parry Wikipedia


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