Nigel Henderson

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Sir Nigel Henderson
Born 1 August 1909
Died 1993
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1927–1971
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Protector
HMS Kenya
Plymouth Command
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Admiral Sir Nigel Stuart Henderson GBE KCB DL (1 August 1909 – 1993) was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.

Naval career

Henderson joined the Royal Navy in 1927.[1] He served in World War II as a gunnery officer.[1] After the war he became Naval Attaché in Rome and then, from 1951, commanded the patrol vessel HMS Protector.[1]

He was appointed Commanding Officer at the Royal Naval Air Station at Bramcote in 1952 and was Captain of the cruiser HMS Kenya from 1955.[1] He became Vice Naval Deputy and then Naval Deputy to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe in 1957 and Director General of Training at the Admiralty in 1960.[1] In 1962 he was made Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth.[1] He was made Head of the British Defence Staff in Washington, D.C. and UK Military Representative to NATO in 1965 and then Chairman of the NATO Military Committee in 1968.[1] He retired in 1971.[1]

Writing in 1974 he expressed concern over a general lack of awareness about "Western Europe and indeed of all NATO countries being dependent very largely on Middle East oil".[2]

In retirement he spearheaded the effort to restore the Scottish birthplace of John Paul Jones at Arbigland back to its original 1747 condition.[3] He was also a Deputy Lieutenant of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright[4] and a Patron of the Ten Tors Challenge held each year on Dartmoor.[5]


He was married to Catherine.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  2. Editorial Naval Review, Vol. 67, No.3, page 169, July 1979
  3. History of John Paul Jones Cottage John Paul Jones Cottage Museum, Scotland
  4. Deputy Lieutenants in Scotland Hansard, 11 June 1992
  5. Ten Tors
  6. Galloway volunteer group celebrates 21st birthday Galloway News, 15 December 2006
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Madden
Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth
Succeeded by
Sir Fitzroy Talbot
Preceded by
Sir Michael West
Head of the British Defence Staff in Washington, D.C.
Succeeded by
Sir George Lea
Preceded by
Sir Michael West
UK Military Representative to NATO
Succeeded by
Sir David Lee
Preceded by
C.P. de Cumont
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
Succeeded by
Johannes Steinhoff
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Alexander Bingley
Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Sir John Bush
Preceded by
Sir Deric Holland-Martin
Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Sir John Bush