David Dawnay 54
- Born: 1903, Mayfair, London 10
- Marriage: Katharine Nora Beresford on 14 October 1926 in St. John's, Southwick Crescent 54
- Died: 3 October 1971 aged 68 54
From The Times, October 4, 1971
Major-General Sir David Dawnay, K.C.V.O., C.B., D.S.O., who was
Secretary to the Ascot Authority and Clerk of the Course at Ascot from
1957 to 1969, died yesterday at the age of 68. He was Commander of
the 56th Armoured Division from 1954 to 1957.
David Dawnay, the son of Major the Hon. Hugh Dawnay, was born in 1903
and educated at Eton and entered the Royal Military College,
Sandhurst, in 1921. He was commissioned to The Rifle Brigade in 1924.
He transferred to the 10th Royal Hussars in 1924 and served in Egypt,
India and at home. In 1940 he was promoted to major, and in the same
year he fought with his regiment in France, commanding "C" Squadron,
in the 1st Armoured Division.
From 1940 he took part in intensive training in Britain, first as
second-in-command of the North Irish Horse, then as Commander of the
2nd Reconnaisance Regiment, and then as Commander of the North Irish
Horse. With the latter unit he arrived in North Africa in 1943. From
this point onwards he saw considerable active service, both in North
Africa and in Italy until the final offensive in May, 1945. His
principal actions during this period were at Hunts Gap, Oued Zarga,
Longstop, the capture of Tunis, Cassino, and, with the Canadian Corps,
in the breaching of the Gothic Line and the capture of Cattolica and
Rimini. In early 1944 he had become second-in-command of the 26th
Armoured Brigade, and in May, 1944, he was promoted to Commander of
the 21st Tank Brigade.
In 1945 Dawnay became Commander of the 26th Armoured Brigade, and
served with that brigade in Austria and Italy. During the earlier
part of 1946 he commanded the 86th Area, with headquarters in Venice.
After a year at the Staff College, Camberley, he took over command of
the 2nd Armoured Brigade in Italy and MELF. In 1948 he was made
Deputy Commander North Midland District; in 1949 he commanded the 8th
Armoured Brigade (TA) in Yorkshire, and from this appointment was then
appointed Commandant of The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in 1951,
which he he held until 1954.
Dawnay was a polo and lawn tennis player of considerable note. His
regimental polo team, of which he was a member, won the
Inter-Regimental Polo Tournament in India and at Hurlingham, and was
in the final in Egypt. In 1936 he played in the Polo International
Trials for England and was spare man for the third match against
America. In the same year he captained the British Team in the
Olympic Games in Berlin when England was runner-up to the Argentine.
He played cricket for the Royal Military College Sandhurst, and was
captain of his regimental team; in lawn tennis he won the Army
Regimental Doubles in Egypt in 1930 and the Open Doubles in Meerut,
India, in 1932.
Dawnay was honorary colonel of the North Irish Horse from 1947 to 1969
and of the Territorial and Volunteer Reserve since 1969. He was
Colonel of the 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own) from 1962 to
1969. He was a joint Master of the Waterford Hounds from 1957 to
He married in 1926 Lady Katharine Nora Beresford.
Noted events in his life were:
1. He appeared on the census in 1911 in 109 Gloucester Place, Portman Square, London. 10
2. Memorial Service: 16 January 1972, Royal Memorial Chapel, Sandhurst.
David married Katharine Nora Beresford on 14 October 1926 in St. John's, Southwick Crescent.54