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23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024


Born: 11 May 1911, at Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Second son of Capt Henry Albert Kaulbach (sic) and Alice Mary Townend.

Died: 27 June 1996, at Tinwells Road, Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Educated:1919-1925, St Ronan's, Worthing, Sussex
1925-1929, Rugby School, Rugby, Staffordshire
1929-1932, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge (MA 1947)
1940-1941, Army Staff College, Camberley
1946-1947, Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich
1947, Joint Services Staff College

Married: Firstly, 8 September 1936, St Peter's, Cranleigh Gardens, London SW7, to Violet Mary Pears, only daughter of Col. Guy Barnet Pears MCRE [?], of Constantinople and York (third son of Sir Edwin Pears1,  2,  3 LLB, Kt of the Greek Order of the Saviour, Cdr of the Bulgarian Order of Merit, President of the European Bar at Constantinople) and Frances Eleanor MacLeod of Skye.

Married: Secondly, 23 February 1949, British Embassy, Beirut, Lebanon, to Fenja Katherina Beltchikova, only daughter of Julius Falk Beltshikov of St Petersburg, Russia, and Tartu, Estonia, and Sonia Orkova of Riga, Russia.


1933 Travelled solo, with one Nepalese, through Sikkim, across the Himalayas, and in Southern Tibet.

1934 Travelled from Khartoum to El Fasher in Darfur [W Sudan]. Thence 1,800 miles by camel, with four Sudanese, to explore the then unmapped South Libyan desert to the north-west, returning through French Equatorial Africa by car.

Army Career:

Photo of Bill Kaulback in uniform

1931 Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, Territorial Army.

1931-1932 Served with Royal Field Artillery, Tidworth, and 3rd/6th Dragoon Guards, Colchester.

1932 Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Irish Fusiliers (87th Foot), with seniority as of 1931.

1932-1935 Served in India, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Cyprus and Egypt.

1936-1937 Served in Palestine, seeing action against the Fawzi Bey [Arab] Rebellion [1936-39, against the 'Zionist' Jews and the British].

1937 Appointed Regimental Adjutant, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

1938-1939 Appointed Staff Officer, 5th Anti-Aircraft Division, forward planning for coming war.

1939 Promoted Captain, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

1939-1940 Adjutant at the Small Arms School (Heavy Weapons), Netheravon.

Wartime service:

1941 (Jan) Promoted Major, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

1941 (Jan-Jul) Appointed Brigade Major, HQ 168 Infantry Brigade, Dungeness, with 56th Infantry Division.

1941 (Jul) Promoted Lieut Colonel, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

1941-1942 Appointed GSO [General Staff Officer?] Instructor, Directing Staff, at the Army Staff College.

1942 Appointed GSO 1 (Ops) at HQ 9th Army, Syria.

1942-1943 Commanded 1st/6th Battn Queen's Royal Regiment in 7th Armoured Divn (Desert Rats), seeing action at the battles of

  • (1942) El Alamein (Oct-Nov), Tobruk (Nov), El Agheila (Dec)
  • (1943) Buerat (Jan), Tarhuna (Jan, Mentioned in Dispatches), Castel Benito (Jan), Tripoli (Jan), Zuara (Feb), Ben Gardane (Feb), Medenine (Mar, Gunshot wound left leg, Loss of right eye)

1943 (Aug) Appointed GSO 1, HQ Middle East Forces, service with 10th Indian Divn in Syria, Palestine and Transjordan.

1943 (Dec) Promoted Brigadier, Royal Irish Fusiliers, appointed Deputy Director of Military Training, GHQ Central Mediterranean Forces, Algiers.

1944 Reverted to Lieut Colonel at own request, to command 1st Battn York and Lancaster Regt, 5th Infantry Divn, serving with 5th US Army, Naples, Italy, seeing action at the battles of

  • River Gariglanio (Jan), Minturno (Jan), Anzio Beachhead (Feb-May, Mentioned in Dispatches), Rome (Jun)

1945 (Mar) After transfer of 5th Infantry Divn to Western Front under command of FM Montgomery, saw action at

  • Crossing of Rhine at Xanten (Mar-Apr), Kovahl (Apr), Üzen (Apr), Lauenburg (Apr), Müssendorf (May, DSO for Gallantry)

1945 (Nov) Appointed Chief of Staff, 1st Infantry Divn, serving in Egypt and Palestine during armed conflicts preceding establishment of Israel.

Postwar service:

1946-1947 Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich.

1947 Joint Services Staff College.

1947 Placed on Reserve of Officers at own request.

Civilian Career:

1947-1962 Executive with Iraq Petroleum and Shell Oil companies, serving in Palestine, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran.

1962 Retired from corporate life, subsequently opening a very successful small private hotel in Cadogan Gardens, London SW3.

Institutional Memberships:

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
Fellow of the Royal Central Asian Society
Member of the British Institute of Persian Studies
Member of the British School of Archaeology in Athens
Member of the Institute of Petroleum


Postwar Army Reorganisation, Royal United Services Institute, 1944
Army Training, Royal United Services Institute, 1945
Value for Money, Royal United Services Institute, 1945
The Regiment, Royal United Services Institute, 1946
The Kaulbacks, published privately, 1979


Athletics, Rugby football (represented University of Cambridge 1929, and Harlequins 1929-1935), fencing, boxing (Inter-Services Light Heavyweight Champion, India 1932), steeplechasing, foxhunting, polo, game shooting, skin-diving, sailing, chess and archaeology.


1: The Kaulbacks, Lt Col R J A Kaulback DSO MA FRGS, published privately,1979