Lieutenant-General Robin MacDonald Carnegie KCB OBE DL

22 Jun 1926 - 01 Jan 2011

  • Mentioned in Despatches medal
  • Mentioned in Despatches medal
  • MBE medal
  • OBE medal
  • Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) medal
  • General Service Medal Clasp (1962 onwards) medal
  • General Service Medal (to 1962) Clasp medal

Lieutenant General Sir Robin MacDonald Carnegie was the chief personnel and logistics officer with the 16th Parachute Brigade in Cyprus and Jordan. He served predominantly with the Queen's Own Hussars in an Army career spanning 36 years. 

Carnegie was born on June 22, 1926, the son of Sir Francis Carnegie CBE who was from 1926-1944 chief superintendent of ordnance factories, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich (d. August 3, 1946). The younger Carnegie was educated at Rugby School, where he sustained a back injury that persisted throughout his life. 

He commissioned into the 7th Queen's Own Hussars on March 10, 1946 on an emergency commission (upgraded to a regular commission on June 28 1947). His first posting was to the British Army occupying Northern Italy as a bulwark against Tito's Yugoslavia. He was then attached to the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars during the Korean War, joining them in the field. Whilst in Korea he transferred to the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards and then the 1st Battalion, Shropshire Light Infantry. 

In 1955 Carnegie married Iona Sinclair, an artist and the daughter of Major-General John Sinclair. Together they had a son and two daughters. 

Carnegie completed a course at the Staff College, Camberley before becoming chief personnel and logistics officer of the 16th Parachute Brigade in Cyprus, where a  heavy landing during a parachute drop aggravated the back injury he had long suffered from. He also went to Jordan with the Parachute Brigade, helping it to guard the capital from a revolutionary new Iraqi regime. 

In 1958, the 7th QOH and the 3rd King's Own Hussars merged to form the Queen's Own Hussars as a regiment. In 1959, Carnegie went to Aden as the commander of a squadron in this new regiment. On returning, he received an MBE on June 13, 1959 and became part of the directing staff at Camberley for a few years. In 1965 he was appointed chief personnel and logistics officer of the 17th Gurkha Division during the Confrontation between Indonesia and Malaysia. But Carnegie then returned to Aden during its final year as a colony, now commanding the QOH. He was awarded an OBE on 1st January 1968, after witnessing the UK's final withdrawal from Aden. He had also been awarded two Mentions in Despatches in Malaysia and Aden. 

From 1969 to 1970 he was the chief personnel and logistics staff officer of the 3rd Division (UK Strategic Reserve). He was then appointed commander of the 11th Armoured Brigade in Germany in 1971. In 1973 he spent a year at the Royal College of Defence Studies, subsequently becoming GOC of the 3rd Division on Jun 26, 1974. He relinquished command of the 3rd Division on June 5, 1976. 

From 31 August 1976, Carnegie became the Chief of Staff at Headquarters, British Army of the Rhine. He finished in this position on May 1, 1978, being awarded a KCB on December 30 of that same year. He became Military Secretary at the Ministry of Defence on July 17, 1978, holding this position until December 19, 1980. He could have continued with a four star (General) position, but decided against it. He became regimental Colonel of the QOH on June 5, 1981, and was also Director General of Army training at this time. He relinquished the latter position on June 18, 1982, and retired on July 17, 1982. His tenure as regimental Colonel ended on May 4, 1987.  

Lieutenant General Robin Carnegie died on January 1, 2011, at the age of 84. His wife Iona and children survived him. Iona Carnegie died in 2015. 

Compiled with information from:

The London Gazette

Obituary in The Times, January 10, 2011

Article written by Alex Walker

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Service History

  • 1946
    7th Queen's Own Hussars (Second Lieutenant)
  • 1947
    7th Queen's Own Hussars (Lieutenant)
  • 1953
    7th Queen's Own Hussars (Captain)
  • 1956
    16th Parachute Brigade Chief Personnel and Logistics Officer (exact dates unknown) (Captain)
  • 1959
    Queen's Own Hussars (Captain)
  • 1960
    Queen's Own Hussars (Major)
  • 1964
    17th Gurkha Division (Chief Personnel and Logistics Officer) (Brevet Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 1966
    Commanding Officer (CO) Queen's Own Hussars (Lieutenant-Colonel)
  • 1969
    3rd Division (Chief Personnel and Logistics Officer) (Colonel)
  • 1970
    Commanding Officer (CO) 11th Armoured Brigade (Brigadier)
  • 1974
    General Officer Commanding 3rd Division (acting Maj-Gen) (Major-General)
  • 1974
    General Officer Commanding 3rd Division (Major-General)
  • 1976
    Chief of Staff HQ BAOR (Major-General)
  • 1978
    Assistant Military Secretary Ministry of Defence (Lieutenant-General)
  • 1980
    Ministry of Defence (Director General Army Training) (Lieutenant-General)
  • 1982
    Regimental Colonel Queen's Own Hussars (Lieutenant-General)
  • 1982
    Regimental Colonel (RETIRED) Queen's Own Hussars (Lieutenant-General)


Lieutenant General Sir Robin Carnegie


  • Lieutenant General Sir Robin Carnegie KCB OBE DL Obituary

    Lieutenant General Sir Robin Carnegie KCB OBE DL Obituary

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