News and features
Major General His Grace The Duke of Westminster
The sad news of Major General The Duke of Westminster's death will be a blow to the Army Reserve, in which he served for thirty six years. His legacy to the organisation will be the White Paper of 2010. This Act of Legislation had his fingerprints all over it. Through his foresight, ambition and sheer doggedness, he led the Territorial Army through the most seismic change since the Haldane Review of 1908.
As a result of his determination and diplomatic skills, the TA changed not only its name but outlook under the Army Reserve banner. The organisation has become a fully integrated, useable and user friendly force within Defence. Its Regular and Reserve Pairing mechanism, sustainable recruiting targets, bold initiatives and presence at the top table are, in a large part, down to The Duke of Westminster’s drive and energy.
As the first Deputy Commander Land Forces, responsible for delivering the White Paper, Major General The Duke of Westminster was relentless in his pursuit of changing the culture and working practises of the Army Reserve. He visited Units up and down the country, talking to the "boys and girls on the Tank Park", which only increased his desire to do better for the Reservist. He prided himself on obtaining ground truth and using this to strengthen the proposition and narrative.
On a personal note, I have a lot to be grateful to Gerald for. Having both commanded RAC Yeomanry Regiments, both been Colonel Yeomanry and Deputy Commander Land Forces, I knew him well as a soldier. He was somebody I looked up to and I valued his advice and guidance at all times. In every senior position I ever held, he always gave his support, sense of perspective and words of wisdom.
I found him passionate, compassionate and deeply bound to the Army Reserve, in all its guises. He never lost faith in the organisation he joined in 1970 and the Army Reserve is in a much better shape due to him. We will miss a great Reservist.
Major General Simon Brooks-Ward
Deputy Commander Field Army