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  • ID: I4283
  • Name: Colin McVean GUBBINS
  • Given Name: Colin McVean
  • Surname: Gubbins
  • Prefix: Maj.Gen. Sir
  • Suffix: K.C.M.G., D.S.O., M.C.
  • Title: K.C.M.G., D.S.O., M.C.
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1896 in Japan
  • Death: 11 FEB 1976 in Stornoway
  • Note:
    Sir Colin Gubbins

    A great grandson of Alexander COWAN the papermaker, on his mother's side.

    Born in Japan in 1896 where his father worked in the consular service, and at the age of 7 Colin was sent back to Britain for his education. For much of his early school life Colin Gubbins became familiar with Killiemore House, Kilfinichen, his mothers home on the Isle of Mull. He was sent to school at Cheltenham College.

    At the age of 19 Colin Gubbins entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, serving throughout the Great War with the Royal Artillery. In September 1916, as Lieutenant Colin Gubbins, R.F.A., he gained the Military Cross while serving on the Western Front .

    In 1919 Gubbins went to Russia where he served under General Edmund Ironside and General Anton Denikin in the White Army. He also served in the Anglo-Irish war of 1919-21. Gubbins experiences in Russia and Ireland gave him considerable insights into the nature of guerrilla warfare. He joined Military Intelligence and wrote a series of pamphlets on the subject including The Art of Guerrilla Warfare, Partisan Leader's Handbook and How to Use High Explosives.

    Gubbins argued that for guerrilla warfare to succeed it needed daring leadership and a sympathetic population. In his pamphlets he provided practical information on how to organize a road ambush, how to immobilize a railway engine and how to kill the enemy.

    By the outbreak of the Second World War Gubbins had reached the rank of brigadier. As the author of British Army manuals of guerilla warfare, at the outbreak of war he was in Poland and witnessed the fall of that country in 1939. After military service in Norway, he took command of the units to fight a sabotage war, in the event that Britain might be invaded and this prepared him well for subsequent duties with S.O.E. He was Director of operations, Special Operations Executive (S.O.E.) from November 1940, executive director from 1943.

    "Probably the most significant personality within the entire organisation was a Scot who had moved across from Military Intelligence. Brigadier Colin Gubbins wrote most of the Army's manuals on guerilla warfare, and it was his vision and his authority that eventually became the driving spirit behind SOE."
    He joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and in November 1940 was appointed director of operations and training.

    After the war Gubbins published Resistance Movements in the War (1948). Colin Gubbins died in 1976.

    Killiemore House, Isle of Mull contained this book which was later sold::
    Lyra Celtica: An Anthology of Representative Celtic Poetry. Ancient Irish, Alban, Gaelic, Breton, Cymric and Modern Scottish and Irish Celtic Poetry.
    SHARP, Elizabeth, (Editor); SHARP, William, (Introduction and Notes).:
    Book Description: Lawnmarket, Edinburgh: Patrick Geddes and Colleagues, MDCCCXCVI [1896]. 8vo. 19 x 12 cm. lii + 443 + [3] pp. Text includes introduction (35 pp.), notes, including biographical sketches (50 pp.) and 23 pp. publisher's catalogue. Celtic patterned endpapers. Top edge gilt, others uncut. Original green cloth with blind stamped celtic designs on front and rear covers; gilt spine title and decoration; blind stamped front cover title. Pages showing slight browning; head of spine rubbed; spine title dull; front joint weak and with splits (1.5 cm) at head and tail; neat, dated (1897) name and address (Killiemore House, Isle of Mull) on verso of ffep. The Celtic Library. First edition. G +. An important collection. Bookseller Inventory #2104

    [Query Gubbins=Menzies: did Intelligence chief SG Menzies (see below) have any family link with Colin Gubbins' Menzies cousins ? doubtful "MENZIES Stewart Graham: Agile, ruthless, cunning, he dominated the World Intelligence scene from 1933-1952. He was rumored to be a natural son of the Prince of Wales, King Edward VII, and was born 1890 in London. His birth certificate gave parents:John Graham Menzies and Susannah West Wilson Menzies" ]

  • Change Date: 5 NOV 2010 at 13:57:37

    Father: John Harington GUBBINS b: 24 JAN 1852 in Agra,West Bengal,India
    Mother: Helen Brodie MCVEAN b: 22 MAR 1869 in Japan

    Marriage 1 Norah Creina Somerville WARREN
      1. Has No Children John Michael McVean GUBBINS b: 1921
      2. Has No Children Living GUBBINS