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Lieutenant General Sir Barnabas William Benjamin "Barney" White-Spunner, KCB, CBE (born 1957) is a former British Army officer, who was subsequently Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance and is now an author and Director of Burstock Ltd.

Sir Barney White-Spunner
Born1957 (age 61–62)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1979–2011
RankLieutenant General
Commands heldHousehold Cavalry
Kabul Multinational Brigade
3rd Mechanised Division
Multinational Division (South East)
Field Army
Battles/warsBosnian War
Iraq War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Officer of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Other workExecutive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance and Director of the Countryside Alliance Foundation

Military careerEdit

Educated at Eton College and the University of St Andrews, Barney White-Spunner was commissioned into the Blues and Royals in 1979.[1] He was appointed Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry in 1996 and in that capacity was deployed to Bosnia.[1] In 1998, he was promoted to colonel[2] and became Deputy Director of Defence Policy at NATO and in 2001 he took charge of Operation Essential Harvest, which was aimed at disarming Albanian insurgents in Macedonia.[1]

He became Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade in December 2000[1] and was given command of the Kabul Multinational Brigade in 2002 before becoming Chief of Joint Force Operations for the national contingent in the Middle East in 2003.[1]

By 2005 he was Chief of Staff at Land Command[3] and in 2007 he was appointed General Officer Commanding 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division.[4] In February 2008 he deployed with elements of 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division to Iraq where those elements formed HQ Multinational Division (South East).[1] He went on to be Commander of the Field Army in 2009.[5]

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2002[6] and Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2011 Birthday Honours.[7][8]

On 7 January 2010, White-Spunner gave evidence to the Iraq Inquiry regarding the Battle of Basra.[9]

He retired from the British Army in December 2011[10][11] and was appointed Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance and Director of the Countryside Alliance Foundation in January 2012.[10][11]

He retired from The Countryside Alliance in 2016.[12] He subsequently became a Director of Burstock Ltd.[13]

Literary careerEdit

White-Spunner started his literary career writing for The Field in 1992.[1] He became editor of Baily's Hunting Directory in 1997.[1] Publications (chronological order):

  • Baily's hunting companion, Cambridge,England: Baily's, 1994, OCLC 49733085 coauthored with British Field Sports Society.
  • "The thin blue line: Britain's military contribution to the United Nations", Brassey's defence yearbook, 105, 1995, pp. 32–40, OCLC 79031832
  • Our countryside, Cambridge,England: Baily's, 1996, OCLC 38474081 co-authored with Simon Everett
  • Great days, Cambridge,England: Baily's, 1997, OCLC 51743648 — Contains extracts from past editions of Baily's hunting directory.
  • Horse guards, London: Macmillan, 2006, OCLC 61302547
  • "How academia and the military can work together", Cultural heritage, ethics and the military, Woodbridge, Suffolk & Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2011, OCLC 663952868 also OCLC 817105632
  • "Great expectations: broadening the military role to include nation building", British generals in Blair's wars, Farnham, Surrey, England: Burlington, VT, 2013, OCLC 747232667
  • Of Living Valour : the Story of the Soldiers of Waterloo, London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2015, OCLC 904549365
  • The Story of Indian Independence and the Creation of Pakistan in 1947, London: Simon & Schuster, 2017, OCLC 1023209355


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Barney White-Spunner: the very model of a modern Major General The Independent, 3 August 2008
  2. ^ "No. 55365". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 January 1999. p. 53.
  3. ^ "No. 57641". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 May 2005. p. 6409.
  4. ^ "No. 58497". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 October 2007. p. 15669.
  5. ^ "No. 59120". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 July 2009. p. 11615.
  6. ^ "No. 56735". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 October 2002. p. 7.
  7. ^ "No. 59808". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2011. p. 2.
  8. ^ Queen's Birthday Honours List 2011 Archived 30 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Oral Evidence The Iraq Inquiry, 7 January 2010
  10. ^ a b Top soldier is Countryside Alliance's new boss Archived 19 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine Horse and Hound, 19 January 2012
  11. ^ a b Former Head of UK Field Army Appointed to lead Countryside Alliance Countryside Alliance, 19 January 2012
  12. ^ "Simon Hart MP returns to the Countryside Alliance". Countryside Alliance. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  13. ^ "About us". Burstock. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
Military offices
Preceded by
Richard Shirreff
General Officer Commanding the 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division
Succeeded by
James Everard
Preceded by
Graham Binns
General Officer Commanding
Multi-National Division (South East), Iraq

February 2008 – August 2008
Succeeded by
Andy Salmon
Preceded by
Sir Graeme Lamb
Commander Field Army
Succeeded by
Post disbanded
Preceded by
Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman
Colonel Commandant and President, Honourable Artillery Company
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Barrons