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Name: KITSON, Frank Edward GBE, KCB, MC (Capt.), Sir

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Birth Date: 15 Dec 1926 Kensington

Death Date: 2006

First Date: 1955

Profession: Later became a general, C in Chief UK Land Forces 1982-5

Area: Kiambu

Married: In Tavistock 1962 Elizabeth Janet Spencer b. 1938 Marylebone

Children: Catherine Alice; Rosemary Diana; Marion Ruth

Author: 'Gangs and Counter Gangs', 1960

Book Reference: Sundown, Hut

School: Stowe

General Information:

Sundown - Developed 'blacking-up' into a fine art in Mau Mau
Web Kitson joined the army as a second lieutenant on an emergency commission in the Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own). He was appointed to a regular commission as a lieutenant on 10 April 1948 (with seniority from 15 December 1947), and promoted to captain on 15 December 1953. He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) on 1 January 1955 for service in the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, and was awarded a Bar to it on 23 May 1958, for service in the Malayan Emergency the previous year. Kitson was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1959 Queen's Birthday Honours. He was promoted major on 15 December 1960, brevet lieutenant-colonel on 1 July 1964, and to the substantive rank on 31 December 1966. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1968 New Year Honours. He was promoted colonel on 31 December 1969 (with seniority from 30 June 1969), and brigadier on 30 June 1970.

From September 1970 Kitson commanded 39 Airportable Brigade, which comprised eight (frequently changing) battalions on short four-month tours. A further brigade was usually attached as brigade reserve, but this could be employed elsewhere as required. On 15 February 1972 he was promoted Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his operational service in Northern Ireland the previous year. According to Belfast politician Paddy Devlin, Kitson "probably did more than any other individual to sour relations between the Catholic community and the security forces" in Northern Ireland. On 22 January 1976 he became General Officer Commanding 2 Division, with the acting rank of major-general, with substantive promotion following on 5 April 1976 (and seniority from 2 June 1974), and leading its re-designation as an Armoured Division in Germany before stepping down on 28 February 1978. He was then Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley, 5 March 1978 – 18 January 1980. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 1980 New Year Honours. On 17 March 1980 he was appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief UK Land Forces and Inspector General Territorial Army, with substantive promotion to lieutenant-general (and seniority backdated to 17 August 1979). He held those appointments until 30 May 1982, and then became Commander-in-Chief, UK Land Forces on 1 July 1982 with local rank of general.

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