|Born||22 December 1887|
|Died||14 January 1953(aged 65)|
|Years of service||1907–1947|
4th Indian Division 5 August 1940 – 13 April 1941|
Western Desert Force (14 April 1941 – 18 September 1941)
British Troops in Sudan & Sudan Defence Force (4 October 1941 – 3 April 1942)
Indian XV Corps (9 April 1942 – 9 June 1942)
Southern Army, India (1942–1945)
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire|
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches (3)
Family background[edit | edit source]
Beresford-Peirse was the son of Colonel William John de la Poer Beresford-Peirse and Mary, daughter of Thomas Chambers of Aberfoyle, County Londonderry. He was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.
He was married three times. The first marriage (in 1912) was to Hazel Marjorie, daughter of J.A. Cochrane, Riverina, Australia. The marriage ended in divorce in 1924. The second marriage (in 1925) was to Jean, only child of Surgeon-Captain R.D. Jameson, CMG, RN. Jean died in 1926. In 1929 he married Katharine Camilla, daughter of Colonel James Morris Colquhoun Colvin, VC. All three marriages were childless.
Military career[edit | edit source]
Beresford-Peirse was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1907. He served in the First World War in Mesopotamia, France and, briefly, in Belgium and France. He was Mentioned in Dispatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1918. After the First World War, until 1929, he performed a number of roles in the Royal Artillery in France and Britain. There were then staff and administrative posts in the UK until 1935. In 1937, Beresford-Peirse was posted to India for "special duties" and subsequently he served two years as an instructor at the Senior Officers School in Belgaum, India. He was Brigadier in the Royal Artillery, Southern India Command during 1939 and 1940 and Aide-de-Camp to King George VI in 1939 and 1940.
At the beginning of the Second World War Beresford-Peirse was the Commander of Artillery for the Indian 4th Infantry Division, which at the time was based in Egypt. He was promoted to command the division in August 1940 and led it in North Africa (Operation Compass) and Sudan (the East African Campaign).
In March 1941 he was knighted via Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) and on 14 April 1941 he was given command of the Western Desert Force (later redesignated XIII Corps). He commanded the British forces in Sudan from October 1941 to April 1942 when he was put in command of the Indian XV Corps and then, from June 1942, the Southern Army in India.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Mead, p. 61.
- Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
References[edit | edit source]
- 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.
[edit | edit source]
|GOC XIII Corps
April 1941–September 1941
Sir Brodie Haig
|GOC-in-C, Southern Army, India
1942 – 1945
Sir Rob Lockhart
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