The Lord Richards of Hertmonceux GCB CBE DSO
Former Chief of the Defence Staff
"I am delighted to have been appointed Patron of the Lt Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust. Dougie represented the very best of servicemen and women that I have had the privilege to lead. His life was tragically cut short but I have no doubt that its impact will last – the Trust is a testament to this.
It is very important to those in the military that, when they fight, they fight for a cause in which they believe. Dougie believed in the cause for which he was fighting. His great bravery showed this and the leadership he gave to his men was second to none.
So, the commitment of the Lt Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust to support soldiers and their families who have been affected by injuries and death represents a fulfillment of what was most important to Dougie - the well-being and high morale of his soldiers."
Former Chief of the Defence Staff, Lord Richards was the professional head of the armed forces and the government's strategic military adviser.
Born in 1952 and educated at Eastbourne College, David Richards was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1971 prior to studying international relations at University College Cardiff. Graduating in 1974 he spent the next 9 years at regimental duty in the Far East, Germany and the UK (principally with 29 Commando Regiment RA and C Anti-Tank Battery Royal Horse Artillery) and on the staff of 11th Armoured Brigade in Germany. This period included 3 tours in Northern Ireland. After attending the Staff College in 1984, he returned to 11th Armoured Brigade to command a field battery in 47th Field Regiment. From there he spent 2 years in Berlin as the Chief of Staff of the Berlin Infantry Brigade. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he spent the next 3 years as an instructor at the Staff College, Camberley, before being appointed to command 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. This period included another operational tour in Northern Ireland. In 1994 he was promoted and appointed Colonel Army Plans in the MOD, responsible for the shape and size of the Army. Promoted to Brigadier in 1996, and after attending the Higher Command and Staff course, he became Commander 4th Armoured Brigade in Germany. In 1998 he was posted to the Permanent Joint Headquarters as Chief Joint Force Operations, the UK’s default one star commander for short notice expeditionary operations. In this role he was involved in a number of operations, including commanding the UK Contingent in East Timor in 1999, and twice commanding a UK Joint Task Force in Sierra Leone in 2000.
Promoted to Major General, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) in Apr 2001 before becoming Assistant Chief of the General Staff in Sep 2002. Appointed to command the ARRC in Jan 2005, he served as Commander of the International Stabilisation and Assistance Force Afghanistan between May 2006 and Feb 2007, a period that included NATO/ISAF expansion across the south and east of Afghanistan. Given substantive promotion in Jan 2008, he took over as Commander-in-Chief UK Land Forces before then assuming the appointment of Chief of the General Staff in Aug 2009. On 29 October 2010, General Lord Richards took over the post of Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS).
During his time as CDS, General Lord Richards was also Honorary Colonel 3rd Regiment RHA, Colonel Commandant Royal Artillery, Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas, Chairman Gurkha Welfare Trust, Colonel Commandant Media Operations Group (Volunteers), President of Army Skiing, President of Army Tennis, and Admiral of the Army Sailing Association and the British Kiel Yacht Club.
In the summer of 2013, after 42 years in the Army, Richards handed over the post of CDS to General Sir Nick Houghton. His operational awards include a Mention in Despatches, Commander of the Order of the British Empire and the Distinguished Service Order. He is also a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath and on 24th February 2014 was created Lord Richards of Herstmonceux.
General Lord Richards is married to Caroline and has 2 daughters: Joanna who was a friend of Dougie's, and Pippa. He is a keen student of military history and strategy, a qualified offshore yachtsman and an occasional horseman. Amongst many other roles he is also a Governor of his old school, President of the Armed Forces Muslim Association and Patron of the Afghan Appeal Fund which was founded by Caroline when he was on tour in Afghanistan.