Field Marshal The Lord Inge, served as both CDS and CGS in the 1990s 21072022 CREDIT ARMY MOD.jpg
Field Marshall The Lord Inge was the last Chief of the Defence Staff to be given 5 Star rank on appointment (Picture: Army/ MOD).
Army

Ex-military chief Field Marshal Lord Inge has died aged 86

Lord Inge was the last field marshal to serve in the British Army, with the rank later becoming a honorary position.

Field Marshal The Lord Inge, served as both CDS and CGS in the 1990s 21072022 CREDIT ARMY MOD.jpg
Field Marshall The Lord Inge was the last Chief of the Defence Staff to be given 5 Star rank on appointment (Picture: Army/ MOD).

Field Marshal The Lord Inge KG, who served as both Chief of the General Staff and Chief of the Defence Staff in the 1990s, has died aged 86.

Peter Anthony Inge was born in Croydon in 1935 and died on Wednesday, the Army said.

Tributes have been paid to the man who was the last field marshal in the British Army, with the rank later becoming an honorary position.

The current head of the Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, said Field Marshal The Lord Inge's "distinguished career and lifetime of service leaves a tremendous legacy".

"He will be sorely missed by @BritishArmy," the Chief of General Staff tweeted.

Field Marshal The Lord Inge's military career

At 18 years old, he reported to Catterick for his National Service.

An initial application to Sandhurst for officer training failed and he served in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

After completing National Service, Lord Inge passed up on a deferred place to read history at Cambridge to successfully reapply to Sandhurst.

He was commissioned into The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment) in 1956, serving with the regiment's 1st Battalion in Hong Kong and Germany and deploying to Malaya during the Malayan Emergency.

After a staff job at the Ministry of Defence (MOD), Lord Inge was promoted to major in 1967 and returned to command a company in 1st Green Howards.

From there, alternate service in Germany at the height of the Cold War and Northern Ireland during the Troubles became the defining character of his career.

Field Marshal The Lord Inge KG was the last field marshal to serve in the Army, the rank became a honorary position 21072022 CREDIT ARMY MOD.jpg
Lord 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 (Picture: Army/ MOD).

In 1970, Lord Inge deployed to Belfast at the head of his company, to be appointed chief of staff of 11th Armoured Brigade in Germany on his return. Promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1972 he was an instructor at the Staff College, Camberley before taking command of 1st Green Howards in 1974. 

Promoted to colonel in 1976, Lord Inge took charge of the junior division of Staff College at Warminster, where the Army said "he helped to shape the careers of hundreds of captains".

In 1979, he was promoted to brigadier and commanded 4th Armoured Brigade before serving as chief of staff of 1st (British) Corps – both in Germany.

He returned to the UK in 1984 to command 2nd Infantry Division.

After a staff job at the MOD, Lord Inge went back to Germany to command 1st (British) Corps and then commander of NATO's Northern Army Group and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine, being promoted to the substantive rank of general in 1990.

Lord Inge was then appointed Chief of the General Staff - the head of the British Army - in February 1992.

Two years later on 15 March 1994, he was appointed as the Chief of the Defence Staff - the head of the UK Armed Forces - with the rank of field marshal.

He was ennobled on retirement in 1997 and became an active member of the House of Lords.

Lord Inge maintained his military links by serving as commissioner of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and president of the Army Benevolent Fund, as well as being a trustee of the Historic Royal Palaces.