KIRKMAN, Gen Sir Sidney Chevalier (1895-1982)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Typescript official correspondence relating to Allied operations in Italy, 1944-1945, between Kirkman, General Officer Commanding 13 Corps, and Lt Gen Sir Oliver (William Hargreaves) Leese, 3rd Bt, General Officer Commanding 8 Army, Mar-Oct 1944, Lt Gen Sir John Harding, Chief of Staff, Allied Armies in Italy, Aug 1944-Jan 1945, and Lt Gen Sir Richard (Loudon) McCreery, General Officer Commanding 10 Corps, and subsequently General Officer Commanding 8 Army, Sep 1944-Jan 1945. Typescript 13 Corps operational instructions and orders, Apr 1944-Jan 1945, with typescript planning notes, dated Apr 1944, for Operation HONKER, the attack to secure the Liri valley for the advance on Rome, Italy, May 1944. Four volumes of narrative diaries, covering Kirkman's career in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, North West Europe and as Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff, War Office, Apr 1943-Sep 1945. Printed booklet entitled 'Proceedings of the Royal Artillery Historical Society, 19 Apr 1968, 5 Nov 1968', containing information provided by Kirkman on the planning of the Third and Fourth Battles of Cassino, Italy, 1944.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born 1895; educated at Bedford School and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; served in World War One, 1914-1918; commissioned into the Royal Artillery, 1915; service on Western Front and Italy, 1915-1918; awarded MC, 1918; service in Egypt, Palestine, Malta and India, 1919-1930; attended Staff College, Camberley, Surrey, 1931-1932; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; Commanding Officer, 65 Medium Regt, Royal Artillery (Territorial Army), 1940-1941; Brig, 1941; Commander Royal Artillery, 56 Div, UK, 1941; awarded OBE, 1941; Commander Royal Artillery, 12 Corps, South Eastern Command, 1941-1942; Brig, Royal Artillery, 8 Army, Western Desert, 1942; awarded CBE, 1943; Brig, Royal Artillery, 18 Army Group, North Africa, 1943; General Officer Commanding 50 (Northumbrian) Div, 8 Army, Sicily and Italy, 1943; awarded CB, 1944; General Officer Commanding 13 Corps, Italy, 1944; created KBE, 1945; General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command, 1945; General Officer Commanding 1 Corps, British Liberation Army, North West Europe, 1945; Member of Army Council, 1945-1950; Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff, War Office, 1945-1947; Quartermaster General to the Forces, 1947-1950; Col Commandant, Royal Artillery, 1947-1957; created KCB, 1949; retired 1950; appointed GCB, 1951; Special Financial Representative in Germany, 1951-1952; Director General of Civil Defence, 1954-1960; Chairman, Central Fire Brigades Advisory Council for England and Wales, 1957-1960; died 1982.


The collection is arranged in sections as indicated above.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Acquisition Information

Presented to the Centre by the family in 1982.

Other Finding Aids

Summary guide entry on-line at, and detailed catalogue available in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Separated Material

The Department of Documents, Imperial War Museum, London, hold five letters from Kirkman to Lt Gen Sir Oliver William Leese, 1944-1947, including details of 13 Corps operations in Italy, Sep 1944 (Ref: Strong Room). The Royal Artillery Institution, Woolwich, London, has two copies of notes by Kirkman on the campaign in Italy, 1943-1944 (Ref: MD/1412).

Conditions Governing Use

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Related Material

The papers of FM Alan Francis Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke of Brookeborough, include 'RA (Royal Artillery) notes on the offensive by 8 Army from 23 Oct-4 Nov on the El Alamein position' by Kirkman, 24 Nov 1942 (Ref: Alanbrooke 6/2/21 and 6/2/23). The papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart include newspaper cuttings on Kirkman's appointment as Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sep 1945 (Ref: LH 15/4/352), and as Director General of Civil Defence, Sep 1954 (Ref: LH 15/5/178).

Corporate Names