Brigadier Richard Gambier Parry served in both World Wars

Richard Gambier Parry – (20th Jan 1894 – 19th Jun 1965)

Richard Gambier Parry was born in 1894 at Cirencester, Gloucestershire the second son of Sidney Gambier Parry and his wife Grace, nee Denman. Sidney was an architect with a practice in London. Educated at Eton, after schooling Richard went to America possibly as a cowboy, herding cattle in the Mid West. At the outbreak of World War One he joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and fought with distinction during World War One in France and Belgium, Wounded three times and mentioned in dispatches twice, he later joined the Royal Flying.C. Either during the War or shortly afterwards he married Diana and after the War found employment in the Pubic Relations department of the B.B.C. Following a divorce from Diana he married his secretary, Phyllis and they lived in a flat in Russell Road, Kensington. He then joined the Philco Company as, or becoming, sales manager.

Just before World War Two Gambier-Parry was recruited by S.I.S to improve their radio communications.

As his second in command he chose E.F. ‘Ted’ Maltby, a friend from his Eton days and in charge of technical affairs he appointed Harold Robin, a fellow employee from Philco. Without going into details, Richard held responsibility for the propaganda and Bletchley Park aspects of the radio communications during World War Two, operating at various times from Wavendon Towers and Whaddon Hall. After divorce from Phyllis, in 1944 he married his secretary and driver, Elizabeth, ‘Lisa’, Towes, the daughter of Colonel KB. Towse of the Royal Scots Greys. Lisa had recorded the early propaganda broadcasts at Whaddon Hall which were beamed from transmitters at Gawcott to Occupied Europe.

Richard had been made a Colonel in 1939 and a Brigadier in 1942 and after the War was appointed Director of Communications of the Foreign Office establishment at Hanslope Park.

Richard Gambier-Parry, son of architect Sidney Gambier-Parry (1859 – 1948) and his wife Grace Denman, was born on 20 January 1894 at Highnam Court, Highnam, Gloucestershire, England. He was the grandson of artist, art collector, and philanthropist Thomas Gambier-Parry (1816 – 1888). His brother was Major General Michael Denman Gambier-Parry (1891 – 1976).

(Access Highnam at War on the Highnam Heritage website for the full account of Sir Richard Gambier Parry’s life and wartime experience.)

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