Templer, Gerald Walter Robert, born 11-099-1898 at 15 Wellesley Road, in Colchester, Essex, the son (and only child) of Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Francis Templer, of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, and Mabel Eileen Templer (born Johnston). Of Irish descent, Templer attended an infant school at Rosslyn, Scotland, before being sent to Edinburgh Academy in 1904, later attending a preparatory boarding school at Connaught House, Weymouth, from 1909 until 1911. In January 1912 he was sent to Wellington College, Berkshire and stayed there until shortly after his 17th birthday in September 1915, a year into the First World War. His time at Wellington was, due mainly to initially being severely bullied, not the happiest period of his life, as he later wrote “I loathed and detested my four years at Wellington”, although he also admitted to making numerous friends there.
From Wellington he then entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in December 1915 and, after attending a shortened course for the war, was commissioned as a second lieutenant into his father’s regiment, the Royal Irish Fusiliers, on 16-08-1916, just under a month before his 18th birthday. In the inter-war period, he served in Palestine during the Arab insurgency, and also found time to make the 1924 Olympic squad as a 120-yard hurdler. At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 Templer was an acting lieutenant-colonel, and, on 4 September, the day after war was declared, he was chosen to be one of two GSO1s to the DMI of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), Major-General Noel Mason-MacFarlane, replacing the original choice, Kenneth Strong. Noel Mason-MacFarlane, died on 12-08-1953, aged 63, in Twyford, Berkshire, England Kenneth Strong died 11-01-1982, aged 81, in Eastbourne, East Sussex Templer soon found himself in France. Templer’s duties were mainly concerned with counter-intelligence and security. The German Army attacked in the West on 10 May 1940, although Templer himself was then on leave but was back in France and discovered Mason-MacFarlane was in Brussels, with the intelligence staff moving behind him but was a long distance from GHQ BEF, resulting in poor communications. On 17 May General Lord Gort , the BEF’s Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C), feared for the BEF’s right flank along the River Scarpe and, due to a shortage of troops, ordered Mason-MacFarlane to form “Macforce” to hold the river with whatever troops could be found. Templer subsequently became GSO1 of “Macforce”. The only unit of any size then available was Brigadier John Smyth’s 127th Brigade, detached from its parent 42nd Division, which was soon strengthened by armoured cars of Lieutenant-Colonel George Hopkinson’s “Hopkinson Mission”, and some scattered artillery and engineer units. The 127th Brigade was soon replaced by the 139th Brigade (also detached its parent 46th Division) and “Macforce” continued taking on scattered units and, after a few small skirmishes but no major engagements, was eventually disbanded. With the BEF retreating to Dunkirk, both Mason-MacFarlane and Templer were evacuated to England, arriving there on 27 May.
Templer was charged with setting up a new, the 9th battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. In November 1940 he received the command of a newly established Homeland Security Brigade.
A new use for Templer came in May 1941, when he was appointed Chief of Staff (BGGS) of the commanded by Edmond scribe V Corps. In April 1942, he was given command of the ,47th (London) Infantry Division which he held for five months. In September 1942 he took over the II Corps in East Anglia and at the age of 44 became the youngest British (acting) Lieutenant General during the war. In early 1943 Templers Corps command was dissolved and he took over instead formed at the same place XI Corps. Also this command lasted only briefly.
In July 1943, Templer was transferred to North Africa, where he took over the 1st Infantry Division in Tunisia, preparing for deployment in Italy. Even before the landing in the bridgehead of Anzio Templer was transferred in October 1943 as the new commander to the already fighting in Italy 56th (London) Infantry Divisio , whose previous commander Major General Douglas Graham had been seriously wounded at the Volturno. With this division Templer fought in early 1944 in the Battle of Monte Cassino before it was relocated in February in the Anzio bridgehead. Here he temporarily represented the wounded commander of the 1st Infantry Division, Ronald Penney. Penny died 11-03-2011, age 91, in Oakton, Fairfax County, Virginia. At the end of July 1944, Templer was given command of the 6th Armored Division deployed in Italy. After only twelve days, this command post ended for him after he had been severely wounded by the explosion of a landmine. He went back to England for recovery.
Subsequently, Templer was transferred to the headquarters of the Special Operations Executive in London, where he temporarily served as head of the German Directorate. In March 1945, he joined the staff of the (British-Canadian) 21st Army Group under Bernard Montgomery in Brussels. He was responsible for questions of military government and civil affairs.
time after warIn this capacity, he was de facto head of government after the war in the British occupation zone in occupied Germany. He put in October 1945, the dismissal of the Americans used Lord Mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer, for alleged obstruction by.
In March 1946 he returned to England, where he became Director of Military Intelligence in the War Office. He retained this post until January 1948, when he was appointed vice chief of the Imperial General Staff. In February 1950, Templer, now substantial Lieutenant General, took over the post of Commander in Chief of the British Eastern Command. Here a little later the promotion to General took place. In August 1951 he also took over the function of an aide-de-camp of King George VI, which he held from 1952 under Queen Elizabeth II.
Templar lends a medal to the Malay businessman W. E. PereraIn February 1952, Prime Minister Winston Churchill Templer appointed High Commissioner and Chief of Operations in the Federation of Malaya as successor to the killed in a communist assassination Henry Gurney.
On 06-10-1951, Gurney was killed in an ambush by communist insurgents. The Malayan uprising, which has been sustained since 1948 and was mainly carried out by ethnic Chinese organized in the Communist Malayan Races Liberation Army, met with harsh military countermeasures as well as political concessions. By 1953, his dual strategy, which included elements from the earlier Briggs plan, had resulted in the loss of the Communist initiative and its retreat into the northern jungle areas. He left Malaya at the end of 1954. The following year, the first general elections took place.
On Templer the English phrase “winning hearts and minds” is traced back, with which he himself described his strategy in Malaya.
Death and burial ground of Templer, Gerald Walter Robert “the Smiling Tiger”
On 08-09-1926 he had married Edith Margery (Peggie) Davie in the church of Plympton St Mary, Devon. Gerald had first met her in 1921, and again in 1924, and they were engaged after 10 days. Lady Templer was one of the co-founders of the Commonwealth Society for the Deaf, now Sound Seekers. They had a daughter, Jane Frances, born in 1934, and a son, John Miles, born in 1945.
Retired, Templer dedicated, among other things, to helping set up the London National Army Museum. In 1965 he took over the office of Constable of the Tower and the following year he became Lord Lieutenant of Greater London. From 1965 to 1979 he was president of the Society for Army Historical Research. He was also honorary colonel of several regiments, including his regiment, the Royal Irish Fusiliers.
Templer, Gerald died 25-10-1979, aged 81, of cancer in Chelsea, London, England and is buried at St Michael’s Churchyard Wilsford (Salisbury), Wiltshire Unitary Authority, Wiltshire, England.