Who is Matthew Holmes? Wiki, Biography, Age, Head of Royal Marines, Found Dead, Tributes

Matthew Holmes

Matthew Holmes Wiki – Matthew Holmes Biography

The former head of the Royal Marines, Major General Matthew Holmes, has died in a suspected suicide after struggling with a split from his wife and losing his job.

In April, he was removed as commandant general Royal Marines, the professional head of the force, as part of a restructuring of the Royal Navy, despite only serving 20 months of a three-year position.


He was 54 years old.

Matthew Holmes Found Dead in Home

Holmes, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership on the front line in Afghanistan in 2007, was found dead on Saturday. In April, he was a pallbearer at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral during the St George’s Chapel steps procession.

Investigations continue into the circumstances of Holmes’s death, the Ministry of Defence said. But defense sources said it was understood he had taken his own life. There had been a period of personal difficulties, they said.

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Holmes’s sudden death has rocked colleagues in the military. On Monday, the defense secretary, Ben Wallace, said that “we mourn the tragic loss of one of our own” – and praised Holmes for serving with “distinction and rigor”.


Lea Holmes, Matthew’s wife, described him as “a kind, generous man”. She added: “He was courageous and had committed his life to serve in the Royal Marines; he was selfless to such an extent that this was more important than his own career progression. He was exceptionally proud to have served as commandant general.”


Adm Sir Tony Radakin, the head of the Royal Navy, said: “Matt was also a dear friend to many, and a close friend of mine for over 20 years. He will be sorely missed by the service and especially the corps family.”

Holmes had been moved out from his position as head of the marines after a reorganisation, having served a little over a year and a half in what is usually considered a three-year posting. He had resisted the move, defence sources said, and this was reported earlier this year. But Radakin pressed on with the change, part of his broader transformation plan for the Royal Navy.

Holmes was replaced by Lt Gen Rob Magowan and was allowed to stay on for six months, acting as an adviser, to help with the transition out of service.

Radakin is one of the leading two candidates to replace Gen Sir Nick Carter as head of the armed forces after Johnson completed interviews for the job last week. An appointment had been expected late last week, but that has been delayed until after the Conservative party conference.

Some defence sources believe Radakin is Johnson’s favoured candidate after the final round of interviews. However, there is strong support from elsewhere in the military for Gen. Sir Patrick Sanders, the head of the strategic command responsible for both special forces cyber operations.

Downing Street makes the appointment from a field of five after a recommendation from Wallace.

The MoD said its “thoughts, sympathies and deepest heartfelt condolences were with family and friends of Maj Gen Holmes”. A spokesman requested that their privacy be respected.


Boris Johnson led tributes from across the military to the former head of the Royal Marines, who was found dead on Saturday at 54.

The prime minister said he was “very saddened” to learn of the sudden death of Maj Gen Matthew Holmes, who had led the Marines until his replacement in a reorganization early this year.

Holmes had been commandant general of the marines from 2019 until April this year and had previously served in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan during a career of more than 30 years in the armed forces.

“My thoughts are with Matt’s family and friends at this difficult time, as well as the Royal Marines and Royal Navy, who I know will feel this loss keenly,” Johnson said.

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