Sir Richard Nelson Gale, K.B.E., C.B., D.S.O., M.C.
Sir Richard Gale was born in London on the 25th July 1896, and was brought up in Australia until he was 10 years old, before going in succession to three schools, the King Edward VII at Stratford-on-Avon, The Merchant Taylor's School and Aldenham. After Royal Military College at Sandhurst he joined the 5th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment in 1915 and was for the major portion of the 1914-18 war attached to the Machine Gun Corps. It was as an officer of that fine Corps that he won the Military Cross. After the war he served with both the 3rd and 1st Battalions Worcestershire Regiment in India. In 1930 he received accelerated promotion into the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. There followed a period on the Staff, first as Brigade Major at Ferozepore and later at the War Office. World War II was to bring General Gale a rich and varied experience of command. After commanding a Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment he was appointed to command No. 1 Parachute Brigade.
In 1943 and 1944 he commanded the 6th Airborne Division, and in 1945 he commanded the 1st Airborne Corps. Thus the responsibility for vital aspects of the campaign in Normandy and Belgium was upon his shoulders. After the war he commanded the 1st Infantry Division and later was G.O.C., British Troops, in Egypt. His services in France had won him the D.S.O., and he was created C.B. in 1945 and a Commander of the Legion of Merit, U.S.A., in 1948.
He was appointed Colonel of the Worcestershire Regiment on 20th April 1950.
In the King’s birthday honours, 1950, he was created K.B.E. General Gale then became the Director-General of Military Training at the War Office.
After the Second World War he commanded the Rhine Army, a post that he relinquished in 1957 on retirement, only to return to active soldiering the following year when he succeeded Field-Marshal Montgomery as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.
In 1968 he wrote his autobiography "Call to Arms" published by Hutchinson & Co. ( Publishers ) Ltd, London.
General Sir Richard Gale died in Kingston Hospital on the 29th July 1982 (age 86).
Lieut.-General Sir Richard Nelson Gale
(known as "windy" Gale)