Ex-Armed Forces head Lord Bramall dies aged 95

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Lord Bramall

Former chief of the Armed Forces Lord Bramall has died at the age of 95.

The Normandy D-Day veteran, who oversaw the Falklands campaign, retired from the House of Lords in 2013.

Lord Bramall was awarded a military cross in 1945 for his bravery during World War Two.

In his later years, he was falsely accused in 2014 of child sexual abuse by the paedophile and fantasist Carl Beech.

He was too ill to attend the trial of Beech in person earlier this year. Beech was later jailed for making the false allegations.

Lord Bramall’s wife died in 2015 before detectives announced they were not charging him.

‘Inspirational’

A field marshal and baron, Lord Bramall served during the Normandy landings and commanded UK land forces between 1976 and 1978.

He become chief of the general staff – the professional head of the Army – in 1979, and in 1982 he oversaw the Falklands campaign.

Later that year he became chief of the defence staff – the most senior officer commanding the UK’s armed forces – and served until 1985.

He went on to have a 26-year career in the House of Lords.

Lord Bramall – known to his family and friends as Dwin, from his first name Edwin – spoke out in the House of Lords against the involvement of the UK in the Iraq war.

During a debate in 2004, he said: “We really should know by now that, unlike naked aggression, terrorism cannot be defeated by massive military means, but by concentrating more on the twin pillars of competent protection and positive diplomacy.”

Lord Bramall

He also spoke out against the UK’s nuclear missiles, telling the Lords in 2007 that abandoning Trident “could be seen as a bold and striking decision intended to show that the country is resolved to return to the position of moral and ethical standards for which it was once widely recognised”.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament praised Lord Bramall over his comments.

Also paying tribute was former defence minister Tobias Ellwood, who tweeted that Lord Bramall had been an “inspirational leader”.

Ex-defence secretary Lord Heseltine called him an “outstanding soldier”, adding: “From his earliest experiences in the liberation of Europe and the D-Day landings, to his distinguished tenure as chief of the defence staff, he was a man who inspired confidence.

“His public humiliation following the scandalous allegations was one of the most disgraceful episodes of my political life.

“The country has lost a great patriot who deserved better from us.”

Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, who was also wrongly accused by Beech, paid tribute to Lord Bramall and said the country was “poorer for his death”.

“He will be remembered as a military leader of enormous stature, courage and ability,” Mr Proctor said.

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