Former head of British Army and D-Day veteran Lord Bramall dies aged 95

12 November 2019, 18:31

Lord Bramall has died aged 95
Lord Bramall has died aged 95. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The former Commander-in-Chief of the British Army and D-Day veteran Lord Bramall has died following a distinguished military career.

Field Marshal Edwin Noel Westby Bramall, who served in Normandy during WWII, passed away in his home in Crondall, Hampshire.

The military man joined the forces in 1943 and climbed up through the ranks during his career, becoming Commander-in-Chief of British forces in Hong Kong, Commander-in-Chief of UK Land Forces and Chief of Defence Staff.

He had two children with his wife Dorothy, whom he married in 1949, and lived with her in Bulford Manor, Wiltshire, whilst head of the army.

The highly-decorated former soldier was born on 18 December, 1923, in Tonbridge, Kent. He is the son of Major Edmund Haselden Bramall and Katherine Westby, who sent him off to school at Eton College.

Lord Bramall was awarded the Military Cross for his service in WWII after he had taken part in the allied invasion of Normandy in June, 1944.

He was promoted to lieutenant a year after the conflict and over the next four decades he continued his way up the military ladder, holding positions such as captain, major and brigadier.

Lord Bramall served in the D-Day landings of 1944
Lord Bramall served in the D-Day landings of 1944. Picture: PA

Following his military career he enjoyed 26 years in the House of Lords, retiring in 2013.

Lord Bramall was one of a number of high-profile people who were falsely accused of abuse by Carl Beech.

Beech received 18 years in prison earlier this year for making false claims of "sadistic" abuse by notable figures in politics, the Armed Forces and security services.

Lord Bramall had his home raided by officers in controversial circumstances during Operation Midland in March 2015.

His wife, Lady Bramall, died in 2015 without knowing whether her husband would be charged for the false allegations.

Before being cleared he said: "Categorically, never have I had a connection or anything to do with the matters being investigated."It is not in my character or my psyche."

Boris Johnson, speaking as London Mayor at the time, said the military man was "owed a full and heartfelt apology" when it became clear he would face no action.

Former defence minister Tobias Ellwood paid tribute to Lord Bramall on social media.

He tweeted: "An inspirational leader, fellow Green Jacket and mentor who landed on the Normandy beaches, received an MC in Holland a year later, served in our Special Forces, commanded the British Army and then the entire Armed Forces. RIP."

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick was saddened to hear of the death of Lord Bramall, calling him a "selfless" and "generous" man

"I'm very sad indeed to hear of the death of Lord Bramall. I met him recently to apologise personally for the great damage the Metropolitan Police investigation into Carl Beech's false allegations has had on him and his family," she said.

"He was a great man, a brilliant soldier and leader, and much loved family man. He was a true gentleman and will be hugely missed."

Former RAF Tornado navigator, prisoner-of-war and author John Nichol also paid tribute on Twitter.

He said: "Very sad to hear that Field Marshal Lord Bramall has died. A more decent, professional, dedicated soldier you could not hope to meet. He was a great man and a loyal servant to this nation. RIP Sir."