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Peter Inge, Baron Inge

The Lord Inge
Field Marshal Sir Peter Inge KG, GCB.JPG
Field Marshal Lord Inge in September 2007
Born (1935-08-05) 5 August 1935 (age 84)
Croydon, Surrey, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1956–1997
RankField Marshal
Service number448984
Commands heldChief of the Defence Staff
Chief of the General Staff
British Army of the Rhine
2nd Infantry Division
1st Battalion Green Howards
Battles/warsMalayan Emergency
Operation Banner
Bosnian War
AwardsKnight of the Order of the Garter
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Mentioned in Despatches

Field Marshal Peter Anthony Inge, Baron Inge, KG, GCB, PC, DL (born 5 August 1935), was the Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, from 1992 to 1994. He then served as Chief of the Defence Staff before retiring in 1997. Early in his military career he saw action during the Malayan Emergency and in Northern Ireland and later in his career he provided advice to the British Government during the Bosnian War.

Early life and education

The son of Raymond Albert Inge and Grace Maud Caroline Inge (née Du Rose), Inge was born in Croydon on 5 August 1935 and was educated at Wrekin College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[1][2]

Military career

Inge was commissioned into the Green Howards from Sandhurst on 27 July 1956.[3] He was promoted to lieutenant on 27 July 1958,[4] served with the 1st Battalion the Green Howards in Hong Kong and Germany, and was deployed on operational service to Malaya during the Malayan Emergency.[5] Appointed aide-de-camp to the General Officer Commanding 4th Division in 1960,[1] he was promoted to captain on 27 July 1962,[6] and made adjutant of the 1st Battalion the Green Howards in 1963.[1]

After working in the Ministry of Defence, and being promoted to major on 31 December 1967,[7] Inge returned to the 1st Battalion as a company commander in 1969 and was deployed to Northern Ireland.[8] He served as brigade major with the 11th Armoured Brigade from August 1971, before being promoted to lieutenant colonel on 31 December 1972,[9] and becoming an instructor at the Staff College, Camberley in 1973.[1] He was appointed commanding officer of the 1st Battalion the Green Howards in 1974.[1] Promoted to colonel on 31 December 1976,[10] he commanded the Staff College's Junior Division from 1977 and, following his promotion to brigadier on 31 December 1979,[11] he commanded Task Force C of the British Army of the Rhine from 1980.[1] From 1982 he was Chief of Staff of I (British) Corps.[1] He returned to Britain as General Officer Commanding North East District and Commander 2nd Infantry Division, based in York, from 12 January 1984[12] with the substantive rank of major general from 16 April.[13] In 1986, he was appointed Director General, Logistics Policy (Army) at the Ministry of Defence.[8]

Inge was promoted to lieutenant general and became General Officer Commanding I (British) Corps on 8 August 1987.[14] He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1988 New Year Honours.[15] He relinquished the corps command on 2 October 1989 and,[16] on 27 November, he became the commander of NATO's Northern Army Group and Commander-in-Chief of British Army of the Rhine in Germany with the local rank of general;[17] his rank was made substantive on 3 January 1990.[18]

Having become aide-de-camp general to the Queen on 21 February 1991 and promoted Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 1992 Birthday Honours,[19][20] Inge was appointed Chief of the General Staff in February 1992 and Chief of the Defence Staff with the rank of field marshal on 15 March 1994.[21] He served in this post, in which he provided military advice to the British government on the conduct of the Bosnian War, until he retired in 1997.[1] He was appointed Colonel of the Green Howards in 1982, Colonel Commandant of the Royal Military Police in 1987, and Colonel Commandant of the Army Physical Training Corps in 1988.[1]

Later career

After stepping down as Chief of the Defence Staff, he was created a life peer as Baron Inge, of Richmond in the County of North Yorkshire, in 1997.[22] Inge was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Garter on 23 April 2001,[23] and retired from the Lords on 25 April 2016,[24] where he had been an opponent of further EU integration.[25]

In 2004 Inge was made a Privy Councillor and appointed to serve as a member of the Butler Inquiry team, which examined the use of intelligence during the Iraq War.[26] Chaired by Robin Butler, Baron Butler of Brockwell, the inquiry determined that the intelligence used to declare Iraq's possession of "Weapons of Mass Destruction" was flawed.[26]

