Catalogue description Major General D N Wimberley CB DSO MC DL LLD

This record is held by Imperial War Museum Department of Documents

Details of DNW
Reference: DNW
Title: Major General D N Wimberley CB DSO MC DL LLD

Interesting ts memoir (3 volumes) covering the period 1896-1946 describing in turn: his early life; OTC at Wellington and Cambridge University; his training at Sandhurst (December 1914 - May 1915) and military service in: the 3rd (Militia) Battalion Cameron Highlanders at Invergordon (1915); the 1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders (1st Brigade, 1st Division) at the Battle of Loos (October 1915); the 1st and 2nd Brigade Machine Gun Companies during the Battle of the Somme (July - October 1916); the MG Training Centre at Grantham; command of the 232nd MG Company (51st Division) at Third Ypres (July - September 1917), in the Somme sector (October 1917) and at Cambrai (November 1917); command of the 51st Battalion MGC including on 21 March 1918 when he was wounded; an RAF observer course (1918); the 8th MG Battalion in Russia (1919); the 1st and 2nd Battalions Cameron Highlanders in Ireland (1920 - 1921), at Aldershot (1922 - 1923), and Cologne (1923 - 1924), his return to Cambridge University (1924 - 1925) and then back to Cologne (1925); at the Staff College, Camberley (1926 - 1927); India (1928 - 1933) including his posting as Brigade Major, 1st Indian (Gurkha) Infantry Brigade (1929-1933); at the War Office in the Adjutant General and Military Training Directorates (1934 - 1937); in command of the 1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders (1938 - 1939) at Aldershot and following the outbreak of war at Tournai in Belgium; posting as Chief Instructor at the Senior Officers School, Sheerness and Erlestoke (December 1939-July 1940); command of a temporary Brigade earmarked to seize Stavanger (January 1940), of the 13th Brigade (5th Division) and finally the 152nd Brigade (51st Highland Division), before assuming command of the 46th Division in Britain (1940-1941) and the 51st Highland Division (June 1941-August 1943) in Britain and, after sailing in SS STRATHEDEN, in North Africa at the battles of Alamein, Medenine, the Mareth and Akarit Lines and the conquest of Sicily; as Commandant, Staff College Camberley (September 1943-1944), followed by a tour of the British Commanders around the world and an account of his reforms as Director of Infantry, War Office (December 1944-September 1946); together with appendices including essays on Montgomery and the two World Wars, a critical assessment of his colleagues and units and stressing the importance of Infantry morale.

Date: 1958-1963, 1978-1981
Held by: Imperial War Museum Department of Documents, not available at The National Archives
Copies held at:


Language: English

Wimberley, Douglas Neil, 1896-1983, Major General

Access conditions:


  • France
  • Russia
  • Ireland
  • India
  • North Africa
  • Second World War, 1939-1945
  • First World War, 1914-1918
  • Western Front, 1914-1918
  • Battle of El Alamein, 1942
  • Army personnel
Administrative / biographical background:



Douglas Neil Wimberley was born in 1896. He served with the Cameron Highlanders (1915) and the Machine Gun Corps (1915-19) in France, Britain and Russia and, returning to his regiment, in Ireland (1920-1), at Aldershot (1922-3), Cologne (1923-4, 1925) and in India (1928). After service as Brigade Major, 1st Indian Infantry Brigade (1929-33) he worked in the Adjutant General and Military Training Directorates, War Office (1934-7) and commanded the 1st Battalion, Cameron Highlanders at Aldershot and in France (1938-9). During the war he was Chief Instructor at the Senior Officers School at Sheerness and Erlestoke (December 1939 - July 1940); Officer Commanding 13th Brigade, 152nd Brigade and 46th Division in Britain (1940-1) and 51st Highland Division in North Africa (1941-3); Commandant, Staff College, Camberley (1943-4) and Director of Infantry, War Office (1944-6). He retired from the Army in 1946 and died in 1983.


The memoirs are a multi volume work, of which only the three volumes relating to his early life and his military career have been copied. These typescripts have the overall title Scottish Soldier, although individual parts have separate working titles. Volume I, compiled between 1960 and 1963, includes his First World War experiences written in 1918 while serving as a Major and recovering from a wound; volume II was compiled between 1958 and 1960 and is based on unit histories, war diaries and letters to his wife; volume VII comprises a series of essays written between 1978 and 1981. All the volumes contain critical assessments of his colleagues and the units with which he was associated, as well as informative descriptions of the events in which he participated and the circumstances he experienced.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research