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Maj Gen HSL Dalzell-Payne
January 25, 2018

Joined: April 23, 2014
Posts: 171
Maj Gen HSL Dalzell-Payne

January 25, 2018

From: Major JMK Erskine MBE

 

             Regimental Secretary

 

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

(Carabiniers & Greys)

Home Headquarters

The Castle, EDINBURGH EH1 2YT

 

Telephone:   0131 310 5100/5102

e-mail:homehq@scotsdg.org.uk

Facsimile:    0131 310 5101

 

 

HHQ 530

25 Jan 18

 

 

 

INITIAL NOTIFICATION OF A DEATH

MAJOR GENERAL HSL DALZELL-PAYNE

It is with regret that I inform you of the death on 23 Jan 18 of Maj Gen HSL (Harry) Dalzell-Payne who served with 3DG from 1968 to 1971 and SCOTS DG from 1971 to 1982.

There is to be a private family funeral, and there will be no memorial service at his request

Details of whom letters of condolence can be sent will be promulgated when known

Yours Sincerely

Jamie Erskine

 

Miss Sharon McConnell

Asst Regt Sec|HHQ SCOTSDG|The Castle|Edinburgh|EH1 2YT|0131 310 5102|94740 5102|email:RACHQ-SCOTSDG-HHQ-RegtSec-Asst@mod.uk (SCOTSDG-HHQ-RegtSec-Asst)

 

 

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January 26, 2018

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 771
Maj Gen HSL Dalzell-Payne

January 26, 2018

I remember General Dalzell-Payne as if it was yesterday, when as CO in Chester,  he called me in to promote me to Sgt at the tender age of 21 with the words, "I want young blood to give a kick up the backside where needed" ! He believed strongly in youth, also promoting to Sgt at the time, Terry McMahon (RIP) & Mick Littleproud, also in their early 20's. We certainly shocked the "establishment" of the Sgt's Mess, who couldn't believe their eyes at seeing us fresh faced sprogs wearing three stripes ! I remember being on exercise & General "Harry" visiting every Sqn location with free beer for every soldier, to celebrate the birth of his daughter - his policy was for no one to miss training for births etc, and he certainly stuck to the policy himself by remaining in the "field" throughout. He was destined for "high office" but certain events (& people) seemingly  conspired against him, and his tenure as our Commanding Officer was shortened if I remember correctly, but his memory and legacy remained for many years. He had tremendous respect and loyalty from all ranks of the Regiment - unfortunately, after he'd left our paths never crossed again, but I certainly never forgot him, or him giving me the opportunity to  "climb the ladder".   RIP Sir, I salute you. John (JKW)

January 30, 2018

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 919
Maj Gen HSL Dalzell-Payne

January 30, 2018

General Harry interviewed me in Muenster regarding my transfer in from 10H. We had recently had a couple of very po faced COs in the Shiny 10th so I was not really prepared for a CO of General Harry’s ilk. Personable, direct, charming and so easy to talk to. He asked me if I was a B1 tradesman and did I play football. I answered yes to the first question, no to the second. I explained I was, at the time, a Corps hockey player and a Civil Service Linguist in German. Job done, welcome. He said the Regiment would look after me. It did. I never saw him again until Sennelager when he visited us as Divisional  Commander. I recall stories of officers exiting the mess via kitchen windows to avoid the ignominy of asking to be excused from the ongoing revelries! In my opinion, General Harry was a victim of his own popularity and the total respect those serving under him had for him. He was an officer with the personality and leadership that was “before its time” he was never an “establishment figure” and he paid the price for that as well as his forward thinking and devotion to his men. R.I.P.            

