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Robert Laycock

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Title: Robert Laycock  
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Subject: British Commandos, Layforce, Operation Flipper, Joseph Frederick Laycock, British Commando operations during the Second World War
Collection: 1907 Births, 1968 Deaths, British Army Commandos Officers, British Army Generals of World War II, Commanders of the Legion of Merit, Commanders with Star of the Order of St. Olav, Commandeurs of the Légion D'Honneur, Companions of the Distinguished Service Order, Companions of the Order of the Bath, Deaths from Myocardial Infarction, Governors and Governors-General of Malta, Graduates of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Graduates of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Graduates of the Staff College, Camberley, Grand Officers of the Order of Orange-Nassau, Knights Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, Knights of the Order of St John, Lord-Lieutenants of Nottinghamshire, People Educated at Eton College, People Educated at Lockers Park School, People from London, Royal Horse Guards Officers
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Robert Laycock

Sir Robert Edward Laycock
Major General Sir Robert "Lucky" Laycock
Born (1907-04-18)18 April 1907
London, England
Died 10 March 1968(1968-03-10) (aged 60)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1927–1947
Rank Major General
Commands held Combined Operations
Special Service Brigade
Layforce
Battles/wars

Second World War

Awards Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Knight of the Venerable Order of St John
Other work Governor of Malta
Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire

KCMG, CB, DSO, KStJ (18 April 1907 – 10 March 1968) was a senior officer of the British Army, most famous for his service with the Commandos during the Second World War.

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Military career 2
  • Governor of Malta 3
  • Last years 4
  • Family 5
    • Children 5.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7
  • Decorations 8
  • Bibliography 9

Early life

Laycock was born in London on 18 April 1907, the eldest son of Brigadier General Sir Joseph Frederick Laycock (died 1952), an officer of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, by his marriage to Katherine Mary Hare (1872–1959), previously married to the 6th Marquess of Downshire (died 1918), and herself a granddaughter of William Hare, 2nd Earl of Listowel. Laycock was thus a half-brother of the 7th Marquess of Downshire. Their sister Josephine (died 1958) married the 2nd Lord Daresbury and is grandmother of the present Baron. Laycock's father was knighted for his services during the First World War.

Laycock was educated at Lockers Park School and Eton College, followed by officer training at Sandhurst, from which he emerged as a well-read young man with a scientific bent. He also briefly worked in a factory.

Military career

In 1927, he was commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards.[1] He served in the Second World War as a lieutenant-colonel with the commandos in North Africa, Crete, Sicily and Italy before being promoted to major-general and becoming Chief of Combined Operations in 1943.[1] He held that position until 1947.[1]

Robert Laycock in 1943.
Laycock inspecting Marine Commandos shortly before the 1944 Normandy landings.

Governor of Malta

In 1954, his old friend, Anthony Head, now Secretary of State for War appointed Laycock to the position of Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Malta.[1] This was during a period of tensions surrounding a drive for independence, with Dom Mintoff leading a campaign for "Integration (with Britain) or Self-Determination", and the Nationalist Party looking for a "Quasi-Dominion Status. Laycock served until 1959, having had his term extended twice.

Last years

Laycock suffered from circulation problems, which meant constant pain in one leg. He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire in 1962. A noted horseman, yachtsman and book collector, his interests made him a man who could enjoy life. It was said that he had no enemies. While walking back from Sunday church services on 10 March 1968, Laycock had a heart attack and died. His estate was probated at £279,910.

Family

Laycock was married in 1935 to Claire Angela Louise Dudley Ward (1916–1999)[2] younger daughter of the Right Honourable William Dudley Ward, Liberal MP for Southampton by his wife Freda Dudley Ward née Winifred May Birkin, granddaughter of Sir Thomas Isaac Birkin, 1st Baronet. By his wife, he had two sons, and three daughters. His wife Angela, Lady Laycock, died in 1999.

Children

  1. Joseph William Peter Laycock (1938-bef. 16 December 1980), accidentally drowned with his eight-year-old daughter Flora in a boating accident on the River Thames, and was survived by two children. He married 1971 Eve Lucinda Fleming (born 15 May 1947), better known as the actress Lucy Fleming, younger daughter of Peter Fleming, otherwise Lt. Col. (Robert) Peter Fleming, OBE (1907–1971) by his wife Dame Celia Johnson, actress (1908–1982). Lucy Fleming is a niece of Ian Fleming, creator of "James Bond", and has remarried.
  2. Benjamin Richard Laycock (born 1947); married 1971, and has issue 1 son and 2 daughters.
  3. Edwina Ottilie Jane Laycock (born 1936) has been twice married, and has issue by both marriages.
  4. Emma Rose Laycock, now Lady Temple (born 1943), married 1964 Sir Richard Chartier Carnac Temple, 5th Bt. (born 1937), elder son and heir of Sir Richard Antony Purbeck Temple, 4th Bt., of The Nash, MC ( 1913– 5 December 2007) by his first wife Lucy Geils de Lotbinière, dau of Alain Joly de Lotbinière, of Montreal; they have issue, three daughters.[3]
  5. Katherine Martha Laycock (born 1949); married 1969 David Mlinaric (born 1939), interior designer and decorator,[4] has three children.<

References

  1. ^ a b c d Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  2. ^ Anonymous. obituary for her cousin Bindy Lambton, or the former Countess of Durham, published in the Daily Telegraph on 18 February 2003. [2]
  3. ^ Michael Rhodes, with supplements by Brooke. " Sir Richard Antony Purbeck Temple, 4th Baronet, MC (1913–2007)". "Peerage_News" group on Google, 8 December 2007. The baronetcy was created 1876 for Sir Richard Temple, 1st Baronet, a British India colonial administrator.
  4. ^ Portrait of David Mlinaric, National Portrait Gallery. Mlinaric notably redecorated Spencer House (Princess Diana's ancestral home in London) as well as all of Lord Rothschild's private residences. See Christopher Bagley, "The Rothschilds, photographs by Derry Moore, W Magazine, January 2008, p. 2

External links

  • Leo Van Der Pas. Robert Laycock's Descendants, for an incomplete version of Laycock's descendants. Last accessed 18 January 2008.

Decorations

Bibliography

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Gerald Creasy
Governor of Malta
1954–1959
Succeeded by
Sir Guy Grantham
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Duke of Portland
Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire
1962–1968
Succeeded by
Robert Sherbrooke
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