In retirement Inge became a non-executive director of Racal Electronics plc, Commissioner of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Trustee of the Historic Royal Palaces, and President of the Army Benevolent Fund.[1] He is a member of the advisory board of Aegis Defence Services,[27] a private military company based in London having previously, until February 2010, been the Chairman of the Board of Directors.[28]


In 1960 Inge married Letitia Thornton-Berry; they have two daughters.[1]


Coat of arms of Peter Inge, Baron Inge
Coat of Arms of Peter, Baron Inge.svg
Knight since 1988
Coronet of a Baron
Issuing from a representation of the White Tower of London Argent, a Phoenix Or, inflamed Gules.
Mantling Argent and Gules.
Argent, on a Cross nowy formy throughout Gules, the limbs voided Vert, a Rose Argent, barbed and seeded Or.
Dexter: a Ram Or, armed, unguled and gorged with Lozenges conjoined Gules, supporting a UK Field Marshal’s Baton erect proper.
Sinister: a Lion Or, gorged with Lozenges conjoined Gules, supporting a UK Field Marshal’s Baton erect proper.
A Limestone Rock proper.
Latin: Always faithful
The Order of the Garter circlet (Appointed 2001).
The collar as Grand Cross Knight of the Order of the Bath (Appointed KCB 1988 & GCB 1992)[29][30][31][32]
Garter Banner of the Baron Inge.svg The banner of the Baron Inge's arms used as knight of the Garter depicted at St George's Chapel.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010; ISBN 978-1-4081-1414-8
  2. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  3. ^ "No. 40882". The London Gazette (Supplement). 18 September 1956. p. 5347.
  4. ^ "No. 41458". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 July 1958. p. 4720.
  5. ^ Heathcote, p. 183
  6. ^ "No. 42742". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 July 1962. p. 5976.
  7. ^ "No. 44493". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1967. p. 76.
  8. ^ a b Heathcote, p.184
  9. ^ "No. 45867". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1973. p. 91.
  10. ^ "No. 47117". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 January 1977. p. 361.
  11. ^ "No. 48080". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 January 1980. p. 1438.
  12. ^ "No. 49625". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 January 1984. p. 1045.
  13. ^ "No. 49754". The London Gazette. 4 June 1984. p. 7748.
  14. ^ "No. 51053". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 September 1987. p. 11201.
  15. ^ "No. 51171". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1987. p. 2.
  16. ^ "No. 51890". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 October 1989. p. 11310.
  17. ^ "No. 51948". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 November 1989. p. 13725.
  18. ^ "No. 52023". The London Gazette. 22 January 1990. p. 955.
  19. ^ "No. 52485". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 March 1991. p. 4774.
  20. ^ "No. 52767". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1991. p. 2.
  21. ^ "No. 53645". The London Gazette (Supplement). 18 April 1994. p. 5799.
  22. ^ Heathcote, p.185
  23. ^ "No. 56183". The London Gazette. 23 April 2001. p. 4839.
  24. ^ "Retired Lords". UK Parliament. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  25. ^ "A selection of Lord Inge's votes". They work for you. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Butler report (from The Guardian)" (PDF). Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  27. ^ "Register of Interests". House of Lords. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  28. ^ "Stars and Dragons: The EU and China – European Union Committee". House of Lords. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  29. ^ Chesshyre, Hubert (1996), The Friends of St. George's & Descendants of the Knights of the Garter Annual Review
  30. ^ The Companion (Issue 9 Spring 2009). College of St. George (ed.), p.5. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  31. ^ Baron Inge's Crest Archived 31 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. College of St George. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  32. ^ Order of the Bath insignia, Heraldsnet. Retrieved 19 December 2013.

Further reading

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Patrick Palmer
General Officer Commanding North East District
and Commander 2nd Infantry Division

Succeeded by
Sir Charles Guthrie
Preceded by
Sir Brian Kenny
General Officer Commanding 1st (British) Corps
Commander-in-Chief British Army of the Rhine
Preceded by
Sir John Chapple
Chief of the General Staff
Preceded by
Sir Peter Harding
Chief of the Defence Staff
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir John Stanier
Constable of the Tower of London
Succeeded by
Sir Roger Wheeler
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord Patten
Baron Inge
Followed by
The Lord Levene of Portsoken