March 7, 2018

Joined: April 23, 2014
Posts: 171
Maj Gen HSL Dalzell-Payne

March 7, 2018

 Major General Harry Dalzell Payne

Popular and convivial officer whose reputation as a risk taker proved too much for the Army Board
MAJOR GENERAL HARRY DALZELL PAYNE, who has died aged 88, came within reach of becoming the right-hand man to the head of the Army and would probably have gone further had he not retired prematurely. In 1981, at the end of his tour as commander of 3rd Armoured Division, Dalzell Payne packed up his house at Soest, West Germany, to return to England. A horse box was sent ahead, containing some of his furniture and personal possessions, including a consignment of port destined for his club. A member of his staff was in charge and had been given a blank cheque to pay any import duty levied by customs at Dover. But the officials were not satisfied and, thinking the port might be being smuggled, placed the matter in the hands of the military police. Following an exhaustive investigation, no charges were raised. Dalzell Payne’s promotion to lieutenant general had already been announced as well as his appointment to be vice chief of the general staff. The Army Board re-considered this in the light of the damaging publicity that had been aroused. They took into account Dalzell Payne’s convivial lifestyle and his reputation as a risk taker in deciding that the high-profile appointment could not go ahead. Dalzell Payne behaved like the perfect gentleman he was. He had no wish to embarrass his service and agreed with the board that if he resigned quietly and without a fuss he would be allowed to keep his rank. For an ambitious soldier whose talents had fuelled his meteoric rise to high rank, it must have been a bitter blow. But there were lighter moments. One of the SNCOs with whom he had served previously and who was then governor of Shepton Mallet Prison was reported to have sent him a telegram saying that he had reserved a comfortable cell for him. Henry Salusbury Legh Dalzell Payne was born at Foleshill, Warwickshire, on August 9 1929. Always known as Harry, he was educated at Cheltenham College before attending the RMA Sandhurst. He was awarded the King’s Medal and passed out first in the Order of Merit but a disagreement with the commandant spoiled his chances of getting the sword of honour. In 1949 he was commissioned into the 7th Hussars. While a young officer in BAOR, he was driving back to barracks in his clapped-out old jeep after a night out in the officers’ club when he drove three times round a roundabout and overturned the vehicle in a ditch. John Stanier (later Field Marshal Sir John), who had been pinned underneath, was in considerable pain as they walked back to barracks. He thought that he might have broken some ribs and wanted to see a doctor. “You can’t do that,” said Dalzell Payne. “It will get us into trouble. What we’ll do is go down to the stables, take out some horses and say that you fell off. Then you can see a doctor.” When the 3rd King’s Own Hussars and 7th Queen’s Own Hussars amalgamated in 1958 to become the Queen’s Own Hussars, he was seconded to the Sultan of Muscat’s Armed Forces. Technically, it was a staff appointment but he fought as a company commander and then a battalion commander in the Jebel Akhdar War. In comparison with his Army salary, he was well paid, living in the desert was cheap and the posting enabled him to save money. Halfway through the tour, however, he flew back to England on home leave which included Derby Day. The plane broke down and ended up in Beirut. This was close to the famous Casino du Liban and in a night or two Dalzell Payne had done a round of the roulette, poker and chemmy tables and lost everything he had saved. He was appointed MBE at the end of his tour. While he was at Staff College, Camberley, most of his fellow students had to work over the weekend to meet the 10am deadline on the Monday for handing in their essays. Dalzell Payne used to arrive early, find someone to remind him what the subject was, sit down with a cup of coffee, write his essay and hand it in on time. He regularly got top marks for the best paper. An appointment as brigade major of 20th Armoured Brigade was followed by command of a squadron in Berlin, where a big dance coincided with a training exercise. After the party, he persuaded a pretty girl to come back to the barracks and take the first parade. The quartermaster sergeant managed to find a uniform for her and she took the parade wearing this and Dalzell Payne’s revolver. The soldiers could hardly believe their eyes. After a return to Camberley as an instructor, in June 1967, aged 37, he was appointed to command 3rd Carabiniers at Detmold, BAOR. He addressed the whole regiment in the gymnasium and made it clear that he would tolerate nothing short of the very highest standards. He had a remarkable constitution and his subalterns had to adjust to making do with a couple of hours sleep after a long evening before arriving at the tank park at 0800 hours to find that their commanding officer was already there and raring to go. He moved the regiment back to England to re-role in armoured cars but, early in command, he learnt that they were to amalgamate with the Royal Scots Greys. It came as a cruel blow for it was the second time that he had been, as he put it, “orphaned regimentally”, but he buckled down to ensuring that it would work. On promotion to full colonel, Dalzell Payne was posted to the MoD department responsible for Northern Ireland. Having been appointed OBE in 1970 for his outstanding period in command of his regiment, he was advanced to CBE at the end of a most exacting tour which covered Bloody Sunday and Operation Motorman. Command of 6th Armoured Brigade at Soest, BAOR, was followed by his appointment as Chief of Staff 1st British Corps at Bielefeld. He was promoted to major general in 1978 on taking command of 3rd Armoured Division, again at Soest. It was his final Army appointment before he resigned from the service in November 1981. Dalzell Payne would have been a first-rate front-line commander in war. He had great flair, enormous zest for life, courage, a quick mind and supreme self-confidence. He was not only an excellent strategist with an instinctive “feel” for what the opposition was planning to do and the ability to take counter-measures swiftly and decisively, he knew his
way around Whitehall. If there were difficulties, a convivial meeting with a senior civil servant often solved the problem. In 1981, he went to America where he spent the next 15 years. He became a director and a board member of the American National Securities and Research Company (later Phoenix Home Life Insurance). Back in England in the mid-Nineties, he settled in Gloucestershire where he enjoyed the racing scene, generously entertaining his many friends and making trips to London. In 1963 Dalzell Payne married Serena Gourlay. The marriage was later dissolved. Their two daughters survive him. Maj Gen Harry Dalzell Payne, born August 9 1929, died January 23 2018

March 11, 2018

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 771
Maj Gen HSL Dalzell-Payne

March 11, 2018

Thanks for putting that on the site Freddy - it's certainly filled in, & corrected, a few "holes" in my knowledge of General Harry, a guy I deeply respected. May he rest in peace, and sincere condolences to all his family, friends & to those who served with him.  John (JKW)


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