Field Marshal

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.

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