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Major (Peter) Miles Lambert
Late Grenadier Guards

By Major Philip Wright OBE
formerly Grenadier Guards

Miles Lambert died peacefully in his sleep after a short illness at his home in Halesworth, Suffolk on 4th January 2021, aged 89, He was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, in 1931, the son of Peter Jocelyn Lambert MC and Lettice Jane Katherine Wellesley. After Eton and Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards in 1952 and went with the 2nd Battalion to the Canal Zone in Egypt in 1954. He was briefly attached to the King’s African Rifles on active service in Kenya fighting Mau Mau terrorists before returning to England with the Battalion in 1956.

The Guardsmen soon began calling him ‘Shane’ after the famous Western starring Alan Ladd in 1953. There was an uncanny likeness. He enhanced this image when he was Captain of the Queen’s Guard by teaching the junior officers how to play poker in games that often went long into the night. He was appointed Assistant Regimental Adjutant in 1958 and the following year married Armorel Barry, the daughter of Major Sir Rupert Barry 4th Bt and Diana Madeline O’Brien Thompson. He passed selection for the Guards Independent Parachute Company in 1960 and served in Malaysia and Singapore.

Miles deployed to British Guiana with the 2nd Battalion, as Company Commander of the Inkerman Company in July 1963. He decided to return from the Takama training area in the savannah leading the Company on a gruelling route march in the tropical heat. Fortunately, they passed a grapefruit farm where he purchased the entire crop to provide refreshments for everyone.

Miles commanded the Guards of Honour that were found for the outgoing Governor of the Colony, and later for the new Governor. In March 1964 the Battalion returned to Caterham, having been congratulated by Sir Richard Hull, the Chief of the General Staff, for a job well done. Miles and Armorel never missed British Guiana reunions. He used to wear a sombrero decorated with tropical flowers and a large green anaconda snake round his neck made of rubber.

He commanded Number 4 Guard on the 1964 Queen’s Birthday Parade before taking up a staff appointment in Borneo as Staff Captain A HQ 99 Ghurkha Infantry Brigade. This was the beginning of his lifetime admiration for the Gurkhas and was followed by an appointment as GSO3 (Training) at HQ Far East Land Forces in Singapore where his family were based. He returned to the 2nd Battalion in Wuppertal as Company Commander of No 2 Company in 1967. Returning to his married quarter after a dinner night in the Officers’ Mess, Miles parked his car in the garage and slipped quietly into the house through the side door. He crept upstairs and into his dressing room. As he undressed a lady lying in bed objected most strongly. She was a brother officer’s au pair. Needless to say, Miles had gone to the wrong quarter and had some serious explaining to do. After the Battalion moved to Munster, he retired from the Army having served for seventeen years.

In the field of sport, as an accomplished tennis player, who was captain of the Sandhurst team, and he represented the Army at tennis in Singapore. He was in the Regimental team that defeated the Irish Guards in the final of the Colonel in Chief’s Golf Cup in 1961. He was also Captain of the 2nd Battalion Ski Team in the Army Ski Championships in Scotland, and the BAOR Championships in St Moritz in 1963.

On leaving the Army, Miles wrote for The Tatler on personal finance and worked for an investment advisory company. Having retired to Suffolk, he was involved with the British Heart Foundation and was an active fund raiser for the East Anglia Air Ambulance. He and Armorel initiated the Annual Halesworth Antique Market to raise funds for both charities. As a member of the Suffolk Branch of the Grenadier Guards Association, he took a personal interest in supporting some of its older members.

Miles was devoted to Armorel and they celebrated their Diamond Wedding in 2019. She survives him with their children, Annabel, Miranda, and Tobin, and six grandchildren. Miles will be much missed by his many friends and remembered as an officer who lived life to the full and who had the greatest fun while doing so. On the night he died, having been offered his supper, his last words were ‘And I’ll have a large glass of wine with that’.

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