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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Macleod
MACLEOD, Col Roderick ('Rory') (1891-1984)
Created 1919-[1984]
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
1 box or 0.01 cubic metres


Administrative / Biographical history

Born in 1891; educated at Rugby and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery, 1911; posted to 80 Battery, Royal Field Artillery, Kildare, Ireland, 1911; participated in the Curragh incident, 1914; served World War One, Western Front and Italy, 1914-1918; served with the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) in 80 Battery, 15 Bde, Royal Field Artillery, 5 Div, 1914; wounded at Battle of Le Cateau, France, 1914; Lt, 1914; served with 5 Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, 2 Indian Cavalry Div, at Neuve Chapelle, Festubert and Aubers Ridge, France, 1915; temporary Capt, 1915; served with 10 Battery, Royal Horse Artillery and 4 Bde, Royal Flying Corps, 1916-1917; Capt, 1916; commanded A Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, 240 Bde, Royal Field Artillery, 1917; commanded C Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, 241 Bde, Royal Field Artillery, 48 (South Midland) Div, Territorial Force, at the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) and Vimy Ridge, 1917; served in Italy, 1917-1918; posted to UK with 1 Battery, Royal Field Artillery, 1919-1921; Adjutant, 36 Bde, Royal Field Artillery, Ireland, 1921-1922; Adjutant, 1924-1925; graduated from Staff College, Camberley, 1927; commanded 27 Battery, Royal Artillery, Allahabad, India, 1928; Maj, 1929; General Staff Officer, Grade 3, Headquarters Meerut District, India, 1929-1930; General Staff Officer, Grade 2, Headquarters Meerut District, India, 1930-1933; commanded 60 Battery, Royal Artillery, 1933; General Staff Officer, Grade 2, 47 (2 London) Div, Territorial Army, 1934-1936; Brevet Lt Col, 1935; General Staff Officer, Grade 2, 48 (South Midland) Div, Territorial Army, 1936-1938; substantive Lt Col, 1938; Col, 1938; commanded 6 Medium Regt, Royal Artillery, Muttra, India, 1938-1939; appointed acting Brig, Royal Artillery, Headquarters Eastern Command, Naini Tal, India, 1939; appointed General Staff Officer, Grade 1, and Military Assistant to Gen Sir (William) Edmund Ironside, Inspector General of Overseas Forces, 1939, and Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1939-1940; served World War Two, 1939-1945; commanded 4 Army, a fictitious unit employed in deceiving German forces on Allied strength and invasion targets, 1944; retired 1945; commanded Guildford Home Guard Bn, 1955; appointed literary executor to the estate of FM (William) Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Ironside of Archangel and of Ironside, 1959; died 1984.

Publications: The Ironside Diaries (Constable, London, 1962), edited by Macleod and Denis Kelly.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented to the Centre by Macleod in three accessions in 1964, 1965 and 1966.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers relating to Macleod's career, [1965-1984] notably two copies of an unpublished memoir by Macleod, entitled 'An Artillery Officer in the First World War'; accounts by Macleod of the political and military background to the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Ypres), 1917, and of his command during World War Two of a deception operation by the fictional 4 Army to distract attention from the Normandy landings of 1944, [1966-1984]. Papers relating to the life and career of FM Sir (William) Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Ironside of Archangel and Ironside, notably the unpublished volumes 'A secret service agent in South West Africa', detailing his service as a British agent in German South-West Africa, 1902-1904, and 'Ironside's letters to Col R Macleod', 1931-1959, with enclosures, [1965]; an account by Macleod of significant episodes of Ironside's career, and a review of Laurence Thompson's 1940 - Year of Legend, Year of History (Collins, London, 1960).

System of arrangement

The papers have been divided by the archivist into two sections, namely papers relating to Macleod's career, and those relating to the life and career of FM Sir (William) Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron of Archangel and Ironside.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

This Summary Guide, and detailed catalogue available both online and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Related units of description

A separate collection of Macleod papers in the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives is held in the papers of Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart section 15/14 with a separate Macleod (2) Summary Guide and detailed list available online and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room. This collection comprises papers relating to the life and career of Macleod, and of FM Sir (William) Edmund Ironside, although much of the material consists of duplicates of the Macleod papers with references to Liddell Hart removed; general correspondence with Liddell-Hart 1935-1970 (Ref: LH 1/481); notes by Liddell Hart on discussions with Macleod and others are in LH section 11; texts of lectures and training instructions by Macleod are in LH section 15/3; the papers of Maj Gen Ridley Pakenham Pakenham-Walsh include correspondence from Capt George Alexander Eugene Douglas Haig, 2nd Earl Haig, and FM Ironside to Macleod, 1939-1945 (Ref: GB99 KCLMA Pakenham-Walsh). The National Army Museum holds correspondence and papers of Macleod, 1908-1970 (Ref:8502/32) and a typescript account of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres), 1917 (Ref:9405-4/275).

Publication note

Date of compilation: Jun 1998



NOTE: See Macleod (2) for separate collection of material in Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archvies within the collection of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart, section 15/14.

Description control

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.


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Detailed catalogue

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  • Armed forces
  • Artillery
  • Biographies
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Literary forms and genres
  • Literature
  • Military engineering
  • Military equipment
  • Military operations
  • Military organizations
  • Operation Overlord (1944)
  • Organizations
  • Prose
  • State security
  • War
  • Wars (events)
  • Weapons
  • World War One (1914-1918)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Ironside, William Edmund, 1880-1959, 1st Baron Ironside of Archangel and of Ironside, Field Marshal
  • Thompson, Laurence, fl 1960, author

Corporate names

  • British Army


  • German South West Africa
  • Namibia, Southern Africa
  • Normandy, France
  • Passchendaele, Belgium

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