The Lord Norrie
Lord Norrie in 1953
|8th Governor-General of New Zealand|
2 December 1952 –5 July 1957
|Preceded by||The Lord Freyberg|
|Succeeded by||The Viscount Cobham|
|23rd Governor of South Australia|
19 December 1944 –19 June 1952
|Monarch|| George VI |
|Preceded by||Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey|
|Succeeded by||Sir Robert George|
|Born||26 September 1893|
|Died||25 May 1977 83) (aged|
|Years of service||1913–1944|
|Commands|| Commander Royal Armoured Corps (1943–44)|
XXX Corps (1941–42)
1st Armoured Division (1940–41)
1st Armoured Brigade (1940)
1st Light Armoured Brigade (1938–40)
1st Cavalry Brigade (1936–38)
10th Hussars (1931–35)
|Battles/wars|| First World War |
Second World War
|Awards|| Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George |
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross & Bar
Knight of the Venerable Order of St John
Mentioned in despatches (2)
Lieutenant-General Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, 1st Baron Norrie, GCMG , GCVO , CB , DSO , MC & Bar (26 September 1893 – 25 May 1977), was a senior officer of the British Army who fought in both World Wars, following which he served terms as Governor of South Australia and the eighth Governor-General of New Zealand.
Lieutenant general, formerly more commonly lieutenant-general, is a senior rank in the British Army and the Royal Marines. It is the equivalent of a multinational three-star rank; some British lieutenant generals sometimes wear three-star insignia, in addition to their standard insignia, when on multinational operations.
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Since 1993 all ranks have been eligible.
The Military Cross (MC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces, and formerly awarded to officers of other Commonwealth countries.
Educated at Eton College and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the British Army's 11th Hussars in 1913.He served in the First World War, in which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, the Military Cross and Bar, was twice mentioned in despatches, and was wounded four times. He became, successively, a Staff Captain in the 73rd Brigade; General Staff Officer Grade 3 (GSO3) in XVIII Corps; brigade major in the 90th Brigade, and in the 2nd Tank Brigade; and second GSO in the 2nd Battalion, Tank Corps. In January 1919 he changed his name by deed poll from Moke-Norrie to Norrie.
Eton College is a 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire, England. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as Kynge's College of Our Ladye of Eton besyde Windesore , as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.
The Royal Military College (RMC), founded in 1801 and established in 1802 at Great Marlow and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, England, but moved in October 1812 to Sandhurst, Berkshire, was a British Army military academy for training infantry and cavalry officers of the British and Indian Armies.
An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority.
Between the world wars Norrie had a number of regimental and staff postings, interrupted by a year at the Staff College, Camberley in 1924.In 1931 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and became Commanding Officer (CO) of the 10th Hussars, after which he was placed on the half-pay (inactive) list although promoted to full colonel in 1935. In January 1936, still on the half pay list, Norrie took part in the funeral procession for King George V as one of the "Representative Colonels-Commandant and Colonels of His late Majesty's Regiments". After attending the Imperial Defence College, in April 1936 he was appointed to command the 1st Cavalry Brigade as a temporary brigadier. His brigade was mechanised in 1938 and re-designated 1st Light Armoured Brigade, becoming the 1st Armoured Brigade in 1940.
In the context of the history of the 20th century, the interwar period was the period between the end of the First World War in November 1918 and the beginning of the Second World War in September 1939. This period is also colloquially referred to as Between the Wars.
Staff College, Camberley, Surrey, was a staff college for the British Army and the presidency armies of British India. It had its origins in the Royal Military College, High Wycombe founded in 1799, which in 1802 became the Senior Department of the new Royal Military College. In 1858 the name of the Senior Department was changed to "Staff College", and in 1870 this was separated from the Royal Military College. Apart from periods of closure during major wars, the Staff College continued to operate until 1997, when it was merged into the new Joint Services Command and Staff College. The equivalent in the Royal Navy was the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich and the equivalent in the Royal Air Force was the RAF Staff College, Bracknell.
Lieutenant colonel, is a rank in the British Army and Royal Marines which is also used in many Commonwealth countries. The rank is superior to major, and subordinate to colonel. The comparable Royal Navy rank is commander, and the comparable rank in the Royal Air Force and many Commonwealth air forces is wing commander.
On the outbreak of the Second World War Norrie continued to serve as commander of the 1st Armoured Brigade. In April 1940 the brigade was part of the 2nd Armoured Division, which he was given temporary command of for a month between appointments of permanent commanders. Following this he was appointed acting major generaland became Inspector of the Royal Armoured Corps. Four months later he became General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 1st Armoured Division and was promoted to the permanent rank of major general in June 1941.
The 2nd Armoured Division was an armoured division of the British Army, active during the Second World War. The division was created on 15 December 1939 and disbanded on 10 May 1941, after part of the division was captured at Mechili in Libya from 5 to 8 April 1941, by German and Italian forces during the Western Desert Campaign and part was lost in the Battle of Greece (6–30 April).
An acting rank is a military designation allowing a commissioned or non-commissioned officer to assume a rank—usually higher and usually temporary—without the pay and allowances appropriate to that grade. As such, an officer may be ordered back to the previous grade. This situation may arise when a lower-ranking officer is called upon to replace a senior officer, or fill a position higher than the current rank held.
Major general, is a "two-star" rank in the British Army and Royal Marines. The rank was also briefly used by the Royal Air Force for a year and a half, from its creation to August 1919. In the British Army, a major general is the customary rank for the appointment of division commander. In the Royal Marines, the rank of major general is held by the Commandant General.
