Roderic Petre

Major-GeneralRoderic Loraine PetreDSO, MC (28 November 1887  21 July 1971) was a senior British Army officer.

British Army officer
Roderic Petre
Born (1887-11-28)28 November 1887
Indore, British India
Died 21 July 1971(1971-07-21) (aged 83)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1908–1944
Rank Major-General
Service number 4150
Unit South Wales Borderers
Dorsetshire Regiment
Commands held 2nd Battalion, Dorset Regiment
Senior Officers’ School, Sheerness
12th (Eastern) Infantry Division
48th (South Midland) Infantry Division
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross

. . . Roderic Petre . . .

Born the son of Francis Loraine Petre and Maud Ellen Rawlinson, Petre attended Downside School near Midsomer Norton and Stratton-on-the-Fosse,[1] where he sang treble in the boys choir.[2] He served in the South Wales Borderers in the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War,[3] and was awarded the Military Cross.[4] He was also appointed a companion of the Distinguished Service Order for his service in Mesopotamia.[5]

Petre became commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion the Dorset Regiment in 1932.[6] He went on to be Commandant of the Senior Officers’ School in May 1938 and General Officer Commanding 12th (Eastern) Infantry Division in France in October 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War.[6] In April 1940 the division landed in France and in May 1940 he took command of ‘Petreforce’, a grouping of the 12th (Eastern) Infantry Division, the 23rd (Northumbrian) Division, and other nearby units formed to defend allied positions near Arras. In the fighting the “12th and 23rd Divisions … had practically ceased to exist” as a result of the fighting that saw the “whole tract of country between the Scarpe and the Somme” fall into German hands.[7]

After being evacuated through Dunkirk, Petre then became General Officer Commanding 48th (South Midland) Division in June 1940 and initiated training to repel Operation Sea Lion, the German invasion of England, which proved abortive, remaining in that role until October 1941.[6] He retired in 1944.[6]

  1. Francis Philip Whiteside. Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives, 1901
  2. St. Gregory’s School (Downside, England). Downside Review. 1902, vol. 22, p. 312.
  3. Army Medal Office.WWI Medal Index Cards. British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914–1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry Operations Inc, 2008. Accessed 27 June 2010.
  4. “No. 29460”. The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 February 1916. p. 1337.
  5. “No. 30252”. The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 August 1917. p. 8854.
  6. “Petre, Roderic Loraine”. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  7. Ellis, Lionel F. (1954). Butler, J. R. M. (ed.). The War in France and Flanders 1939–1940. History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. p. 65-81. OCLC 1087882503.

. . . Roderic Petre . . .

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. . . Roderic Petre . . .