Born in 1898 at Holyhead, Anglesey, but spent his early years in Barry, Glamorganshire where his father, T.M. Rees, was pastor of Bethel (Meth.). He married 1926 Rosalie, eldest daughter of Sir Charles Innes and had one son (Peter Rees, M.P. (C), Dover), and one daughter. Acknowledged as one of Wales ' finest soldier s during and between the two world wars, and a distinguished campaigner in Far East battles, he was acclaimed Captor of Mandalay in the Burma war. He was usually known as General ' Dagger ' Rees and, to his troops, ' Pocket Napoleon ' because of his diminutive height of 5 feet 5 inches, and ' Pete ' because he was always with his men in the front line. He took his nickname, ' Dagger ' from the symbol of his beloved Indian Division. He served in World War 1 (mentioned in despatches and awarded the M.C.) under General Allenby fighting the Turks, and as a young officer he won a reputation as a great fighting commander. Welsh -speaking he was also the master of many Indian dialects. Postwar he served in India 1920-37, and was made C.I.E. in 1931. In 1939 he was given command of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Rajputana Rifles and on the outbreak of World War II he was sent to Burma where, in 1940, he was twice wounded and awarded a bar to his D.S.O. and promoted colonel. He commanded the 10th Indian Division in Iraq and North Africa, 1942, and the 19th. Indian (Dagger) Division in Burma, 1944-45, being made C.B. in 1945 and promoted major-general in 1947. He was head of the Military Emergency Staff to the Emergency Committee of Cabinet, Delhi, September-December 1947. Retiring in 1948 he became hon. col. of the 5th Battalion Welch Regiment (T.A.); honorary president of the Boys' Brigade (Wales); Deputy Lieutenant for Monmouthshire 1955; Civil Defence Controller, Cardiff sub-region of Wales; honorary LL.D. University of Wales; chief executive officer and general manager Cwmbrân New Town, Monmouth. He died 15 October 1959.
Published date: 2001
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