In November 1941 the division was ordered to Egypt where Norrie found himself appointed acting lieutenant generalto command XXX Corps in the place of Vyvyan Pope, Norrie's fellow student at the Staff College in the 1920s, who had died in an air crash shortly before Norrie's arrival in Egypt. He commanded XXX Corps during Operation Crusader with some success but his tanks suffered a heavy defeat at the Battle of Gazala in June 1942. He was criticised for his "cavalry" approach to armoured warfare and General Sir Claude Auchinleck, the Eighth Army commander, replaced him in July.
XXX Corps was a corps of the British Army during the Second World War. The Corps provided extensive service in the North African Campaign at the Second Battle of El Alamein in late 1942, and in the Tunisia Campaign and the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, after which it returned briefly to the United Kingdom; the Corps served in the reclamation of France from June 1944 in the Allied Invasion of Normandy, and then served in Operation Market Garden, in the Netherlands, and finally in Operation Veritable in Germany until May 1945.
Lieutenant General Vyvyan Vavasour Pope CBE DSO MC & Bar was a senior British Army officer who was prominent in developing ideas about the use of armour in battle in the interwar years, and who briefly commanded XXX Corps during World War II, before being killed in an air crash.
Operation Crusader was a military operation during the Second World War by the British Eighth Army against the Axis forces in North Africa between 18 November and 30 December 1941. The operation was intended to relieve the 1941 Siege of Tobruk; the Eighth Army tried to destroy the Axis armoured force before advancing its infantry. The plan failed when, after a number of inconclusive engagements, the British 7th Armoured Division was defeated by the Afrika Korps at Sidi Rezegh.
He returned to Britain to be appointed Commander of the Royal Armoured Corps in which role he was to give advice on armoured warfare to General Bernard Paget, the Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces. He continued as Paget's advisor when Paget became commander of the Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group on its formation in July 1943 but when General Bernard Montgomery assumed command early in 1944, he brought his own advisor.In April 1944 Norrie was appointed Head of the Military Mission to the French Committee of National Liberation (CFLN) in Algiers, a post he held until the middle of 1944 when he was proposed by the Secretary of State for the Dominions to become Governor of South Australia.
General Sir Bernard Charles Tolver Paget, was a senior British Army officer during the Second World War. He commanded the 21st Army Group from June to December 1943 and was Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) Middle East Command from January 1944 to October 1946. He was the senior serving general in the British Army.
Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces was a senior officer in the British Army during the First and Second World Wars. The role of the appointment was firstly to oversee the training and equipment of formations in preparation for their deployment overseas, and secondly, to command the forces required to defend the United Kingdom against an enemy incursion or invasion.
The 21st Army Group was a World War II British headquarters formation, in command of two field armies and other supporting units, consisting primarily of the British Second Army and the First Canadian Army. Established in London during July 1943, under the command of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), it was assigned to Operation Overlord, the Western Allied invasion of Europe, and was an important Allied force in the European Theatre. At various times during its existence, the 21st Army Group had additional British, Canadian, American and Polish field armies or corps attached to it. The 21st Army Group operated in Northern France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany from June 1944 until August 1945, when it was renamed the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).
Norrie retired from the British Army in September 1944 to take up his post as Governor of South Australia. Although his substantive rank at this time was still major general, he was given the honorary rank of lieutenant general in retirement.
Norrie was married to Jocelyn Helen Gosling on 9 June 1922. They had three children:
Jocelyn Norrie died on 7 March 1938. He remarried later that year, to Patricia Merryweather Bainbridge, on 28 November. They also had three children:
Norrie also had a ward, his niece Eleanor Kerans (born 21 April 1926). She had been orphaned at an early age, and when she was 16 her brother was killed in the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War, leaving her with no immediate family.
Norrie was appointed Governor of South Australia in September 1944, whereupon he was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG).He, his family and 12 staff arrived in Adelaide in December. The Vice-Regal couple worked hard to keep the 'Empire Spirit' alive during wartime. Within two years, Norrie had travelled to every local government area within the state, and was sure to welcome servicemen returning from war. Lady Patricia, with Rosemary and Eleanor, were regular volunteers and champions of various patriotic causes. In 1945, Norrie was made a Knight of St John, an award associated with public and charitable works.
Although normally remaining neutral in regards to local politics, he was 'shocked' at the narrow rejection of Thomas Playford's bill to nationalise the Adelaide Electric Company. He privately exerted pressure on the bill's main opponents. When the bill was reintroduced in 1946, Collier Cudmore (later Sir Collier) absented himself from key divisions, allowing the bill to pass and leading to the establishment of the Electricity Trust of South Australia.
Norrie's term was extended for four years in 1948.
Despite his illustrious career, he would forever claim that his greatest achievement was the catching of a shark weighing 2,225 pounds (1,009 kg), with rod and reel, off Port Lincoln. For part of his term as Governor, his official Aide-de-Camp was the young Viscount Althorp (later The 8th Earl Spencer), the father of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Norrie's KCMG was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) when he was appointed Governor-General of New Zealand in 1952,in which position he served until 1957. During his tenure he was made Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) for personal services to The Queen. On leaving office, he was created a peer in 1957 as Baron Norrie, of Wellington in the Dominion of New Zealand and of Upton in the County of Gloucester. From 1960 to 1968 he was Chancellor of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.
Note: An asterisk (*) denotes a bar to a military award
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| GOC 1st Armoured Division |
| GOC XXX Corps |
Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey
| Governor of South Australia |
Sir Robert George
| Colonel of the 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own) |
Sir Charles Gairdner
The Lord Freyberg
| Governor-General of New Zealand |
The Viscount Cobham
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
| Baron Norrie |