Whitworth, Rex (Henry) 1916-2004

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WHITWORTH, Rex (Henry) 1916-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born August 27, 1916, in Overbury, England; died May 22, 2004. Military officer and author. Whitworth was a retired British Army major general who also wrote military histories and, after leaving the army, was bursar and fellow of Exeter College. After graduating from Balliol College, Oxford, in 1938, he won a traveling fellowship to Queen's College, but the next year enlisted in the British Army. Commissioned as a second lieutenant, he began service as an intelligence officer. He saw action in North Africa and Italy from 1943 to 1945, and in 1946 was awarded the Bronze Star from the United States. Next, he attended staff college and then rejoined the Eighth Army in Italy. During the mid-1950s, Whitworth commanded the Grenadier Guards, and he later served at Allied headquarters in Versailles. One of his most memorable assignments came in the early 1960s when, as commander of the Berlin Infantry Brigade, Whitworth was present during the erection of the Berlin Wall; and he was part of President John F. Kennedy's entourage when Kennedy made his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech. After serving in several more posts, including as deputy military secretary at the Ministry of Defense in London from 1963 to 1966, general commanding officer in Yorkshire and Northumbia, and then as chief of staff of the Southern Command from 1968 to 1970, Whitworth retired as a major general. He joined the staff at Exeter College, Oxford, where he was a fellow and bursar until 1981, and from 1990 to 1995 was grants committee chair and senior trustee of the Historical Churches Preservation Trust. Named a Commander of the British Empire and Commander of Order of the Bath, he was the author of several history books, including Field Marshal Ligonier (1958), Famous Regiments: The Grenadier Guards (1974), Gunner at Large (1988), and William Augustus: Duke of Cumberland (1992).



Daily Telegraph (London, England), June 1, 2004, p. 1.

Guardian (London, England), July 14, 2004, p. 23.

Times (London, England), June 14, 2004, p. 25.