Ronald Scobie

Lieutenant-General Sir Ronald MacKenzie Scobie, KBE, CB, MC (8 June 1893 – 23 February 1969)[2] was a senior British Army officer who fought in both the First and Second World Wars, where he commanded the 70th Infantry Division and later III Corps.[3] He was also a Scotland international rugby union player.[4]

Sir Ronald Scobie
The Second World War- Personalities TR2736.jpg
Date of birth(1893-06-08)8 June 1893
Place of birthMandalay, British Burma[1]
Date of death23 February 1969(1969-02-23) (aged 75)
Place of deathAldershot, Hampshire, England[1]
Rugby union career
Position(s) Centre
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Royal Military College
Army Rugby Union
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1914 Blues Trial ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1914 Scotland 3 0
Military career
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1914–1947
UnitRoyal Engineers
Commands heldIII Corps
70th Infantry Division
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
Greek Civil War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches (4)
War Cross (Czechoslovakia)
Silver Cross of the Virtuti Militari (Poland)

Military careerEdit

Scobie was educated at Cheltenham College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.

First World WarEdit

He was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1914 and served during the First World War on the Western Front in France and Belgium. He was a General Staff Officer Grade 3 in France in 1918, and a Brigade Major in France from 1918 to 1920.

Between the warsEdit

After the war, Scobie became Officer, Company of Gentlemen Cadets, Royal Marine Artillery, Woolwich 1920–1924; Staff Captain, Aldershot Command 1927–1929; Brigade Major, Aldershot Command 1929–1931[5] After attending the Staff College, Camberley from 1925 to 1926, he became Director of Military Artillery at the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1932 and, after attending the Imperial Defence College, was Assistant Adjutant General at the War Office in 1938.[5]

Second World WarEdit

In 1939, at the outbreak of the Second World War Scobie, a brigadier, was deputy director of Mobilisation at the War Office.[5] After this he held the position Deputy Adjutant General at General Headquarters, Middle East Land Forces in 1940 before being given command of the 70th Infantry Division,[5] which was sent in to relieve the Australian 9th Division in Tobruk. Scobie was in command of the Tobruk fortress from 22 October 1941 to 13 December 1941, when, as part of Operation Crusader, the 70th Infantry Division led the break-out from Tobruk. In 1942 he became General Officer Commanding the Troops in Malta and on 22 March 1943 Scobie was promoted to lieutenant general and made Chief of the General Staff at General Headquarters Middle East.[5] From 11 December 1943 he was given command of III Corps[6] which was sent to Greece to expel the Germans but ended up becoming involved in the Greek Civil War. He remained in command of British forces in Greece until 1946, retiring from the army in 1947.

Rugby Union careerEdit

Amateur careerEdit

He played rugby union for the Royal Military College.

He played for the Army Rugby Union against the Royal Navy Rugby Union in the 1914 Inter-Services match.[7]

Provincial careerEdit

He played for the Blues Trial side against the Whites Trial side on 10 January 1914.[8]

International careerEdit

He was capped three times by Scotland, all in 1914.[9]

Other sportsEdit

He played cricket for Cheltenham College and for the Royal Engineers.[10]


  1. ^ a b Ronald Scobie at CricketArchive (subscription required)
  2. ^ The Royal Engineers Journal. 83. The Institution of Royal Engineers. 1969. p. 152.
  3. ^ "British Army officer histories". Unit Histories. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d e Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  6. ^ "Ronald Scobie". Orders of
  7. ^ – via British Newspaper Archive. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^
  9. ^;template=results;type=player;view=match
  10. ^


  • 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. Barnsley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 1844150496.

External linksEdit

Military offices
New command GOC 70th Infantry Division
Succeeded by
Preceded by GOC III Corps
Post disbanded