Lieutenant General Sir Peter Duffell KCB CBE MC

Lieutenant General Sir Peter Duffell was born in 1939 and educated at Dulwich College.  He won the Stick of Honour at Mons Officer Cadet School in 1960 and joined the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Goorkhas in Kota Tinggi, Malaya.  During the suppression of the Brunei revolt he was Battalion Intelligence Officer.  In 1964-65 he commanded A Company on two operational tours in Sabah during the Indonesian Confrontation, and was awarded a Military Cross for leading a successful company attack on an Indonesian base on the River Agisan.

After attending Staff College Camberley in 1970-71 he was Brigade Major of 5th Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland and Tidworth.  He subsequently returned to Regimental duty commanding B Company and as Second-in-Command in the 1st Battalion, and was then appointed Military Assistant to the Commander-in-Chief UK Land Forces, General Sir Edwin Bramall.

He commanded the 1st Battalion in Hong Kong, the UK and Belize from 1978-81 before being promoted Colonel in the Military Operations branch of the Ministry of Defence from 1981-83, a period that included the recapture the Falkland Islands.  He then commanded Gurkha Field Force in Hong Kong before being appointed Chief of Staff of 1(British) Corps in the British Army of the Rhine, an unusual appointment for a Gurkha officer.

General Duffell when commanding Gurkha Field Force (Photo: Sandro Tucci)

After a year at the Royal College of Defence Studies, in 1989 he spent 7 months working in the Efficiency Unit of the Cabinet Office, moving from there to become Commander

British Forces Hong Kong and Major General Brigade of Gurkhas.  In the former role he sat on Hong Kong’s Executive Council, the last Commander British Forces to do so.  In the latter role he fought a difficult battle to retain a reduced Brigade of Gurkhas in the British Army, successfully ensuring the formation and retention of The Royal Gurkha Rifles.

In 1992 he was promoted to Lieutenant General and appointed Inspector General Doctrine and Training, his last appointment in the Army.  During this time he was President of the Army Football Association and President of the Army Rifle Association.  He was Colonel of the Royal Gurkha Rifles from 1994-99.

He retired from the Army in May 1995 and worked as Chief of Executive of a city law firm, merging it with an American company to become Dechert LLP, from which he retired in October 2014.  His pro bono work has included being a Governor of Sandroyd School, Salisbury, a member of the International Board of the School of Oriental and African Studies, and a Trustee of the Foyle Foundation.  He was President of the Sirmoor Club from 2006-15, is a Freeman of the City of London, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs.  He has contributed numerous articles to Regimental Journals and published his biography, ‘Gurkha Odyssey’ in 2019.  He is a keen cricketer and a member of the MCC, Pilgrims and Tripehounds.  He is married with two children.


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