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Kendrew, Sir Douglas Anthony - KCMG CB CBE DSO***

Rank : Major General

Army Number : 44766

Unit : 2nd Bn, 7th Bn

Biography :

Born in 1910 and educated at Uppingham School, Douglas ('Joe') Kendrew was commissioned into The Leicestershire Regiment (Supplementary Reserve of Officers) on 18.1.1930, serving in the 2nd Battalion in Londonderry (being granted a Regular Commission on 28.8.1931, and promoted Lieutenant on 28.8.1934). He was a formidable Rugby prop forward, for Leicester FC, Eastern Counties, City of Derry, Ulster, Combined Services, and The Barbarians. Aged 20, in 1930 he was a member of the British Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand. He played for the Army 1932-36, and for England ten times (captain twice in 1935; in 1936 played in winning side vs New Zealand in Obolensky's match). He made 30 appearances for Leicester FC's 1st XV between 1930 and 1936, and scored 3 tries.
In 1936-38 he was an instructor at the Tank Driving & Maintenance School at Bovington, and then at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School. In 1939 in the rank of Captain he was a platoon commander at RMC Sandhurst, before becoming a company commander in the newly-formed 7th Leicesters at Nottingham. He then joined the staff of HQ 1st Army, and in 1942 became Brigade Major of 36th Independent Infantry Brigade, with whom he landed in Algiers in early 1943.
In an action three days after becoming CO of 6th Bn The York & Lancaster Regiment in Tunisia, his performance at the Second Battle for Sedjanene (50 miles west of Tunis) on 30 March 1943 led to the award of the D.S.O. He was Mentioned in Despatches at the conclusion of the North African campaign in September that year. He was awarded an Immediate Bar to the D.S.O. while commanding the same battalion just after the landings at Salerno in Italy on 9 September, and an Immediate Second Bar for his leadership on 5 January 1944 at the River Peccia, south of Monte Cassino. Shortly afterwards he became Commander of 128th (Hampshire) Brigade which he commanded in Italy and Greece (and when his Division was retrained in Palestine and Egypt), being appointed C.B.E. in December 1944 for the manner in which he had transformed the fighting ability of the Brigade.
After the Second World War, he held a further five Brigadier's appointments. From 1946-48 he was Commandant School of Infantry, Rhine Army, and from 1948-50 Commandant Army Apprentice School Harrogate, followed by two years as Chief of Staff, HQ Northern Ireland District. From 1952-53 he was Commander 29th (British) Infantry Brigade in Korea, for which he was awarded a third bar to D.S.O. for his leadership during the Battles of the Hook in early 1953. After attending the Imperial Defence College in 1954, in 1955 he was Brigadier Administration, HQ Northern Command. Promoted Major General, from 1956-58 he was GOC Cyprus District and Director of Operations during the EOKA campaign, and was appointed C.B. He was Director of Infantry 1958-60 and then Head of British Defence Liaison Staff at Canberra, before retiring from the Army in 1963.
For the next ten years (1963-73) he was Governor of Western Australia, being appointed K.C.M.G. in 1963 and a Knight of St John (KStJ) the following year. From 1965-73 he was Honorary Colonel of The SAS Regiment (Australia) and of The Royal West Australia Regiment. He was made an Honorary LLD of the University of Western Australia in 1969.
He was the last Colonel The Royal Leicestershire Regiment from 1963-64 and a Deputy Colonel The Royal Anglian Regiment 1964-65.
On return to England, from 1973-83 he was President of the Knights of the Round Table and from 1974-80 a Commissioner of The Royal Hospital Chelsea. He died in 1989, aged 68 years.
His medals are held in the Regimental Museum, and he has a memorial plaque in the Regimental Chapel in Leicester Cathedral. In April 2012, when the former RAF Cottesmore in Rutland was handed over to the Army, it was renamed Kendrew Barracks in his memory. In Australia in his honour there are: Kendrew Island (11 hectares, part of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia); Kendrew Crescent, Joondalup, a city 12 miles N of Perth; Kendrew Court, Willetton, a suburb 8 miles SE of central Perth; and Kendrew Street in the suburb of Barton, Canberra ACT.
In 2018 (the 130th anniversary of the first Lions match) the British Lions rugby organisation decided to issue ceremonial caps to everyone who had ever played for the British Lions and, where deceased, to their surviving senior next-of-kin. Altogether in excess of 900 very ornate embroidered caps in a presentation boxes are being issued. Kendrew's cap number is 258.

This page was last edited on 5.9.2019.

Date of Birth : 22.7.1910

Place of Birth : Barnstable, Devon

Date of Death : 28.2.1989

Place of Death : Nottingham

Civil Occupation : public servant

Period of Service : 1930-1963

Conflicts : WW2, Korean War, Cyprus Emergency

Places Served : GB, Northern Ireland, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy, Greece, Palestine, Egypt, West Germany, Korea, Cyprus, Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia

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