Open main menu

Raymond Briggs (British Army officer)

Major General Raymond Briggs CB DSO (19 January 1895 – 4 April 1985) was a senior British Army officer who fought in both World War I and World War II. During the latter he led the 1st Armoured Division at the Second Battle of El Alamein in late 1942, and throughout the subsequent Tunisian Campaign.

Raymond Briggs
Born19 January 1895
Blundellsands, Merseyside, England
Died4 April 1985 (aged 90)
London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1914–1947
RankMajor General
Service number10544
UnitKing's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)
Machine Gun Corps
Royal Tank Regiment
Commands held2nd Armoured Brigade
1st Armoured Division
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in dispatches (2)


Military careerEdit

Briggs served in World War I with the British Army's Machine Gun Corps, receiving his commission in 1915.[1]

Briggs remained in the army during the interwar period, transferring to the Tank Corps (later the Royal Tank Regiment) and attended the Staff College, Camberley from 1925 to 1926, where his fellow students included Frank Messervy, Francis Tuker, Eric Harrison, Ronald Scobie, Henry Willcox, John Swayne, William Morgan and Brocas Burrows. He was appointed Deputy Assistant Director for Mechanized Warfare at the War Office in 1936 and, the following year from 14 October 1937, became a GSO2 at the War Office.[2][1] He was promoted to brevet major on 1 January 1933[3] and brevet lieutenant colonel on 1 July 1938.[4]

He served in World War II as a General Staff Officer (GSO) before being promoted to acting brigadier and becoming the commander of the 2nd Armoured Brigade, part of the 1st Armoured Division under Major General Willoughby Norrie, in December 1940, succeeding Richard McCreery. He was promoted to colonel on 12 August 1941 (with seniority backdated to 1 July 1941).[5] As commander of this brigade he participated in the First Battle of El Alamein. Immediately after that battle he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on 13 August 1942[6] and, promoted to acting major general on 21 August,[7] was appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 1st Armoured Division and commanded it during the Second Battle of El Alamein,[1] later being mentioned in despatches[8] and receiving the Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) for his role in the battle.[9] His rank of major-general was made temporary on 21 August 1943.[10]

Continuing to command the division throughout the Tunisian Campaign, as part of the British Eighth Army, which came to an end in May 1943, he was, on 24 June 1943, mentioned in dispatches,[11] and dismissed by General Sir Bernard Montgomery, the Eighth Army commander, in July and appointed Director of the Royal Armoured Corps at the War Office. He continued in this role until he retired from the army with the honorary rank of major-general on 25 March 1947.[1][12]


  • Mead, Richard (2007). Churchill's Lions: a biographical guide to the key British generals of World War II. Stroud (UK): Spellmount. ISBN 978-1-86227-431-0.
  • Smart, Nick (2005). Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War. Barnesley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 1844150496.


  1. ^ a b c d "King's Collections : Archive Catalogues : Military Archives".
  2. ^ "No. 34446". The London Gazette. 22 October 1937. p. 6511.
  3. ^ "No. 33899". The London Gazette. 3 January 1933. p. 51.
  4. ^ "No. 34527". The London Gazette. 1 July 1938. p. 4244.
  5. ^ "No. 35250". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 August 1941. p. 4789.
  6. ^ "No. 35665". The London Gazette. 11 August 1942. p. 3543.
  7. ^ "No. 35708". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 September 1942. p. 4055.
  8. ^ "No. 35821". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 December 1942. p. 5437.
  9. ^ "No. 36120". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 August 1943. p. 3521.
  10. ^ "No. 36153". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 August 1943. p. 3877.
  11. ^ "No. 36065". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 June 1943. p. 2853.
  12. ^ "No. 37915". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 March 1947. p. 1391.

External linksEdit