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Sir John Chapple
Born 27 May 1931 (1931-05-27) (age 78)
Field Marshal Sir John Chapple
Crown Copyright
Allegiance United KingdomUnited Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1954 - 1992
Rank Field Marshal
Commands held 1 Bn 2nd Gurkhas
48 Gurkha Infantry Brigade
Hong Kong
UK Land Forces
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Field Marshal Sir John Lyon Chapple GCB, CBE (born 27 May 1931) was a career British Army officer in the second half of the 20th century. He served as Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, from 1989 to 1992.


Army career

Educated at Haileybury College and Trinity College, Cambridge, John Chapple was commissioned into the 2nd Gurkhas in 1954: he served with the regiment in Malaya, Borneo and Hong Kong.[1]

In 1970 he was appointed Commanding Officer of 1 Battalion 2nd Gurkhas and in 1976 brigade commander of 48 Gurkha Infantry Brigade.[2]

In 1981 he was appointed Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong returning to the UK in 1983 to be Director of Military Operations. In 1986 he became Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff and was then appointed Commander-in-Chief UK Land Forces in 1987. He was Chief of the General Staff from 1989 to 1992 when he retired from the British Army.[2]

Later career

He was also Governor of Gibraltar from 1993 to 1995 and has served as president of the London Zoological Society and a trustee of the World Wildlife Fund.[3]


  1. ^ Heathcote, Anthony p. 85
  2. ^ a b Heathcote, Anthony p. 86
  3. ^ Biography at WWF

Further reading

  • Heathcote, T.A. (1999). The British Field Marshals 1736-1997. Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-696-5
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir James Glover
Commander in Chief, UK Land Forces
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Huxtable
Preceded by
Sir Nigel Bagnall
Chief of the General Staff
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Inge
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Derek Reffell
Governor of Gibraltar
Succeeded by
Sir Hugo White


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