Stanley von Donop

Sir Stanley von Donop
Born(1860-02-22)22 February 1860[1]
Bath, Somerset[2]
Died17 October 1941(1941-10-17) (aged 81)
Bath, Somerset[1]
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
RankMajor General
Battles/warsSecond Boer War
First World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Mentioned in Despatches
RelationsP. G. von Donop (brother)

Major General Sir Stanley Brenton von Donop, KCB, KCMG (22 February 1860 – 17 October 1941) was a British Army officer who served as Master-General of the Ordnance from 1913 to 1916.[1]

Early life and education

Donop was born in Bath, Somerset, the youngest of four sons of Vice Admiral Edward von Donop and his wife, Louisa Mary Diana Brenton. His eldest brother was P. G. von Donop and his grandfather was the German official and historian Georg von Donop, an illegitimate grandson of Charlotte Sophie of Aldenburg.[3] He was educated at Wimbledon College and at the Royal Somersetshire College at Bath before attending the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.[1]

Military career

Donop was commissioned into the Royal Garrison Artillery as a lieutenant on 18 January 1880, and was promoted to captain on 1 April 1888 and to major on 9 October 1897.[4] He served in the Second Boer War and in November 1900 was appointed commanding officer of Lord Methuen's Composite Regiment of Australian Bushmen, with the local rank (in South Africa) of lieutenant colonel.[5] He led an important action at Kleinfontein the following year.[6] For his service in the war, he was mentioned in despatches (dated 8 April 1902)[7] and received a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel in the South Africa honours list published on 26 June 1902.[8]

In 1908 Donop was appointed Chief Instructor at the School of Gunnery and,[9] in 1911, he was appointed Director of Artillery at the War Office.[10]

Donop had a key role in the First World War, having been appointed Master-General of the Ordnance in 1913.[11] He ordered the 6-inch howitzers, which were the main instrument for the bombardments on the Western Front.[12] He was also Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery.[13]


Donop is described by a modern writer as being competent and hardworking, but as having a cold manner and showing a "barely concealed contempt for politicians". During the First World War these characteristics made him disliked by civilian colleagues who did not share his technical expertise, especially Prime Minister David Lloyd George.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Maj.-Gen. Sir Stanley von Donop – Munitions Controversy of 1915". The Times. 18 October 1941.
  2. ^ 1861 England Census
  3. ^ Gottsched, Louise Adelgunde Victorie; Aldenburg, Charlotte Sophie Bentinck-von; Gottsched, Johann Christoph (2009). Adieu Divine Comtesse (in German). Königshausen & Neumann. p. 11. ISBN 9783826040986.
  4. ^ Hart´s Army list, 1903
  5. ^ "No. 27286". The London Gazette. 19 February 1901. p. 1234.
  6. ^ "No. 27398". The London Gazette. 17 January 1902. p. 373.
  7. ^ "No. 27443". The London Gazette. 17 June 1902. pp. 3967–3974.
  8. ^ "No. 27448". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 June 1902. pp. 4191–4194.
  9. ^ "No. 28111". The London Gazette. 21 February 1908. p. 1205.
  10. ^ "No. 28464". The London Gazette. 10 February 1911. p. 1042.
  11. ^ "No. 28724". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 May 1913. p. 3904.
  12. ^ Gudmundsson, Bruce (2005). The British Expeditionary Force 1914–15. Osprey. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-84176-902-8.
  13. ^ "No. 33047". The London Gazette. 15 May 1925. p. 3296.
  14. ^ Simkins, Peter. Kitchener's Army. The Raising of the New Armies 1914–1916. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-84415-5859.
Military offices Preceded bySir Charles Hadden Master-General of the Ordnance 1913–1916 Succeeded bySir William Furse