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CAUNTER, Brig John Alan Lyde (1889-1981)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Caunter
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
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Full title: CAUNTER, Brig John Alan Lyde (1889-1981)
Date(s): Created 1908-[1960]
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box, 1 volume or 0.02 cubic metres
Name of creator(s): Caunter | John Alan Lyde | 1889-1981 | Brigadier


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 1889; educated at Uppingham School, Leicestershire, and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; commissioned into The Gloucestershire Regt, 1909; served in Bombay, India, 1910; Lt, 1911; service with 7 Bn, The King's (Liverpool Regt), Territorial Force, 1913; served with 1 Bn, The Gloucestershire Regt, Bordon, Hampshire, 1914; served in World War One, 1914-1918; service with 1 Bn, The Gloucestershire Regt, 3 Infantry Bde, 1 Div, 1 Corps, British Expeditionary Force (BEF), Belgium and France, 1914; captured by German forces, 1914; POW, 1914-1917; Capt, 1915; awarded MC, 1916; escaped to the Netherlands from Schwarmstedt prison camp, Germany, 1917; service on Western Front, Macedonia and Turkey, 1917-1918; awarded Bar to MC, 1918; General Staff Officer 3, General Headquarters (Operations and Intelligence), British Salonika Force, 1918-1919; Brevet Maj, 1919; General Staff Officer 3, British Salonika Force and British Army of the Black Sea, Russia, 1919-1920; General Staff Officer 3, 6 Div, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, Iraq, 1920-1921; Capt, Royal Tank Corps, 1923; graduated from Staff College, Camberley, Surrey, 1923; Maj, 1924; Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), Germany, 1925-1927; Senior Officers School, Sheerness, Kent, 1927; General Staff Officer 2, Northern Command, 1927-1929; Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General, Northern Ireland District, 1930-1933; Brevet Lt Col, 1933; Lt Col, 1935; Commanding Officer, 1 Bn (Light), Royal Tank Corps, Egypt, 1935-1939; Col, 1936; temporary Brig, 1939; commanded 1 Army Tank Bde, 1939; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; commanded Armoured Bde, Egypt, 1939-1941; commanded 4 Armoured Bde, 7 Armoured Div, Western Desert campaign, 1940-1941; commanded 4 Armoured Bde in capture of Fort Capuzzo, Battle of Beda Fomm, Libya, Feb 1941; awarded CBE, 1941; Brig General Staff and Deputy Director of Staff Duties, Armoured Troops, General Headquarters, India, 1941-1943; retired 1944; member of Looe Urban District Council, Cornwall, 1952-1967; member for Great Britain, International Committee of the International Game Fish Association; died 1981. Publications: 13 days. The chronicle of an escape from a German prison camp (G Bell and Sons, London, 1918); A short guide to shark angling at Looe, and other places in SW England (Published by the author, Looe, Cornwall, 1958); Shark angling in Great Britain (George Allen and Unwin, London, 1961).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers and photographs relating to Caunter's career, 1908-[1960], including one photograph album, containing 90 photographs, newspaper cuttings and invitations, 1908-1933, notably photographs of Crefeld POW camp, Germany, 1916, Caunter's return to UK following his escape from Schwarmstedt POW camp, Germany, 1917, group photographs of officers, Staff College, Camberley, Surrey, 1922-1923 and Senior Officers Course, Hythe, Kent, 1927, with thirty five loose photographs, 1909-1941, including Salonika, 1918, Iraq, 1920-1921, Egypt, 1936, and Western Desert, Libya, 1941. Papers relating to the First Libyan Campaign, Western Desert, 1940-1941, and Caunter's command of 4 Armoured Bde in the capture of Fort Capuzzo, Battle of Beda Fomm, Libya, Feb 1941, including typescript memorandum by Caunter entitled 'Notes on the disposal of prisoners captured by AFV (Armoured Fighting Vehicle) units', 1 Oct 1940; two typescript 7 Armoured Div intelligence summaries, Dec 1940; typescript memorandum by Caunter entitled 'Some lessons from the campaign', [1941]; typescript account entitled 'The story of the 4th Armoured Brigade in the First Libyan campaign', Western Desert, 1940-1941; two letters from Capt Basil Henry Liddell Hart, dated Jan 1947 and Dec 1951, relating to Caunter's deployment of armoured forces in the Battle of Beda Fomm, Western Desert, Feb 1941. Memoranda and reports relating to Caunter's service as Brig General Staff and Deputy Director of Staff Duties, Armoured Troops, General Headquarters, India, 1941-1943, including typescript memorandum by Caunter, 'Defence of the North West Frontier of India and appreciation' [1942]; typescript report by Lt Col Rothwell H Brown, US Army, 'Report of conditions noted in armoured units and ordnance establishments by the US Army Tank Training Detachment', 10 Nov 1942; edition of Tanks and tank folk by Eric Kennington (Country Life, London, 1943).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is arranged in sections as outlined above.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be provided forresearch use only. Requests to publish original material should besubmitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for MilitaryArchives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Finding aids:

Summary guide available on-line at, and in hard copy in the Centre'sreading room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented to the Centre by the family in 1981.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart include correspondence with Caunter, 1938-1969 (Ref: LH 1/154), and a typescript copy of a report by Caunter, Deputy Director of Staff Duties, Armoured Troops, India, on the defence of the North West Frontier of India, Jul 1941 (Ref: LH 15/4/107). The papers of Maj Gen Sir Michael O'Moore Creagh include typescript reports by Caunter, relating to operations during the First Libyan campaign, 1940-1941 (Ref: Creagh). The papers of Gen Sir Richard Nugent O'Connor include letter from Caunter relating to the training of the French Motor Bn, Western Desert, 4 Sep 1940 (Ref: O'Connor 4/1/84); letter from O'Connor relating to the supply of weapons, 1 Dec 1940 (Ref: O'Connor 4/2/18).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
Nov 1999

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