Charles Fullbrook-Leggatt

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Major-General Charles St. Quentin Outen Fullbrook-Leggatt CBE DSO MC (16 August 1889 − 29 May 1972) was a British Army officer who served in both the world wars.

Military career[edit]

Charles Fullbrook-Leggatt was born on 16 August 1889, the second son of Charles Outen Fullbrook (later Fullbrook-Leggatt), of Knightslee, Reading, Berkshire, and Mary Julia, daughter of writer Rev. Francis Ballard Wells, rector of Woodchurch, Kent.[1][2][3] He was educated at, first, Reading School, later Bath College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, from where he graduated on 18 September 1909, being commissioned into the Royal Berkshire Regiment of the British Army, and had the service number of 2009.[4][5]

First World War[edit]

He was posted to his regiment's 1st Battalion, was promoted to lieutenant on 17 August 1911,[6] and served with distinction on the Western Front during the First World War. Promoted to battalion adjutant on 11 September 1914,[7] he gained one of the first Distinguished Service Orders (DSO) of the war, awarded in December 1914 for actions in late August.[4] Promoted to captain the following year, he ended the war as a brevet major, and had been, in addition to the DSO, awarded the Military Cross (MC) in 1915[7] and was four times mentioned in dispatches, and wounded in action twice, the first time being at the Battle of Loos in 1915.[4] After recovering from his injury he returned to France and was made brigade major with the 137th Brigade, part of the 46th (North Midland) Division, from 16 March 1917 until 27 March 1918, followed briefly by General Staff Officer Grade 2 (GSO2) with XIX Corps, GSO2 to the 49th (West Riding) Division from 9 April until 12 July, and finally as a GSO2 to the Supreme War Council, Versailles.[8]

Between the wars[edit]

As a Regular Army officer, he remained in the army during the difficult interwar period, attending the Staff College, Camberley, from 1922 to 1923, alongside future generals such as John Evetts, Gerald Smallwood, Richard Wootten, Robert Money, Douglas Paige, George Beresford, John Martin, Charles Lane, Frank Simmons, Kenneth Gattie, Cecil Heydeman, Thomas Hutton and Douglas McArthur Hogg. After graduating, from 16 January 1924[9] until 1 October 1926[10] he was a brigade major with the 9th Infantry Brigade.

He returned to his regiment in the 1930s, commanding the 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshires from 1932 to 1936.[4] He then was sent as an instructor at the Senior Officers' School, Sheerness, a post he held for over three years, from October 1936,[11] until the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939.[4]

Second World War[edit]

On 22 August 1939, just before the outbreak of war, Fullbrook-Leggatt was promoted to the temporary rank of brigadier[12] and was given command of the 184th Infantry Brigade, part of the 61st Infantry Division, then commanded by Major General Robert Collins.[4] The brigade was a second line Territorial Army (TA) formation, only very recently formed as a duplicate of the 145th Infantry Brigade, and was composed largely of part-time civilian soldiers. The outbreak of war saw the brigade mobilised for full-time war service, and training for eventual overseas service in France with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), although the German invasion of France in May 1940 forestalled this, and the brigade, along with the rest of the 61st Division, now commanded by Major General Adrian Carton de Wiart, moved to Northern Ireland, after the BEF was evacuated from France and there was a possibility of the Germans invading the United Kingdom through Southern Ireland (see Operation Green).[4]

On 6 April 1941, Fullbrook-Leggatt was promoted to the acting rank of major general and succeeded Carton de Wiart as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the division. In addition to his old 184th Brigade, the division comprised the 182nd and 183rd Infantry Brigades, along with supporting divisional troops, and the 61st's responsibility was still that of the defence of Northern Ireland, and the division trained hard in a counterattack role. Fullbrook-Leggatt was only with the division until September 1942, and the following year served on the staff of Allied Forces Headquarters (AFHQ) and, in 1944, becoming an area commander in Italy.[4]

Fullbrook-Leggatt retired from the army in October 1946 and was granted the honorary rank of major general (having still technically been a full colonel).

Family[edit]

In 1915 Fullbrook-Leggatt married Mary Katherine (22 June 1891 - 25 January 1972), daughter of Colonel George Hastings Bittleston, D.S.O., C.B.E., of Ashleigh, Whitchurch, Devon;[13] they had two daughters:[14]

  • Barbara Loveday Fullbrook-Leggatt (1919-2017), who married William John Webb (1910-1994)
  • Diana Mary Fullbrook-Leggatt (1923-2016), who married Brigadier Philip Henry Cecil Hayward C.B.E. (1909-1983)

He lived out his final years in Cromer, Norfolk, where he died on 29 May 1972, at the age of 82.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, vol. 95, Kelly's Directories, 1969, p. 789
  2. ^ Visitation of England and Wales, vol. 19, Joseph Jackson Howard, 1917, p. 127
  3. ^ The Law Journal Reports, vol. 58, E. B. Ince, 1889, p. 836
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Smart, p. 109
  5. ^ "No. 28289". The London Gazette. 17 September 1909. p. 6962.
  6. ^ "No. 28530". The London Gazette. 12 September 1911. p. 6731.
  7. ^ a b "No. 28914". The London Gazette. 25 September 1914. p. 7595.
  8. ^ https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/79291-capt-charles-fullbrook-leggatt-dso-mc/
  9. ^ "No. 32901". The London Gazette. 25 January 1924. p. 773.
  10. ^ "No. 33212". The London Gazette. 19 October 1926. p. 6688.
  11. ^ "No. 34322". The London Gazette. 16 October 1936. p. 6611.
  12. ^ "No. 34660". The London Gazette. 29 August 1939. p. 5921.
  13. ^ Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, Kelly's Directories, 1969, p. 2785
  14. ^ http://www.oldredingensians.org.uk/design/pdfs/OLDRED111_Spring%202011.pdf

Bibliography[edit]

  • Smart, Nick (2005). Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War. Barnesley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 1844150496.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Adrian Carton de Wiart
GOC 61st Infantry Division
1941–1942
Succeeded by
John Carpenter