John Watts (British Army officer)

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Sir John Watts
Born27 August 1930
Died10 December 2003
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service1951–1987
RankLieutenant General
Commands held22 Special Air Service Regiment
Battles/warsIndonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Jebel Akhdar campaigns
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Military Cross

Lieutenant General Sir John Peter Barry Condliffe Watts KBE CB MC (27 August 1930 – 10 December 2003) was a British Army officer who became Chief of Defence Staff for the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces.

Military career[]

Educated at Westminster School, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Watts was commissioned into the Royal Ulster Rifles in 1951.[1] He served with 22 Special Air Service Regiment and, as Commander of B Squadron, took part in counter-terrorism operations in Borneo in 1958 and then, as Commander of D Squadron, he took part in the regiment's successful assault on Jebel Akhdar in Oman in January 1959.[1] The dissidents there were largely captured or dispersed and for his achievement in scaling the mountain he was awarded the MC.[1]

He was appointed Commanding Officer of 22 Special Air Service Regiment in 1970, an instructor at the Staff College, Camberley in 1972 and Director SAS in 1975.[2] He went on to be Commander of the Sultan of Oman's Land Forces in 1979 and Chief of Defence Staff for the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces in 1984 before retiring in 1987.[1]

In retirement he read history and lived in a village in Wiltshire.[3]


He was married to Mary Flynn; they had four sons and three daughters before the marriage was dissolved in 1986; he subsequently married Diana Walker.[1]


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Obituary: Lieutenant-General Sir John Watts The Times, 15 December 2003
  2. ^ "Army Commands" (PDF). 26 July 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016.
  3. ^ Obituary: Lieutenant General Sir John Watts The Telegraph, 15 December 2003
Military offices
Preceded by
John Simpson
Director SAS
Succeeded by
Peter de la Billière
Retrieved from ""