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Hackett Centenary Lectures

Posted on 12/11/2010

The speakers

A group of distinguished speakers took part in an event to mark the Centenary of the  birth of former King’s College London Principal General Sir John Hackett GCB, CBE, DSO & Bar, MC at the Strand Campus last night. General Sir John Hackett, one of the most distinguished names of WWII, was Principal of King’s College London from 1968-1975.

The main speaker Lieutenant General David Hurley was appointed to the position of the Vice Chief of the Australian Defence Force on 4 July 2008. Earlier this year Lieutenant General Hurley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Australian Defence Force as Chief of Capability Development Group, Chief of Joint Operations and Vice Chief of the Defence Force.

Lieutenant General Hurley spoke about Sir John’s upbringing in Australia and subsequent military career in the UK and gave an account of his gallant leadership; he also discussed his grasp of geopolitics and lasting and enduring legacy for Australian officers.

‘Shan’ Hackett has been described as ‘one of the last of the British intellectual gentleman soldiers.’ The culmination of his military career saw him both as a Nato Commander and Commander-in-chief of the British Army in the Rhine.

Professor Sir Michael Howard gave a warm account of his personal recollections of Sir John in the corridors of Whitehall and how he came to be appointed Principal of King’s.  He highlighted Sir John’s participation in a student march in favour of higher grants in 1973 and his oversight of the construction of the Strand Building and of the Macadam Building. Sir Michael founded the Department of War Studies at King’s and became the country’s first Professor of War Studies in 1963.

Peter Marshall, Emeritus Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King’s, was a junior lecturer when Sir John was Principal and concluded the proceedings with an overview of his times as Principal and academic. Professor Marshall described Sir John as a ‘remarkable charismatic person with a respect for scholarship and an interest in people,’ and a special concern for students.

Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, Vice-Principal (Strategy & Development), chaired the event.

[Image by David Tett: Dr Patrick Mileham, Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, Lieutenant General David Hurley, Professor Sir Michael Howard and Professor Peter Marshall.]

Notes to Editors
King’s College London

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Further information
Alex Bevis, Public Relations Department,
Public Relations Department, King's College London
Email:  Tel: 020 7848 3238

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