Lionel Savery

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Captain Lionel Savery MC (17 August 1929 to 4 January 2012) was a British Army officer who as an Army field intelligence officer had a critical role in Counter-insurgency operations during the Malayan Emergency and Cyprus Emergency. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1957 for his bravery and leadership in Cyprus. He later worked for the International Publishing Group.

Early life

Lionel Francis Savery was born in Cardiff and educated at Cathays High School. He attended RMA Woolwich and was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and was posted to Hong Kong.[3] He was promoted to Lieutenant on 21 February 1951.[5]


He studied Mandarin at the School of Oriental and African Studies and in 1952 he was posted to the Special Military Intelligence Staff in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency. He was deployed as a Military Intelligence Officer and was posted to Bentong which was a critical area in the conflict where senior Communist leaders were based. He was mentioned in despatches for his role there.[3]


In 1956 he was posted to Cyprus as district intelligence officer in the Pano Platres area of the Troodos mountains at a time of increasing activity by EOKA.[3] He and his team led British Army units in combat against EOKA. He and his team also infiltrated EOKA and obtained much crucial information. They frequently used night patrols, captured leading terrorists and recovered substantial amounts of arms and ammunition.[4] In 1957 he was severely wounded whilst leading a patrol. Savery was awarded the Military Cross in 1957, whilst serving as a Lieutenant working with the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment.[2] He and his team captured 12 leading terrorists.[3] The Citation for his Military Cross referred to his courage and devotion to duty which led to him becoming a prime target for assassination by EOKA.[1]

He retired from the Army in 1963.[3]

Post Army career

He moved to Sarawak in 1964 and was second in command of Special Branch during the Malaysia-Indonesia confrontation.[3].

In 1968 he joined the International Publishing Group and became an Industrial Relations adviser.[3]

Later life

In retirement he lived in a village in Somerset.[3] He was a member of the Special Forces Club and was chairman of the historical subcommittee.[3]

He married Marisa Hanscomb in 1954 with whom he was to have two sons.[3]

Captain Lionel Savery MC died on 4 January 2012.


  • Obituary The Daily Telegraph 10 April 2012
  • Obituary The Times 22 February 2012.

1. Supplement to the London Gazette 23 July 1957. 2. Recommendation for Award national archives WO 373/126/54. 3. The Daily Telegraph. 4. 5. Supplement to The London Gazette 16 February 1951.