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Major General Stuart Blundell Rawlins, CB, CBE, DSO, MC & Bar (18 August 1897 – 2 April 1955) was a senior British Army officer during the Second World War.[1]

Stuart Rawlins
1st Canadian generals.jpg
General Harry Crerar with senior First Canadian Army commanders. Pictured standing on the far right is Major General Stuart Rawlins.
Born(1897-08-18)18 August 1897
Siston Court, Siston, England
Died2 April 1955(1955-04-02) (aged 57)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1916–1951
RankMajor General
Service number15435
UnitRoyal Artillery
Commands held49th (West Riding) Infantry Division (1945)
33rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (1942)
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross & Bar
Mentioned in Despatches
Spouse(s)Olivia Burges
RelationsStuart Rawlins (cousin)

Early lifeEdit

Rawlins was the son of James Ernest Rawlins of Siston Court in South Gloucestershire.

Military careerEdit

Rawlins was commissioned into the Royal Artillery from the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich on 26 May 1916.[2] By the end of the First World War he had been awarded the Military Cross twice and had been wounded in action. Between the wars he served with British forces in Malta, England, India and in Africa with the Kings African Rifles. He was a junior staff officer in the War Office and attended the Staff College, Camberley from 1931 to 1932, his fellow students including the likes of Sidney Kirkman, Cameron Nicholson, Brian Horrocks, Manley James, George Symes, Nevil Brownjohn and Frank Simpson.[3][4] At the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 he was a Staff Officer Royal Artillery in Aldershot Command.

He went to France as GSO 2 RA I Corps, then after returning to UK he went to West Africa as a GSO 1 before returning to the UK to command a regiment, but was soon promoted to become Commander, Royal Artillery in the 3rd Infantry Division. In 1943 he became CCRA XII Corps preparing for the invasion of Europe. In early 1944 he was appointed CCRA of XXX Corps, an assault corps on employed in the Normandy landings. He would often lead his artillery from the front, acting as a spotter and ordering fire from the plane, tank or armoured car from which he was commanding. During the Ardennes offensive he became temporary GOC of 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division but returned to CCRA to help plan the Operation Veritable offensive into the Reichswald with thirteen divisions and over 1000 guns under overall command.[3]

After the war he became the commander of the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division before commanding the British Military Mission to Greece.[5][6] Following this he was appointed Director Royal Artillery, then commander of the British Training Team in Iraq before retiring in 1951.

Personal lifeEdit

Rawlins married Olivia Burges in 1925. They had two sons, Christopher and Philip, but Burges died giving birth to her third child, a daughter, in August 1930. The child also died.

He was a cousin of Colonel Stuart Rawlins and a relation of Vice Admiral Sir John Rawlins.


  1. ^ "No. 37521". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 April 1946. p. 1675.
  2. ^ "No. 29595". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 May 1916. p. 5184.
  3. ^ a b "No. 33523". The London Gazette. 6 August 1929. p. 5146.
  4. ^ "No. 33682". The London Gazette. 20 January 1931. p. 458.
  5. ^ PYMAN, Sir Harold English (1908–1971) Papers [King's College London] (6/4 1946 Apr 1 – May 19).
  6. ^ "No. 37848". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 January 1947. p. 221.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Gordon MacMillan
GOC 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division
March–August 1945
Succeeded by
Edward Gurdon