Brigadier Hugh K M Kindersley CBE MC

06 Oct 1976

  • CBE medal
  •  Military Cross medal
  • OBE medal

Hugh Kindersley was born in Knightsbridge, London on 7 May 1899, the son of Robert Molesworth Kindersley, 1st Baron Kindersley GBE (1871-1954) and Gladys Margaret Beadle. He was educated at Eton College.

He was commissioned into the Scots Guards (Special Reserve) in 1917 and was awarded the Military Cross for his actions in battle in France in 1918.

'For great gallantry and able leadership during October 11th, 12th and 13th, 1918. When sent by night to support the advance to the railway line west of St. Python, his platoon captured an obstinately defended machinegun post. Next morning, when leading two platoons in the western and southern half of the village, he handled the house to house fighting admirably. The ground was won and held with few casualties largely through his work. His gallant conduct was a fine example to all ranks.'

At the outbreak of the Second World War he rejoined the Scots Guards. He later commanded a tank battalion of the Scots Guards in the Guards Armoured Division.

In May 1943, promoted to Brigadier, The Honourable Hugh Kindersley was appointed Commanding Officer of the 6th Air Landing Brigade. He went on to qualify as a glider pilot and in July 1943 he was attached to parachute course 74 and after 2 ½ days of ground training he carried out 2 descents from a balloon and 2 descents from aircraft into water. His instructors comments: ‘He was a good average performer – very cool and calm and appeared to enjoy the course immensely. He was greatly respected by all.’

It was on his recommendation that Major John Howard and D Company 2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (the 52nd) were selected to lead the coup de main operation at Pegasus Bridge and Horsa Bridge before the Allied invasion of the Normandy beaches began. Kindersley commanded the 6th Air Landing Brigade, part of 6th Airborne Division, during the Normandy landings on D Day, 6 June 1944, landing at 03.30 hours with 6th Airborne Divisional Headquarters.

Brigadier, The Honourable Kindersley was wounded during the Battle for Breville, by our own artillery fire on 12 June, where he had moved up to observe the action alongside Brigadier The Lord Lovat, also wounded, and Lieutenant-Colonel. ‘Johnny’ Johnson of the 12th Parachute Battalion, who was killed. He was evacuated to England and replaced as commanding officer of 6th Air Landing Brigade by Brigadier Edward Flavell.

Kindersley was appointed MBE in 1941 and CBE in 1945. He was chairman of the Officers Association from 1946 to 1956. He was Honorary Colonel of 10th Parachute Battalion from 1947 to 1952 and High Sheriff of London in 1951. He succeeded his father as second baron in 1954. He was appointed Commander, Royal Order of St Olav of Norway in 1958.

He lived in Leigh, near Tonbridge, Kent. He was succeeded in the barony by his son, Robert Hugh Molesworth Kindersley.

In his civilian career Kindersley was a managing director of Lazard Brothers, London from 1927 to 1964, Chairman from 1953, and a director from 1965 to 1971. During his service at Lazard, he was also a director of the Bank of England from 1947 to 1967, Chairman of Royal Exchange Assurance from 1955 to 1967, and Chairman of Rolls-Royce Limited from 1956 to 1968.

He died on 6 October 1976.

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Service History


Hugh K M Kindersley

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  • Kindersley's rousing final instructions before Operation Overlord.

    Kindersley's rousing final instructions before Operation Overlord.

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