General Sir Montagu STOPFORD (1892–1971)
Rock Hill, Chipping Norton
Montagu George North Stopford was born into a family with a distinguished military tradition. He enlisted in the Rifle Brigade and saw service in the First World War, earning the military cross. In the Second World War he served under Field Marshal Slim in the Burma Campaign 1943-45 where he commanded 33 Indian Corps in the fierce and protracted fighting against the Japanese at Kohima-Imphal. After a hard-won victory which was a turning point in the war in Burma, Slim, Stopford and his fellow generals Scoones and Christison were knighted in the field, by special permission of the King. Stopford and his corps fought on to the crossing of the Irrawaddy and the capture of Mandalay. After Slim’s departure, he was given command of all the forces in Burma to complete clearing up operations and on 24 October 1945 he received the surrender of the Japanese Commander in Burma. In 1946 he became C-in-C Allied Land Forces, South East Asia.
On retirement from the Army, from 1950–1971 he lived at Rock Hill House, Chipping Norton. In 1951 he became Colonel Commandant of the Rifle Brigade and in 1962 a Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire. He died in 1971 and is buried in Heythrop churchyard.
- Sources: Ronald Lewin, Slim the Standard Bearer; Rifle Brigade and other military records; local records.
- Picture: Unveiling ceremony
The plaque was unveiled by General the Lord Ramsbotham, who was accompanied by Viscount Slim. Also in attendance were representatives of the Rifle Brigade Association. Local and county branches of the Royal British Legion, the Banbury Burma Star Association and the Chipping Norton Detachment, Calais Company, of the Oxon ACF paraded. There were fanfares by Buglers 7 Rifles.
The unveiling of the plaque, set on the outer perimeter wall of the Chipping Norton War Memorial at the foot of Rock Hill, was performed on 8 July 2008.
Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board
General Sir / MONTAGU STOPFORD
The Rifle Brigade / 1892–1971
who commanded 33 Indian Corps
in Burma 1943–45 and received
the Japanese surrender on / 24 October 1945
lived at Rock Hill / 1950–1971
The Rifle Brigade