Military Wiki
Sir David Dawnay
Born (1903-07-10)July 10, 1903
Died October 9, 1971(1971-10-09) (aged 68)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1924-1954
Rank Major-General
Commands held 2nd Reconnaissance Regiment
North Irish Horse
21st Army Tank Brigade
26th Armoured Brigade
86th Area
2nd Armoured Brigade
8th Armoured Brigade
RMA Sandhurst
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order & Bar

Major-General Sir David Dawnay KCVO CB DSO & Bar (10 July 1903 - 9 October 1971) was a British Army officer who became Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was also a British polo player who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics.

Military career[]

Born the son of Major Hon. Hugh Dawnay and Lady Susan de la Poer Beresford and educated at Eton College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst,[1] Dawnay was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade in 1924 and then transferred to the 10th Royal Hussars later that year.[2] He was part of the British polo team, which won the silver medal in the 1936 Summer Olympics: he played both matches in the tournament, the first against Mexico and the final against Argentina.[3]

Dawnay served in World War II as Commanding Officer of the 2nd Reconnaissance Regiment and then as Commanding Officer of the North Irish Horse in 1941.[2] After serving as Second in Command of 23rd Armoured Brigade and then of 26th Armoured Brigade in 1943, he became Commander of 21st Army Tank Brigade in 1944 and then Commander of 26th Armoured Brigade in 1945.[2]

After the War he became Commander of 86th Area at Venice in Italy and then Commander of 2nd Armoured Brigade.[2] He was made Deputy Commander of North Midland District in 1948, Commander of 8th Armoured Brigade in 1948 and Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1951 until he retired in 1954.[2]

In retirement he was Secretary to the Ascot Authority and Clerk of the Course at Ascot.[4]


In 1926 Dawnay married Lady Katharine Nora de la Poer Beresford, daughter of Henry de la Poer Beresford, 6th Marquess of Waterford and Lady Beatrix Frances Petty-FitzMaurice; they had two daughters and two sons.[1] His son Major Hugh Dawnay was a well known polo player and respected coach and his grandson Sebastian Dawnay is also a professional polo player.


Military offices
Preceded by
Hugh Stockwell
Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Succeeded by
Reginald Hobbs

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