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Sir Francis Festing
28 February 1902(1902-02-28) – 3 August 1976 (aged 74)
Field Marshal Sir Francis Festing
Crown Copyright
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Place of death Hexham, Northumberland
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1921 - 1961
Rank Field Marshal
Commands held 2nd Bn East Lancashire Regiment
29th Infantry Brigade
36th Division
Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong
British Troops in Egypt
Eastern Command
Far East Land Forces
Battles/wars World War II
Awards GCB, KBE, DSO

Field Marshal Sir Francis Wogan Festing GCB KBE DSO (28 August 1902 - 3 August 1976), called 菲士挺 in Chinese, was a field marshal of the British Army. He was father of Fra' Matthew Festing, Grand Master of Sovereign Military Order of Malta.


Army career

Educated at Winchester College Festing was commissioned into 3rd Battalion the Rifle Brigade in 1921.[1]

In 1940 he became Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment and then in 1942 Commander of 29th Infantry Brigade which was deployed to Madagascar.[2]

In November 1942 he took command of 36th Division during the Arakan offensive of the Burma Campaign. He was Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong between 1945 and 1946, and then again from June to September in 1949.[3]

He became General Officer Commanding British Troops in Egypt in 1952, General Officer Commanding Eastern Command in 1954 and Commander-in-Chief Far East Land Forces in 1956.[3]

From 1958 to 1961 he was Chief of the Imperial General Staff.[3]


In retirement he collected early firearms and swords.[4]


  1. ^ Heathcote, Anthony pg 118
  2. ^ Heathcote, Anthony pg 119
  3. ^ a b c Heathcote, Anthony pg 120
  4. ^ Heathcote, Anthony pg 121

Further reading

  • Wilkes, Lyall (1991) Festing - Field Marshal: A study of "Front Line Frankie", G.C.B., K.B.E., D.S.O. Book Guild Ltd. ISBN 0-86332-532-7
  • Heathcote, T.A. (1999). The British Field Marshals 1736-1997. Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-696-5
Military offices
Preceded by
Michael Maltby
Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Sir George Erskine
Preceded by
Francis Matthews
Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong
June 1949 - September 1949
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Mansergh
Preceded by
Sir Geoffrey Bourne
GOC-in-C Eastern Command
Succeeded by
Sir Cyril Coleman
Preceded by
Sir Charles Loewen
C-in-C Far East Land Forces
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Hull
Preceded by
Sir Gerald Templer
Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Hull


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