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Pownall file photo [4542]

Henry Pownall

Given NameHenry
Died1 Jan 1961
CountryUnited Kingdom


ww2dbaseHenry Royds Pownall received his education at Rugby School and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, England, Britain. Upon graduation, he served with the Royal Field Artillery and Royal Horse Artillery in Britain and in India, between 1906 and 1914. In 1909 and 1914, he was promoted to the ranks of lieutenant and captain, respectively. During WW1, he served in France and Belgium on the Western Front, during which time he commanded the Royal Artillery of the 17th Division at the rank of major. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1918 for his WW1 service. Between 1924 and 1925, he commanded the Royal School of Artillery in Larkhill, England. Between 1926 and 1929, he attended the Staff College at Camberley, England; while at the Staff College, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1928. Between 1930 and 1931, he served in northwestern India. Between 1933 and 1935, he served as the Military Assistant Secretary for the Committee of Imperial Defense. In 1936, he was the Deputy Secretary for the Committee of Imperial Defense. Between 1936 and 1938, he served as the commandant of the School of Artillery in Larkhill. Between 1938 and 1939, he served as the Director of Military Operations and Intelligence.

ww2dbaseAfter the German invasion of Poland in Sep 1939, Pownall served in France as the Chief of Staff of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), a position he held until the fall of France in May 1940. After return to Britain, he was named the Inspector-General of Home Guard. In 1940, he was made Knight Commander for the Order of the British Empire. Between 1940 and 1941, he served as the General Officer in Northern Ireland and then as the Vice Chief Imperial General Staff. Between 1941 and 1942, he was sent to Singapore, first as the Commander-in-Chief Far East, and then Chief of Staff to General Archibald Wavell. After the fall of Singapore, he served in Ceylon as the General Officer between 1942 and 1943. In 1943, he was the commander-in-chief of British forces in Persia and Iraq. Between 1943 and 1944, he was Supreme Allied Commander Lord Louis Mountbatten's Chief of Staff in Southeast Asia. He retired from service in 1945 after the end of the war.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Pownall was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1945. He led a successful civilian life as a business executive and as the Chief Commissioner of the St. John Ambulance Brigade. Between 1948 and 1954, he was a military consultant to Winston Churchill as Churchill wrote the History of the Second World War. Pownall passed away in 1961.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2007

Henry Pownall Timeline

1 Jan 1887 Henry Pownall was born.
1 Jan 1961 Henry Pownall passed away.


Lord Gort and Lieutenant General Pownall study a map at GHQ in the Chateau at Harbarcq, France, 26 Nov 1939General Sir Henry Pownall at Singapore as Commander-in-Chief of the British Far East forces, Dec 1941

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. mira says:
14 Apr 2014 03:40:30 PM

i need more information about Henry Pownall. what did he do in the war.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of France and the Low Countries

Henry Pownall Photo Gallery
Lord Gort and Lieutenant General Pownall study a map at GHQ in the Chateau at Harbarcq, France, 26 Nov 1939General Sir Henry Pownall at Singapore as Commander-in-Chief of the British Far East forces, Dec 1941

Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945