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Duke officially opens Kendrew Barracks

Official opening of Kendrew Barracks, Cottesmore. From left, Colonel of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment Major General Phil Jones CBE, Commandant of Kendrew Barracks Lieutenant Colonel Steve Lonnen MBE, Commander of 49 (East Brigade) Brigadier Harry Nickerson, Major General Kendrew's daughter Marcia Abel-Smith, Colonel in Chief HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Major General Kendrew's son Tim Kendrew and Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment Colonel Nigel Johnson.
Photo: MSMP101012-006ow

Official opening of Kendrew Barracks, Cottesmore. From left, Colonel of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment Major General Phil Jones CBE, Commandant of Kendrew Barracks Lieutenant Colonel Steve Lonnen MBE, Commander of 49 (East Brigade) Brigadier Harry Nickerson, Major General Kendrew's daughter Marcia Abel-Smith, Colonel in Chief HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Major General Kendrew's son Tim Kendrew and Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment Colonel Nigel Johnson. Photo: MSMP101012-006ow

An Army barracks was officially opened today by the Duke of Gloucester during a ceremony which commemorated a Second World War officer.

RAF Cottesmore was officially renamed Kendrew Barracks today in honour of Maj Gen Sir Douglas Kendrew, a former pupil at Uppingham School who served in the Royal Leicestershire Regiment.

A new sign was unveiled by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, who was visiting the base as part of his role as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Major General Kendrew’s children Marcia Abel Smith and Tim Kendrew were also special guests at the ceremony.

The Army officially took over the site in April and it is now home to the 2nd Battallion The Royal Anglian Regiment, who moved from Dhekelia Garrison in Cyprus.

A second regiment, 7 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, is due to move to the base next year.

Maj Gen Kendrew was one of only 11 officers in the Army to be awarded the Distinguished Service Order, known as the DSO, four times. The order is awarded for highly successful command and leadership during active operations.

Col Richard Robinson, who is president of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment Association known as The Royal Tigers, said: “We are delighted that Maj Gen Kendrew is being honoured in this way, especially when the barracks is situated in Rutland where his teenage schooling took place.

“It is a fitting tribute to a man who was an illustrious servant of the monarch and country at home and abroad.”

Maj Gen Kendrew’s children said their father would have been “honoured”.

His son Tim said: “I am very proud and absolutely delighted. Rutland has very much been a feature in our lives.”

And Marcia added: “He had affection and love for this area. It was a lovely surprise when we heard the barracks was to be named after our father.”

During the Second World War, Maj Gen Kendrew served in North Africa and Italy and later in Korea and Cyprus. His first DSO was given for his conduct at the Battle of Sedjanene, west of Tunis, on March 30, 1943.

He was also awarded the CBE within months of assuming command of 128th Infantry Brigade in 1944.

Following the end of the war Maj Gen Kendrew was appointed to command 29th (British) Infantry Brigade in 1952 during the heaviest fighting of the Korean War.

He was awarded the Companion of the Bath in 1958 after a successful tour of duty as General Officer Commanding Cyprus and Director of Operations.

In 1963 he was appointed Colonel of The Royal Leicestershire Regiment. He was the last person to hold the appointment before the Regiment was amalgamated into The Royal Anglian Regiment in 1964.

His distinguished military career changed into outstanding public service and he spent time in Australia before his death in 1989.

His many decorations and medals are displayed in the Regimental Museum of The Royal Leicestershire Regiment, and there is a brass plaque in his memory in the Regimental Chapel in Leicester 
Cathedral.

RAF Cottesmore was officially closed in March following a service review by the Government when the Harriers were taken out of service. It had been an RAF base for 74 years.

 

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