Having spent two years as a National Serviceman, Lord Inge was commissioned into the Green Howards in1956 and joined the 1st Battalion in Hong Kong. He served in Malaya on a short operational tour during the Emergency; he was both an ADC and Adjutant as a Captain before going on to be Brigade Major of 11th Armoured Brigade.
He served in Northern Ireland on three separate tours – one as a Company Commander and two as Commanding Officer. He commanded 1st Battalion The Green Howards from 1974-1977. After that, as a Colonel, he commanded the Junior Division of the Staff College and, following his promotion to Brigadier in 1979, he commanded Task Force C (a large Brigade) in BAOR.
He returned to UK in 1982 as a Major General to command North East District & 2nd Infantry Division based in York. He was then appointed Director General, Logistics Policy (Army) at the MoD. He was promoted to Lieutenant General and became Commander 1 (BR) Corps in 1987. He was appointed a KCB in the 1988 New Year’s Honours. He moved from Bielefeld to Rheindahlen in 1989 to become CinC BAOR and Commander NORTHAG in the rank of General. He was promoted to GCB in the 1992 Queen’s Birthday Honours. He was appointed Chief of the General Staff in 1992 and Chief of the Defence Staff in 1994 when he was promoted to Field Marshal; the last such promotion of a serving General. He served in this post until he retired in 1997.
He served as Colonel of the Green Howards for 12 years from 1982-1994. He also served as Colonel Commandant of the Royal Military Police from 1987-1992 and Colonel Commandant of the Army Physical Training Corps, not then Royal, from 1988-1997.
After stepping down as Chief of the Defence Staff, he was created a Life Peer as Baron Inge of Richmond in the County of North Yorkshire. He was appointed a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG) in 2001. He subsequently retired from the House of Lords in 2016. From1996-2001 he was the Constable of the Tower of London. It is perhaps worthy of note that between 1996 and today, of the four Constables to have been appointed, three have been Green Howards officers.
In 2004 Lord Inge was made a Privy Councillor and appointed to serve as a member of the Butler Inquiry team, which examined the use of intelligence during the Iraq War. In retirement he became a non-executive director of Racal Electronics plc, sat on the advisory board of Aegis Defence Services, was a commissioner of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces and President of the Soldiers’ Charity The Army Benevolent Fund.
Details of the Field Marshal’s Family funeral will be made known as appropriate; a Service of Thanksgiving will be held at a later date.