ANTHONY FARRAR-HOCKLEY, PART ONE
Born on Tuesday, April 8, 1924, and died at 82 years old. General Sir Anthony Heritage Farrar-Hockley was a British soldier and a military historian who fought many British battles. He held many senior commands, concluding his career as Commander-in-chief of NATO’s Allied Forces Northern Europe. Throughout his forty years of army life, General Sir Anthony Heritage Farrar-Hockley, nicknamed “Farrar the Para,” spoke bluntly before and after his sequestration in 1982 wrote on the conflicts he had witnessed and experienced in World War I.
He was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England, on Tuesday, April 8, 1924, to Arthur Farrar-Hockley’s family, a journalist, and Agnes Beatrice (nee Griffin). Farrar-Hockley attended Exeter School. When he was 15 years old, he ran away at the onset of World War II and enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment, British Army’s line infantry regiment. The fact the Farrar-Hockley was not of age was immediately found out, and he was released and had to wait to be re-enlisted when he was 17 years old. He was promoted to sergeant while still aged 17 and a year later when he was commissioned into the Wiltshire Regiment, before changing his base to the Parachute Unit in November 1942. Farrar-Hockley fought with the Royal Welch (sixth Parachute Battalion), a second Parachute Brigade component in Southern France and Italy. Two years later, he won the Military Cross while fighting the communist insurgence in Athens throughout the Greek Civil War.
On Saturday, July 7, 1945, in St Peter’s Church, Ealing, Farrar-Hockley hooked Margaret Bernadette Wells, and they had three sons, but only two of whom survive. Thirty-six years later, his first wife died, and in 1983 he married Linda Wood. Following in father’s footsteps, his first son Charles Dair Farrar-Hockley also won an MC fighting with the Parachute Military Unit in the Falklands War.
During Farrar-Hockley’s mid-career, he was doing research and publishing. He built a reputation as an authority on World War I, publishing The Somme (1964), and four years later, he published Death of an Army. By way of time off during his military career, he spent time from 1968 to 1970 at Exeter College, Oxford as a Defence Fellow, working on a research project into the social effects of National Service in Britain and publishing a couple of other books. Farrar-Hockley gained a BLitt at Oxford University.
To be continued
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