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Major-General John Harold Owen Wilsey CB CBE DSO (1904 − 20 July 1961) was a senior British Army officer who fought in World War II and later commanded the 2nd Division.

John Wilsey
Died20 July 1961 (aged 56−57)
St. Saviour, Jersey
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1936−1956
Service number30965
UnitDorsetshire Regiment
Worcestershire Regiment
Commands held9th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
7th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's Regiment
158th Infantry Brigade
5th Infantry Brigade
2nd Division
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order

Military careerEdit

John Wilsey was born in 1904 and was educated at Haileybury and Imperial Service College and later attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst,[1] He passed out from the latter on 27 August 1924, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Dorset Regiment, a line infantry regiment of the British Army.[2] However, due to a lack of promotion in the Dorsets, he transferred to the Worcestershire Regiment on 27 February 1936, and was promoted to captain in that regiment.[3][4]

Wilsey served in the Second World War, as Commanding Officer (CO) of the 9th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment in Northern Ireland and Southeast England from January−October 1943. The battalion formed part of the 182nd Brigade of the 61st Division and, although initially selected to take part in the Allied invasion of Normandy, it fid not materialise. He then served as CO of the 7th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, which formed part of the 147th Brigade of the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division. He led the battalion during the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944 and throughout the Battle of Normandy, and through most of the Northwest Europe Campaign until, in early January 1945, Wilsey was promoted to command the 158th Brigade, part of the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division, which he commanded for rest of the campaign in North West Europe until Victory in Europe Day in May 1945.[4]

After the war he took command of the 5th Infantry Brigade in 1949, became Director of Infantry in 1951 and Director of Staff Duties at the War Office in 1953.[4] His last appointment was as General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2nd Division from 1954 before retiring from the army in 1956.[5]

In retirement he lived at Maufant Manor in St. Saviour on Jersey.[4]


  1. ^ Orders of Chivalry Haileybury
  2. ^ "No. 32969". The London Gazette. 29 August 1924. p. 6499.
  3. ^ "No. 34323". The London Gazette. 15 September 1936. p. 5936.
  4. ^ a b c d Biography: Major-General John Wilsey
  5. ^ Army Commands Archived 5 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Basil Coad
GOC 2nd Division
Succeeded by
Cosmo Nevill