Charles Norman

Major General Charles Wake Norman CBE (13 February 1891 – September 1974) was a senior British Army officer who served in World War I and World War II and became General Officer Commanding (GOC) Aldershot District.

Charles Norman
Born13 February 1891
Marylebone, London, England
DiedSeptember 1974 (aged 83)
Maidstone, Kent, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1910−1946
RankMajor General
Service number8184
UnitQueen's Own West Kent Yeomanry
9th Queen's Royal Lancers
Commands held9th Queen's Royal Lancers
1st Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade
27th Armoured Brigade
8th Armoured Division
10th Armoured Division
Aldershot District
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsCommander of the Order of the British Empire

Military careerEdit

Charles Wake Norman was born on 13 February 1891 in Marylebone, London, England, and was educated at Eton College and then Cambridge University. Norman was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Queen's Own West Kent Yeomanry, a Territorial Force unit, on 6 October 1910.[2] On 20 August 1913 he transferred to the 9th Lancers.[3] He served with the regiment when it was deployed to France, soon after the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. However, at the end of the month he was wounded and captured, and was destined to remain as a prisoner of war (POW) for the next four years, remaining in captivity at Krefeld, Germany.[1]

After being released in 1919 he remained in the army, initially with the 9th Lancers serving around the British Empire, in India and Egypt. After marrying in 1925, he returned to England where he became an instructor at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He then attended the Staff College, Camberley, from 1927 to 1928. His fellow students there included Philip Christison, Evelyn Barker, Oliver Leese, Eric Dorman-Smith, Eric Hayes, John Whiteley, Ronald Penney, John Hawkesworth, Clement West, Christopher Woolner, Robert Bridgeman and Stanley Kirby. All of these men would, like Norman himself, reach general officer rank or distinguish themselves during World War II.[1]

He served in World War II initially as Inspector of the Royal Armoured Corps.[4] In 1940 he was made Commander of the 1st Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade during the Battle of France and then Commander of 27th Armoured Brigade.[4]

He was appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8th Armoured Division in 1941 and GOC 10th Armoured Division in the Middle East in 1942.[4] He went on to be GOC Aldershot District in 1944[5] before becoming Major-General in charge of Armoured Fighting Vehicles at Middle East Command in 1945.[4] He retired from the army in 1946.[4]

He lived at Bromley Common until 1946[6] and was appointed High Sheriff of Kent in 1947.[7]

He was the President of Kent County Cricket Club in 1956.[8]


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


  1. ^ a b c Smart, p. 235
  2. ^ "No. 28435". The London Gazette. 8 November 1910. p. 7982.
  3. ^ "No. 28747". The London Gazette. 19 August 1913. p. 5934.
  4. ^ a b c d e
  5. ^ British Military History Archived 11 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ The Normans
  7. ^ "No. 38126". The London Gazette. 18 November 1947. p. 5439.
  8. ^ The Kent County Cricket Club Annual 1956 - Member's Copy

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Richard McCreery
GOC 8th Armoured Division
Succeeded by
Charles Gairdner
Preceded by
Alexander Gatehouse
GOC 10th Armoured Division
Succeeded by
Horace Birks
Preceded by
New post
GOC Aldershot District
September−December 1944
Succeeded by
Henry Curtis
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Desmond Beale-Brown
Colonel of the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers
Succeeded by
Sir Christopher Peto