General Sir John Chapple, Chief of the General Staff, in 1991 (Picture: PA / Alamy).

Former British Army chief Sir John Chapple dies aged 90

Sir John served as Chief of the General Staff from 1988 to 1992.

General Sir John Chapple, Chief of the General Staff, in 1991 (Picture: PA / Alamy).

Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, former British Army chief and governor of Gibraltar, has died aged 90, the government of the overseas territory said.

In a statement on Saturday, the Gibraltar government said flags will fly at half-mast on Sunday and on the day of Sir John's funeral as a "sign of respect and affection from the people of Gibraltar".

Sir Joe Bossano, who was chief minister at the time that Sir John was governor, said: "I am very sorry to hear of the death of John Chapple.

"He was a good friend and very supportive of my government at the time that he was governor, even though at that time we had our fair share of disputes with London.

"Despite that, he was really helpful to all our plans and actions and I enjoyed working with him given his great sense of humour.

"I remember him very fondly and pass my condolences to Lady Chapple and his children."

Sir John was governor and commander-in-chief of Gibraltar between 1993 and 1995 after retiring as Chief of the General Staff (CGS) – the professional head of the British Army – a year earlier.

Throughout his career, he held roles like Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong, director of military operations, UK, and commander-in-chief of UK Land Forces, and was knighted in 1985.

In 1988, Sir John was appointed (CGS), where he provided military advice to the Government on the Gulf War before retiring with the promotion to Field Marshal in 1992.