Charles Wainwright (British Army officer)

Major-General Charles Brian Wainwright, CB (17 August 1893 − 23 October 1968)[1] was a British Army officer.

Charles Wainwright
Born(1893-08-17)17 August 1893
Died23 October 1968(1968-10-23) (aged 75)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1914–1948
UnitRoyal Artillery
Commands held61st Infantry Division (1943–45)
54th (East Anglian) Infantry Division (1943)
183rd Infantry Brigade (1939–40)
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
King Haakon VII Freedom Cross (Norway)

Early lifeEdit

Wainwright was born on 17 August 1893 and educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, and the University of Oxford, where he was part of the University Officers' Training Corps.[2]

Military careerEdit

Wainwright was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the British Army on 20 June 1914,[3] and allocated to the Royal Artillery in August.[4] He spent much of the First World War attached to the Royal Flying Corps. He was married in 1917.[2]

An instructor at the School of Artillery, Larkhill for many years, Wainwright was promoted to Major in 1932 and a Colonel in 1939. By the outbreak of the Second World War he was commanding the 183rd Infantry Brigade on Salisbury Plain. Wainwright was appointed to command a corps' medium artillery from 1940 to 1941, when he became Commander, Royal Artillery (CRA) for the 51st Division in the North African Campaign in 1942. He was CRA to the 79th Division in 1943.[2]

Wainwright was granted the acting rank of Major-General from 14 April 1943 on assuming command of the 54th (East Anglian) Infantry Division.[5][2] He was with the division for scarcely a month when he was appointed General Officer Commanding the 61st Infantry Division, an infantry formation under Home Forces.[2] For his war services, Wainwright was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 1946 New Year Honours,[6] and was later awarded the Norwegian King Haakon VII Freedom Cross.[7] He retired from the army on 27 October 1948.[8]

Duck conservation and later lifeEdit

Wainwright became Director of the Duck Ringing Research Station at Abberton Reservoir in Essex. Described as a "prime mover in the scientific study of migrating wildfowl", he lobbied for the Abberton site to be declared a nature reserve and it was said that he individually ringed over 100,000 birds.[2] He lived near Colchester during this time and was a member of the council of the Wildfowl Trust.[2]


  1. ^ "Wainwright, Charles Brian Date of Birth: 17 August 1893". National Archives. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Smart 2005, p. 319
  3. ^ "No. 28846". The London Gazette. 3 July 1914. p. 5165.
  4. ^ "No. 28879". The London Gazette. 25 August 1914. p. 6694.
  5. ^ "No. 35994". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 April 1943. p. 1915.
  6. ^ "No. 37407". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1946. p. 5.
  7. ^ "No. 38571". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 March 1949. p. 1530.
  8. ^ "No. 38440". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 October 1948. p. 5671.


  • Smart, Nick (2005). Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War. Barnesley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 1844150496.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Military offices
Preceded by
Evelyn Barker
GOC 54th (East Anglian) Infantry Division
April–May 1943
Succeeded by
Colin Callander
Preceded by
John Carpenter
GOC 61st Infantry Division
Post disbanded