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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Ranniket, India
Died in London, England, UK
Birth NameBrian Gwynne Horrocks

Mini Bio (1)

Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks--charismatic, self-deprecating, insightful - had an extraordinary career as a professional British soldier in both World Wars and the British intervention against the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1919, as an Olympic athlete, military instructor, and military adviser to film and television. Horrocks was born in 1895 in India, where his father was a doctor in the British Army. He graduated from Sandhurst (the West Point of the British Army - by his own account, bottom of his class but one) and was a junior lieutenant in the British Army at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Horrocks's platoon was surrounded and he was wounded at Ypres, in October 1914. He became a prisoner of war in Germany. In 1919, he volunteered to join the British force which intervened on the White Army side in the Russian civil war. He received one of Britain's highest awards for gallantry, the Military Cross, but he was captured and held prisoner until 1920. Returning to Britain, Horrocks became British modern pentathlon champion and competed in the 1924 Olympics. He studied at Camberley Military College and later became a chief instructor there. In the Second World War Horrocks went with the British Expeditionary Force to France, and was promoted to brigadier during the Dunkirk evacuation in June 1940. He became a corps commander in 1942, subsequently commanding forces in the Allied victories at El Alamein and Tunisia. Horrocks commanded XXX Corps from the D-Day landings in June 1944. Horrocks and his troops subsequently liberated Amiens (31 August), Brussels (3 September) and Antwerp (4 September) and later in September were the armoured spearhead of Operation Market Garden in the drive on the Rhine bridges. They took Bremen in Germany on 27 April 1945. Horrocks retired from the British Army in 1949. His autobiography, "A Full Life" (1960), is among the most candid, amusing and thought-provoking soldierly memoirs of the 20th century. He was interviewed for the documentary miniseries, _"World At War, The" (1974)(mini)_, and was military adviser to Richard Attenborough's film, A Bridge Too Far (1977)". He died in 1985.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Grant A. Thompson

Trivia (1)

He served as a military consultant on A Bridge Too Far (1977), in which he was played by Edward Fox.

Personal Quotes (1)

"Then they [Air Force] came to me and said, 'Do you want the town of Kleve taking out?' By taking out, they meant the whole of the heavy bombers putting onto Kleve. "Now I knew that Kleve was a fine old historical German town. Anne of Cleves, one of Henry the Eighth's wives, came from there. I knew that there were a lot of civilians in Kleve, men, women and children. If I said no, they would live. If I said yes, they would die. "Terrible decision you've got to take. But everything depended on getting a high piece of ground. The German troops would have to come through Kleve and we would have to breach the Siegfried Line and get there. Your own lives, your own troops, must come first, so I said, yes, I did want it taking out. But (when) all those bombers went over, the night just before zero hour, I felt a murderer. And after the war I had an awful lot of nightmares - and it was always Kleve." --General Sir Brian Horrocks, interviewed for "The World At War" programme 19, "Pincers, August 1944 - March 1945".

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