Soldiers Who Have Served

Name: Keith Burch CB CBE

Rank: Major General

Background: In 1951, Burch was commissioned into the Essex Regiment. He was sent to Korea in 1953 with the 1st Battalion as his patrol’s platoon commander, building defences along the Korean ceasefire line for over a year. The 1st Essex later moved to Hong Kong where ‘he exercised his authority as senior subaltern without fear or favour’.

In 1954, the Essex Regiment merged into what became the Royal Anglian Regiment following which Burch held a junior staff appointment in Kenya before attending the Staff College, Camberley.[2] Having qualified at Camberley, he was appointed to the Staff Duties branch of the Army Department of the Ministry of Defence and was appointed MBE on leaving in 1965.

Burch saw active service with the 4th (Leicestershire) Battalion in Aden, served in Malta, and was subsequently recalled to Camberley as a member of the Directing Staff. In 1969, he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel to command the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment in Aldershot, Cyprus and Germany.

In 1976 Burch was promoted to colonel and appointed Chief of Staff of the 2nd Armoured Division in Germany, then commanded by Major-General Sir Frank Kitson. Kitson ‘appreciated a man who planned thoroughly and got things done without fuss’.[2] He was subsequently made CBE and promoted to brigadier as Director of Administrative Planning in the Army Department of the Ministry of Defence.

In 1981 he attended the Indian National Defence College, New Delhi, before being appointed Deputy Director Army Staff Duties at the Ministry of Defence (1982–83). His final military posts were at the rank of Major-General as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Personnel and Logistics) and Director Personnel in the Ministry of Defence from 1983 to 1985.