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Alexander Harley

General Sir Alexander George Hamilton Harley, KBE, CB (born 3 May 1941) is a retired British Army officer and former Adjutant-General to the Forces.

Sir Alex Harley
Born (1941-05-03) 3 May 1941 (age 77)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1962–2000
Rank General
Commands held British Forces Cyprus
33rd Armoured Brigade
19th Regiment Royal Artillery

The Troubles

Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Mentioned in Despatches


Military careerEdit

Educated at Caterham School, Alexander Harley was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1962.[1] He was mentioned in despatches for services in Northern Ireland in 1978.[2] He was appointed Commanding Officer of 19th Regiment Royal Artillery in 1979, Commander of 33rd Armoured Brigade in 1985 and Assistant Chief of Staff Operations for the Northern Army Group in 1988.[3] He went on to be Assistant Chief of Defence Staff in 1990 and Commander of British Forces Cyprus and Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas in 1993.[3]

Harley became Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Commitments) in 1995[4] and Adjutant-General to the Forces in 1997[5] before he retired in August 2000.[6] He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1981 Queen's Birthday Honours[7] and a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 1991 Queen's Birthday Honours.[8]


In 2001 he became Master Gunner, St. James's Park, a post he gave up in 2008.[9] In retirement he also became an advisor to Thales Air Systems and a Vice-President of Raleigh International.[10]


In 1967 he married Christina Valentine Butler-Cole and they went on to have two sons.[3]


  1. ^ "No. 42804". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 October 1962. p. 7912.
  2. ^ "No. 47560". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 June 1978. p. 6842.
  3. ^ a b c Debrett's People of Today 1994
  4. ^ "No. 53986". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 July 2008. p. 4331.
  5. ^ "No. 54781". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 June 1997. p. 6467.
  6. ^ "No. 55942". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 August 2000. p. 9035.
  7. ^ "No. 48651". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 1981. p. 8085.
  8. ^ "No. 52588". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 June 1991. p. 23.
  9. ^ "No. 58771". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 July 2008. p. 11003.
  10. ^ "Dan's Fund for Burns". Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
Military offices
Preceded by
Sandy Hunter
Commander British Forces Cyprus
Succeeded by
Peter Millar
Preceded by
Sir Nicholas Hill-Norton
Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Commitments)
Succeeded by
Sir John Day
Preceded by
Sir Michael Rose
Adjutant General
Succeeded by
Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lord Vincent
Master Gunner, St. James's Park
Succeeded by
Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman