MACLEOD, Col Roderick ('Rory') (1891-1984)

Scope and Content

Papers relating to Macleod's career, [1965-1984] notably two copies of an unpublished memoir by Macleod, entitled 'An Artillery Officer in the First World War'; accounts by Macleod of the political and military background to the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Ypres), 1917, and of his command during World War Two of a deception operation by the fictional 4 Army to distract attention from the Normandy landings of 1944, [1966-1984]. Papers relating to the life and career of FM Sir (William) Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Ironside of Archangel and Ironside, notably the unpublished volumes 'A secret service agent in South West Africa', detailing his service as a British agent in German South-West Africa, 1902-1904, and 'Ironside's letters to Col R Macleod', 1931-1959, with enclosures, [1965]; an account by Macleod of significant episodes of Ironside's career, and a review of Laurence Thompson's 1940 - Year of Legend, Year of History (Collins, London, 1960).

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in 1891; educated at Rugby and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery, 1911; posted to 80 Battery, Royal Field Artillery, Kildare, Ireland, 1911; participated in the Curragh incident, 1914; served World War One, Western Front and Italy, 1914-1918; served with the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) in 80 Battery, 15 Bde, Royal Field Artillery, 5 Div, 1914; wounded at Battle of Le Cateau, France, 1914; Lt, 1914; served with 5 Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, 2 Indian Cavalry Div, at Neuve Chapelle, Festubert and Aubers Ridge, France, 1915; temporary Capt, 1915; served with 10 Battery, Royal Horse Artillery and 4 Bde, Royal Flying Corps, 1916-1917; Capt, 1916; commanded A Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, 240 Bde, Royal Field Artillery, 1917; commanded C Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, 241 Bde, Royal Field Artillery, 48 (South Midland) Div, Territorial Force, at the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) and Vimy Ridge, 1917; served in Italy, 1917-1918; posted to UK with 1 Battery, Royal Field Artillery, 1919-1921; Adjutant, 36 Bde, Royal Field Artillery, Ireland, 1921-1922; Adjutant, 1924-1925; graduated from Staff College, Camberley, 1927; commanded 27 Battery, Royal Artillery, Allahabad, India, 1928; Maj, 1929; General Staff Officer, Grade 3, Headquarters Meerut District, India, 1929-1930; General Staff Officer, Grade 2, Headquarters Meerut District, India, 1930-1933; commanded 60 Battery, Royal Artillery, 1933; General Staff Officer, Grade 2, 47 (2 London) Div, Territorial Army, 1934-1936; Brevet Lt Col, 1935; General Staff Officer, Grade 2, 48 (South Midland) Div, Territorial Army, 1936-1938; substantive Lt Col, 1938; Col, 1938; commanded 6 Medium Regt, Royal Artillery, Muttra, India, 1938-1939; appointed acting Brig, Royal Artillery, Headquarters Eastern Command, Naini Tal, India, 1939; appointed General Staff Officer, Grade 1, and Military Assistant to Gen Sir (William) Edmund Ironside, Inspector General of Overseas Forces, 1939, and Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1939-1940; served World War Two, 1939-1945; commanded 4 Army, a fictitious unit employed in deceiving German forces on Allied strength and invasion targets, 1944; retired 1945; commanded Guildford Home Guard Bn, 1955; appointed literary executor to the estate of FM (William) Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Ironside of Archangel and of Ironside, 1959; died 1984. Publications: The Ironside Diaries (Constable, London, 1962), edited by Macleod and Denis Kelly.


The papers have been divided by the archivist into two sections, namely papers relating to Macleod's career, and those relating to the life and career of FM Sir (William) Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron of Archangel and Ironside.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Presented to the Centre by Macleod in three accessions in 1964, 1965 and 1966.

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 National Army Museum holds correspondence and papers of Macleod, 1908-1970 (Ref:8502/32) and a typescript account of Passchendale (Third Battle of Ypres), 1917 (Ref:9405-4/275).

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

A separate collection of Macleod papers in the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives is held in the papers of Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart section 15/14 with a separate Macleod (2) Summary Guide and detailed list available on-line and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room. This collection comprises papers relating to the life and career of Macleod, and of FM Sir (William) Edmund Ironside, although much of the material consists of duplicates of the Macleod papers with references to Liddell Hart removed; general correspondence with Liddell-Hart 1935-1970 (Ref: LH 1/481); notes by Liddell Hart on discussions with Macleod and others are in LH section 11; texts of lectures and training instructions by Macleod are in LH section 15/3; the papers of Maj Gen Ridley Pakenham Pakenham-Walsh include correspondence from Capt George Alexander Eugene Douglas Haig, 2nd Earl Haig, and FM Ironside to Macleod, 1939-1945 (Ref: GB 99 KCLMA Pakenham-Walsh).

Corporate Names

Geographical Names