Richard Carver

Richard Carver

Richard Carver, the second of four sons, was born in Bletchingley, Surrey, on 24th April 1915. Descended from the Duke of Wellington, after completing his training at Sandhurst he joined the Royal Tank Corps in 1935.

On the outbreak of the Second World War Carver was sent to North Africa and won the Military Cross at Tobruk in 1941. The following year he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and joined the 7th Armoured Division where he served under General Bernard Montgomery.

In April 1943, Carver won the DSO before taking part in the decisive battle of El Alamein. He moved to Italy where he won a second DSO at Salerno before playing an important role in the capture of Naples. Carver also took part in the D-Day landings in June 1944. Later that year he was given command of the 4th Independent Armoured Brigade and led his men into Nazi Germany.

Carver remained in the British Army and in 1955 became chief of staff in Kenya during the Mau-Mau emergency and in 1958 became director of plans at the War Office. He was later sent to Cyprus to head a multinational truce force.

In 1966 Carver was promoted to lieutenant-general, given a knighthood and became commander of Britain's Far East land forces. The following year he became a full general.

Carver was promoted to field marshal in 1973 and began a three-year term as chief of the defence staff. He retired in 1976 and the following year was made a life peer. In retirement he wrote several books on military strategy as well as his memoirs, Out of Step (1989). Richard Carver died on 9th December 2001.

Primary Sources

(1) Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (1947)

Last spring the Germans had constructed huge tents in an open space in the Lager. For the whole of the good season each of them had catered for over 1,000 men: now the tents had been taken down, and an excess 2,000 guests crowded our huts. We old prisoners knew that the Germans did not like these irregularities and that something would soon happen to reduce our number.