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Elton Younger

Major-General Allan Elton Younger DSO OBE, (Tony Younger) (4 May 1919 5 July 2010[1]) was a British soldier and author, Colonel Commandant of the Royal Engineers from 1974 to 1979.



Younger's family has a long military tradition. His father was Brigadier Arthur Allan Shakespear Younger, and his grandfather was Colonel John Younger, Royal Artillery.


He was educated at Gresham's School, Holt, the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and Christ's College, Cambridge.


He was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1939 and saw active service in World War II, taking part in the Dunkirk evacuation, the Normandy Landings, then later in the Korean War.

In 1942, he took part in trials on the Scottish island of Gruinard to test the potential of anthrax as a weapon. He later said that its lethality compared with chemical weapons was like the difference between TNT and a nuclear bomb.

He served in Burma, 1946 1947, Malaya, 1948, and Korea, 1950-1951. At the start of the Korean War, Younger was given command of 55 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers.

From 1954 to 1957, he taught at Sandhurst, and from 1960 to 1962 commanded 36 Corps Engineer Regiment in the UK and Kenya.

He went on to become the Senior Army Member of the Directing Staff at the Royal College of Defence Studies from 1972 to 1975 and Colonel Commandant of the Royal Engineers between 1974 and 1979.


  • Blowing Our Bridges: A Memoir from Dunkirk to Korea via Normandy (Leo Cooper Ltd, 2004) ISBN 1-84415-051-8


  • Officer of the Order of the British Empire, 1969
  • Distinguished Service Order
  • Silver Star (U.S. decoration) 1952
  • Colonel Commandant, Corps of Royal Engineers, 15 April 1974


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