George II created the rank of field marshal in 1736. It is a rank that has been bestowed on only the most senior officers, and just 138 men have attained it. Following restructuring the British Army no longer promotes field marshals. However, since it is a rank that is held for life, there are still a number of extant field marshals.
A field marshal would almost certainly be a peer, baronet or knight. It should be ascertained whether he prefers his military
rank or his title to be used.
How to Address a Field Marshal
The recommended style of address is as follows (if a peer):
|Beginning of letter||According to title|
|End of letter||Yours sincerely|
|Envelope||Field Marshal Lord Blank, GCB|
|Verbal communication||According to title*|
|Invitation||Field Marshal Lord Blank|
|Joint invitation+||Field Marshal Lord Blank and Lady Blank|
|Description in conversation||According to title. If reference is made to rank, Field Marshal Blank or Field Marshal is used in full|
|List of Directors or Patrons||Field Marshal Lord Blank, GCB|
|Place card||Field Marshal Lord Blank|
*A younger man, or a more junior officer in any of the Armed Forces, addresses him as 'Sir'.
+ Note: Traditionally, invitations to a married couple, when sent to their home address, are addressed to the wife alone, with both names being inscribed on the invitation card. It has become increasingly acceptable, however, to address the envelope with both names.