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"Scottish Soldier": the Autobiography of Major-General Douglas Wimberley

Reference Code: GBR/0014/WIMB

Scope and Contents

Churchill Archives Centre holds excerpts from volume one and a complete copy of volume two of the autobiography. Subjects covered include Wimberley's service in the First World War, between the wars and during the Second World War.


  • Creation: 1973


Conditions Governing Access

The autobiography is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holder and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Douglas Wimberley was born in Inverness [Scotland] on 15 August 1896, son of Colonel Charles Campbell Wimberley, CMG, and Lesmoir Gordon Wimberley. He was educated at Alton Burn, Nairn, then Wellington College, before going on to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. In 1915 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. He served in France and Belgium with the 1st and 51st Highland Divisions, 1915-16 and 1917-18 (being wounded and also winning the Military Cross), including the battles of Loos, Somme, Ypres, Cambrai and St Quentin. He was promoted to Acting and Temporary Major, 1918-19, went to North Russia, with the Machine Gun Corps in 1919 and became an Adjutant with the 2nd Camerons in 1921.

Wimberley distinguished himself in promotion examinations in 1924, and returned to his education, studying at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, and then going on to the Staff College, Camberley, in 1925. In this year he also married Elsye Myrtle Livington, daughter of Captain. F. L. Campbell, of Achalader, Perthshire, and Lady Dobell; they had one son and one daughter.

Wimberley's military career progressed steadily between the wars: Brigade Major 1st (Ghurkha) Infantry Brigade (1929); Operations North West Frontier Province, India (1930); Brevet Major (1933); Deputy Assistant Adjutant General and General Staff Officer II, War Office (1934-37); Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel (1936); Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding 1st Cameron Highlanders (1938); France (1939); General Staff Officer 1 and Chief Instructor Senior Officers’ School (1940). He commanded the 13th and 152nd Seaforth and Cameron Brigade (1940-41), then the 46th Division (1941) and in June 1941 Wimberley, now Brigadier, took command of the 51st (Highland) division. He stayed with the Highland division until 1943, through the 8th Army's campaigns in North Africa and Sicily, including the battles of El Alamein, Mareth, Medinine, Akarit and Enfidaville, and Adrano. Wimberley then left the division to become Commandant of the Staff College at Camberley (1943-44), and Director of Infantry at the War Office (1944-46).

Following his retirement from the army, Wimberley took up the position of Principal of University College, Dundee, in the University of St Andrews, from 1946, retiring in 1954. He died on 26 August 1983.


1 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The autobiography was deposited at Churchill Archives Centre by General Wimberley in two separate accessions in 1973.

Related Materials

Further papers of General Wimberley, including a complete 5-volume copy of his autobiography and papers relating to the 51st Highland Division, are held by the National Library of Scotland,


This collection (fonds) level description was compiled by Katharine Thomson of Churchill Archives Centre in February 2006. Biographical information was obtained from Wimberley's entries in " Who Was Who 1897-1996" (A & C Black) and Timothy Harrison Place's essay, ‘Wimberley, Douglas Neil (1896-1983)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.


Wimberley, Douglas Neil, 1896-1983, Major-General

2006-02-03 09:37:46.117000+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
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